Above, PENN Fishing’s Hunter Cole exults in his first tuna of the trip and in the flawless performance of the new Penn Spinfisher V series.
The marlin were not present for the PENN Media Summit held here at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica, where Penn Tackle introduced their brand new Spinfisher V model spinning gear which is the strongest spinning gear made to date.
Coastal Angler’s Charlie McCullough was the life of the party on and off the boat. Nice Rooster Charlie!
SaltWater Sportsman’s Blair Wickstrom with a nice tuna
PENN’s new SpinFisher V…one word..AWESOME!
Sport Fishing Magazine’s Doug Olander
The writers did get a true test of the gear as the yellowfin tuna schooled offshore every day and fish in the 30 to 60 pound range kept them busy. The marlin are a little late this year, maybe due to lack of rain or they are just waiting for this moon to pass. Private sportfishing boats that have been camping overnight at 60 to 70 miles report lots of marlin so their arrival is expected soon.
Costal Angler, Florida Sportsman, On the Water, Saltwater Sportsman, Sport Fishing, The Fisherman, Western Outdoor News, Stripersonline.com, and Bloodydecks.com were some of the media represented. Thanks to John Bartow, Hunter Cole, Mike Rice and the rest of the Penn crew everyone had a good time.
The inshore fishing continues to produce roosterfish and a few snapper. John Brownlee filming a show for Saltwater Sportsman TV brought in an 80 amberjack on the new Penn gear. I want to thank Tab and Sonia Betsworth for the photos of the trip…. Nice fish
Todd Staley Fishing Director Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
The Lady in the Blue Dress Shows up to Welcome Guests in November!
I really like November. It is sometimes crazy to switch gears after being closed for the month of October and working shorter days, but I love the excitement of cranking up a new season. The October rains left us with lots of green water offshore the first part of the month so most anglers stayed inshore rather than put in the time to get the billfish to bite.
They were rewarded with lots of roosterfish action and big cubera snapper. Mark Harwood who had a good ole rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas with his fishing buddy Brian took the big snapper of the week with a 44 lb monster.
Brian shows off the years first sailfish! Way to keep it in the water!
Crocodile Bay’s Maria Soto sizes up one of the many cubera snappers taken this week!
David Plummer’s group from England and Scotland finally broke the ice on billfish and at one point had a triple header hooked up. Day by day the water is getting cleaner and Plummer’s group also took the first marlin of the season.
Nothing quite like catching a free-range roosterfish inshore where Costa Rica’s largest coastal rainforest meets the Pacific coast!
Liam Collins arrived yesterday morning and promptly told me he was out to catch a marlin. Well he certainly packed his “luck of the Irish” in his bag for the long flight to Costa Rica. First day out he bagged a 200 lb blue marlin, a sail, and three tuna in the 25 to 30 lb range. He only missed a grand slam by not getting a dorado. Last season the dorado made a sparse showing but they have been showing up in better numbers already this season. Reports from my fishing friends all along the southern coast are also telling me they are back.
That’s super good news because that means the marlin will be around in good numbers also. The blue water is about 8 miles offshore and every day is a little better. I love November
Todd Staley Fishing Director, Crocodile Bay Resort Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
Crocodile Bay 2011 Costa Rica Fishing Reports: August Costa Rica Fishing Report by Todd Staley Fishing Director, Crocodile Bay Resort Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica I really like this time of year. The weather is a little cooler, the inshore fishing is good and the humpback whales are in. I personally like to tangle with snapper over the many reefs inside the gulf. On the fishing trip the other day I only wet-a-line for a half hour and spent the rest of the day watching whales from a distance. We spotted 12 different whales and watched them teach their young one how to breach and dive. The highlight was watching a mama nurse her calf in a quiet cove on the far end of the gulf. Jupp Kerckerinck who heads up the Shark Research Institute, an organization devoted to stop shark finning worldwide took the humpback photos. For more information on shark conservation visit www.sharks.org Humpback whale photos courtesy Jupp Kerckerinck Check out this short YouTube video clip of the humpback whales pictured above – shot with Todd Staley’s legendary cell phone! But in the short time I was fishing, I got bit by something that baffles me. In the more years than I would like to admit I have been fishing – I have never seen anything like it. My rod doubled and then went slack. I left my bait still because snapper will often return and strike again. When I didn’t get a second bite I reeled up to check my bait. It had been cut by something with razor sharp teeth with the precision of a surgeon. And no it wasn’t a surgeon fish although we catch them here. I posted a picture here if anyone knows what it might be let me know because I have no idea. Tuna is making up for most of the offshore fishing action. Lots of football size tuna and some bigger ones also. Steve and Brenda Johnson took a couple in the 40 to 60 pound range and Joseph Gioseffi’s group caught enough smaller tuna to make tuna steaks and sashimi for ten. Steve and Brenda, if your reading we’re waiting for photos! LIVE UPDATE: 3:26 PM – Aug 25, 2011- Joseph Gioseffi’s group just came in from a day of inshore fishing with 10 Roosters (one at around 80lbs) three snapper (two over 20lbs) some pompano, jacks and barracuda! Photos to come! I used to wonder why anyone would go to an exotic fishing location by themselves. After years of watching people wait for their fishing partners or babysit them, I realized there is nothing strange about it. For some like Casey McCartin it is the best option. A school teacher from San Diego, McCartin likes the freedom of traveling alone. Casey McCartin pictured above and below – with first mate Anthony Lee Santos – A warm “thank you” to Casey who joined the Crocodile Bay “Catch an Education” program donating 10% of his trip to the local bilingual school in Puerto Jimenez! He took advantage of the good inshore bite and took some real quality fish also. Deep jigging brought him amberjack to 45 pounds. He had a spectacular day when he took two trophy roosterfish, one going 50 pounds and the other a whopping 70 pounds. His mixed bag included some tuna, African Pompano and snapper. If Kay Dolittle is reading this she knows how happy I was when honeymooners Michael and Jessica Freedman brought a nice broomtail grouper back to the lodge for dinner. The whales will be here for about another 5 weeks. Capt Todd Staley Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica Read Fishing Reports from the previous months of 2011 and earlier here Book an all-inclusive fishing adventure at Crocodile Bay
Todd Staley is has been Costa Rica’s sport fishing director for 14 years. If you have questions regarding the best time of year to fish with us or what species to target email email@example.com
For Reservation in formation visit www.crocodilebay.com (Get 20% if you mention this ad and take your vacation in before Dec 22nd 2011)!
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
If you love the sensation having a jigging rod almost ripped from your hands as a big fish inhales your butterfly jig, or the thrill of watching a tuna crush your popper, leaving a hole in the water where your lure used to be, then Crocodile Bay is the place for you.
The Gulf of Dulce, and it’s surrounding waters offers some great opportunities to catch fish both jigging and on poppers. If jigging is your passion, we have some deep structure that hold Amberjack, Cubera Snapper, African Pompano, yellowfin Tuna, Roosterfish, Grouper, Trevally, Jacks and a host of other tropical fighters. It’s not just the thrill of the strike, the challenge of keeping the fish out of the Rocks, or feeling every head shake through the braided line. It’s the simple fact that there are such a variety of fish down there, that you often don’t know what you have on the line, until you see it. It’s not uncommon to catch six or eight different species in a single spot.
For the popping enthusiast, you have many options both inshore or offshore. Working the beach and shallow reefs can produce a mixed bag, including Roosters, Jacks, Snappers, Mackerel, Barracuda, Dorado, and Trevally. Over some of the the deeper structure, you can find “floating Snappers”, or snappers that have come off the bottom and are holding close to the surface, as well as Jacks, Roosters, Barracuda and Dorado. Big Cubera Snappers will come up from one hundred feet or more to hit a popper. When they do, it is an awesome explosion of an angry, red fish and white water.
Offshore also, holds some great opportunities for the popper fanatic. Trolling offshore, we often find floating debris, such as logs, branches, pallets, or just about anything else that floats. These floating objects, attract baitfish. Offering a place to hide, in otherwise deep and structureless water. This bait, then attracts gamefish such as Dorado, Tuna, Sailfish, and Marlin. Usually, one pass with the trolling lures, will tell you what fish are holing on the structure. Find one that is loaded with Dorado, and you can stop and have a field day with a popper. It is not uncommon to have two or three fish hooked at once, with a dozen or more swimming around the boat.
If a big fight is what you are looking for, then Tuna is your game. We catch some very big Yellowfin Tuna here, and they will readily take a popper. It is a little bit different fishing, then what some anglers are accustomed to. We rarely see Tuna breaking on their own here. The big Tuna we catch, are always in with schools of Dolfin. Tuna run with Dolphin, such as spotted or spinner Dolphin that use echo location to find bait. Once the Dolphin locate the bait, the Tuna move in and feed with the Dolphin.
When we find a school of Dolphin, we position the boat in front of the them, and let the school come to us. When you see breaking Tuna, cast to them. It is possible to cast to hundred plus pound fish breaking right in front of you. But be careful, you never know when that two hundred pounder, is going to come out of the fray and take your popper.
Jigging and popping have become very popular in recent years. With the advent or braided lines, stronger reels, lighter, more powerful rods and better hooks, the sport has grown. Anglers now push the bounds of what is possible with spinning and light conventional tackle. For the experienced pro, we offer a variety of species to add to one’s life list, as well as a shot at a trophy. For the beginner, we’re more than happy to introduce you to the sport, and offer an excellent environment to begin honing ones skills.
Ok, so you’re all jazzed up about catching a sail fish on the fly rod in Costa Rica. Or you might just want to try conventional fishing for sails, marlin, tuna, dorado and rooster fish..
I highly recommend it sooner than later.
As we all know FISHING = MONEY and it all boils down to that equation. .
Most equate fishing money with expendable income. Try looking at it this way:
“To me It’s a necessity“ Go ahead admit it. Fishing does things for you that cannot be compared with fixing the roof, buying the kids the latest hand-held electronic communication device or supplying a new 2012 survival shelter.
For the past 11 years I have watched the current state of world economic affairs in regards to sport fishing as an offshore fishing captain here in Costa Rica for Crocodile Bay Resort and for close to 30 years as a guide in Alaska.
I still say do it now as apposed to later and I’ll tell you why.
In these past few years all those around us swore and still swear that we will all be begging for food long before the Mayan’s doom-laden prediction that the end of the world will occur in 2012..
I have observed and noted during these past few years that almost all of my clients talk about how THESE things are affecting them. I don’t raise the subject because the last thing I want to talk about on my boat is your work. I’d rather talk world wide fishing. But inevitably someone does brooch the subject of world economic events and I can’t help but put in my twenty cents… accounting for inflation that is.
Most of them including myself are of the well thought out and discussed opinion that all of the people who can afford a trip outside their normal circle of fishing zones and have ventured to do so in the past three years or so, have had the same mental philosophy…
I’ll delete the expletives and keep in mind that we are all fishers after all is said and done, but to put it into a nut shell… They all have the mind set that either it isn’t as bad as the powers to be would lead you to believe or that even if it is and will get worse that now is the time to enjoy some of your hard earned money to treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting to do for who-knows-how-long.
Most have said that after looking at their current state of affairs that they decided now is the time. After all, if all turns to fecal matter I did what I wanted to do and I’ll never have to say I wish I had when I had the chance.
Further more: What if the Mayans were right? In a year or so the fish could be catching us..
Do you think that if you stood on the street with a sign that read “Will Work For Sail Fishing Money” that anybody would donate? Hell no. Those that still have it will be taking this advice to heart and going fishing in Costa Rica to catch a sailfish on a fly rod or roosterfish using bait the size of the fish they are now catching from the pond next to the golf course.
I not only learned from my father about learning from other’s mistakes but to also learn from their successes.
So follow the advice of not only me but the approximately 1,242 people I’ve taken fishing in the past 4 years despite the price of oil, the stock market, the housing collapse and the heartbreak of psoriasis. “When all else fails, go fishing.”
Do you need help forming a fishing budget plan acceptable to you and the boss/wife??
Stay tuned for my next missive.
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 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.
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.
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