San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Carrillo Hopping; Tarpon Bite Crashes

Joe Riley from Maryland reports he and his gang just returned home from a great threeweek trip, fishing with Richard Chellemi on the Gamefisher II out of Carrillo, halfway down the NicoyaPeninsula on the northern Pacific coast.

He said the count, best he can remember, was two blue marlin caught and released out of four up, three striped marlin released for five up, 140 sailfish releases out of at least 200 seen, 28 dorado, including a 35-pounder, and three yellowfin tuna.

“Carrillo is a great spot to fish from … our crew would recommend it and we are already looking forward to returning,” he said.

Carrillo continues as the hot spot on the Pacific coast, but the action farther south off Quepos appears to be kicking in at last, with J.P. Sportfishing reporting up to nine sails in a day, though getting blanked some of the time.

All the way south on the Pacific coast, Todd Staley, fishing manager at Crocodile Bay Resort in the Golfito area, reports a rare tarpon caught there last week that weighed in at 77 pounds, only the second tarpon ever reported on the Pacific coast; the other was caught in the same area about five years ago.

Staley said it was caught while fishing for roosterfish, between the big rock and the beach, working a goggle-eye bait in 30 feet of water.

He adds they have apparently seen the last of the El Niño that has been plaguing anglers in the region, and sailfish action has improved, with one boat Sunday raising 15 sails with eight caught and released.

The mega tarpon bite on the Caribbean, as reported here in recent weeks, finally crashed, and at an unfortunate time, with the three lodges at Barra Colorado jammed with fishermen.

Río Colorado Lodge, for example, had only 12 tarpon up and just two boated last week, with heavy rains kicking in Saturday, but clearing on Monday of this week. The lodge did report a 10-pound snook and a few others in the five-pound range caught from the beach. Action there is likely to snap back if the weather cooperates.

Mike Kennedy sent us an e-mail asking if there are any tarpon or snook to be had in the SixaolaRiver area on the southern Caribbean coast.

There are tarpon in that area,Mike, and at one time there was a fishing operator in Manzanillo whom I fished with a few years ago, managing to jump a couple while trolling just outside the river mouth. I have since tried to contact that operator with no luck. The contact information I have is e-mail, U.S. phone number (406) 586-5084 and Costa Rica phone number 759-0715, but I’ve had no luck getting a response. (If calling the Costa Rica number from North America, first dial 011 506).


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