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That’s Fishin’ – July/August 2021

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By Benn Gilmour

Simply blessed! What an incredible year it has been so far. After the turbulence of last year, it has been great to see some kind of normalcy return to the tourism scene here in Quepos/Manuel Antonio and our Charter Boats have thankfully had a busy season with lots of visitors from the states just crying out for some time on the water. Thank you to each and every one of you that have fished with one of our Quepos boats and helped us continue to do what we love. The fishing has not disappointed and our lucky Anglers have enjoyed some simply world class Fishing over these past few months.

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That’s Fishin’- March 2021

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Welcome to the March instalment of That’s Fishin! I hope the big fish and smiling faces in the photos inspire you to take a trip for yourself!

Marlin in the waterOFFSHORE FISHING

March is an excellent time to fish Offshore here in Quepos. Blue skies and flat calm seas are the norm and large numbers of Big Pacific Sailfish are the main target. This is an excellent time of year to get in on a serious billfish bite. Releasing double digit Sailfish in a day’s fishing is not uncommon here during March. A recent guest aboard my boat GOOD DAY could not quite believe it when he reeled in 6 Sailfish back-to-back…he said that if he caught 1, he would have been delighted but never in his wildest dreams did he expect to catch 6 Sailfish in one day! Welcome to Costa Rica guys!

In addition to Sailfish the Tuna fishing should remain excellent during March. If you have never witnessed a megapod of Spinner Dolphins which travel together with the Tuna schools you are going to be in for a real treat. There have been some excellent marine life sightings over the past month with Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Killer Whales, even a rare Curviers Beaked Whale on one recent trip in addition to the four dolphin species we encounter regularly and daily sightings of Turtles, Manta Rays, and all manner of other species. National Geographic worthy scenes are a daily occurrence during offshore trips out of Quepos and I hope that you get to experience it for yourself. Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin should all make an appearance during March, plus the odd Dorado and maybe even a Wahoo.

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That’s Fishin’- February 2021

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A warm welcome to the February edition of That’s Fishin’ and what a start to the 2020-2021 Sport Fishing season we have had here in Quepos, with some phenomenal fishing taking place this past couple of months.

Man releasing a billfishOFFSHORE FISHING

January witnessed some simply insane Sailfishing, with many boats managing to get into double digit Sailfish releases during some days on the water. January through April sees some of the best Sailfishing of the year so expect the excellent opportunities for Sailfish to continue for the next couple of months and I hope you get to experience it for yourself.

There were plenty of Blue Marlin released from November to January, and February should continue to provide a great chance of catching a Marlin during Offshore trips. Most Blue Marlin are in the 150-250lb range, however, there have been several seriously large Blues caught in the past month, you just never know when that fish of a lifetime is going to take your bait!

Family holding a tunaDecember and January produced good numbers of Striped Marlin which are always a welcome addition to any charter and definitely one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. February is a great time for Black Marlin, and a slow-trolled live bonito over our Offshore reefs is the preferred method to target a big Black Marlin, which can regularly exceed over 500lbs here.

The Tuna fishing has been nothing short of exceptional during December and January. The turn of the year is always a great time for large-grade Yellow Fin Tuna, and this year has been no exception. Many fish in the 50-100lb class have been caught with some real sea monsters in the 150-200lb plus range landed also. Livebait, or artificial Squidnation Squids, are some of the preferred methods for Tuna here.

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That’s Fishin’- January 2021

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Welcome to the January installment of That’s Fishin and from the entire SportMan holding a doradofishing community here in Quepos, a huge Happy New Year from our family to yours, we are delighted to have you here with us and hope to see you on the water!

Whilst COVID lockdowns seemed to give the entire planet a well needed rest, we certainly saw the results closer to home in our fishery. Casting our minds back to May, June, & July of 2020, while Costa Rican borders were closed and there was very little pressure on the ocean, we experienced what was simply the best Sailfish bite we have seen in Quepos for some years. Recalling one trip aboard my boat GOOD DAY, we released 26 Sailfish, 2 Wahoo, and a handful of Tuna. Now that was one heck of a day for sure but the crazy thing was, boats were going out and catching those kinds of numbers on a daily basis! For 3 years running now we have had an excellent ‘off season’ bite happening May-July, we are hoping it happens again this year and if you love fishing, it is definitely worth considering a trip back here during those months to see if it happens again.

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That’s Fishin’ – April/May/June 2020

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What a total blast we have had during our fishing tournament festivities & high season craziness over the past month! The Quepos fishing fleet have been busy providing Offshore and Inshore charters to tourists from all around the world and some magical fishing has been taking place for sure.

Woman and man holding a DoradoThe offshore bite during the first weeks of March was nothing short of phenomenal with huge numbers of Sailfish and Tuna keeping our Anglers busy. Many boats got into coveted double digit Sailfish release days and some boats even caught as many as 20 Sailfish in a single day’s fishing, simply amazing fishing wherever you are in the world.

There has been a wide open Tuna bite happening from December through March and we expect this to continue through April. Livebaits have been accounting for many of the larger fish, however, Squidnation Squids, Bass worms, and all manner of Jigs have been catching solid sized Tuna also. We have had lots of fish in the 20-80lb range with regular fish in the 100lb plus category also BUT there is always a much bigger fish lurking down there somewhere and maybe, just maybe, you could be the lucky angler!

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That’s Fishin’ – March 2020

Man releasing a sailfish

Welcome to March edition of That’s Fishin! March is an excellent time to fish here in Quepos with both our Offshore and Inshore fishery providing some special opportunities to wet a line and who knows, possibly catch that fish of a lifetime!

Man holding a tunaOFFSHORE FISHING

When Offshore fishing, we typically fish 20-40 miles Offshore range where huge numbers of Pacific Sailfish congregate at this time of year as part of their annual migration and breeding ritual. At this time of year it is not uncommon to experience double digit bites from Sailfish when the bite is on, which makes for one action packed day on the water with jumping Sailfish and flashing cameras at the ready! Marlin, Tuna, Dorado and the odd Wahoo can also be caught whilst trolling Offshore. Talking about Wahoo, regular visitor Elise Furlin-Parker caught a stunning Wahoo of more than 40lbs during her February trip aboard GOOD DAY, a special fish for sure and capped off a great couple of days fishing where they caught Sailfish, Tuna, Dorado, and Wahoo. An estimated 60lb Wahoo was also landed by another boat in the fleet just a few days before, another fantastic fish!

There were some very nice sized Tuna caught throughout February with many Yellowfin Tuna topping 100lbs, expect more of the same throughout March. To fish for Tuna in Costa Rica is something that has to be experienced to be believed and appreciated. Photos, videos, and stories at the bar might add to the excitement but they do not do it the justice it deserves. We catch Tuna alongside mega pods of literally hundreds of Spinner Dolphins which travel together with the Tuna and form a huge feeding frenzy as they attack the bait balls lurking below as birds dive kamikaze style from the air and come crashing into the water to join the feast too. Seeing this first hand is something that might stay with you forever and is one thing that keeps many of our guests returning year after year. When you have nature at its best playing out before your eyes like this, catching a fish is just a bonus.

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That’s Fishin’ – February 2020

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Man releasing a sailfishWelcome to the February installment of That’s Fishin’ and if you are visiting Quepos right now you have chosen an incredible time of year to visit and fish our world famous waters!

Right now is the time that large numbers of Big Pacific Sailfish which gather here and some of the best Sailfishing of the year traditionally happens between January and March. Most visitors are delighted to be in with a chance of catching 1 Billfish, however, when our fishery offers the chance of catching multiple fish in the same day, anglers come flocking from the world over to experience it for themselves.

Our Sailfish average in the 70-80 lb range with fish in excess of 100 lbs common and we use light 20-30 lb tackle to fish for them. In addition to the great Sailfishing that you can expect right now there will be Blue Marlin and Striped Marlin Offshore, as well as some monster Black Marlin which can be targeted over the Offshore Reefs. A slow trolled live Bonito is the number 1 tactic for targeting a Black Marlin.

The Dorado made a very welcome reappearance during January and providing some incredible fishing after all but disappearing in December. We have experienced some strange weather this year for sure and got way more rain in December and January than we usually would. This helped keep the Ocean temperatures down around 83-84 degrees which is where the Dorado like it to be.

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That’s Fishin’- January 2020

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By Benn Gilmour

A huge Happy New Year, may all your Fishy dreams come true in 2020 & welcome to the January installment of That’s Fishin!

Our peak fishing season is in full swing and we have experienced some truly incredible fishing during the past couple of months, I hope that you get to experience it for yourself during your time in the area.

Man releasing a marlinOFFSHORE FISHING

The Billfish bite offshore has been great with good numbers of Sailfish, Blue and Striped Marlin being caught. December and January are perhaps the best months of the year to catch a Billfish Grand Slam of 3 different Billfish species in a single day. Several boats in the fleet have already accomplished Grand Slams and I expect more to do so in the coming months whilst there remains the possibility of Striped and Black Marlin together with the more common Sailfish and Blue Marlin.

The Tuna fishing was spectacular during December with lots of fish in the 30-80 lb range caught and frequent 100-200 lb class fish landed also. All manner of artificial lures work well for Tuna here in Costa Rica such as various sized Squidnation Squids, Bucktail Jigs, Bass Worms plus other styles of jigs. It is difficult to beat a Live Bonito for a BIG Tuna, however, Blue Runners, Goggle Eyes, Caballas, and Sardines all work well also.

After some insane Mahi/Dorado fishing in November, the bite slowed a little in December as the rains cleared and water temperatures started to rise. A few Dorado should still be caught over the next couple of months and are always a welcome addition to any Billfish charter.

The main event in January is most certainly Sailfish and is the start of our peak Sailfish bite which typically goes on from January through mid-April. Double digit release days can be possible when the bite is on!

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That’s Fishin’- December 2019

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Manh olding large doradoWelcome to the December edition of That’s Fishin’. The peak months are upon us with visitors arriving from all around the world ready to experience some of the best fishing on the planet.

OFFSHORE FISHING

We experienced some truly amazing fishing for Marlin during November with lots of Blue Marlin in the 150-250lb category release by the Quepos fleet. A few Black & Striped Marlin also made an appearance and coveted Billfish Grand Slams started being caught during November, which means 3 different Billfish species released by a boat in one day.

The Mahi/Dorado fishing in November did not disappoint with lots of Dorado in the 15-25lb category being caught at the current breaks found typically 6-15 miles off Quepos. There were a few HUGE Dorado in the 60lb plus category landed, fish of a lifetime stuff for sure!

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That’s Fishin’- November 2019

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Man and boy holding a doradoWelcome to the November installment of That’s Fishin’ in what has historically been one of the best months of the year for Fishing out of the Marina Pez Vela here in Quepolandia. If you are visiting us from overseas, a warm welcome to the area—you have chosen a great time to go fishing with us!

OFFSHORE FISHING

Expect some excellent Blue Marlin fishing during day trips fishing 20-35 miles Offshore. The Marlin fishing we experienced during November 2018 was better than any other month of the year for Offshore day charters with lots of fish in the 150-250lb range and a few larger fish up to 400lbs. Every year plays out a little differently and I look forward to seeing how November fishes this year.

Man holding a tunaNovember is a transition month where we see the last of the seasonal rains before our dry season commences which lasts until April. After the heaviest of our rains during September and October, the weed/debris lines that form at the current breaks Offshore should be in great condition during early November which is sure to provide some incredible Dorado (Mahi Mahi) fishing. The great thing about this style of fishing is that the bite is very often only 8-12 miles Offshore making these perfect family trips when the Dorado bite is on just a short run from the Marina. Full day charters are required when in search of Marlin, Sailfish and Tuna but when the Dorado bite is on, some great fishing can be possible during half day trips also. Dorado at this time of year typically average in the 15-20lb range with frequent 40lb plus fish and the odd beast up to 60-70lb.

Sailfish will also be possible during Offshore trips and expect Sailfish numbers to improve as we move into December before the bite typically peaks between January and March when Sailfish gather here in large numbers. The end of the year also sees some great opportunities for some big Yellow Fin Tuna. We catch lots of Tuna in the 20-50lb range but 100lb plus fish are common also with the odd Wicked Tuna worthy monster hitting the decks.

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That’s Fishin’- September/October 2019

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It was been a truly incredible few months fishing that we have experienced here in Quepos. Sailfish, Marlin, Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo have all been keeping Anglers busy Offshore whilst there have been some big Roosterfish, Snapper, Snook, and more showing up during Inshore Fishing trips.

4 men holding large doradoDORADO DERBY!

Before we know it, the first tournament of the new season will be upon us in the form of the Dorado Derby which takes place on November 16th. The inaugural event in 2018 was a huge success with 47 boats taking place, battling it out to be crowned the Dorado Kings & Queens of Quepos. Boat SUPER FLY from Los Sueños took the top honours with a huge Dorado of 52 lbs but only just, a mere 5 lbs separated the top 5 largest Dorado of the tournament showing that literally anyone stands a chance of winning this one day, heaviest fish tournament. This unique tournament format is designed to give every single competing boat and team a chance of winning the event. Catch the biggest Dorado, take home the Cash Prize! With just a $250 entry fee per team this is the most accessible Sport Fishing tournament on the calendar. There will a Fish Fry, Great Music, and Dock Social after the fishing, see marinapezvelatournaments.com for more details and to register your team. We would love to see you there on November 16th!

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That’s Fishin’- August 2019

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Welcome to the August edition of Quepolandia and what a fantastic couple of months of fishing we have experienced here in paradise with some great action taking place and lots of happy visitors from all corners of the world getting to experience it for themselves.

2 men holding large tunaTUNA TUNA TUNA!!

The Tuna fishing during June & July was simply world class with lots of fish in the 30-100lb class being caught by the Quepos fleet. Some lucky Anglers managed really special fish in the 100-150 lb category, back breaking work for sure with fights lasting 1-2 hours on occasions depending on the tackle used. Congratulations to Stephen Dudra from Jacksonville, Florida who caught a Yellow Fin Tuna in the 120 lb class during his recent trip to Quepos, an epic fish for sure! Countless more 100+ pounders have been caught creating bragging rights for the lucky anglers and there have been some fishy tales exchanged at the Quepos bars about these monsters for sure!

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That’s Fishin’ – July 2019

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What a total blast we all had during the May 25-26th PELAGIC ‘PURA VIDA’ INSHORE CLASSIC FISHING TOURNAMENT here at the Marina Pez Vela. Guys, Girls and even a special tournament on the Sunday morning just for kids—what a fun packed weekend it was for everyone & memories for a lifetime created for the kids, most of them fishing their first ever fishing tournament!

Crew from the Good Day holding their prizesThe tournament weekend was put together by the guys from leading global fishing apparel brand PELAGIC who have proudly made Quepos their Central American outpost and have a SUPER COOL clothing store right here in the Marina Pez Vela, be sure to check it out! The Fishing fun got underway on the Saturday with the Adults ‘PURA VIDA CLASSIC’ Inshore tournament. This was an 8 hour shoot-out where teams battled it out in two main divisions, the ROOSTERFISH division where points were accumulated for the most Roosterfish releases & the ‘GRAND SLAM’ division awarded for the heaviest 3 fish combo. Team Z GASTRO BAR fishing aboard GOOD DAY were the winners of the Roosterfish division releasing 3 nice sized Roosterfish in the 36’-48’ category which earned them 900 points. Jeff Dechesneau fishing aboard the smallest boat in the fleet, the 19’ Boston Whaler Montauk, caught the longest Roosterfish of the day, a stunning fish of 55 inches in length which helped his team to 2nd place. All Roosterfish caught were quickly measured and released, a tournament format designed to promote conservation of such an important fish species. A shout out to Reymond Rodrigues who fished the tournament aboard an awesome Seadoo Fishing Jetski, certainly a first for a Quepos tournament but also one serious piece of kit! Huge congratulations to team DREAMS II for winning the Grand Slam division. The guys had a blast catching a ton of different species including a 26lb Cubera Snapper Roosterfish, Mullet Snappers, Jacks, Wahoo, Rainbow Runners and many other species. They comfortably took home the honours for the heaviest 3 fish combo, great stuff guys & well deserved!

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That’s Fishin’ – May/June 2019

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There was some truly world class fishing action in April here in Quepos with some great catches of Sailfish, Tuna, Marlin, Dorado, Roosterfish, Snook, and Cubera Snapper, making Angling dreams come true.

Man with large snapperOFFSHORE FISHING

The fleet enjoying some good Sailfish fishing throughout April with plenty of Sailfish caught but no one had a better day than the guys on Double Nickle who released 29 Sailfish on April 5th, what a day, congrats guys! Striped Marlin made an appearance during April with some nice Stripeys caught along with a few Blue & Black Marlin. The Blue Marlin bite on day charters should improve into May and June as water temperatures start to drop with the afternoon rains. If catching a Blue Marlin is high on your bucket list then you should seriously consider heading out to the FADS & Seamounts on an overnight trip. Caribsea, Double Nickle, Tranquilo, The Hooker, and Pescadora are all great Quepos boats to take you on the Marlin fishing trip of a lifetime. May to November is the peak time for overnight FAD fishing trips and when the bite is on you could be in with a chance of some truly insane Marlin fishing!
April provided some excellent Tuna fishing which should improve into May which is usually a great month for Tuna. There were some BIG Bull Dorado caught during April further Offshore and closer to shore some smaller Dorado started making an appearance. Expect numbers to increase into May and June.

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That’s Fishin’ – April 2019

That's fishing headerMan releasing billfishThe bite has been HOT HOT HOT this past couple of months here in Quepos. There has been some truly world-class Sailfish fishing with some very impressive catch numbers posted with lots of boats experiencing double digit Sailfish release days during February and March…and an awful lot more fish some days!

There have been some stunning Blue, Black and Striped Marlin caught making lots of dreams come true. Dominical resident Jerry Wells has landed two stunning Marlin this season during trips aboard GOOD DAY—his latest fish a beautiful 300 pounder!

Man holding a tunaWICKED TUNA!

The Tuna fishing has been on fire also with some fantastic Tuna caught by the Quepos Charter boats recently, with several boats landing Tuna in the 150-200lb range, fish-of-a-lifetime stuff for sure! The big Tuna are typically caught on Bonito or Blue Runner live baits, however, often equally as effective are the Fat Daddy Squids from SQUIDNATION. Trolled slowly but jerked aggressively just 20-40 foot behind your boat, when the Tuna are in the mood for them they promise to give you some of the most visual bites you are likely to encounter in your fishing career! Think 100 lb plus Tuna jumping clean out of the water just 20 feet from your boat with a big fake squid in his mouth! There are also plenty of smaller Tuna in the 20-80lb range that will take live baits or various styles of Jigs, dark coloured Bassworms have been a particular favourite this season. Encountering a group of feeding Tuna off the coast of Costa Rica is a sight in itself as they gather with mega-pods of hundreds of Spinner Dolphins which put on a spectacular show as they work together to herd up the bait fish, all of this going on right here in our backyard!

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