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  • Writer's picturejustinsuarez

Costa Rica!

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Sailfish about to be Released!

It's been twenty four hours since I got back from the most epic week of fishing that I’ve experienced in Central America. When I close my eyes I can still hear the drag screaming, the triumphant and celebratory hoots and hollers, and the sounds of billfish slicing the cobalt blue waters off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. 

We headed down to Los Suenos via JFK airport and by 1:30pm we were settled into our gorgeous condo at Los Suenos. The first day we planned to explore the area and get a taste of what it was like to live a "pura vida." First on the list was crocodile feeding followed by hopping on Quads and ripping up some mud. It was a bit torturous the first day knowing that the hungry waters off of Los Suenos were teeming with Sailfish and an outstanding fishery awaited us. 

We arrived at the Tarcoles River and met our guide, Ronnie. Ronnie welcomed us to the most crocodile populated waters in Central America. There were an inconceivable number of North American Freshwater Crocodiles in the Tarcoles River and it was simply unbelievable. These crocs owned this river and they were most definitely in charge. We slowly traveled the river taking pictures and viewing these massive creatures but as we approached a muddy cove I realized the unthinkable was about to happen. Our Captain tied the boat to a pvc pole he inserted into the mud and hopped out with strips of chicken necks in his hands and began to tease and feed a Crocodile that was all of 18 feet long! I couldn't believe what I was witnessing and how calm our captain was while he sank into the MUD with a giant COW eating crocodile. After we took some photos and videos we asked the Captain to get back in the boat. We saw a few more crocodiles and our captain hopped out a couple more times leaving us asking ourselves if he had some type of neurological dysfunction or lacked the gene that helped him process fear. We continued down the river in absolute awe of the raw nature that seemed to be painted by the hand of an artist and soon we were back at the dock all of us, including the captain, retaining all of our limbs. 

After the crocodile viewing we headed to a farm not far from Los Suenos and it was here that we had some childish fun!  We got on our quads and rode through mud, small rivers, creeks, jungle, waterfalls and farmland. It was a total blast and for two hours we almost forgot that first thing in the morning we would be boarding the Sportfishing vessel, The Epic, and targeting some acrobatic Sailfish. So we headed back to the condo got ready, had dinner and slept with the sounds and the sweet lullabies of drags screaming in our dreams. 

We woke up just before dawn to the symphony of Howler Monkeys, and a flock of scarlet macaws squawking as they flew passed our condo. Within 15 mins we were all ready for our adventure on the water. Cameras,sunscreen, hoorags, sunglasses, and an insatiable appetite to catch Sailfish on 8lb test...CHECK!

We piled onto our golf cart and took off for the marina at Los Suenos. What a sight to see! Lining the docks at the famous marina were over two hundred sportfishing battle wagons docked and getting ready to hit the road. We met up with Capt Mike from Epic Sportfishing and hopped aboard a beautifully appointed 34' L&H. This was a perfect boat for the fishing we were going to get into. As we took shots of the scenic view that unraveled before us, my mind started to drift into a day-dream of a gravity defying Pacific Sailfish, but I couldn't day dream long for we were just about to arrive on the grounds and set out our lines to begin a day of truly epic fishing.

It wasn't long before our mate Mariano was hollering left line left line! Right line Right Line! A trio of Sailfish popped up behind the boat and we were able to hook one and enjoy a great fight with a beautiful aerial display right behind the boat. After about a 15 min fight on 8lb test we took some pics and video and released this majestic fish back to the abyss.  What a stunningly beautiful fish! The iridescent stripes, mixed with hues of blue and purple permeated the clear blue water of the Pacific as the fish came to the boat lit up. Fighting the sailfish on 8-10lb test was a challenge, but it provided for some heart pumping action as these sailed gymnasts of the pacific put on the most breath taking displays of tail walking across the calm cerulean waters we had ever seen. The experience was forever etched into our minds museum of unforgettable memories.  All day long we repeated this process and truly enjoyed a paradisal day among some of the most gorgeous backdrops on the planet. 

Day two was a completely different day. We decided we wanted to dedicate the day to bottom fishing and what an excellent choice it truly was. We hopped aboard the Wingman with Capt. Carlos and made our way out to catch some bait. Not just any bait, we were catching small legal sized snappers which happens to be a delicacy for Cubera Snapper and pretty much all of the bottom dwelling residents of the deep. Once we had enough bait in the boat, to last us the day, we made a trek to a secret spot the Capt labeled  "Cubera Cavern".  This Cavern was a rock formation that rose 125 feet from the bottom and crested about 20 feet from the surface. Capt. Carlos positioned the boat on the edge of the wall of this massive structure and it was game on! We baited up and sent our doomed live bait down a hundred feet to the lair of our target species the dog toothed Snapper, also known as the mighty Cubera Snapper. The first strike was quick and violent, yet we threw the screws to him and began to work him up to the boat. The brute power this fish has is amazing as it pulled 30lbs of drag with what seemed like little effort. After several deep runs and hair raising moments of panic as the fish shook his head we were able to gain some ground on the fish. Twenty minutes later we boated a gorgeous Cubera. It was a beautiful fish, weighing 30 pounds and marked the beginning of what was going to be a big fish day. 

Big ol' Cubera!

Cubera Snappers to 38lbs, Jacks to 20lbs and Amberjacks pushing 45lbs were all on the hit list and we caught them all on a variety of live baits. The bottom fishing in Costa Rica rivals the bill fishing, make sure if you find yourself in Costa Rica to spend one of your fishing days prowling the rocky bottoms for these tasty yet challenging fish. 

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