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Crocodile Bay 2009 Fishing Reports:

Costa Rica Fishing Report

December 2008 - by Todd Staley

Shayne Malone from Grand Rapids 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

Costa Rica Fishing Report
January 2009 - by Todd Staley

Costa Rica Roosterfish

The first of the year brought families and couples to Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica and the fish were there to greet them. Lots of marlin have been popping up in the teasers and though the dorado action as slowed, there are enough around for a little garlic and butter. Tuna pleased and aggravated guests but the sailfish still haven´t showed in big numbers. We have had a couple double-digit days but not the consistency that will be here by the end of the month. Lots of free jumpers have been seen but are shy to take a bait.

Costa Rica Marlin Graig Gosen and his son Hayden came down from the frigid ¨motor city¨ so Hayden could show his stuff fishing light tackle. I teased him every day about his light spinning rod. He hooked everything on it including a marlin but it was a sailfish that finally got the best of the tackle.

His pictures tell the story. Kevin Werts from Cabela´s in Nebraska brought his family and friend Dave Rogers and family. Dave managed to whip a 250lb tuna and 12 year old Blake Werts has my vote for angler of the year with his sailfish. Paul Brown and friend Dina put in a full day on a tuna. Every day Dina reminded me she wanted to fight a big fish and the fish gods decided to grant her wish. Together the pulled on a big tuna the crew estimated at 350lbs for seven and a half hours getting the fish near the boat several
times. When the fish was almost finished the hook broke and the monster left them with only one heck of a story to tell at the resort bar.

Costa Rica Marlin

Costa Rica Fish
Almost all the other guests had seen them fighting the fish during the course of the day. The amazing story goes to a couple of fisherman visiting us from Kuwait. Al Soudan and Abdul Aziz have been fishing the way they are accustom to,
with handlines. Fishing mostly on the bottom and catching an array of snapper they decided to try the bluewater. The mate through a bait on 20 lb gear into a school of dolphin and a 115 lb tuna gobbled it up. The rod broke and the two did what they do best. They landed the tuna by hand after a two hour battle. Not many people fishing inshore but Ron Marrazo managed 8 roosters on day and a few snapper and African pompano hit the decks.


Yellowfin Tuna

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

Costa Rica Fishing Report
February 2009 - by Todd Staley

Costa Rica Fishing Report

I have always believed in karma. I’ve seen it work for both good and bad so many times. That is why I always tell it like it is when speaking about how the fishing is. We are in our 10th year and in all those years we have caught one marlin over 800 lbs. Most average 200 to 400 lbs and it is something to take one 500 or better.

A fishing operation opened across the Gulf last year and somehow their fishing report ended up in my inbox and stated they landed 5 marlin over 700 lbs with one over 900 and a grander that got away in a period of one week. In my nearly 20 years of living in Costa Rica I don’t think a grander has ever been landed.

My point being, that this type of reporting can only cause a “you should have been here yesterday” attitude towards your clients. In my last report I said that the sails had not showed in good numbers yet, but I expected them soon. Well thank the fish gods I was right!


For the last 8 days straight we have seen numbers like we have not seen in the last few years. Who knows if it is the stronger conservation laws recently passed, a cycle, witchcraft, or whatever, but the sails are here in the kind of numbers that made Costa Rica famous. My top boat yesterday raised 32 sails catching and releasing 11 and except for the boats spending part of the day inshore, everyone is raising an average of 10 to 15 fish.

Costa Rica Sailfish

Like I said, I’m not exactly sure of the reason, but happy faces mean lower blood pressure for me and I’m enjoying it as much as I can. A few marlin in the 200 to 300 lb range are still popping up in between the many sails. We took a 150 lb tuna last week, so the sushi is still flowing. Roosters in the 30 lb range have been brought in by the boats fishing inshore, but as you can guess, with sails coming in such numbers, most here are going straight for the blue water.

Most of the sails are running 80 to 100 lbs. Off the coast of southern Costa Rica there are “For Sail” signs everywhere.

Todd Staley
Crocodile Bay Resort,
Puerto Jimenez,
Costa Rica

Costa Rica Fishing Report
March 2009 - by Todd Staley


We continue to have the best billfish season as far as numbers go that we have seen in a couple of years. It seems the new stronger protection laws for billfish in Costa Rica are working. There are just so many notable catches it would be impossible to cover them all.


10 sails raised to the teasers is a daily average and many boats have seen as many as 20 a day for the last 6 weeks. The last couple of days have been closer to 10 but that should change as we pass the moon. A marlin now and then is still popping up and Larry Flynn’s 200 lb blue yesterday was his first.

Teresa Pacor’s 61 lb dorado was the biggest of the month, and Team Pre Marlin Syndrome, Jane Flatt, and Janet Bowling are now Post Marlin Syndrome as seen in the photo of Jane kissing her first Pacific blue marlin.


fishing report

Mark Dolittle caught a mixed bag of everything including a nice broomtail grouper which I managed to get a piece of at the dinner table.

Mark Doolittle

Big Roosterfish

Fishing for sailfish has been so good that most anglers have abandoned inshore fishing which is hot one day and mediocre the next. We have seen a couple 40 plus size roosterfish and dinner size snappers. This is the driest summer, (this is our summer) I’ve seen in a decade the clear water is making inshore species a little shy.

The good fishing and Olimpia’s new desserts are making for lots of smiling faces around here.

When you meet three thousand new friends every year it is impossible to remember them all. Don Libby was not one to forget. The minute you met him you knew that whatever he did whether business or pleasure he was a take charge guy. His rough edge fooled me at first and I thought he was just a demanding grumpy old guy. It didn't take long to learn that under that tough skin Don was a marshmellow who truly loved his family and the outdoors. Don passed away when the great outdoorsman in the sky called him home while Don was enjoying another passion, pheasant hunting. His son Ed, who accompanied Don on many trips here at Crocodile brought a group of friends here this week to see first hand why Don loved this country and to honor his dad. Don, you will be missed around here.

See you soon in Costa Rica

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

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