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Author Topic:   Sportfishing from the Tropics
Dar Randall
posted 25 April 2001 10:37           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sportfishing -

Costa Rican Adventures
Fishing log, Zancudo Costa Rica April 11h to the 16th
Arena Alta Sportfishing

Day 1
Awoke at 5 am to the sounds of the surf and jungle. Left our luxurious
open air accommodations provided as part of our fishing adventure
package and headed down the sand road to the dock on our complimentary
electric golf carts. Upon arrival we partook in a down home scrumptious
breakfast and coffee provided by resident chef Mario.

We pushed off in a 28' twin outboard center console at 6:00 as dawn
broke on the horizon. Our camera chase boat was our shadow. The
morning started with jigging sardines for live bait in Golfo Dulce. In
no time at all, the well was full, and we started off across the gulf
toward Matapalo, locally called "The Rock." After pausing for a moment
to see the splashing of a small school of spinner dolphins, we continued
out to where the satellite temperature reports had indicated cooler
water. Lines were immediately set with teasers and expertly rigged
mullets behind bubbler skirts. Within ten minutes of trolling, a
sailfish was raised. He came in, whacked the teasers, and inhaled a
sardine live lined back in the pattern. This was the first of seven
sailfish hooked, landed, revived, and released within three hours, two
pairs of which were consecutive double headers. Our captains Antonio
and Edwin were masters at live lining sailfish, and they ran within the
one hundred to one twenty five range.

Day 2
Inshore fishing. We opted to try our skill at catching along the
magnificent rocky coastlines. After briefly jigging our morning
sardines, we set our lines along the coastline of Pavones, a
world-renowned surfing beach. Using light tackle within a matter of
minutes, we were hooked up on a large Corvina. We landed a half dozen
of these tasty game fish, a good number approaching forty pounds. When
the bite slowed, we moved north across the gulf to the Rock. Drifting
our baits in deeper water we landed several hard fighting amber jack in
the twenty to thirty pound range. In additional, we caught numerous
green bared snappers. We then moved off to deeper water in the center
of the gulf where we landed four or five more Amberjacks, one of which
weighed in at forty pounds. During that time we added to the catch
several more snappers, locally know as Pargo. With our cooler full of
tasty game fish we arrived back at the dock by one in the afternoon.
Mario promptly and expertly cooked up a feast with the Pargo, Costa Rica
style with fresh garlic, deep-fried whole that was consumed by one and

Day 3
To experience the overall beauty that Costa Rica has to offer, we
decided to stay inland and explore the bountiful rivers and jungles
teeming with wildlife. Our boat ride with Susan of Zancudo Boat Tours
was arranged through Arena Alta Adventures. Up the Rio Colorado River
in a hand made Costa Rica skiff we traveled, through thick mangroves and
luscious rainforest we found our way. The sky and trees were filled
with many different varieties of exotic birds, and we past numerous
Crocodiles and Caymans sunning themselves on the riverbanks. Upon our
return from this four-hour journey we met with others in our party who
had decided to fish that day. Inshore they had had an equally
productive morning, landing many Pargo, Amberjack, and one of the most
revered game fish - the African Pompano. Not only a strong fighter, but
second to none on a plate. After another gourmet lunch of Pompano and
Ceviche, we headed out again with Edwin as our Captain and Rachel our
guide to the magnificent Golfo Dulce Lodge. Accessible only by boat,
the lodge was caved out of the jungle over a span of eighteen years by a
wonderful Swiss couple. Its windy trails led us through the private
biological reserve where we saw hundreds of colorful Macaws in flocks of
six or ten per tree. Even more numbers of large green parrots dotted
the sky. Our guide informed us that many of the birds were part of a
wildlife rescue project called Zoo Ave. After some filming and pictures
we headed back to Zancudo.

Day 4
The sea was looking a bit rough, but the plans that day were for
offshore fishing. The Sailfish had moved in closer to land, so we
decided to go out a mere five miles to again try our luck at these
majestic creatures. Antonio and Edwin working against the wind and
waves found it harder to hook the many sailfish raised, but they
prevailed, time and time again. At one point, while one sailfish was
expertly played in the bow, the largest billfish of the trip came
stubbornly in at the hands of one of our female anglers, but not before
taking several clear out of the water leaps, a mere fifteen feet from
the transom. This fish when leadered, was so large and the seas so
rough, we were unable to bring it in for a measurement, but we estimated
that it weighed in excess of 175' pounds. In less than three hours we
wound up with four sailfish landed and then took a good old back home
Nantucket sleigh ride as we surfed safely home around the rock. In many
off shore trips to Costa Rica, this is the only time we had seen the
seas close to being angry.

Day 5
Our last full day of excursions was planned around getting some final
camera shots in areas we had experienced, and the ocean cooperated
giving us one of the fairest day yet. Surfing shots was first on the
agenda and our captain, Dar, skillfully maneuvered the bow of the boat
tight into the curl of the waves allowing us to film surfers riding a
large swell toward a point break at a picturesque tropical beach. We
then trolled up some decent sized Roosterfish. On light tackle these
beautiful gamesters put up an incredibly stubborn fight, tight into the
waves. We also managed to land several large Corvina before heading
back to the dock for lunch. The afternoon was spent shopping and
packing as our trip was drawing to a close.

As our trip wound down we were treated to an incredible last night
dinner provided by our hosts and newly found Costa Rican friends. We
were even serenaded with Spanish and English songs by our bartender
extraordinaire Edgar. We will miss this place and plan to come back
soon for some more Costa Rican adventures and fishing. A special Mucho
Gracias goes out to our hosts, Rachel, Dar, and Zene Randall; Captains
and mates: Antonio, Edwin, Henner, Luise, and Abillo.

Susan and Don Tretsky, MT Productions
Belle Mead, New Jersey USA

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