Tag Archives: Costa Rica Fishing

Beneath the Surface – Costa Rica Fishing

Costa Rica Fishing at Crocodile Bay Resort – Beneath the Surface

Enjoy this new short video that begins beneath the surface of our 750 foot private pier and then takes you along some of Southern Costa Rica’s best inshore fishing spots and finally to the cobalt blue offshore waters of Costa Rica for sailfish, marlin and more. Enjoy the Costa Rica fishing action and check back for more editions of “Beneath the Surface” at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica.

To book your Costa Rica fishing vacation or charter fishing trip click  below

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Crocodile Bay Guest Reviews

Costa Rica Fishing Reviews out of Crocodile Bay Resort

From Captain Smity – September 2015
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First of all, Crocodile Resort is lst class all the way.  All the arrangements, over night hotel in San Jose, pick up at airport, next morning pick up at hotel for hop to the resort airstrip. Every thing went like clock work. Great job on your part making these arrangements

Early morning breakfast, traditional American style, and off the pier to meet our guide and mate.  Great boat and lst class gear.  All Penn reels and rods with live bait we caught each morning.  The 25 foot Boston Whaler with twin Merc 150 Verados took the chop like a champ. We trolled most of the day with the two motors and you could barely hear them.
Costa Rica Fishing Reviews

Here’s the best part. Captains Johnnie and Anthony puts us on fish straight away.  We got into some huge Jack Crevelle which got our motivation right on track.  We didn’t catch that many roosterfish that day, but I did manage a trophy of about 30 lbs.  After trolling inside close to surf, it got slow and our Captain suggested deep water for red snapper and cuebera which we caught in about 200 feet of water.  We caught yellowfin tuna, rainbow runners, mackerel, and some other fish I have never heard of.  We kept the snapper as Todd, the fishing director of the Lodge told us to do.  Man, you talking about good eating.  Small red snapper gutted and scaled deep fried whole.  Yes, I said whole.  The meat fell off the bone and melted in your mouth.  Next day got better.  We worked mostly for roosterfish and caught several up to 30 lbs.  More Jacks, snapper and one pompano. The 3rd day was the gravy day.  We targeted the roosterfish and caught 14 with me catching 3 over 40 one of which was 50.  We were getting bites all morning and there were some nice fish that broke off and the hook just pulled out.  Just part of fishing, but we should have boated well over 20 rooster fish.  Troy and I agreed that it was one of the best fishing trips we had ever been on together.

I remain a die hard peacock bass fisherman, but I now have a healthy respect for that roosterfish.  I have never had ahold of a more powerful fish in open water.  When they take off, all you can do is hold on.  They do come up and show themselves and I liked that.  When you think you have them whipped and they see the boat, off they go like a streak of greased lightning and again all you can do is hold on.  I have never seen a fish that can move that fast in the water.  All were safely released to fight again.

WE managed to catch one more pompano on about the last fish. It fought bravely, but when we tried to release it, it could not be revived.  Anthony filed it out for us and told us to tell the cook to fix it on the grill.  Alan, that undoubtedly was the best fish I ever put into my mouth.  I cannot fully explain the flavor and texture of the filet.  You would just have to experience for yourself.

Thanks buddy for all your help.  Troy wants to go back they same time next year and take his youngest son who will be 17 then.  Of course, I will gladly tag along.  Although the Lodge Manager said Jan, Feb and Mar were the best months, Sept is off season and both our Captains agreed that was a good time to come and we were the only boat out and the pressure on the fish was minimal.  That was a trip and finished my “bucket” list of fish I wanted to catch and a trip beyond my wildest dream.  How fortunate I am to have been able to be healthy enough to have fished all over the world as I have.

Capt Smitty

Book Your Crocodile Bay Resort Fishing Trip Today!



Costa Rica Summer Vacations

Crocodile Bay has long been known as one of the premier sport fishing destinations in the world. What is little known is that Crocodile Bay is a complete vacation destination located in the area of Costa Rica National Geographic Magazine has referred to as “The most biologically intense place on Earth.”  The other little known fact is that Crocodile Bay Resort offers 30 unique Costa Rica tour options that include zip lining, snorkeling, birding, hiking, biking, dolphin and whale watching, monkey tours, guided kayak fishing, surf casting, chocolate tour, botanical gardens, paddle boarding, surfing, sea turtle rescue and more.

It’s very common for elite anglers to wrap up a great Costa Rica vacation at Crocodile Bay Resort and say “Wow..I’m coming back here with the whole family”. With a luxury Spa to top off the experience, Crocodile Bay Resort truly is  a unique vacation destination that has something to offer those of all ages and skill levels.

We hope you enjoy this Costa Rica travel video designed to educate you about the magic you and your family or significant other can experience in one of the most amazing vacation destinations on Earth.

For reservation information call 1.800.733.1115 or visit www.crocodilebay.com

A Fishing Adventure in Costa Rica and Nicaragua – From Sport Fishing Magazine

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From Sport Fishing Magazine www.sportfishingmag.com

A Tale of Two Coasts – Costa Rica Fishing Adventure at Crocodile Bay Resort

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Joined by my son, Luke, I recently visited Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast for a few days of outstanding Tarpon action out of Rio Indio Lodge(The photo at left is an estimated 140-pounder we released; fish closer to twice that size have been released here in the past year.) For the other half of our Central America adventure, we fished Costa Rica’s Pacific coast out of famed Crocodile Bay Resort.

(All photo in this gallery by Dave Lewis.)

Rounding the Tip

Just ahead of us, another of Crocodile Bay’s fast, roomy 33 Strike express boats heads out past the southern tip of the Osa Peninsula to look for billfish in blue water.

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Costa Rica sailfish release

Luke gets a quick lesson on how to release his first Pacific sailfish on a Crocodile Bay boat off southern Costa Rica’s pristine Osa Peninsula.

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Where Roosters Prowl

Where the Pacific hits the Osa Peninsula is some of Central America’s best-known roosterfishing. A variety of other light-tackle targets lurk just outside the surf line as well.

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For the full story visit Sport Fishing Magazine www.sportfishingmag.com

Or book your Costa Rica fishing trip of a lifetime at www.crocodilebay.com

Costa Rica Fishing Report – The Unsuspecting Angler Who Ate His World Record

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As a longtime angler, Dennis Tilden knows: the quicker a fish is prepared after it’s caught, the fresher it will taste.

But Tilden, who reeled in a 32-pound Mexican barracuda recently while fishing in the Pacific off Costa Rica, did not know until dinner was being served that he’d be eating a potential world-record catch.

The International Game Fish Association lists as the all-tackle record a 28-pound, 6-ounce Mexican barracuda caught off Panama in 2010.

Tilden’s barracuda, caught during a tournament out of Crocodile Bay Resort on the Osa Peninsula, was weighed briefly before its head was removed for a soup. It’s flesh was quickly filleted and later prepared as a ceviche.

A proper certified weight had not been obtained, and measurements and other details for the paperwork were not collected, nullifying any chance for a record.

Tilden could only recall the captain telling him that the barracuda was the largest he had ever seen.

A description from Todd Staley, the resort’s director of fishing reads:

“As the chef was preparing a barracuda ceviche and getting the rest ready for dinner, Dennis mentioned the captain’s comment.

“A check with the IGFA record book showed the biggest recorded was 28 lbs. Tilden’s fish at just under 32 lbs made a delicious world-record meal.”

Tilden considered it a lesson learned, and could hardly complain about the fishing.

A day later he caught a 350-pound blue marlin to win Day 2 of the Boston Whaler group competition

from GrindTV

Costa Rica Fishing Report October 31st, 2013

Monster Marlin, Sailfish, Roosterfish, and Dorado provide our first guests of the season with “plenty of monsters”!

Monster Marlin at Crocodile Bay Resort Fishing
Sergey Chmykhov and Mikhail Fedyushkin Land a Monster at Crocodile Bay!

Costa Rica Fishing Report Happy Halloween! This week we kicked off our 15th season of sport fishing and adventure at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica, and the monster fish showed up to celebrate Halloween. Our first group from Russia scored big on opening day (Sunday) bringing in three pacific blue marlin (150lbs, 250lbs, and 400+lbs – Photos courtesy Sergey Chmykhov and Mikhail Fedyushkin), six yellowfin tuna (Sashimi treats), dorado, and roosterfish inshore. If that’s not enough to make you “howl”, we had Sean Harrell (from our home office in California) and his friend Elizabeth down and they delivered “terror” inshore releasing 6 roosterfish and a bagging a bright orange cubera snapper that lit up like a pumpkin when it hit.

Yesterday one of our groups from Ireland went 3 for 6 on sailfish (another offshore boat produced the same numbers)landing one sailfish and one dorado on the fly. The only “trick” so far has been the weather. Historically the end of October can be “wet” as we transition from our rainy season into the dry and sunny Costa Rican summer season. The sun is shining and has been all week!We have yet to see what new monsters will be caught and released this afternoon! Have a fun and SAFE halloween. We hope to see you soon at Crocodile Bay Resort catching some “monsters” of your own.

Fort Lauderdale Boat ShowIf you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area, please come by the 54th Annual Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show and visit our booth. We are located in fishing village 6 between Hatteras and Viking Yachts!

Click to reserve your trip to Crocodile Bay Here

 

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Photos from Crocodile Bay’s 15th Season Opener

Monster Marlin and other fish

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Dorado

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Sean Harrell from our California office enjoying some inshore fishing!

 

See you soon in Costa Rica

Will Briegel
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Osa PeninsulaCosta Rica

 

Costa Rica Fishing Report – September 2103 by Todd Staley, Fishing Director Crocodile Bay

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The Return of Todd StaleyFirst I would like to thank Will Briegel for filling in for me while I concentrated on some other things. I made three trips to the states in the last few weeks. The annual ICAST tackle show is a great chance to see what is new in the fishing game as well as catch up with some old friends. I followed that with a family reunion and to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday. What started as a family of seven kids has grown to where there were over 140 in attendance. Later I went to the Florida Outdoor Writer’s Conference where I saw a lot of old friends and promoted some of the advances in marine conservation we have made here in Costa Rica. It was an honor to be there when fishing great Flip Pallot received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

I know Will had the Gorham family in the last report but they sent me a story from their trip and I would like to share it with you. Also Scott Young who I got to know by e-mail but missed here at the lodge sent me photos of his trip. Daryl, Matt, and Andrew Gorup from the Peterbilt family made another visit here. So many people have become such good friends over the years that I am really blessed to be starting my 14th season here in November.


The Gorham Family Invades Crocodile Bay for the Thrid Time!
Read about their family fishing and more adventures here!

Fishing went flat for 4 days when I returned last week as green water slowed things up. We sent the fleet a little further and found some cleaner water and Brain Thurston and Gary Arnold from Fishing Tackles Retailer magazine went 5 for 5 on sails. Fishing has improved daily.

Costa Rica Marine Conservation
We have had some great advances lately which will undoubtedly improve fishing in Costa Rica. No more shrimp boats. The Costa Rican courts have sided with conservationists and declared trawling for shrimp an unsustainable form of fishing and have ruled that shrimpers can continue to work until their current license expires and then they will be forced to stop. It is not an overnight fix but a substantial one and the last boat will be out of the water in four years.

Sorry Charlie
Charlie, the animated tuna that has promoted the consumption of tuna in the United States for decades will even be happier if Costa Rican fishermen get their way. The Pacific Fisherman’s Union a commercial lobby and FECOP, the recognized sport fishing lobby in Costa Rica on September 2, asked the Costa Rican government for a 6 year moratorium on tuna purse seine fishing.
After years of throwing stones at each other the commercial fleet and the sport fishing fleet have come together to promote a Blue Agenda to insure more responsible fishing methods in the country.

Costa Rica does not have a purse seine fleet and all licenses to fish this method are being given to foreign vessels. Armed with a study done by FECOP that concludes that Costa Rican fishermen are being robbed of the resource as well as possible financial gain, the groups have asked for this time frame to study the situation and develop sustainable fishing methods for the benefit of local fisherman.

Right now nearly 90% of all tuna caught in Costa Rica are landed in other countries and Costa Rica sees only a $37 dollar per ton benefit by letting foreign flagged seiners take the resource.  This coupled with other irregularities and illegal activities such as the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD’s) are not only depleting the tuna resource, but increase the capture of juvenile by-catch with is thrown dead back into the ocean.

FECOP has found that by uniting the commercial and sport fishing sector, rather than constantly fight each other they can better influence the government to make changes to promote a Blue Agenda similar to Costa Rica’s Green Agenda which is world famous. The Costa Rican commercial sector has agreed to seek more sustainable fishing practices to target tuna that also reduces by-catch of species targeted by sport fishermen like marlin and sailfish.
For more information go to www.fecop.org and click on English

Marlin

Last November the Marlin bite was very good! Come find out

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See you in Costa Rica!

Todd Staley,
Fishing Director,
Crocodile Bay Resort

Join Todd Staley and the rest Crocodile Bay’s seasoned Captains for the fishing adventure of a lifetime, Click Here to Reserve!

Costa Rica Fishing Report – July 16, 2013 – Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica

Roosters  Rampage and Sailfish “Fly High” in July!
Costa Rica Fishing Report- July 16th, 2013

by Will Briegel
from  www.crocodilebay.com

Sailfiish Fly High In July

 

Will Briegel Costa RicaThe   last few weeks of fishing have put the “sizzle” in our summer season for families,  couples, and avid anglers who visited us looking to do some amazing fishing, relax in our Spa or  enjoy the intense bio-diversity our area has to offer.

Mother  Nature decided to pull the bait and switch “ON US” for once and  delivered anglers flurries of high-flying sailfish instead of the black marlin  that usually start to trickle in this time of  the year. As a matter of fact the blue marlin have been sticking around with the sailfish and several anglers released Blues to 300lbs as well. Mrs. Nature also decided that everyone deserved a shot at lots of   yellowfin tuna, roosterfish, snapper and pompano.

At least two of our guests  hit grand slams and one of them was only 15. As forecasted by Todd Staley, the humpback whales have also moved into the gulf and are giving anglers and other guests great photo opportunities and the memories of a lifetime.

Large Cubera Snapper Costa Rica

Blue DiamondYvonne and Ferrell Jones
(growers and producers of famous “Blue Diamond” Smoked Almonds) decided to bring their  grand children Cody and Clayton Cornell down for the fishing adventure of a lifetime. The fish may have thought they were “off the  hook” and  able to school these youngsters, but 15-year-old Cody Cornell  decided he wanted to catch every last one of them, and  almost did. Cody  caught several Roosters to 60lbs, a monster cubera snapper in the 50lbs range, several  large sailfish (90 to 130), and countless tuna to hit the Grand Slam landing himself a spot on  our coveted Wall of Fame (See Cody’s pic aobove of the big cubera Snapper that landed Cody on our Wall of Fame!)

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Young Clayton is missing his two front teeth, but that didn’t seem to stop the sailfish from biting!

Mrs. Yvonne Jones proved that she can take on large costa rican billfish any day with this large sailfish. It seems people of all ages young, and elderly had great luck with inshore and offshore species this week.

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Cody, Clayton and Grandma grin at Cody’s larger than life Roosterfish

Enjoying Sashimi
Their final night at the resort they enjoyed…what else?? Fresh Sashimi!!!


Here’s a homespun video shot by young Clayton of his brother releasing a sail!

Tony  Giorgi came to Crocodile Bay to target a single species: Roosterfish,considered by many to be the toughest fighting fish pound for pound – and  one of the most glamorous with its shimmering black stripes and 7 point  comb-over. Roosterfish can be caught year-round at Crocodile Bay Resort and  when  the roosters are on a “run” anglers  can get into hours of non-stop fighting action.

Costa Rica Roosterfish

Tony  released seven (7) Roosters one day and on other days did battle with sailfish and several plates of previously  swimming sushi that he was kind enough to share with members of the Crocodile Staff,  myself included!  
Thanks Tony!

Costa Rica Roosterfish

Costa Rica Sailfish

Tony  Giorgi owns a hunting and Bass fishing guide service called BassNBoars in northern California and is rumored to be among the  top Bass guides in the area – if you’re ever out that way, pay him a visit  www.bassnboars.com
Father  and Son tandem Alan and Robert Brightman who took a chance looking for Sailfish  in July landed sailfish daily with young Robert pictured here with a monster  Sailfish. The next day the dynamic duo went 4 for 4 on sails and left with the tell tale “Crocodile Smile” on each of  their faces! Robert has fished all over the world and was very pleased with the amount of sailfish we put him on! Hope to see back next year!

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Another youngster, Allan Brightman releases his first sailfish!

African Pompano
If you haven’t tried African Pompano, you’re missing a real treat! One of our favorite inshore species to catch and eat!

Roosterfish Costa Rica

Tuna Time

Mr. Jenkins owner of a Marriott Residence Inn Hotel In Daytona brought his son Kieth down for the Crocodile Bay “Tails and Whales” Package and have been getting plenty of both! On inshore days they caught nice pompano, roosters, and jacks and actually saw this young humpback close to shore..watch out – Breach, don’t beach! Offshore it was tuna galore following spinner dolphin closely, they also raised and released several sails.

This  time of year we also welcome guests who like to mix the fishing with adventure eco-tours and or a luxury spa experience! National Geographic    has been quoted as saying our area the Osa Peninsula is “the the most biologically intense place on Earth”. Our award winning eco-director Dennis Atencio loves to  prove this fact to any guest who doesn’t’t believe it with one of our full day rainforest tours. Check out  his monthly eco-report here that shows  the amazing diversity of wildlife and scenery to be found in our very own back  yard! Monkeys, birds, sloths, and other amazing species!

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Hello! A Humpback whale waves to our guests as they look for tuna!

The Humpback whales inside our gulf have been spotted  daily (a calf pictured below gets very close to shore). The whales have started  to move in for their annual migration and their numbers and your chances to see them only increase as  me move into August, September and October. This weekend we also saw more black  and blue marlin moving into the area as well as some floating logs with birds on top that  usually turn into nice pick-up joints for Dorado! Tuna continue to run with the porpoises which have kept plates full and chopsticks chopping. Some of our guests including Dave Jenkins from Florida had  sashimi right on the boat…how fresh is that (drool).

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August Rooster Rally at  Crocodile Bay Resort! Don’t miss your shot at a complimentary Replica Roosterfish Display from  Gray Taxidermy (replica mount) – a trophy and gift from Crocodile Bay –  for the angler who catches the MOST  roosterfish in August – his or her largest Roosterfish(or roosterfish of choice) will be immortalized by Gray’s Taxidermy and shipped to his or her home!(shipping charges not included)

People have been having so much fun catching  Roosters within the past couple of weeks we  decided to make the entire month of August a Rooster Rally. All you have to do to qualify and enter is sign-up HERE, show-up  and catch LOTS of Roosterfish. August is also a great month to target Marlin  and several inshore species like pompano, snapper, amberjack, and  Spanish mackerel.  In September we’re also  offering 25%  off peek season rates to curb your flight costs to our beautiful country.
The Legendary Todd  Staley will return from his birthday and visit to the ICAST Fishing Show in Las Vegas next  week for the August Costa Rica Fishing Report.

Until then, tight lines and crocodile  smiles to everyone. Hope to see you all down soon doing some catching  in Costa Rica!

Will Briegel

Filling in for Todd Staley,
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
www.crocodilebay.com

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Costa Rica Fishing Report – July 2013 – Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Fishing DirectorHappy Birthday USA! “Wishing you and your family the very best this Fourth of July! What’s on your birthday “Fish List”?

by Todd Staley Fishing Director Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica www.crocodilebay.com

Offshore has been a hunting game of late. The big rush of marlin is late arriving in true Latino fashion. The big school of tuna that we enjoyed most of the month has moved north up towards Drake Bay but the next wave should be right behind it. Floating debris has been the ticket lately and when one is found that has been in the water long enough to create an eco-system below it, anything can happen.

 

julyfishlistJeff Gunnells had his family down earlier this month and they walked away with the biggest fish landed in June, a 500 lb blue marlin. They also added a huge dorado and and nice rooster inside. Stacy Lynch made his third visit here on a break from his duties in Afghanistan and took several sails and a monster dorado.

The Donavon family found someone to take care of their exotic animals long enough to seek down for a little vacation. They tore up the inshore waters catching nice roosters, and brought back enough snapper for all the guests to enjoy.

John Doerr, the head of Pure Fishing returned again with his wife Leslie. Last year at this time Penn Reels, (one of the many companies John is in charge of) introduced their ne “Spinfisher V” series during a big tuna run. The reels proved more than tough enough for a freight train tuna. Later Mark Davis, who’s television series “Big Water Adventures” was down an caught a 350 marlin on the Spinfisher 10500.

The last few days, folks got a real rainforest experience as the skies opened up and dropped buckets of water on us. Blake Johnson managed a 47 lb rooster in the rain and the Robert Waln family took 5 nice roosters at Matapalo. The sun has been shining ever since with some rain in the late afternoons.

I enjoy this time of year when we are not so busy to really get to know the guests and families are down together. I have to be a little patient and work a little harder for the fish, but there are plenty of rewards out there.

Todd Staley writes the costa rica fishing column for the English newspaper “The Tico Times” and is also the fishing director at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica.

Don’t miss Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica  in this June’s Sport Fishing Magazine!

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Sport Fishing Magazine, June 2013 – Featuring Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica

Adrenaline Rush!
Pandemonium Among the Porpoise Pods Off Costa Rica
www.crocodilebay.com   www.sportfishingmag.com

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T e x t    a n d    p h o t o s    B y    D o u g    O l a n d e r

While there might be better ways to hook the really huge yellowfin — as in 300-plus pounds — that patrol the eastern Pacific, I don’t think there could be any more-exciting way to hook any tuna than casting poppers into leaping, blitzing schools and cranking ’em back at high speed. The combination of the visuals (big yellowfin crashing your lure) and the physical (arm-wrenching strikes) definitely makes these “yee-haw!” moments. That’s why, after a morning of little activity as we trolled, watched and waited 10 to 15 miles offshore of the lowerOsa Peninsula off southern Costa Rica, we all jumped when the call came over the VHF. “Get those lines in!” Manfred, themate aboard the Crocodile Bay Resort’s Strikefisher 33, said.“They’ve got dolphin pods about two miles north!”He didn’t have to tell us twice.

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Finding Flipper

We knew of the well-established association between pods of dolphin (as in porpoise, of course, and not dorado/mahi) and yellowfin. Find big numbers of dolphin, and you might find feeding tuna. While that “might” loomed large, and there are no guarantees when fishing the Pacific, it always pays if dolphin are spotted to see if they are traveling with an escort of yellowfin.  Our skipper pushed the throttles ahead hard, while Manfred tied circle
hooks to the end of a couple of outfits.  Hunter Cole and I opted to go with large poppers. Cole, senior marketing manager for Pure Fishing, handed me a Penn Spinfisher V with 50-pound braided line and a Sebile Splasher. He
armed himself with the same, and we headed up to the bow. There was no mistaking the dolphins— the sleek, dark mammals as much out of the water as in it, leaping high into the air — as well as the birds wheeling in the area. At first, I saw no sign of tuna and grew disheartened, until we drew near enough to see the silver bullets exploding from the surface sporadically among the dolphin. Wanting to avoid the frustration of throwing short, I forced myself to wait, heart pounding, as the boat eased closer. Cole heaved a Splasher into the fray and just after, my own Splasher was on the heels of his. I glimpsed a commotion behind Cole’s lure, and suddenly his rod arced and bounced as he yelled, “I’m on!” Shortly after, a detonation under my lure knocked it high out of the water. With shaking hands, I cranked the popper the rest of the way to the boat — and then grabbed my camera to record Cole’s battle.

Costa Rica FishingIn the company of several other resort boats, we spent at least the next couple of hours running and gunning, trying to stay on the dolphin and tuna, until the yellowfin left or perhaps went deep. Most anglers had hooked tuna
in that time, and some had brought several fish to the boat. Best of all is that running and gunning for tuna means nonstop activity: If you’re not actually hooked up, you’re casting into fish or standing on the bow, ready as the skipper gets you into position. There’s never a dull moment. At least that’s true when the yellowfin are feeding. If the tuna bite among the moving dolphin turns off, it might be only a matter of time until the fish start whacking bait again. “I had an angler out who really wanted a tuna on his popper. We stayed with a load of dolphin for four hours before the tuna went on a feed,” says Todd Staley, the resort’s fishing director. “Just
before sunset, he ended up boating the 180-pound yellowfin that slam-dunked his popper.”

Fast Cast w ith a J i g
Southern Costa Rica offers — as we saw — good hunting grounds for tunaon top. In fact, the eastern Pacific fromMexico south into at least Ecuador can mean prime run‑and‑gun tuna activity when the timing is right. For Crocodile Bay boats, that tends to be a crapshoot. “You can catch tuna any day of the year, just not very predictably,” Staley says. “We may find yellowfin out there for weeks at a time but then not see any for just as long.”
While he says there really is no tuna season, run-and-gun fans might have their best shot at finding tuna feeding late spring and late fall, with the fish more numerous then, but also smaller, as school fish dominate. An effective alternative to poppers, metal speed jigs also have the advantage of tremendous long-distance castability, and when breezing fish are moving very fast or happen to be particularly spooky, only out-of-the-ballpark casts will make it to ground zero. I was reminded of this the next day while fishing with Patrick Sebile. The yellowfin were on top but not feedin with quite as much abandon as they had been the day before. Sebile opted to forgo the Splasher and instead tied on one of his Fast Cast metal jigs. He cranked it hard and fast so it skipped along the top, looking indeed like a baitfish trying frantically to escape. His jig was slammed repeatedly, and I became an instant believer in small metal jigs for schooling tuna at the surface.

Sails and Roosters
While fishing offshore of the Osa Peninsula can be a good bet for yellowfin, billfish are always a big bluewater draw. During our June visit, sails were few and far between — not such a surprise, since that’s usually a slow time for sails — but seasonally (January into May), sailfish can be swarming. Anglers after marlin have their best shots at blacks and stripes in July, August and September, and blues November through mid-January. Plus, of course, this peninsula has earned a reputation for producing roosterfish. We tried our hand and weren’t disappointed. The beaches along the open southwestern Osa
coast proved slow, but closer to the resort, around the southern tip of the peninsula, the default live bait — blue runners — found some willing takers. Roosters have a tough time passing up slow-trolled runners near shorelines, though they’re not shy about snatching up other live-bait offerings, such as a moonfish that the mate quickly bridled up and put over the side.
We spent some time jigging, but other than a Pacific red snapper, a bright-red scorpionfish and a small fortune jack, we couldn’t find a lot to show for our efforts. But I have seen photos of excellent jig catches. As outstanding as the waters of southern Costa Rica can be for many species, I’ll take tuna on top any day for sheer adrenalin-pumping action.