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.
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.
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.
Special Note: Monster roosterfish released today (July 1st) by Paul J. Bruner!
Have a Happy Fourth of July
Crocodile Bay Resort
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica