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Crocodile Bay Resort - Costa Rica Fishing Report
October 23rd, 2014
by Fishing Director Todd Staley

Legend

Crocodile Bay will soon open it's doors for the 16th season of sport fishing on Costa Rica's South Pacific coast. Since we don't re-open until Saturday, I'll talk a little bit about what anglers can expect in November. As always the blue marlin move in and dorado (dolphinfish) ranging 20 to 40 lbs will be here in droves. A few sails and yellowfin tuna will be in the mix. Inshore, the roosterfish will be circling the rock and also cruising around the reefs and beaches. Snapper and African pompano will be camped out on the volcanic reefs as usual.

Blue Marlin
Blue Marlin like the one pictured here are historically good to target in the month of November at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica.

Todd Staley Fishing DirectorOne of the perks of this job is getting to meet tons of interesting people and sharing fishing stories, both present and past, jokes and other adventures with each other. One that comes to mind is Gene Moe who will be returning to Crocodile Bay again this season. He is lucky to be fishing anywhere. Back in 1999 while skinning a deer in Alaska a large Grizzly decided he would take out Gene and steal a meal. With only a Buck knife in his hand and no time to get to his gun, the bear attacked. After losing large chunks of flesh from his arm and leg Gene managed to get a direct hit in the vertebrate with the knife and put the bear down. Luckily he survived long enough to get medical attention, but is the only person I know of to take down a Grizzly with only a knife.

Face to Face with a Legend

While going through some old photos the other day I came across some photos of my visits to see a legend. I have always been a fan of Hemingway and probably watched the “Old Man and the Sea” a hundred times as a kid. I still watch it now and then. Before coming down to Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica to help start Crocodile Bay Resort with the Williams family, I had a friend here in Costa Rica who kept a boat in Hemingway Marina in Havana. When he asked if I could check on his boat a couple times a month I jumped at the chance.

Legendary

One of the things I have always done when I travel somewhere is walk up to the oldest people I see on the street and start up a conversation. That is the best way to get a real picture of the place. I soon found everyone was eager to talk about Hemingway, his boat the Pilar, was on display at the Hemingway home and museum. I also found out Hemingway’s captain Gregorio Fuentes was still alive at 100 years old and living in his home in Cojimar and accepted visitors.

As I arrived in Cojimar the first time I was awed by seeing the same castle I had seen in the “Old Man and the Sea” standing proudly on the water’s edge. The locals directed me to the home of Gregorio and my hand trembled as I knocked on the door knowing I was about to be face to face with a legend. As we sat in his living room I saw the years on the ocean in his eyes and spots of skin cancer on this nose.

Todd Staley Meets the Legend

We sat for several hours and talked fishing, marlin, and of course Hemingway. Locals had told me that Gregorio and Hemingway would argue a lot about fishing technique, where to fish and so forth. As I pressed Gregorio he was a true professional and never admitted whether that was true or not. He did tell me that Hemingway did have a true disgust for sharks, especially when one stole a prized fish.

He told me after his death, Hemingway’s widow gave Gregorio the Pilar. Already in his early sixties and without Hemingway, he lost his desire to fish. Fidel Castro also took the boat from Gregorio to place in a museum. In exchange Castro gave Gregorio the right to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Terrazzo, a restaurant frequented by Gregorio and Hemingway in Cojimar. “I guess I got the better deal,” he laughed. “I have been eating there for 40 years.”

Gregorio demonstrated his sense of humor when I asked him how to live to be 100 years old. I often chuckle as I recall his secret. “Every day before dinner,” he started, “I have just two shots of rum, after dinner a good cigar and every once in a while a young woman.” I laughed and thought to myself, at 100, what’s a young woman, 80?

Legendary

Over the next years I visited Gregorio many times. Each time I left with a feeling like I actually knew Hemingway. I have not been back to the Island since coming to Jimenez 16 years ago. The legend Captain Gregorio Fuentes passed shortly after in January of 2002 at 104 years old.

I am glad I came across those old photos. It made it all fresh again. I look forward to this coming season to see old friends and meet new ones and of course chewing the fat with them after a days fishing. We're looking forward to our 16th season at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica and hope we get to see you this next year.

legend33

Watch "Crocodile Bay in 60 Seconds" to learn more about sport fishing at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica.


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

We’re offering FREE VIP boat upgrades to the those who book for select dates in 2014 & 2015 (Limited availabiltiy, call for details and dates 1.800.733.1115)

 

Crocodile Bay Resort - Costa Rica Fishing Report
October 7th, 2014
by Will Briegel filling in for Todd Staley

Crocodile Bay Costa Rica Fishing Report

Will Briegel Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa RicaOctober "Fish" Fest at Crocodile Bay Resort - Variety has been the word of choice to describe the fishing action at Crocodile Bay Resort over the last couple of weeks. Inshore has been swarming with roosterfish and offshore the blue marlin showed up to greet our final group of guests before we re-open for our 16th season October 25th.

The Kliman group managed to sample most of our offshore species in just a few days. They experienced a Crocodile Bay signature fishing vacation and got a taste of some of the best sport fishing Costa Rica has to offer. Adam Hickey, Michael Whiteside and Corey Kliman who we'll refer to as this year’s Mr. October(s) combined for a "boat grand slam” during their visit, releasing marlin (2 @ 250, and 200) sailfish, roosterfish, and tabling several dorado, and a very nice pumpkin orange Cubera snapper just in time to celebrate Halloween.

Costa Rica Sailfish
Some people (like Adam) just can't hide the exciteement of releasing a sailfish!

costa rica sailfish

Pacific Blue Marlin
Marlin Magic! One of the two marlin the Kliman group released last week.

Dorado

Roosterfish

One of Adams hobbies is photography and he was nice enough to share some of his photos from his trip. If you are a professional or aspiring photographer, there are few places in the world that can offer the amazing photo opportunities that Costa Rica's rugged Osa Peninsula does. The area has been referred to as "The most biologically intense place on Earth" by National Geographic and if you come down, you'll see why.

The annual humpback whale migration is winding down, and mothers and calves are taking time out from their hunting and diving lessons to wave to these anglers (pictured below). The Kliman group had a great sport fishing and adventure vacation and we're happy the trip lived up to expectations. Their two blues were the first fall marlin we have seen and historically that's a good sign of things to come this November (which is usually productive month for billfish and dorado in general) – space is limited, so book your trip soon. (Check availability here)

Humpback Whales in Costa Rica

Good Golly Miss Molly
As any guest who fished here this past September and early October will tell you, the roosterfish fishing has been very good with lots of these frisky fighters averaging 25 pounds and tipping the scales at 45-50lbs. Rob and Molly from Florida experienced some great inshore action releasing several roosterfish and bringing in a couple of my favorites, African pompano, for the dinner table. They even had a double hookup on pompano - check out some of their photos below.

Miss Molly

Rob and Molly also experienced some of the other exciting, and relaxing aspects of Crocodile Bay Resort when they zip-lined through part of the largest coastal rainforest in Central America and were pampered in our luxurious spa. Thank you to Molly for posting a nice review in TripAdvisor, it was a pleasure having you both down and we hope to see you again in the future. It's reviews like hers that made it possible for Crocodile Bay Resort to win the 2014 Travelers’ Choice Award for "Best Hotels in Costa Rica".

Double Pompano

Grouper

Rob with Roosterfish

"Moore" on Roosterfish and the Crocodile Bay Experience

Crocodile Bay would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest team member Sue Moore from Columbia, South Carolina. You will most likely get a chance to speak with Sue (pictured below with a nice roosterfish) if you book a trip with us, and we guarantee you that her passion for sport fishing, wildlife and life in general will get you pumped up about visiting Crocodile Bay Resort. Sue had a chance to visit us over the past couple of weeks, and found out what Costa Rican Roosterfish are all about as they greeted her within half an hour of leaving our pier. Fishing Director Todd Staley accompanied her on this trip as did filmmaker Chris Graham. They had an exciting day on the water with double and triple hookups. Here are some photos.

Sue Moore
This is one of several roostefish new Crocodile Bay team member Sue Moore released during her visit last week. Sue can help you plan all aspects of your vacation at Crocodile Bay Resort

Todd Staley
Crocodile Bay's Fishing Director Todd Staley joined Sue and Chris and is pictured above scanning the surface for sneaky roosterfish - WARNING to roosterfish, when Todd has this look on his face, there is no escape.

Todd Staley Fishing Roosterfish

Sue also had a chance to experience one of our most popular eco tours, a visit to the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary by boat. At The Osa Wildlife Sanctuary guests get a chance to learn about the endemic wildlife species and to get an opportunity to see and sometimes interact with a variety of animals including monkeys, sloths, scarlet macaws and more. These animals are at the sanctuary for various reasons including poaching and injury with the majority being prepared for reintroduction to the wild when and if they are able. (check the availbility of this tour)

Exploring the Osa
Eco Director Dennis Atencio gets a great shot of a spider monkey walking the beach at the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary - one of the many tours available at Crocodile Bay Resort.

Spidermonkey
Nothing like a stroll down the beach to take in the beautiful sights of Costa Rica!

Lights, Camera, Fishing! "Crocodile Bay in 60 Seconds"

This month we are lucky enough to be hosting Chris Graham, a documentary filmmaker and founder of StepOut Entertainment. Mr. Graham has been involved in doing film projects on the Osa for over 10 years and is gifted at capturing the magic of Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula. He recently helped us put together this compilation of sport fishing at Crocodile Bay Resort - "Crocodile Bay in 60 Seconds" this is just a precursor to the next project "Beyond 60 Seconds" in which he will deep dive into what guests may experience at Crocodile Bay beyond fishing, when they opt for one of our thirty adrenaline pumping adventure tours or spa and wellness services.



Our 16th Season Kicks off In 18 Days – Book Your Trip Now!
Crocodile Bay would like to thank all of our guests who visited us this past year for making our 15th year a memorable one. Your reviews on TripAdvisor catapulted us to our second consecutive TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Award for "Best Hotels in Costa Rica"

BOOK NOW

See you soon in Costa Rica
Crocodile Bay Resort,
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Fishing Director Todd Staley is on vacation for the next week and will be back in November with the monthly fishing report - "The Direct Line".

Todd StaleyCrocodile Bay Resort - Costa Rica Fishing Report
September 8th, 2014
by Todd Staley

We are winding down our 15th season here at Crocodile Bay. On October 1st we will close her up for a month for some deep cleaning, tuning up boats and tackle and getting ready to kick off season 16 on October 25th.

Roosterfish Rule at Crocodile Bay
Pictured above, Randall Evans releases a nice roosterfish.

This season Costa Rica saw some of the best billfishing it has seen in 20 years. Now it is a hunting game as the big numbers move into the area again in late November and December. The first part of the next season will offer lots of shots at big dorado and marlin.

Costa Rica Sailfish Trip
Costa Rica saw some of the best billfishing it has seen in 20 years in 2014.

One fish that has been consistent all year is roosterfish. Jim and Kathy Drumm down celebrating Kathy’s retirement racked up 7 rooster, 7 snapper, a couple African pompano and a pair of grouper for dinner.

Roosterfish 55

Costa Rica Pompano

Costa Rica Roosterfish and Jack

Costa Rica Rock Snapper

I am going to slip away from the subject for a minute because I have always been an American made motorcycle enthusiast. Pictured is a Indian motorcycle that was built by our guest Damon Becnel. All I can say is...sweet!

Chopper

Back to speaking about roosterfish, here is an article I did for Coastal Anglers’ September issue. I think everyone who fishes Costa Rica should give roosterfish a shot.

A Bucket List Fish worth Crowing About
When anglers think of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica they usually think about billfish. Costa Rica continues to be one of the top destinations in the world to chase these pointy-nose acrobats.  The Los Suenos Billfish Tournament Series, the Marina Pez Vela/IGFA World Tournament and the Redbone/Boomer Esiason tournament at Crocodile Bay all broke records for the number of fish caught at their events in the 2014 season.

Many folks travel to Costa Rica with billfish fever and are not even aware of the great inshore fishery available here and the variety of species available. A fish many anglers have never even heard about before their arrival in Costa Rica is the roosterfish.

This unique looking fish with seven combs as a dorsal fin is only found in the Eastern Tropical Pacific between southern Mexico and Ecuador. In its most northern and southern ranges, the fish move as the seasonal drop in water temperature arrives. Costa Rica being in the smack dab middle of Roosterfishes range enjoys a fairly constant water temperature and a year round fishery.

Costa Rica Roosterfish
Roosterfish photo courtesy Nordic Angling (Hannes Ribbner) from their visit to Crocodile Bay this past year.

In many places, roosterfish are only available by fishing the surf break. Not in Costa Rica. Of course they cruise the beaches looking for an easy meal, but they also roam the haunts of the many volcanic reefs. One area that is extremely productive is the Golfo Dulce on the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, a 32 mile long tropical fjord. Here you find roosters almost everywhere, along the beaches and even in the middle of the gulf over reefs in 200 feet of water. This allows anglers to target them using several different fishing styles. The locals also catch them with dead bait using handlines fishing off the beach.

Roosterfish in the Golfo Dulce average around 15 pounds and fish over 50 pounds are taken weekly. The resort record at Crocodile Bay is 106 lbs. Live bait is most always a sure bet. Blue runners, goggle-eyes, sardines, and lookdowns are the favorite choices and are readily available. If you are looking for a monster and have the patience to wait it out, bridle up a 3 to 5 pound live bonito and hang on. The best method to fish live bait is to either slow troll behind the surf line or drift fish over volcanic structure. In the deeper areas, a 2 to 6 ounce weight is added to send the bait closer to the top of the reef. Also in Costa Rica, circle hooks are required by law when using bait so it is best to have the “crank don’t yank,” mentality firmly planted in one’s brain. 

Roosterfish on a popper

Popper fishing is also becoming more popular. Fish will often rise to a lure that is really ripped through the water. This is not a walk the dog kind of fishing. The faster you work the popper with lots of splash the more hits you will get.

At times you will also be surprised by a big orange flash when a hefty cubera snapper comes up from 80 feet to smash a popper.If a fish misses its target, don’t stop. They will often come back and strike again. A long stiff rod and 6 weeks of dumbbell curls are required to cast poppers any length of time.

Jigging will also get you your first rooster, but they are a little shyer to a jig than live bait or poppers. White or chartreuse bucktails produce in the shallow water and mental jigs in the deep areas. Just about any brand of jig will work as long as it is worked fast.

No one I know has found the “Holy Grail” on how to take roosterfish on a fly. If you are looking for a real challenge it’s game on. If you are looking for big numbers on a fly, roosterfish is probably not a good choice of adversary. There has been some success by teasing up as rooster much like you would a sailfish.

They can be teased with a lure or live bait or by casting a popper with the hooks removed. To get a fly in front of charged up rooster though, you have to have the speed of a Western Gunslinger and the accuracy of William Tell. If you happen to be lucky enough to be on top of a school of bait and a herd of roosterfish charge in on them and you get your fly in the middle of that action you have a good chance of hooking up.

Some have had success trolling the fly but that is Taboo in many a fly guy’s book. To sum it up, if someone tells me they regularly catch roosterfish on a fly, I certainly wouldn’t leave my wife alone with them. Surely they can’t be trusted.

Anyone thinking about a Costa Rica billfish vacation for the first time or returning again should really book at least one day inshore. Roosterfish are a strong and beautiful fish with an iridescent hue.

Their unique dorsal cuts the surface as it hones in on its target. When hooked they make powerful runs and sometimes clear the water in an aerial display. They make for an exciting sporting challenge and a replica makes for a great conversation piece on the wall. They really are a fish to crow about.

Check Availability here for vacations for the upcoming 2014/2015 season - space is limited.

Todd Staley
Crocodile Bay Resort,
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Crocodile Bay Resort - Special Fishing Report,
August 12th 2014

Crocodile Bay would like to thank Doug Olander of Sport Fishing Magazine and his family for visiting Crocodile Bay Resort this past week! They had a chance to do some inshore fishing as well as explore the rainforest and surrounding areas of Costa Rica's rugged Osa Peninsula. Here's a few photos from their trip!

Costa Rica Vacation Roosterfish
Doug jumps in the water for this great Rooster pic with Capt. Herman and family members

Snapper
Doug with a nice Cubera Snapper!

Snapper Cubera 3

Fish

Thanks for bringing the family for a visit - we hope to see you in Costa Rica soon!

Crocodile Bay Resort - Costa Rica Fishing Report, August 2014
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Costa Rica Fishing

Todd StaleyI have said many times how blessed I have been to be able to make a living out of something I love, fishing. I have been doing this a long time, even before Crocodile Bay was kind enough to make me part of their original staff. One of the greatest rewards has been the contact with other people whom I might not have otherwise ever met.

I have filmed dozen of fishing shows with TV hosts that were heroes of mine when I was younger. I have been lucky enough to fish with celebrities, sports stars, some of my favorite musicians, and top names in the business world. Heck, I even filmed a show when I was with Tico Travel 20 years ago hosting the Budweiser Babes. (Not as much fun as you would think) What I discovered is the when it comes to fishing, people are people, and it doesn’t much matter what you do in your “day job.”

Every now and then somebody walks through the front door here that makes me stand up and take notice. Usually fame or celebrity doesn’t have much to do with it; it is all about a good positive attitude.

One of those persons walked through our front door the other day. He looked pretty much like a lot of fisherman who come here, neatly pressed Columbia shirt, expensive looking sunglasses, and fishing cap. As soon as he spoke I knew he was driven by “positive attitude.”

The only difference between Carson Duncan and a lot of people with a similar outlook on life is Carson is only 12 years old. When his mother, Ann told me this trip was a reward for winning the Collingsworth award for good character at Berkeley Preparatory School, I realized he had truly earned it.

Cubera Snapper

He already has set some goals for himself. He wants to be a marine biologist and play professional baseball. In between baseball, football, basketball and studying, he fishes. His mentor was his late uncle Will Wilkins, a well know fisherman on the west coast of Florida. “Carson could say the word boat, before he could say mama,” recalled his mother Ann. Once in a while Carson gets a trip of a lifetime, but for the most part he works the shore line of Tampa Bay in his small inflatable for trout, redfish, and snook. Back home he has landed tarpon as large as 115 lbs.

Carson had goals when he arrived here at Crocodile Bay. He had a marlin, a sailfish, a roosterfish, a cubera snapper, and whatever else might end up on the end of his string. I knew his positive attitude was enough to produce at least part of that list.

Following are some photos of Carson knocking things off his bucket list. First day he bagged a nice rooster.

and added some smaller snapper to the list. One day two he released a nice sailfish offshore, then came inshore and caught a monster 45 lb cubera snapper. He also got introduced to the customary fist billfish dip at the dock.

Costa Rica Roosterfish

First Sailfish

Day three Carson got skunked. I told him I felt bad about not catching any fish and he smiled and said, “That’s why they call it fishing and not catching.” That brought a big grin to my face and I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone understood this. Carson Duncan is destined to great things. It is all in his attitude, even if he didn’t get his shot at a marlin.

Costa Rica Mackerel

Overall fishing has been hit and miss offshore with a few bright spots in the mostly slower days. Jerry Wright and Jack Tailor have been fishing together over 50 years and managed to go 5 for 5 on sails one day and took some nice roosters inshore. Inshore fishing has been very good with big roosterfish and snapper a sure bet.

More photos of "Young Guns" nabbing big fish during the past week at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Sailfish

More costa rica roosterfish

Hope to see you soon in Costa Rica.

Todd Staley
Fishing Director
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica


Crocodile Bay Resort Fishing Report - July 21st, 2014
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Costa Rica Fishing Report

The Banana Curse Decoded - Why Bananas Are Bad Luck on a Fishing Boat

Fishing Director Todd StaleyCosta Rica bananasWhen Marcela, a waitress here at Crocodile Bay, asked guest Casey Ball if he wanted bananas in his pancakes, he looked at her like she was crazy. Apparently, neither Marcela nor our Food and Beverage management, have heard that bananas, on a boat or in any form, are considered bad luck. This includes products with banana as an ingredient or with the word banana in the name like Banana Boat Sun Products and Banana Republic clothing. Fruit of the Loom labels have come under attack and have been ripped off underwear even though their label has an assortment of fruit but no banana. 

The origin of this superstition goes back to the 1700’s when bananas were shipped out of the Caribbean to the north.  Depending on who you ask, the reasoning might be that the bananas ripened fast and then caused other food products onboard to spoil. Some say it was that dangerous critters like snakes, spiders, rats, tarantulas, scorpions, and other vermin would catch a ride on the banana bunches, and then wreak havoc on the ship once under way. Another theory is the boats had to travel too fast to catch fish for food because of the short life of a ripening banana. This surely was before trolling methods were perfected.

Wade Boggs
Hall of Fame MLB Legend Wade Boggs at Crocodile Bay Resort

Superstition is not limited to fishing. My good friend and Hall of Fame baseball great, Wade Boggs, fishes here at least once a year. When he played ball he always ate fried chicken before a game and took batting practice at the exact same time every day before a game. One time an opposing team stopped the clock on the scoreboard and Wade stepped up to the plate a couple minutes late. This upset his psyche so bad he went 0/4 at bat that evening. After that he did not count on the clock on the opposing scoreboard.

People who study what goes on in our brains suggest that how each person reacts to a superstition is how bad it will affect them. What happens for example is when someone suddenly discovers bananas onboard and they panic. Their concentration is on all the bad that is going to happen and not on what they are actually doing….. fishing.  According to the more enlightened, this throws your Ying and Yang all out of whack and upsets your good karma.   

Jeff Taleff, Casey’s fishing partner, and I think a little differently about the banana on a boat thing. Jeff recalled a fishing trip to the Florida Keys where they discovered a banana on the boat and didn’t catch anything. “I didn’t catch any fish that trip but on that trip I met Angelica.” Angelica later became his wife and today they have 3 beautiful daughters who most assuredly will become great anglers.

In my case, I blew the banana theory right out of the water. Not to say I don’t have my own superstitions. In fact if I travel anywhere near a certain Caribbean island, every rooster goes into hiding. My first job in Costa Rica was running the Rio Colorado Lodge for Archie Fields.

banana lureBarbara Fields, the boss’s 11 year old daughter, and I were fishing an area that had lots of machaca, a toothy fish and distant relative to the piranha. I heard they sometimes feed on fruit that falls from trees in the jungle so I put on a piece of banana for bait. When she landed her fish I noticed it was big so we looked it up in the International Game Fish Association record book and discovered her 9 lb 8 oz machaca was indeed a world record. We sent the fish to Gilca tackle store in San Jose who at the time was the only IGFA representative.

A week later, Barbara’s 12 year old brother Roberto,  came to the lodge to fish. Same place, same bait, banana. He landed a machaca weighing nearly 12 lbs. When we arrived back at the lodge he immediately got on the phone to tease Barbara and say there was not a place in the record book for her because it now belonged to him. The poor girl was in tears.

I filled out the paper work and sent the fish in a cooler back to San Jose with Roberto to take to Gilcas. Instead, when he got home, he threw the cooler in the kitchen and went out to play with friends. Later their maid looked in the cooler, saw Roberto had brought fish home, pulled a knife out of the drawer and prepared it for the evening meal, negating any chance of making it into the record book. Almost 24 years later,  Barbara Fields’  9 lb. 8 oz.  machaca still stands as the official world record caught  on a piece of banana.

Casey and Jeff passed 3 days fishing here at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica. Offshore, the experienced Florida anglers had to work hard to muster up one sail, but did better inshore with snapper and roosterfish, taking roosters to 40 lbs.

Rooster Ralley

Brad and Susannah Gemberling had a busy day on the water, landing two sails before coming inshore and bagging a few roosters and then snapper for dinner.
The best bet for action for this report has been inside with nice sized roosterfish and lots of plate-sized to 20 lb snappers.  Offshore, we're waiting for the next wave of marlin and some more tuna action.

Costa Rica Sailfish

Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Crocodile Bay July Fishing Report - Special 4th of July Edition
By Todd Staley

Costa Rica Fishing Report July 2014

Anyone who fishes just a little bit has had experiences when something that happens while fishing is entrenched in one’s memory forever. For the rest of one’s life it can be recalled in “HD” color, like it happened just yesterday. It is not always about the great catch. Sometimes it is about the one that got away.

In a former life in Florida and on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, I was considered a not so bad tarpon fisherman. A day I can call up from memory in a heartbeat is a day I went 0 for 19 on those spectacular fish. No, that’s not a typo. I hooked 19 and had them on long enough for them to jump a few times and then every one of them came unbuttoned. My score sheet at the end of the day was a big fat zero, but my adrenalin levels were bursting over. What a great day!

A couple of our clients had those types of experiences this week. David Reynolds was working a popper at Matapalo Rock. The plan is to make the lure look like a wounded baitfish or something trying to escape a predator. Reynolds worked the lure close to the boat and just a few feet away a cubera snapper estimated at 50 lbs and a big roosterfish went after the popper. Each one cancelled the other out and both fish missed the lure and didn’t come back. What has come back over and over in David Reynolds memory is an orange fireball larger than a big pumpkin and in the form of a cubera snapper that just missed his popper.

Roosterfish Matapalo


Richard “Mac” McElwain recalls his first visit here about 8 or 9 years ago. He tossed a fly at a sailfish and the fish gobbled it up and the battle was on. In the middle of the fight the handle fell off the fly reel and headed towards Davy Jones’s locker. Quick thinking prevailed when the crew came up with a ball point pen and Mac was able to stick it in the empty slot that used to hold a handle and eventually land and release the fish.

This trip he wanted another shot at a billfish on a fly. He never imagined what would come up to eat the fly would be a 300 plus pound blue marlin. You can count the number of people who have landed a fish that size on a fly on one hand so when he had it hooked up for several minutes before the 20 lb tippet broke, it was an accomplishment in itself, and a lifelong memory.
Offshore lately has been a hunting game with a marlin, sail, or dorado popping up some days and hiding others and a few tuna from 30 to 80 pounds cruising under dolphins.

Costa Rica Marlin on the fly

Inshore has produced more action with some big roosters and snapper showing. Terry and Jamie Ogles took a rooster nearing 60 lbs and a super-size wahoo near the mouth of the gulf along with several snapper.

Costa Rica Roosterfish
Jamie Ogles with a monster roosterfish - Happy Birthday Jamie (Belated)

Costa Rica Wahoo

UPDATE: Monster roosterfish released today (July 1st) by Paul J. Bruner!

CR Rooster GrandePaul and Ken with a fat Roosterfish out of Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica.

Have a Happy Fourth of July
Todd Staley
Fishing Director
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Crocodile Bay Resort - Fishing Report June 10th, 2014
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Costa Rica Fishing Report

We always have a lull during the first days of June as a result of graduation ceremonies  in the States. I took that time to spend a week in the mountains near the Georgia-North Carolina border in a cabin overlooking a beautiful valley. I thought to myself, “what a little piece of heaven this place is” and the only thing missing to make it a perfect was a view of the ocean. Must be a reason I was born under a sign of water.

I have been back a week or so now and the June family fishing trips are starting to arrive. Chuck Osterland took advantage of the Ohio school schedule and was one of the first arrivals with his grandsons, Kevin McKinney, Jacob Walters, and Michael Henry. Chuck, a repeat customer, says he logged his best trip to date here. They landed 3 marlin between 200 and 350 pounds, sailfish, dorado, and roosterfish and snapper over 30 lbs.

Costa Rica Pacific Blue Marlin

 

Costa Rica Cubera Snapper

costa rica roosterfish

marlin release2

Cotsa Rica african pompano

Trip Todd had wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Caroline, down for a visit. Trip and I hit it off because we both have a little redneck blood running through our veins and enjoy the same great storytellers like Hiaasen, Dorsey, and MacDonald.

Although they spent the majority of their time doing eco-tours, Trip decided he wanted to try to catch something for the table. The photo below describes his fishing a lot better than I could.

Costa Rica Grouper

marlin costa rica release

Don’t get me wrong, we have had to work for the successes we have had of late. The summer marlin have arrived early and the summer tuna have yet to arrive. Roosters haven’t been big in numbers but have been good sized. We get a lot busier in the next two weeks and more eyes on the water usually find fish.
If it was all written in stone, I would probably still have hair on the top of my head. I am just wishing for the marlin to stay in the area and for the yellowfin tuna to make their appearance.

Todd Staley
Fishing Director
Crocodile Bay Resort,
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Crocodile Bay Resort - Fishing Report May 20th, 2014
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Stepping up before Stepping Down
We have some good news from the Costa Rican government that should greatly improve the fishery here. Even though several tournament records were broken this year, it is always good news to have stricter laws to support the resource. The last two years have been banner years for big tuna in June so the latest news comes just in time.

Todd Staley with Laura Chinchilla
Crocodile Bay Resort's Todd Staley pictured with President Laura Chinchilla

Literally, just days before leaving office, President Laura Chinchilla signed a decree that will be of great importance to the quality of sport fishing and marine resources in Costa Rica. In an effort to protect the fishery resources of the country, President Chinchilla signed an executive order to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Pacific which corresponds to Costa Rica and, so, establishes new rules for catching tuna and related species by commercial fishing.

Some of the highlights of the decree include the restricted zone where no purse seining is allowed.

Two polygons have been established: 
The first comprises the area between the low water mark and 60 nautical miles along the entire Pacific coast of Costa Rica. 

The second is an ocean polygon , which runs from the intersection of 7th North parallel with the east boundary of the Exclusive (EEZ ) Economic Zone of Costa Rica and from there heading west on North 7th parallel to its intersection with the meridian 89 ° West , and from there along the meridian 89 ° West , southbound , to its intersection with latitude 5 ° north and from there heading East , following the 5th parallel north to intersect the eastern boundary of the EEZ Costa Rica .

Cocos Island

The area of ​​Coco's Island National Park and Marine Management Area Seamounts are excluded from the regulations established in this decree and shall be governed by the amount of protected areas and their own management plan legislation which already exists. The use of purse seine boats for tuna within 60 miles of the low tide line along the entire coast of Costa Rica is now prohibited.

In these areas, tuna can be targeted by longlines and sport fishing vessels. Within a 12 month period,  INCOPESCA,  the governing board of fisheries in Costa Rica, must develop and implement an Integrated Management Plan mainly oriented to tuna fisheries but including the reduction of by-catch of non-target species in all types of fishing. Representatives from the commercial, sport fishing, and tourist fishing sectors must be included in the process.

Polygons described in the previous article can be made tuna fishing by longline vessels and advanced medium- scale and always when technical conditions contained in this regulation are met. Other fishing gear permitted in this area are sugar cane , trolling , rope, and hook.

The Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Aquaculture will develop and implement, in a period not exceeding twelve months from the effective date of this order, an Integrated Management Plan for the management of fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Costa Rica mainly oriented to the fishery resource tuna and other species of sport and commercial  attractions , including reducing the by-catch of non-target marine species fishery .

This Integrated Management Plan shall include a research program, as well as the behavior of migratory movements and habitat use of ocean tuna by using technology file marks.  These marks will be the Inter - American Tropical Tuna Commission ( CIAT ).  Both are licensed as seine fleets (fishing tuna in Costa Rica), process plants , the longline fishing fleet, and the fleet of sport fishing.  Tourists must participate .

Enrique Ramirez, director of FECOP, the sport fishing lobby, supplied much of the data to influence the President’s decision and said the decree also included:

  1. The requirement that all longline gear must be identified in the water with the boat license number;

  2. The requirement that longliners must install VMS ( Vessel Monitoring Systems) to monitor their movements at any time;

  3. The requirement that an “observers on board” program will be developed and the commercial fishing vessels must comply with it when addressed.

  4. There is an obligation to use only circle hooks to avoid turtle damage.

Sea Turtle Protection

Crocodile Bay Fishing Update:

Tad Butt and Co. from Pioneer Oil Group had a great fishing trip - With Tad and a client of his both releasing Pacific blue marlin. The rest of the guys in the group released over 30 jacks (practice day) and some roosters day 1, but after that it was onto a good sailfish bite with some tuna and LOTS of dorado taken and released. Inshore was also good with some pompano, snapper and roosterfish.

Bill Star holds up dinner in the form of a 50+ lbs Dorado (Mahi Mahi)

Costa Rica dorado

Here is a video from their group showing a sailfish coming up right next to the boat before he breaks free.

We had a great time with Pioneer Oil Group and hope to see them back again soon. Inshore fishing is great right now, with some sailfish, dorado and a few marlin offshore.

July is historically a great month to target black marlin and tuna with the inshore bite remaining good.

August marks the beginning of humpback whale visits to the gulf and mother and calf sightings occur almost daily. Our gulf is one of the few known places in the world where humpbacks migrate from both hemispheres to mate and teach their young to hunt and dive.

If you have non-anglers joining you Crocodile Bay has the best Spa on the Osa (5,000 sq. ft luxury spa) and over 29 exciting ecotours for the whole family. Anlgers bringing their spouse should also check out our "Spouse on the House" package where the spouse gets daily complimentary spa treatments for every day the partner fishes! Check availability below.

Thank you to Todd Staley who played a crucial role in getting the new Tuna decree passed. This will help protect a multitude of marine species such as sea turtles, dolphins, sailfish and of course, yellowfin tuna. Todd is visiting family for a week and will return in June for The Direct Line monthly fishing report.

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Crocodile Bay Resort - Fishing Report May 2014
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

Deep Drop

Fishing Director Todd StaleyThe first thing I should say is that the fishing in our region of Costa Rica has been pretty good. There are enough sailfish around to make it interesting and double digit raises have been common. Some marlin has been around lately with several in the 200 to 350 pound range landed. Football tuna have made their presence. Hopefully the bigger boys are right behind them.



Boston WhalerBoston Whaler brought their group down as well as Dave Goldberg making a return trip with 18 people. Whaler has been down now 13 years in a row. They saw some of the best fishing they have experienced and many first timers in the group took the ceremonial dunk off the dock for catching their first billfish. They also left a couple thousand dollars from their “just for fun” tournament for a project with the town school system.


Roosterfish have been cooperative but not of great size although Jordan Schachner and his cousin Matt finished their trip with a 60 pounder after catching two marlin the day before.

Costa Rica Roosterfsih

Mark Davis was down again filming another Bigwater Adventure sport fishing show. These guys invest a lot of money and time producing these shows so I was really impressed when he decided not to take the easy road and jump on the sailfish bite and he suggested we experiment.  

We decided to target wahoo the first day. End of day one. One bite, zero wahoo. Day two Mark wanted to try deep dropping so we fished in 350 to 450 of water. We got a variety of small grouper, tile fish, congria, and some unidentifiable creatures and when most would have given up Mark kept us working the area.

Finally near the end of the day I heard him say, “That’s the bite I was waiting for.” When he set the hook, the rod doubled and we knew it was something big. A few minutes later we were lifting a 50 lb grouper on board. The best identification we have is it is a Gulf Grouper although the books say their range is not this far south.

Golf Grouper
Mark Davis Poses with a Gulf Grouper rarely found in Costa Rican waters.

Costa Rica Congria
Another deep water "dinner table" delight - Congria

Mark Davis Deep Dropping

Mark finished his trip with 4 marlin coming into the spread that wouldn’t eat, and hook ups on a couple of sailfish. He got some good topwater action by catching several yellowfin tuna on poppers. Even though he didn’t take the easy way, as always I’m sure his show will be “30 minutes of awesome.”   

Eric Puletti and son Eric Jr. visited us in Costa Rica from Staten Island, New York and had a great week of father & son sport fishing - they released lots of sailfish and a Pacific blue marlin. These guys were lots of fun and their passion for fishing helped make it an exciting week at the resort. We hope to see them again in the future.

Father and son Sailfish fishing

Costa Rica Sailfish Trip

Fishing Trip

sailfish jump

Find out about summer fishing vacations in Costa Rica - check availability here

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

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Crocodile Bay Resort - April Fishing Report
By Todd Staley, Fishing Director

NEW VIDEO - Check out this amazing new video shot by Max Stevens and edited by Mason Burgin & Tanner Tapp - We absolutely love this!

Costa Rica Fishing

John Katter brought down a group of friends and went 6 for 10 on sails one day and 5 for 10 another.  Most are struggling to get less fish.  A large group of sails has been reported just to the north of us, so fishing should return to normal soon.

Marlin has been the surprise offshore and a lot of boats are getting a shot. Not every day, but enough to keep it interesting.  Jeff and Cody managed a 50 plus pound dorado and raised another dorado and marlin at the same time. They hooked the dorado first on a ballyhoo and pitched a bait to the marlin. The marlin had other ideas. It left the teaser and ate the dorado they had hooked up on light tackle. Afterwards they were left with a smoking drag, no line, no fish, and one hell of a fish story.

Red tide in the gulf slowed the roosterfishing, but some decent bottom fish have been caught as of late. Cubera Snapper and Africa Pompano have been in that mix. Steve Barnhill and Tim DeGroote from Don Coffey fishing tackle made a return visit and caught the tail end of the hot streak. It was good to see them at the resort again.


Dorado in Costa Rica
Photo by Hannes Ribbner



Costa Rica Fishing ConservationYellowfin tuna will be more prevalent as the government finally decided to give them more protection from purse seine boats. They will no longer be able to fish within 60 miles of the coast and are limited to where they can fish beyond that.

Dolphins

According to Enrique Ramirez Executive Director of FECOP, (the sport fishing lobby in Costa Rica) the action by the government will reduce the by-catch of billfish by 1000 tons as well as protect dolphins and other sea life. For more information about responsible fishing in Costa Rica visit www.fecop.org

Book your dream fishing vacation in Costa Rica here

Todd Staley,
Fishing Director

Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

 

Top 25 Trip AdvisorCome find out why Trip Advisor Ranked Crocodile Bay Resort #2 out of ALL the hotels in Costa Rica in their 2014 Peoples Choice Awards! We were also ranked #7 for family hotels in Costa Rica and #3 for all hotels in Central America! We still have some space for April, May and June if you'd like to get down and enjoy inshore and offshore fishing, some of our (29) adventure eco-tours,  or just relax  on  a secluded beach pura vida style.

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Crocodile Bay Resort - Costa Rica Fishing Report
March 3rd, 2014 by Todd Staley Fishing Director

Costa Rica Fishing Wahoo

The new moon in March brings the biggest tides of the year and once again great fishing. After a month of some really hot days on the water and some slow ones, March starts out normal. The dorado have hung around a long time this year. Normally they are pretty thinned out by January 15th but this year the whole month of February brought multiple of dorado.

Terry Fisher from Cummins motors stopped by with some Cummins marine folks for a quick  two day stay. Everyone in the group landed a couple of sails and had shots at many more. Top boat in the group the last few days landed 9 sails. Don’t get me wrong, we have had some slow days, but when they light up, they light up.

Frances Azur returned with a group of friends to fish a small tournament as well as Dan Vergith’s group from Las Vegas. They didn’t catch any record number of fish but these guys know how to have a good time. The Ferguson Fire group hit it just right and many first time anglers no longer have sailfish on the bucket list.

A few surprises like Paul Ranger’s 50 lb wahoo brought dinner smiles to a lot of guests and plate size snapper deep fried whole made cardiologists gringe, but was a real treat for those who never had tried it.

I want to especially thank Allan Sosnow for coming back this year. He patiently took several sails on a fly, but it is his example on attitude which is the real inspiration about the man.

Inshore has been spotty. Red tide entered and has left for the most part and rooster went into hiding but have shown their face again in the last few days.

 

Crocodile Bay Resort - Costa Rica Fishing Report
January 30, 2014 by Todd Staley Fishing Director

JUST IN: We have only had a sailfish jump INTO a boat once in our 15 years of operation, yesterday it happened twice! Check out the video below and pay extra close attention to what the two anglers do when the sailfish heads toward them on the boat! Priceless!

January Costa Rica Sport Fishing Report

 

Todd Staley
Fishing Director
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Crocodile Bay Resort - Special Tournament Update
March 18, 2014

Costa Rica Fishing Tournament

Will Briegel Costa Rica Fishing

by Will Briegel (Filling in for Todd Staley)
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica

March Madness at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica
And no, we're not talking about basketball - however, this story does involve an MLB Hall of Fame great and some NFL legends – and of course, lots of Pacific Sailfish. Rebone @ Large hosted it's twelfth Osa Classic at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica with members from The Boomer Esiason Foundation (Team Boomer) to raise money to benefit and help "Catch the Cure" to Cystic Fibrosis.

Costa Rica Fishing Celebrities
Right to Left - Mitch Krenk ('85 Bears and MLB Hall of Fame great Wade Boggs)

Team Boomer BEFDuring this two day charity fundraiser, the competitors witnessed some of the most productive sailfish numbers Crocodile Bay Resort has seen in several years. Team Boomer’s 7 boat/team group of anglers caught and released 152 sailfish (163 total fish releases including roosters) over the two day catch and release charity tournament. Team Nebraska won the championship by releasing 37 Sailfish and a Roosterfish.  On day two Mark Cooper from Colorado (a former Denver Bronco and Tampa Bay Buccaneer) landed and released four sailfish on the fly at 300 pts each - we salute you.

saifish fishing

GoPRO
If you own a GoPro...Bring it..you will be amazed with the fishing & wildlife photo opps!

Cystic Fibrosis Celebrity Tournament

The sailfish turned out in record numbers, perhaps it was to see some of our celebrity guests like frequent guest and avid angler MLB Hall of Fame great Wade Boggs, Mitch Krenk of the legendary 85 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Team or David Rimington, the first pick in the 1983 draft, and the inspiration behind the coveted "Rimington Award" for the annual selection of the top center in the NFL. The group was full of famous folks like Jake Grove former Raider and Miami Dolphin but you would never have known it because they are one of the friendliest and most humble groups we've ever worked with. We hope to see them back soon and commend them for their ongoing battle against Cystic Fibrosis.

Mark Cooper Rooster

Offshore fishing remains hot as of this update, and inshore may be following suit as recently arriving guests Bill, Winston and Elizabeth Purkey discovered yesterday. They had a  great day inshore going 4/4 on roosters (released), with a bonus cubera and yellowtail plate sized snapper for the table. We have a couple  of groups that have arrived over the last couple of days as our Spring Break season continues to roll. UPDATE - yesterday 7 Boats went 75/30 on sailfish! Check our Facebook page for fishing and adventure updates as we receive them here.

Beach Chillin
The boys take a break at a local beach - thanks Agua Dulce Lodge!

Costa Rica Fishing Conservation
A purse-seiner trapping spinner dolphin- Photo courtesy "The Tico Times" www.ticotimes.net

On another note, we would like to congratulate Crocodile Bay's long time fishing director Todd Staley for being nominated by Redbone tournament series for the IGFA's "Chester H. Wolfe" Sportsman of the Year Award for his conservation efforts in Costa Rica. The photo above shows a purse seine vessel trapping dolphin in it's tuna nets. Click the link below to learn about foreign purse seine vessels and their negative impact on the environment and sea life.

Here is a link to the letter Todd Staley wrote to the President of Costa Rica regarding tuna purse seining and it's negative impact on the environment and spinner dolphins.

todd presient

Fishing Director Todd StaleyA large group of air-conditioning folks (ASHRAE - www.ashrae.org )escaped the great white north and put the magic in the water that turned things around. Fishing had been pretty mediocre until the group of 47 arrived and though their first couple of days wasn’t anything stellar day 3 was off the charts. Top boat raised 27 sails and most were close to 20 fish apiece. New arrivals saw the action continue.

The water is still cool enough to hold dorado and some marlin and as our Costa Rican summer continues to heat the water more and more sails should move in.

Happy 61st Birthday to David Woodruff of New Jersey! Pictured here with a 40lb dorado! David is out fishing now, and we're hoping he'll bring in a beast big enough to make our wall of fame!

Happy Bithday Dorado

Inshore has been hit and miss but some big roosters are running the regular haunts like Matapalo and several fish over 60 lbs were taken this week. Dinner size snapper are also biting. Nordic Sea Anglers from Sweden (Operating out of Norway) left some great photos from their Costa Rican adventures with Will and we are happy to share them with you now.

Photos Courtesey Nordic Sea Angling (Johan Mikkelsen, Guide at Nordic Sea Angling http://nordic-sea-angling.se)

Big Roosterfish in Costa Rica

Humback Whale
Note - We do not fish for whales - this is just a siting :)

Dorado Costa Rica

Costa Rica Yellowfin Tuna

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Happy New Year!  
The staff at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica would like to wish you a happy and prosperous 2014! Our resort is packed for the New Year and everyone is having a great time. One of our longtime friends and guests Mike Grace reeled in the New Year with a beautiful Pacific Blue Marlin (yesterday, pictured left with son Patrick Grace) - which was released along with the year 2013!

As we transition from wet to dry season the sailfish are moving in (the bite is normal for this time of year, and we will most likely see the sailfish numbers increase as we get deeper into our peek season) we are also continuing to see blue marlin come up in the spreads. The dorado are keeping anglers busy  offshore and the roosterfish bite inshore is good with one guest a couple of days ago nabbing a 60 pounder.  We welcome you to join us for what is shaping up to be a great 2014 of fishing, adventure and relaxation in Costa Rica's Crown Jewel, the Osa Peninsula.


 

Welcome back to fishing director Todd Staley who was recently in nearly fatal car accident. His wife and son are fine and resting at home. Todd of course can not be kept indoors long and is already out making his rounds.

We're happy to have you back but the fish do not share our enthusiasm as you will be out chasing them again by next week!

If you're planning a Spring or Summer 2012 trip now is the time to book with Crocodile Bay! May 1st through September 30th you'll get 20% off peek season rates - we also have several other specials you can learn more about by calling 1-800-733-1115. Don' miss your chance for a fishing or eco adventure of a lifetime at the world famous Crocodile Bay Resort!

Crocodile Bay Fishing Report March 2012

Crocodile Bay Dinner

The fishing has been just as varied. We have seen some really good days and days that were aggravating to clients and hair loss days to the fishing manager. The sails bit on day and have lockjaw the next. Cold water moves in and is replaced with hot water. An earthquake of 6.1 sends fish scattering in all directions. There have been some highlights. The cold water shut the sailfish down but brought marlin in with it.

Costa Rica Sailfish

For those lucky enough to score a marlin, it weighed between 200 and 500 lbs. Dorado haven’t been plentiful, but several over 50 lbs have come to the deck.

Some days the sails would float on the top, more interested in flirting with the opposite sex than stretching a tourist’s string. Other days they went on a feed. Yesterday Saltwater Journal’s Mark Sosin landed tree out of the 11 that popped up in the teasers as most didn't’t hang around long enough to pull off the “bait and switch.”

Without the pressures of getting a show filmed, Mark is relaxing with his wife Susan. Mark is one of the pioneers of television fishing shows that I watched as a kid and Saltwater Journal was always famous for teaching as well as entertaining. Inshore has been steady for the most part but did get a little “shaky” right after the tremor.

Sailfish Jump

Costa Rica Roosterfish

Roosterfish have been the main attraction and fish up to 60 lbs have been taken. The snapper bite has been fair although the big snapper haven’t been to active, lots of dinner size fish are hitting on inshore reefs.

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Sport FIshing Magazine June 2013
Crocodile Bay is Featured Again in Sport Fishing Magazine!


Sport Fishing Magazine December 2012
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An Interview with Crocodile Bay Fishing Director Todd Staley!

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Welcome to the Jungle: September 2012 Review by Pacific Coast Sport Fishing:

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Crocodile Bay Resort,
Puerto Jiménez - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

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