Thursday, May 6th, 2010 with
For more information visit www.crocodilebay.com
April was a crazy month. If my hair hadn’t fallen out years before it surely would have in a month’s time. It was a month filled with highs and lows.
Eleventh Hour man Mark Davis from Bigwater Adventures TV filmed his second show here and like his first he fished for marlin. The currents associated with El Nino had brought 87 degree water into the area and bill fish aren’t very active in bath water. Mark hung in there and put in his time and ended up with several sails and a 300 lb blue marlin that you would have thought had a Screen Actors Guild member card.
Leo Stakos from Canadian based Fish-On TV is a light tackle specialist and was here at the same time as Davis. Stakos chose to concentrate on inshore species after bagging a few sails his first day on the water. Sometimes artificial lures produce better than live bait and Stakos proved it when he brought 32 roosters to the boat in one day trolling Rapalas.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation www.nfwf.org auctioned off a dream trip to Costa Rica when Crocodile Bay Resort teamed up with the sport fishing yacht Typhoon for a 5 day fishing and eco adventure on the Osa Peninsula. The Typhoon is captained by Darren McClave and Donald McGuinness.
Patrick & Luke Durkin
Patrick Durkin, a big National Fish and Wildlife Foundation supporter was top bidder of the trip and came down with his wife Kristen and sons Luke and Austin. Also on the trip was Patrick’s twin brother Tim accompanied by his wife Liz and friends Dr. Gary and Lynn Sherman.
Several highlights of the trip included the day the twins hooked up a double on sailfish. They landed the fish at the exact same time and the two sails were the exact same size. The joke the rest of the week was “twins catching twins.” Durkin invited a couple local boys out one day to fish with his sons and it was a thrill for 11 year old Eddie Robles to catch a sailfish on the “biggest boat” he had ever been on in his life. It was a great culture exchange between the boys that surely they will remember for a long time.
Little Luke Durkin is my hero. Although I love the dance of a sail fish and the adrenalin rush of a greyhounding marlin, my west coast Florida roots have always made me love bottom fishing. I have a long standing bet with all my captains about bottom fishing that I have yet to have to pay up after all these years here. When Luke showed up at the dock with a broomtail grouper more than half his size I have to admit I was just a bit jealous. When I found out he caught it on a jig, my bottom lip began to stick out. Well Luke I’m done pouting. I would be proud to go bottom fishing with you anytime.
Our fearless leader of the U.S. office Lynn Alban was down to see us with friends Mimi Burroughs, Margo Sims, and Margo daughter Suze Sims. I was lucky enough to fish with them on the worst day weather wise I have ever seen in all my years here. I giant black cloud horseshoed itself around us but not before Suze caught her first sailfish. The rain chased us inshore and then followed us. When I started hearing the theme song from Gilligan’s Island in my head I decided it was time to call it a day. Suze is lead singer for The Red Hot Blues Sisters, a Seattle based blues group that has released two albums. This girl wails. I still haven’t hit the eject button in my car. Will Briegel, Webmaster and Marketing Director for Crocodile Bay enjoyed his annual fishing trip inshore and filled four dinner plates with African Pompano and Black Snapper.
April meant school vacations and we had many Costa Rican families at the resort. This prompted a kids fishing class at the pier where nearly a dozen kids fished for the very first time. The fish must have known it was kids fishing and all would go back in the water because they bit like crazy. Seven year old Angelica Chacon Madrigal is going to grow up to be a great angler. When the others had none, she had patience. It paid off as she quickly learned the secret to hooking snapper and out fished everyone else.
Best Fish story of the year goes to 8 year old Angel Williams who reeled me in like a gold fish in a pond racing for fish meal. Angel who is Crocodile Bay’s Beau Williams daughter was fishing along with the group of kids at the pier. She had one of my crew put a live sardine on her hook and cast it out. I got called to the hotel to check on a matter and when I returned she was holding a 10lb dorado and saying “Todd look what I caught just now.” Now stranger things have happened. Long time customer Mike Pizzi once took a 60 lb roosterfish off the pier and several years ago my night guard was fishing and not guarding and he caught a 53 lb cubera snapper on a hand line. This dorado was juvenile size and I thought it believable.
She went on and on about how this fish fought and jumped. She went on to explain that she caught it because she is a really good angler and the other kids were catching little snappers and she got this big dorado. “I have to get a picture of this.” I told her. “This deserves to go the website.” Well to make a long story short a boat arrived while I was at the hotel and brought in the dorado that was deep hooked and couldn’t be released. Angel took the opportunity to pull one over on me which she did in the most believable manner. Good luck Beau, she’s good.
A Pod of Orcas Size up Will Rogers
The Boston Whaler Group helped us wrap up the season with their 9th annual visit here hosted by President John Ward, Ben Cast, and Will Rogers. There were many first timers in this group as well as regulars like Whaler’s Ron Berman who’s father, Capt. Mel Berman passed away this year and was an icon to sport fishing community I grew up in and a personal friend.
Will Rogers did a Costa Rican audition if they ever make the movie “Jackass 3” when he jumped overboard into a pod of three killer whales. They came over and checked him out but decided he didn’t look enough like a seal to gulp him down. He did get some amazing underwater photos and a life long memory.
Every year Boston Whaler holds a tournament here and later donates all the prize money to a project in Puerto Jimenez. They have rebuilt and tiled the floor in the kindergarten, bought new desks for the first grade, bought camping equipment for the local scouts and raised nearly $2000 for the elementary school again this year. The daily winners who donated their prize money were, Kevin Miller, Jeff Furches, Jeff Glenny, Chuck Cashman, Todd Turley, and Tony Villareale. Thanks guys.
Overall the warm water made the number of billfish caught drop this year but when a pocket of cooler water would move in the numbers would shoot up to 15 or more fish a day per boat. Just when I let out a sigh of relief, more warm water would move in. The numbers were phenomenal last year with the new laws in place and I expect next season as the climate returns to normal, the big numbers of fish will return. One immediate change we noticed this year was in the snapper fishing. We saw more fish and bigger fish. I attribute this directly to the shrimp trawlers no longer working in the Golfo Dulce. The sport fishing lobby in Costa Rica is working hard to insure we remain the premier destination for a fishing vacation.
Straight From the Catfish’s Mouth
After heading up Crocodile Bay Resort’s fishing program since the beginning 11 years ago, owner Robin Williams, (he’s a character but not the actor) decided I should see how our U.S. office works. Shortly I will be traveling up for a few weeks to see the nuts and bolts of the other side of the operation. If you have any questions about fishing down here as far as fish, peak times, equipment, boats, tackle, captains or anything related to Crocodile Bay Resort I will be happy to give you a call while I am there. Maybe you are planning a trip for next season. No one knows how this machine operates better than myself. Drop me your number at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you any way I can. Looking forward to seeing you next season.
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 with
On the right is Rodrigo Arias, Minister to the President of Costa Rica, and his brother.
In the middle is Olivier Jimenez, Senator of the Province of Puntarenas (our elected congressional representative)
Costa Rica's Rodrigo Arias Fishing at Crocodile Bay, Costa Rica
On the left with no shirt is Gerardo Fait, president and owner of El Lagar hardware stores, one of the largest hardware store chains in Costa Rica, and personal friend of Rodrigo Arias.
They were down visiting Puerto Jimenez to inaugurate the completion of a new $50 million highway project leading from Rincon into Puerto Jimenez, as well as the new runway repaving and they took advantage of the trip to take some time out to see the beautiful Gulfo Dulce.
Oscar Arias the current president will be leaving office in May, at which time his former Vice President Laura Chinchilla who won the recent presidential elections, will be entering office as Costa Rica’s first woman president for the 2010-2014 term.
Rodrigo Arias has just announced his plans to run for president in the 2014-2018 elections.
Whaler boats are fit for a president, and his brother!
For More Information about a fishing trip in a Boston Whaler, visit www.crocodilebay.com
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 with
Sailfish Make a Comeback in March
Crocodile Bay Costa Rica
March 15, 2010
For more reports and Costa Rica Fishing information visit www.crocodilebay.com
My blood pressure has dropped 20 points, which means things are getting back to normal. The crazy weather patterns last month in the states came all the way south, but this month the skies are blue and both temperature and the fishing is hot.
Allen Ryals and Steve Ulman have been coming here since before my hair turned gray. Allen is sort of a professor of fish and an inventor of many types of fishing gadgets. This year it was a teaser made from a bowling pin that he had to fine tune to keep out of the gutter but when he finished it was running straight and true. He and Ulman also customized a cedar plug that made the big tuna dizzy.
Pat Robbins brought his seven brothers down for their second reunion at Crocodile. The boys were raised in Butte Montana along with 4 sisters. By the time they finished high school all had been taught the welding trade by their father and all used those skills to attend college. Now the mix of brothers are either in the medical field or in metal casting doing business in the states and Costa Rica. They caught a list of nice fish including wahoo (which have been strangely prevalent lately) and brother Bert landed an 80 lb tarpon on light tackle after a two hour battle. Our small population of tarpon have made their way through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic side and slipped into Pacific waters without getting their passport stamped.
Bob Perimian’s group hit it just right. Although Bob couldn’t make the trip his crew raised an average of 10 fish per boat a day and caught some real nice snapper for dinner. Fishing has really picked up for sails. Between groups I had a day when 4 boats raised 62 sails and two of those boats spent part of the day inshore. A few marlin have made a presence and Doug Ford from Houston finished his trip with a nice blue marlin. Kirk Dill had his group down again from Bermuda and Tony Thompson made his annual trek from the Big Apple and found out he was neighbors with part of the Perimian group. There were so many repeat guests these last two weeks that I know I forgot someone so please forgive me if I make you feel like the bridesmaid.
Inshore has been extremely well for snapper and cuberas over 20 have been a regular thing as well as roosterfish. There has been the best snapper bite going on that I can remember and part might be the shrimp boats are no longer working in the gulf.
Capt. Garofano of Conn. shows off a 27lb rooster
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
Costa Rica Fishing Report,
February 26, 2010
Wade Boggs Hooks up With a Nice Wahoo
Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs Poses With a Nice Wahoo on His Third Visit to Crocodile Bay Resort!
Baseball legend Wade Boggs with a nice wahoo
February has been one of those month’s that drive fishing directors crazy. One day the fishing is red hot and the next it’s not. On the good moon the fishing slowed and on the normally not so good moon it picked up.
Tuna have passed through occasionally, cruising with the porpoises. Lots of 60 to 100 pound fish were caught that some made it to sushi plates. Greg Thompson and David Horn teamed up to tackle one that went around 180 lbs. They opted for sails after that battle.
Greg Thompson and David Horn teamed up to tackle this 180 lb tuna
Sailfish is what is driving us crazy. One day we see as many as 15 per boat and the next only a half dozen. We have had more rain than any February I remember and more cloudy days and the bite always seems better on a sunny day.
The Annual Vergith Contracting Fishing Tournament was held earlier this month. Royce Cook finished first in points and Joe Vincent and Mark Bass tied for second only a half point behind Cook. The 10 anglers went 28 for 75 on sails and landed 17 dorado and 2 tuna. Eight of the ten anglers took their first sailfish during the tournament.
Dan Vergith congratulates tournament winner Royce Cook
Participants in the Vergith Contracting Annual Fishing tournament
Ludwing Diaz, general manager of the Hotel Balmoral in San Jose and a big supporter of fishing tourism and sustainable fishing practices was down with wife Katherine and 11 year old daughter Juliana. They spent a day fishing and snorkeling taking several nice African pompano and roosterfish.
The Diaz family Katherine, Ludwing, and Juliana
Ken Patterson had his group from Florida here again this year. Traveling with them for his third trip was baseball Hall of Fame member Wade Boggs. Fishing was tough for the group but Boggs managed to fool sails on a fly and take his first wahoo (pictured top of page.)
Inshore has also had it’s ups and downs but yesterday the roosters were crowing in full force. A couple of fish between 40 and 60 lbs were caught along with many in the 20 pound class.
Enough snapper hit the dock these days for the chef to prepare in several different fashions. One cubera snapper estimated at 50 lbs was released. The bigger fish are almost always female of breeding stock.
Just waiting for a little more sunshine and the bite to return to normal
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
Costa Rica Fishing Report,
February 1, 2010
Fun for all Ages
It didn’t matter your age lately, you were having fun catching fish here. Five year old Matthew Norguero got his first snapper off our pier, eleven year old Eddy Robles took a nice African Pompano reef fishing and Pat Morgan celebrated her 79th birthday by catching her first, second , and third sailfish! Her husband Henry took two sails and a nice dorado.
Texans Mike and Catherine Shellman were so pleased with their results that they left a caricature in the bar. Mike took a sailfish on the fly and Catherine hauled in a super 50# roosterfish.
Scott “the kid” Barbeau and his wife Stephanie were down from Massachusetts. Scott is one of those guys who fishing runs through their veins. He chases tuna in the rough Atlantic and wanted to do the same in the calm Pacific. After I told him we haven’t seen a big tuna in a while he proceeded to bring me a 100 plus pounder back to the dock. No matter what he targeted he did well. I don’t know how many different varieties of fish he caught but I’m sure he is someplace ice fishing about now.
The dorado are starting to thin and the sailfish numbers are starting to pick up. All this is normal although it is happening a little late this year. A few marlin to 400 pounds are surprising anglers and the tuna are running when the porpoise come through. The sails have been hungry and ready charge a pitch bait or a fly.
Inshore has been unpredictable with the roosters biting like crazy one day and going into hiding the next. Several from 45 to 60 pounds have been the highlights. Bottom fishing has been good but should even get better between the moons.
Cpt Todd Staley- Crocodile Bay Lodge, Costa Rica
Jeff Vannoy fishing out of Crocodile Bay went looking for roosterfish near Matapalo Rock and although he didn’t get his roosterfish he certainly caught something to crow about. The crew and Jeff were surprised to see a 120 plus pound tarpon take to the air when Vannoy set the hook. After over an hour on 20lb spin tackle they lifted the fish for a quick photo and set it free.
Over the years tarpon have passed through the Panama Canal into Pacific waters. We hook three or four a year and land one now and then. “I thought I was losing my mind the first time I saw one roll in the Golfo Dulce back in 1995,” commented Todd Staley Fishing Director at Crocodile Bay. Having run Archie Fields Lodge in the early 90′s Staley has a soft spot for tarpon. “It’s great to see tarpon on this side now and then but I don’t think their ready to be featured in our brochure.”
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
Lucía Romero Shows Off a Beautiful Dorado in January at Crocodile Bay
Crocodile Bay, Costa Rica
Fishing Update – January 2009
By Todd Staley
December was a great month for fishing at Crocodile Bay, Costa Rica. Since our first guests of the season, Tom and Anne Bobotas walked in on the first of December, chatter around the bar at happy hour has been fish, fish, fish.
The fishing season started out with lots of dorado and Tom was happy he out fished all the guys on the big boats, topping it off with a monster dorado (see below). The last two weeks of the month the sails made a sporadic appearance and some boats raised as many as nine but the big wave of sails are due to arrive any day.
My bratwurst connection from the midwest, John and CJ Mork fishing with first time friends Joe and Peggy Schierl tangled with a nice blue marlin as well as sails and dorado. John has taken a marlin each visit here. The marlin finally showed the third week of the month and there are stories of battles lost and battles won almost every afternoon. Inshore has picked up considerably lately with rooster up to 60 lbs making people crow.
Dennis Cook was down with his triplets, Mackenzie, Dawson, and Asher and had a ball inshore with roosters and jacks. Long time guests Andrew Ociepka and Al Charles also had big days on roosterfish. As we come off the big moon of New Years eve, the sail numbers should increase greatly in January and the snapper bite will turn on with the slower tides.
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica