Nora M. on
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 with
Image Source: Sportfishingmag.com
Courtesy Mario Banaga/Pisces Fleet
Last week, a potential world record yellowfin tuna was caught 200 miles off the coast of Cabo San Lucas and could be worth a million dollars. The tuna weighs in at over 400 lbs. These large gamefish are typically a frustrating catch for anglers. Yellowfin are considered the strongest and fastest of all the big game fish and create a real challenge for anglers. They are known as albacore in French and commonly referred to as such. They are a highly migratory fish are found in warm waters throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Yellowfin are abundant in the Osa Peninsula. Continue reading…
Nora M. on
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 with
Image Source: guyharveysportwear.com
Located on the southern most part of the pacific in Costa Rica is the Osa Pensinula. It offers pristine secluded beaches, warm waters, excellent resorts and some of the best sport fishing in the world. With plentiful numbers of sailfish and marlin, the abundance of billfish has made this area a famous and favored spot by world-class anglers. It is no surprise it has become a top destination vacation for sport fishermen.
Thursday, April 7th, 2011 with
Crocodile Bay, Costa Rica – Fishing Report April 7, 2011
by Todd Staley, Fishing Director
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
Crocodile Bay Resort just finished hosting the 30th Club Amateur de Pesca annual sailfish tournament with teams from South Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and the United States competing. In four days of fishing the group of 10 boats raised over 300 billfish and landed a total of 150 billfish including several blue marlins which is amazing because all anglers were required to fish 20 lb test line and had a maximum of 30 minutes to land a fish.
The closest I have ever felt to walking with royalty was walking the pier each day with 86 year old Nora Scholfield. Nora was fishing her 28th tournament and is one of the pioneers of sport fishing in Costa Rica. Nora hooked two marlin on day two of the tournament and nearly landed a 250 pounder in the required 30 minutes. The 500 pound fish she hooked later wasn’t about to give her the same chance.
Costa Rica’s Golden Girl Nora Scholfield fights a big marlin
Watch video of 86 year old Nora Scholfield fighting
large pacific marlin below!
Unfortunately she just missed landing this one…here is her reaction
Team Guatemala Takes First Place
Bruno Rodriguez- Individual Winner Puerto Rican Light Tackle Team
Team South Africa
Guatemala ended up taking first place, with South Africa second and Puerto Rico third. Franz Hoffman of Guatemala tied Puerto Rico’s Bruno Rodriquez for the most fish, but Hoffman took home the trophy because he landed his last fish earlier in the day than Rodriquez.
The tournament atmosphere was a change for Crocodile Bay Captains who generally fish for fun although each wants to be on top of the scoreboard posted in the bar each evening. Freddy Navarro was top captain, followed by Edwin Cerdes and Chepe Conteras.
Fishing Director Todd Staley With Costa Rica’s Vice President Luis Liberman Ginsburg
Inshore fishing as of late has been good with roosterfish along the beach cooperating very well. Dorado made a show this week and several were taken during the tournament but not counting as points. Yesterday 88 year old Richard Schrader fulfilled a lifelong dream and took his first sailfish on a fly. What’s left I asked him as he got on the boat this morning. His reply was said matter of factly, “Do it again.”
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
To book your costa rica fishing vacation visit www.crocodilebay.com/reserve.htm
Monday, March 21st, 2011 with
Maria Celenia Hernandez shows off a nice cubera snapper
I once had a client tell me that I am the “duck” of Crocodile Bay Resort. What people notice is me cruising leisurely across the surface. What they don’t see is all the paddling below surface to make it all happen. Well up until two days before the quake in Japan I was cruising. Boats were posting double digit days of sailfish on the board every day. Marlin were also popping up with more frequency than what is normal for March. Boats as far away as Los Suenos were coming south to enjoy the bounty. So I was cruising.
I have been running fishing operations in Costa Rica over 20 years and have been at Crocodile Bay since construction began in 1999. It took me years to learn not to worry about things I have no control of and to do the best at the things I do. Several years back I stopped passing the radio 50 times a day to see how the boats were doing. I have no control of the bite so I just go to the dock at the end of the day and meet the guests and read the trip reports.
Two days before the devastating quake in Japan, I went to the pier expecting another day like the previous, which was 12 to 18 fish in the teasers per boat. Boat after boat arrived at the pier and nothing, zip, nada. The fish were gone. I always thought that the words in Robert Redford’s line in the move “Havana” based on the studies of Edward Lorenz over fifty years ago were quite prolific. “A butterfly can flutter its wings over a flower in China and cause a hurricane in the Caribbean”.
My redneck heritage makes me a lot less astute than Edward Lorenz but I have made some of my own observations in my two decades here. When I ran Archie Fields Rio Colorado Lodge twenty years ago we had a small zoo before having animals in pens was considered not politically correct. My favorite was a 400 pound tapir named Baby Doll that was as tame as could be and use to visit guests in the bar every night. Anyway, all the animals would start acting really freaky before an earthquake, long before the ground began to shake. My theory is fish can do the same.
Mike Pizzi shows off a 66lb amberjack at Crocodile Bay
The tsunami that that traveled half way around the globe had severe effects in the United States, Mexico, and here in Costa Rica. There was a big fish kill in California. In Mexico mackerel and sardines huddled together next to the beach that from the air looked like an oil slick. The wave that hit Costa Rica cut a famous landmark you see from the air on the flight to the Crocodile Bay in half. The “whale tail” was a peninsula just up the coast named after its shape. And the billfish disappeared for a solid week.
Longtime customer and friend George Gianacopolos who comes down every year with the same group of anglers from the northeast hit the streak of bad fishing. His sense of humor finally put a smile on my face as day by day he could see the stress building in me. As I took the daily log from the captain at the end of the day, I read George’s comment, “Someone should put Todd on suicide watch”.
Then just as it turned off, it turned back on. Dicky Williams is another guest who visits quite often with his family and friends. After a couple days of dismal fishing, I noticed smiles on the guest’s faces as the boats returned at the end of the day. The day before nothing, then the next day, the Williams were on the top with 20 sails in the teasers, landing 8. The other boats had similar results.
Keith and Matthew were enjoying a father-son vacation and also started their trip in an empty ocean. They finished in a much more typical fashion with double digit sails and Matthew took a 350 pound blue marlin memory home with him.
Things have pretty much returned to normal. The bite slowed just a tad on the full moon, although last month the sails bit on the full moon like they were competing in the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. Inshore the roosters and snapper are back to normal and so is my blood pressure.
For more information on planning the ultimate Costa Rica Fishing Adventure visit Crocodile Bay Resort on the web!
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
Friday, February 4th, 2011 with
Crocodile Bay Costa Rica Sport Fishing Report:
February 3rd, 2011
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director
Taken From http://www.crocodilebay.com
Some people have intensity to everything they do. I used to think former National Hockey League star Clayton Norris was one of those people. Anyone who holds the record for most penalty minutes in a pre-season game takes things seriously.
*Get an Extra Fishing Day when you purchase any full fishing package of three days or more! For new reservations boooked between now and March 1st, 2011.
He was a different man when he took his wife Jennean and daughters Megan and Abbey out for a day of fishing after Megan explained how much fun they had the first day when her and her dad caught several sails and saw whales, sea turtles and dolphins. Dad turned into coach that second day as they landed 8 out of the 12 sailfish they hooked and learned “fishin” isn’t just a guy’s sport.
Clayton Norris and Family at Crocodile Bay Resort
Brian and Karen Beuchel held top spot on the leader board three days in a row with double digit sails raised and over a half dozen landed each day as well as spending a productive day inshore taking roosters, snapper, jacks and African pompano.
Jess Clemens (pictured below)and Wendy Bob’s stay at Crocodile got off to a tough start when Jess arrived with a bout of the flu, followed by a couple days of so-so inshore fishing and a trip halfway to Gilligan’s Island. All that quickly became a faded memory when a big sail ate the fly he cast and he battled that and released a couple more. Thanks for the great photos.
Pictured – Jess Clemons With a Nice Sailfish
We have had way too many repeat customers in the last couple of weeks to mention them all without forgetting someone or having this sound like a 7th grade book report. Erik and Jeff Johnson aka “Dos Hermanos” (pictured below) made a nice haul with sailfish, roosterfish,dorado and other inshore species. Kay Dolittle’s sense of humor always kept me in good spirits even when I was running around like a wild man trying to keep things running smooth. Dave Stanley gives me tackle advise when he comes, and Jimmy Bell and the boys of upstate New York are always fun. We want to thank all of you who came back to see us, some many times over.
Team “Dos Hermanos”
Ok, on to fishing. The marlin thinned out a little since last report but the sails moved in to the area in big numbers. Some days they are a little finicky but most days boats are seeing double digit fish raised. A few dorado have appeared and if the schools of spinner or spotted dolphin are around then the yellowfin tuna are cruising below.
Inshore roosters are not running in schools but individual fish up to 50 lbs have been taken. Some amberjack have hit deep jiggers and enough snapper have been caught to make an inshore day worthwhile.
The Pier at Crocodile Bay Resort
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
Reserve your dream costa rica fishing vacation today at www.crocodilebay.com/reserve.htm
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 with
Check out this new Costa Rica Fishing video at Crocodile Bay Resort by Jimmy Nelson and Extreme Fishing Destinations!
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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 with
Crocodile Bay Costa Rica Fishing Report:
Dec 15 to Jan 12, 2011
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director
Pictured above: Max Cembalest and Father show off a nice sail!
I have always liked Christmas week here at Crocodile Bay because the place fills up with families. I get a real charge out of seeing or hearing about a youngster’s first really big catch. I wasn’t disappointed at all.
Mike and Rachel Cembalest from New York brought their boys, Max, Will, and Peter over the holiday. Max had recently had back surgery and was thrilled when the doctor finally gave him the ok to go deep sea fishing just in time for the trip. They didn’t have a good day offshore but caught a boatload of inshore species. They decided to give offshore another try but all the boats were already booked.
Rachel Cembalest poses with a stripped marlin
The Cembalest Family Squeezes together in for a great Sailfish
Shot – Mom must be taking the photo!
Fellow New Yorker and Croc customer for nearly a decade Mike Pizzi and his wife Ann offered to give up their boat so the Cembalest’s could take the boys out again. The boys returned to the dock with 4 sailfish and a striped marlin release on their scorecard. “They caught your marlin” I poked at Pizzi who has had great catches over the years here, but at times I think he uses black cats for teasers.
Anne Pizzi Steals another Marlin from Husband Mike
Well they say good deeds pays dividends. In this case it was really true. The next day Ann caught two marlin, one at 350 pounds and another at 250 pounds and was back at the dock two hours early to visit our spa and work some of the stiffness out of her muscles.
There really are too many families that were here to not forget someone, but the Mundt, Bahl, Shore/Plavic, Garrison, Mase, and Proefke are just to name a few. Phil Bush and Terry Fisher led a group from Cummins Motors.
Nearly someone from each family took a marlin and a few sails. Hugh and Rowan Plavic brought in a couple of nice wahoo on Christmas that made some folks stay away from the turkey and stuffing. Remember the names, Anthony and J.J. Mase. The two youngsters had a hay day inshore fishing and in about a decade I predict they will both be pitching in the major leagues.
Lots of marlin have been around, not biting everyday but they are here. Don Bradley hooked two in one day on a fly rod and landed one on conventional tackle yesterday. The dorado hasn’t made a good as of yet but usually bite well up into February so there is still hope. A few more sails will be working into the area as we approach peak season.
Inshore Aristides Romero has been catching big sierra mackerel just around the corner from the lodge and smaller size snapper. Mike Bailey from Toronto did manage a 35 lb cubera snapper on a popper.
Anthony and JJ on the dock with some nice amberjack!
Todd Staley, Crocodile Bay Lodge
Costa Rica Sport Fishing Vacations at Crocodile Bay Resort
Sunday, August 29th, 2010 with
Crocodile Bay Resort
Costa Rica Fishing Report – September 2010
by Todd Staley
November & December Costa Rica Fishing Forecast!
We are just two months out from opening our doors for the 2010-2011 costa rica fishing season at Crocodile Bay Resort.
It seems like a long time off but will sneak up on us before we know it. Our crews are staying busy preparing boats, working on the pier and giving the resort some TLC before we open our doors to anglers worldwide.
November / December Fishing Forecast
My prediction and you can smack me if I’m wrong is that the first two months of the fishing season are going to go off like fireworks for a couple of reasons. First of all, the bad child, “El Nino” has headed for the hills. This occasional climate cycle causes the ocean to warm to bath water and prohibits the other natural cycles that moves the billfish into pockets each year, one of them being right in our backyard.
The water temps are right and as we open in November the big schools of dorado (dolphin fish pictured below) will be here already. These fish average 20 to 40 lbs and behind them looking to munch a few will be blue marlin.
November, December are historically two of our best marlin months. The large numbers of sailfish won’t arrive till late December but with the water temperatures down, I expect more than the usual number of sails to arrive to town early.
They have had some very good days fishing sails recently so there is a population that has already moved into the area. December also brings football size tuna, another type of munchies for marlin. If a blue marlin is on your bucket list, November and December is on the best times to visit southern Costa Rica.
The Golfo Dulce Becomes the Largest Marine Area of Responsible Fishing in Central America
Crocodile Bay Resort sits on one of the few tropical fjords in the world. The entire gulf as of June 12th, became the largest MARF in all of Central America. How did that happen? Well no good divorce lawyer would want you to know but what every family counselor in world would advocate, you get everyone involved sitting at the same table talking things out. Dad, mom, the kids, the dog and cat with the goldfish sitting on the table talking about their wants, needs, and frustrations. That is exactly what happened.
Satellite Image of Costa Rica’s Golfo Dulce
The small scale commercial fishing Federation (FENOPEA) sat down with the National Tourist Fishing Federation (FECOPT), the local tourist fishing association (APTC) , INCOPESCA, the Costa Rican governing agency of all fishing laws, and the shrimping industry. Everyone discussed their groups personal well being as well as the future of the Golfo Dulce.
The process took over a year to complete and the inshore fishery inside the gulf has already seen spectacular results. The first to go, were the shrimp boats. They signed an agreement to quit trawling inside the gulf and left last September. It is a know fact that for every pound of shrimp they catch, they also catch 10 lbs of bycatch (small fish and other crustaceans) that are discarded.
Some of them would find a reef on the way out of the gulf and dump there bycatch overboard and when the snapper came up to feed, they would drag their net and take a mother load of snapper with them, though totally illegal.
Last season we saw an immediate change and had the best snapper fishing we had seen in 11 years of operation. It was to the point where you always got a couple smaller dinner size snapper to eat and the big females could be released.
Next was the gill netters. All but a handful agreed to stop using nets inside the gulf. After much debate and with the assistance provided by those willing to give up the practice, it was decided that no licenses to fish with nets will be renewed and the last license expires in 2012. With less than 10 working now, down 90% from before, the incidental mortality rate in the gulf will is drastically lower.
The Golfo Dulce has been divided in half. In the northern half, small commercial fisherman will only be allowed to fish with hand lines. The other half of the Gulf, short bottom lines will be permitted but must all be used by hand, no equipment to haul lines is allowed.
Groups like Mar Viva have gotten involved to train these fishermen in processing and marketing. Much like organic gardening their product now has a higher value, marketed as sustainable caught. With the success of such a program, the commercial guys will not be tempted to return to old fishing methods.
The local sport fishing people agreed to do their part by replacing all treble hooks on lures to single hooks when fishing inside the gulf. There was resistance from a small group of anglers inside the country that rarely fish the gulf and they produced documents from The Billfish Foundation, and the World Wildlife Foundation stating treble hooks were sustainable.
I read the TBF study, and have searched all over the internet for the WWF study but have yet to find it.
My personal argument and backed by many who use the gulf is we are not dealing with fish that can be held in your hand while the free hand can use a pair of pliers to remove the multiple hooks from a fish. We are dealing with big fish, roosterfish 10 to 60 lbs and the extra time that fish is out of the water while multiple hooks are removed is life threatening to them. This will also save me about a half dozen trips to the hospital each year as my crews while trying to release a big fish caught on treble hooks often end up hooking themselves.
The prohibition did not get written into law but Crocodile Bay and most other fishing operations will be making the switch on a voluntary bases. The Siwash series hook, has proven to have an excellent hook up record when used as a replacement for treble hooks.
The sum of all this is: The inshore fishery, roosterfish, snapper, grouper, trevally, and many more species has always been fair year round. It is about to get great!
We Can Help Your Group Raise Funds for your Organization
In celebration of the recent success in the Golfo Dulce and the amount of volunteer man hours taken to accomplish this we at Crocodile Bay would like to help you raise funds for your favorite organization.
Whether it be a fishing, hunting, conservation or a group that helps people like the like the Scouts, Little League, and more. All are eligible.
If your group is making a difference in this world for nature or the people that live in it, we want to do our part to help you accomplish your goals. Crocodile Bay will donate 10% of any fishing or eco tour package booked direct with us (excluding travel expenses) during the 2010-2011 season to your favorite organization.
Your group must pre-register to participate and a specially designed mail out will be prepared for you to send to your organization. For details, have the leaders of your group contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “fundraising” in the subject box
Keep a wet line!
Reserve Your Costa Rica Fishing Vacation at www.crocodilebay.com/reserve.htm
Editors note: Our Fishing Director Todd Staley has twenty years of promoting Fishing tourism, conservation, and sustainable use of marine resources in Costa Rica. He was recently appointed President of FECOPT, The Federation that represents sport fishermen for the entire country of Costa Rica
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 with
If you are planning a Costa Rica fishing vacation with the kids this fall, here is some advice I give all the time. Small children need action and small fish. They do not have the patience or the skill to handle bigger fish. Action is the key to get them hooked on the sport. Take them to a place with lots of small hungry fish. To a small child a small fish pulls like a monster fish.
I have seen to many times Dad take a child here in Costa Rica and the child gets bored trolling and when a marlin or sailfish is hooked, it is too much fish for a child. The only experience the child is left with is watching dad catch a fish. Remember when you take a kid fishing, it is their day not yours, concentrate on them not on your own fishing. You will end up with a fishing partner for life that way, otherwise they will just head back to the video games.
For more information on Costa Rica fishing vacations for the family visit www.crocodilebay.com
Keep a wet line
Director of Fishing
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica