San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tarpon Action Hot; Pacific on Slow Side

Tarpon have been all but jumping in the boat on the northern Caribbean coast, and the action couldn t have come at a better time, with all three lodges Casamar, Silver King and Río Colorado booked to capacity and everyone catching fish. Haven t had a report from Parismina Lodge, farther up the TortugueroCanal, since I can remember, but assume they are doing equally well.

Río Colorado Lodge operator Dan Wise reports that Tom Larkins, from Mississippi, even scored two wahoo in the 30-pound range while trolling the rip line, an unusual catch for the area, which is internationally renowned for its tarpon and snook fishing.

The most impressive catch reported was a150-pound tarpon caught on a 12-weight fly rod after a two-hour battle by Innus Tetsuo, from Japan,Wise said.

Ken Moreau and Tom Bechnal, from Houston, Texas, fishing just two days hooked and released 16 tarpon and jumped a few others they didn t get to the boat,Wise added.

That s the good news. The bad news is the snook are in but the locals are netting them illegally at night for the commercial market while the authorities, as usual, look the other way, lodge operators report.

We complain, and the park department just says they don t have gasoline to send their boat out, Wise said. The snook bring a good price, but there is no market for tarpon, and we found 10 tarpon carcasses discarded by the netters on the beach last week.

At LakeArenal, in north-central Costa Rica, guide Ron Saunders reports conditions are back to normal this past week after the wind changed and blew out of the west rather than off the Caribbean, which is more usual. That westerly wind kicked up a chop that slowed fishing, but it was back on course as of early his week, Saunders said.

No reports from the Golfito area on the southern Pacific coast, but we are finally seeing some action out of Quepos, on the central coast, where fishing has been slow in recent weeks. J.P. Sportfishing reports 11 sailfish releases aboard the Wild Lady Oct. 4, 5 and 8, and a few dorado Oct. 9, but judging from the dearth of reports out of the area, fishing apparently continues slow.

Farther north, Wetass II skipper Sonny Kocsis reports bad water conditions and slow action early last week, and not much cooperation from the fish.

I was unable to raise any of the other skippers on the northern Pacific coast and want to remind any and all to give me a call with fishing reports as early as possible on Monday of each week.

I did get an e-mail and photo from Tico Times reader Joe James, who fished with Tranquilamar Sportfishing at Ocotal, on the northern Pacific coast, along with Steve Vanfleet and Clint Johnson. That s Joe with a dorado the size of a tank (see photo), the largest I ve seen here in a long time. They also caught and released a sailfish and a few smaller dorado.


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