San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Monster Snook Caught from Shore

Tarpon action continues hot and heavy on the Caribbean coast, but no reports from any skippers, marinas or lodge operators on the Pacific coast this week; we have to assume that fishing there has been mighty slow, and your best bet for scraping up something on the west coast might be fishing from the beach.

Case in point is the 45-pound snook caught fishing from shore at Playa Hermosa last week by Dan Gibson, who lives in nearby Jacó, on the central Pacific coast.

Gibson said the big snook hit a Laser Eye lure he was throwing on 20-pound line with a 40-pound test leader in three feet of water, and he had it to the beach after only a 15-minute battle.

That is a monster Pacific snook, and particularly noteworthy having been caught from the beach and in so short a time. The all-tackle record for the species is 57 pounds, 12 ounces, caught trolling the breaker line off the Río Naranjo by George Beck on a boat out of Quepos in August 1991.

Other Pacific snook records from Costa Rican waters in the record book are 31 pounds, 10 ounces, on six-pound line at the Bongo River by Alberto Gutiérrez, May 1, 2005; 55 pounds, 8 ounces, on 12-pound line at Río Parrita by José Brenes, May 23, 1992; and 49 pounds, 13 ounces, on 16-pound line at Río Tulín by Gerardo Céspedes, May 20, 1990.

Pacific snook run larger than the more abundant Atlantic variety, but the Atlantic snook taken on the northern Caribbean coast are apparently far more abundant since we have a much greater number of anglers coming down for snook who fish that area out of the lodges at Parismina and Barra Colorado.

Keep in mind that fat snook, a much smaller variety of the species, will begin their annual run on our Caribbean coast within the next few weeks. They offer a rare opportunity to get your name in the record book, as the only world mark for that species is the all-tackle record and the linetest records will be included when the International Game Fish Association gets a few more entries for the species.

Gibson is trying to contact the manufacturers of the Laser Eye lure to tell them about it, but has had no luck, and I tried an e-mail search and came up with zip. If anyone knows how to contact them, e-mail George at


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