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Crocodile Bay 2008 Fishing Reports:


January 2008 Costa Rica Fishing Report

By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Costa Rica Fishing

Except for a four day stretch a week or so ago the marlin have been steady every day. Even Mike Pizza, who has the worst luck of anyone I ever met as far as marlin are concerned caught two on his last fishing trip here.

Costa Rica DoradoAllen Ryals, who spends his non-fishing hours installing space aged lavish entertainment systems in the homes of the rich and famous added yet another marlin to his fish belt. Honeymooners were also rewarded with marlin. Brian Tooms spent his honeymoon here with wife Patricia. It was also the first time he fly fished in saltwater. His 200 lb blue marlin will be a hard act to follow the next time he casts a fly in the ocean. Not to be outdone, Johnathan and Liz Fine took 3 blue in one day. I think we might see them on their anniversary.

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica Fishing Rooster

Peg and Jim Grooket know how to solve a problem. Peg likes to fish the bluewater and Jim likes to fish inshore. They fish in separate boats. Peg bagged two marlin and Jim too a dozen or so roosterfish with two going over 50 lbs.
Babe Winkelman filmed another show here recently and Babe’s wife Kris whipped up some great dishes with the help of our kitchen staff. Both the fishing and the cooking will air sometime this coming year.

Marlin

The sails still haven’t made their arrival in force yet but the numbers will be improving soon. Lots of 25 to 40 lb dorado are still around, and the inshore fishing that had been show as of late has really picked up. Don Kuhn’s family of 24 is passing another Christmas season with us and aside from the normal offshore staff, bagged some nice African pompano inshore.

Happy New Years to all!

Todd Staley
Fishing Director
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

 

Crocodile Bay Resort:
February 2008 Costa Rica Fishing Report
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Tuna

“El Nino” of last year has become just a painful memory as the sails showed up in droves this week. Yesterday over 200 rose to the teasers. Frequent guests Allen Ryals and Steve “Baldy” Ulman were top boat with 10 releases, while Team PMS (pre marlin syndrome), consisting of southern belles, Jane Flatt, Janet Bowling, Ginny Maynard, and Linda Cagle, used their Tennessee charm to coax 9 to the boat.

Ryals and Ulman had an amazing week, taking lots of sails, a 500 black marlin, a 300 lb yellowfin tuna, (new lodge record) and a 54 lb dorado.

Costa Rica Fishing

Larry Staab teamed up with wife Helen and pulled on a 300 lb blue marlin on light tackle for over 4 hours on light tackle.

Dorado are still around and many over 30 and some over 40 lbs hit the decks this week.

Bill Zbieszkowski and Randy Welch made a return visit Super Bowl week. In three days they went 17 for 21 on sails and landed several dorado. They were top boat each day of their stay and in their words took the “Lombardi trophy” of fishing for the week.

Inshore has been hit and miss lately but Sid and Eric Smith from Arlington, Texas sent me a couple of nice photos of Eric’s roosterfish and a big bluefin trevally.

Costa Rica Fishing Report

The big sailfish push has just started and it’s too early to tell if the huge numbers will return after an El Nino year, but it sure is looking that way.

Todd Staley
Fishing Director
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica


Crocodile Bay Resort:
March 08 Costa Rica Fishing Report
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Costa Rica Fishing at Crocodile Bay

“Come on down, they are jumping in the boat,” and “you should have been here yesterday,” are two phrases I never want to use. One brings bad luck and the other can get you punched in the face.

Last month as soon as I reported that the fish were biting like crazy, masses of bait moved in and full bellied fish don’t have much energy to chase brightly colored lures trolled overhead. Then guests and captains reported seeing many groups of three or four sails up on the surface with their sails open, lazily cruising. When this happens, there is usually one female followed by two or three males and when they are thinking about making babies they don’t think a lot about eating.

What is the purpose of a fishing report? In my opinion it is to keep informed old friends that have already visited with us, some many times, and to attract new clients as well. It is in the case of the latter we as “reporters,” must resist the temptation to act like used car salesman. I recently read a report from a new operator in this area where a boat landed a 700 lb, an 800 lb and followed by a 900 lb marlin. In my nearly ten years at Crocodile Bay, I have seen only one marlin over 800 lbs. In my seventeen years in this business, I have yet to see any Marlin larger (or any legitimate proof from the other companies) than that single 800 lb bad boy caught here in Costa Rica. What we do have is marlin that can be challenged by fly equipment and some that will turn a fly reel into a smoking pinwheel. With all that being said, “how’s the fishing?” Well to be honest it’s good, not great, but certainly not bad. We have had to work a lot harder for what we have caught but there have certainly been some highlights. Peter Damp pulled in an almost 200lb shark, took a dozen jack and a couple dorado inshore and lost the big one. “ A giant angry cubera snapper that took a popper!” Sometimes the most lasting fishing memories are the ones that got away. The explosion as the fish hit the top water bait and then muscled its way to the rocky volcanic bottom will be forever imbedded in memory.

Five time visitor, Duane Dunn and his family of 7 had a bang up day, taking one of several grand slams this month (A grand slam is catching a marlin, sail, tuna, and dorado in the same day). Duane topped off his stellar day by stopping inshore and picking up a 56 lb rooster on his way home.

Robert Waltrip who passes his time between Texas and Colorado, dug out of a Colorado snow drift for his second visit this season. He managed to fool a few sails on the top by casting live bait and then reeling fast past them as if the bait was in escape mode. He is one of those anglers who makes fishing a study, not just a pastime.

Costa Rica Sailfish
Alison Swearingen poses with a nice sailfish

First timers Hunter and Alison Swearingen from Tampa found the uncooperative fish aggravating until their last day a when 350 lb marlin made it all worthwhile. They got some amazing footage of the fight and are still waiting for the photos.

Costa Rica Black Marlin
Hunter Swearingen and the lady in the blue dress doing the dance.

Kirk Dill had his fishing club down for their fourth visit from Bermuda for a roosterfish tournament. A 45 pounder took top prize and our friend “Spider” ranked number one for having the most fun and even taught us some new tricks while he was at it. We cannot wait to have those guys back for class to begin again next year!

To wrap it up- Andy Starling and Brian Czawlytko had a 10 rooster day, and proved that you can never have enough of a good thing!

Full bellied, mating fish. New moon, full moon. I guess Neil Armstrong didn’t notice the little sign that said, “Fisherman, figure me out” on the lunar floor. I suppose the bottom line is …… You should have been here tomorrow!

Costa Rica Marlin

Todd Staley,
Fishing Director,
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Fishing Report
Steve Chatterton of Saint Petersburg Florida won the Florida Sportsman Magazine photo contest with this great shot of a jumping sailfish (pictured above) he hooked at Crocodile Bay.

Costa Rica Fishing ReportWhat can I say? After I said fishing slowed down in my last report it shot right through the roof and then dropped off again. These fish have been driving me crazy. The only problem in Puerto Jimenez is that there is not a building tall enough to jump off.

Once again the fishing has bounced back and is red hot with Graig and Brandon Jacobsen going 10 for 21 two days ago on sailfish. Dave Walsh landed 1 and 3/4 on fly out of 16 and the Luckay family, Scott, Frank, Bryce, and Chris went 13 for 39 on sails the last three days. Things are back to normal.

Costa Rica Sailfish

Felix del Barrio had a great trip catching sails and a variety of inshore species. He also had the special treat of getting up-close and personal with a whale shark. (see photos below)


I am done trying to second guess the fish and no truer words were ever said than when the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words” was coined.

For that reason, I’ll let the photos speak for the highlights since my last report.


whaleshark

whaleshark

Don Amsden of Lafayette used the whole family to tackle this beautiful 500lb Marlin (below). "Dave, Sandy, Renee and mom fought it for over an hour - next, dad (Jerry Amsden) fought it for another 3 hours and 20 minutes. Fifty feet from the boat the 30lb line snapped and the 500lb monster escaped.

Costa Rica Marlin

 


bigfish

Pictured above: Art Goodlick of FL had some great inshore fishing bringing in a prehistoric looking 20lb congria followed by a 60lb cubera snapper (pictured below) falling just 3lbs shy of the lodge record.

Costa Rica Snapper

Costa Rica Grouper
Sam Brenner of Okuma Fishing poses with a nice grouper caught while deep jigging in 400ft of water at the mouth of the Golfo Dulce.


Hope to see you soon in Costa Rica!

Todd Staley,
Fishing Director,
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Crocodile Bay Resort:
May 2008 - Costa Rica Fishing Report
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Costa Rica Marlin

Everyone has a hero, somebody they want to be like when they grow up. Well, after his second visit here I decided I met mine in the likes of Charles Frank. The 86 year old was just here with his wife Jean and family celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary. That’s right 65th.

Couple Posing Charles has published six books, is famous for carving duck decoys and is comfortable in any swamp whether with a fishing rod or a shotgun. He has fished all over the world with his favorite spot being deep in the Amazon. The long trip became a little tiring so he took up fishing in Costa Rica.

He had marlin on his mind and unfortunately didn’t get his shot this time but he helped his granddaughter take a 55 lb dorado. A good sign the marlin are on their way.

Jean is as big as a sport as Charles and at 85 became our oldest customer to do all seven platforms of the Rainforest zip-line tour. They are coming back in November for the fall marlin bite.

Paul Shields and Heather Amity, Safari Club International members happened to be here when we had a flurry of marlin come through. They stayed busy with a mixed bag of marlin, dorado, rooster fish and jacks. The avid fly fisherman then fished across the country with Capt. Eddie Brown and battled some silverkings on the fly.

Marlin Landed

Mike Grace, President of Cummins Atlantic, got the surprise of his life when an Orca paid a visit to the wake of his boat! He was lucky enough to capture the series with his camera....I've sent this series of photos to several people and most still can't believe it. Mike's father-in-law Jim Babb also landed this beauty of a marlin.

Mike Grace with Marlin

Orca 1

Orca2

orca 3

Orca Leaving

John and Pequita Sissom were after a roosterfish. Pequita is probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet and her roosterfish brought her some bragging rights around the bar at night.


Costa Rica Roosterfish

We are right at the transition stage when the sails thin out and the marlin move in. The dorado have started to move in an the rain in the mountains has pushed cover for them out of the rivers. June and July bring good numbers of marlin, averaging 150 to 300 lbs

Inshore fishing has been steady with roosters to 45 lbs coming off inshore reefs. Snapper and a few grouper as well as dorado have been enhancing the dinner plates at night.

Crocodile Bay Fishing rates this summer & start at only $1,995 (all inclusive - three full days fishing) per angler based on a group of four ! Click Here To Check Availability!

 

Todd Staley,
Fishing Director,
Crocodile Bay Resort,
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

 

Crocodile Bay Resort:
July Costa Rica Fishing Report
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

The summer marlin bite has started with marlin making a show almost everyday. Most are in the 150 to 400 lb range.

I could go on for the whole column about Tom Rozanski and Gary Ryan’s grand slam when they took a marlin, sail, dorado and tuna the same day, or how Tony Vastano clobbered the sails and took a nice marlin. “Honeymooners” of 16 years John and Shelly Murray had a bang up day when they went six for ten on sails and landed a nice marlin also.

Sailfish

What really got me excited this month though was the young anglers. Ten year old Meagan Weems had a bout of motion sickness and swore off fishing forever. After a little coaxing I got her to agree to try my wife’s preventive treatment and give it another try. She made it through the day and found out just how hard yellow fin tuna pull. You can tell by the smile that she is hooked for life.

Tuna

Josie Slaughter was another who wasn’t so sure about fishing. Her dad Kevin arranges fishing and hunting trips all over the world for clients. She didn’t let a little rain dampen her day when she took this really nice dorado.

Dorado

Roosterfish

Jimmy Heuring and Teddy Smoyer came down with their parents as a graduation present. Fishing againt their fathers they got more roosterfish and stuck the hook in a 40 lb snook that stopped everyones heart for a second before it escaped.

Pending World Record

Sixteen year old Jeffery Adams caught by far what is the biggest rock snapper I have seen. The fish weighed just a hair under 17 lbs and took 15 minutes to land. At one point the fish was buried in the rocks but Jeffery managed to work the fish out of the structure. Pending verification from the IGFA Jeffery will be in the record book for the largest all tackle catch for Barred Pargo, the fish’s official name.

Another on break from school is University of France student Zoe Gerard who is doing a study in conjuction with the University of Costa Rica of the different aspects of fishing in Costa Rica from commericial to sport fishing. Here she gets a close up look at Istiophorus playtpterus

Sailfish

Todd Staley,
Fishing Director,
Crocodile Bay Resort,
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

 

Costa Rica Fishing Report

Costa Rica FishingWe wind down the season with a good marlin bite. John Gregore and Todd Jones had five chances on their last day broke a big one off and landed a 250 lb blue. Jesse Ketz spends most of his time playing hockey or fishing on top of ice in Minnesota. On his dream fishing trip to Costa Rica he landed everything he came for including a 300 lb blue marlin. I have never seen a happier guy. A crew was down filming for a new DVD at the Resort, so I'm sure the world will see the enthusiasm Ketz had as he took his customary ¨first marlin¨ plunge off the pier.

Ben E. Keith Company had a group of 72 anglers down from Dallas that mixed business with fishing and eco adventures. Ron Boyd led the group and they got marlin, sails, dorado, roosterfish, snapper and zip-lined through the jungle. The truly adventurous scaled the waterfall. The girls in the spa put in extra duty to accommodate the big group. As you have heard we are closing early this year and opening a little later because the government is enlarging and resurfacing the airport. When we re-open in December it will be right in the middle of the dorado, and blue marlin run.

Costa Rica Marlin

The Caribbean trades winds begin to blow in late November across to the Pacific in Nicaragua and across the Panama Canal area. This pushes the surface water offshore and the up welling does not have enough oxygen to support sailfish. This moves the fish in large numbers to areas more suitable and fortunately for us Costa Rica is one of them. By January large numbers of fish move into the area making it less of a hunting game. The winds blow through April making it prime time for sailfish.

Costa Rica Sailfish

I know it sounds like a sales pitch but December is already filling up with folks that usually come in November and the rest of the season looks like a busy one. Reserve your spot early and we'll see you in a few months.

One of the most nauseating odors of my memory is now a very pleasant one. The smell of hot asphalt being put down by large machinery. They have begun to put the last cap of asphalt on the “new and improved” airport in Puerto Jiminez, Costa Rica. Only slightly behind schedule, it looks like the airport will be up and running as we open December 5th for our 10th season.

A little pre-season Costa Rica fishing in the area has shown the fish are ready and waiting. Marlin and dorado have been biting four miles from the beach. December is one of our most productive months for marlin. The abundace of dorado and yellowfin tuna holds them in this area well into January.



Matapalo is loaded with fish like roosterfish that haven’t been molested for several months. Captains Will and and Alan left the area because they wanted snapper for dinner and couldn´t get a bait past the roosterfish. The crews has been working hard polishing up the boats and getting tackle ready. Everyone is chomping at the bit to go fishing because usually we have a month under our belts by now but this year it´s the airport wait. At a meeting this morning I was told the first plane would land in three days. I guess other miracles have happened. Three days I can´t see - but the end of the month looks real promising.


The catch of the year goes to long time guest and friend Mike Pizzi. On his last trip here he caught a 60 pound roosterfish of the dock and proposed to his girlfriend Ann Sommerlath. ( Big fish make you do crazy things) They were married on November 15th and we look forward to seeing them and many other of our old and future friends during our 10th season.

 

Don't miss Todd's latest article in Florida Fishing Weekly about Deep Jigging in Costa Rica's Golfo Dulce. READ THE FULL STORY

Todd Staley
Fishing Director
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

 

 

Costa Rica Fishing Report
December 2008 - by Todd Staley


Shayne Malone from Grand Rappids MI with a Bluefin Trevally

We have been open two weeks now and planes are coming and going from the new and improved airport. As expected the dorado are like rats out there and can be found around current lines with anything that floats caught up in it. Most dorado are running 20 lbs but some have tipped the scale at 50 lbs.

Costa Rica Fishing Dorado
Jon Zeeff, Ann Arbor MI

The sails haven't moved in in force yet but we have had a couple double digit days. Industry folks like Pure Fishing, Pradco, and Pursuit boats have already paid us a visit and left with some new fish stories.

Al and Edith Barr both on the closer side of 80 took their first sailfish each and caught them at the same time. They had a shot at a marlin but he didn't get hooked up. We have seen marlin to 400 lbs recently. As always, when the dorado are around the marlin are close by.

Costa Rica Sailfish

Inside has been a little frustrating with the roosters going hot and cold. We had the brightest moon and strongest tides of the year and inshore fishing should improve with the milder tides.

Todd Staley
Fishing Director, Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

 

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