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That’s Fishin’- August

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By Benn Gilmour

A warm welcome to the stunning Pacific Coast of Costa Rica & the August edition of That’s Fishing!

We have plenty going on down here in Quepos & Manuel Antonio, the Offshore fishing has been great in recent weeks, there have been some HUGE Roosterfish & Snook caught inshore and at the time of writing, the Humpback Whales had just arrived in southern Costa Rica which are sure to provide some incredible scenes as they do each year, to those lucky enough to spend some time on the water.

Man with grouperOFFSHORE REPORT

June & July produced some great Offshore fishing and there was some great species variety caught by the Quepos fleet. Blue & Black Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo, Snapper & Grouper made up most of the Offshore catches. There were periods of some great Sailfish action and during one Offshore day trip in June the 31’ GOOD DAY released 13 Sailfish with reports of 20+ Sailfish days by other boats during the month, simply incredible fishing for this time of year! August will continue to hold some good opportunities for Sailfish and Blue Marlin for those Anglers looking to check a Billfish off their bucket list.

There are still plenty of Dorado being caught during Offshore trips which are providing some great action and some nice eating for visiting Anglers. Simply take your catch along to any of the great restaurants in the area and they will be pleased to cook it up for you.

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That’s Fishin’- July 2018

That's Fishin'header
By Benn Gilmour

Yellowtail TunaBRAZILIANS STORM THE OFFSHORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!

The Marina Pez Vela was once again the proud hosts of the Offshore World Championships which took place at the end of April. 51 teams from 30 countries descended on Quepos/Manuel Antonio for the Olympics of Sport Fishing and it was a truly special week here in paradise.

328 Sailfish & 24 Marlin were caught and released during the 4 fishing days as well as 18 Dorado, 3 Wahoo and 3 Tuna making it to the scales. The top 4 teams were all from Brazil with eventual winners, representing Rio de Janeiro. A huge congrats to all entrants but especially the Brazilians, who showed everyone how to fish this year, congrats guys!
The Quepos Billfish Cup team who were representing not just Quepos but the whole of Costa Rica, really did us proud and finished in a very respectful 6th position, well done Sam, Nicky, Justin, Parker & Josh! The top boat of the week was EPIC Captained by Michael Alligood. Huge congrats for a fantastic performance taking top honours for the second time in recent years! All tournament records were broken for the quality of the Dorado weighed with the top six fish all being over 45lbs and the largest Dorado weighing an impressive 62lbs! The scene is set for our 1st ever Dorado Derby coming up this November (details below)!

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That’s Fishin’- May/June 2018

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You are visiting Costa Rica at an excellent time with less people and the start of our afternoon rains to cool the air and give the jungles the water they need to spring back to life after the dry season.

Tuna!With the rains, our Ocean temperatures now begin to cool which makes way for some of the best Tuna fishing of the year. Big Yellow Fin Tuna with a few Big Eye Tuna mixed in can be targeted 20+ miles off the coast during a full day Offshore trip. Smaller fish in the 20-50lb range can be caught using artificial lures such as Bucktail Jigs, Tuna Bullets and even dark coloured Bass worms fished on a Jig head have been working great this season! For the bigger Tuna Livebait is always the first choice and a Live Bonito takes some beating but Blue Runner, Goggle Eyes and Sardines can all work well too. Good livebait and the right Tuna school will put you in with a chance of catching an 80lb plus fish and there are many larger fish out there too with many 100lb plus fish landed this year and even some 200lb plus monsters. Wicked Tuna stuff for sure!

We might not get the Sailfish numbers in May & June that we do December through April, however, we see Sailfish on most Offshore trips, there will be a few Dorado out there and it is an excellent time to fish for Marlin.

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That’s Fishin’- April 2018

That's Fishin' headerWelcome to the April edition of That’s Fishin and a big hello to all our visitors from around the world! Thank you for visiting Costa Rica and we hope that your visit totally exceeds your expectations.

DolphinsIt has been an excellent high season so far with lots of visitors excited to get out on the water and experience our world class fishery for themselves. There has been a high demand for Sport Fishing this year and if you plan to go fishing you should book your boat as early as possible to secure the best boats. The fishing has not disappointed either and the story for me this season has been our excellent species variety. Offshore we have had good numbers of Sailfish with many charter boats releasing 2-5 Sailfish a day and some Anglers have been lucky enough to experience double digit Sailfish release days. There have been Blue, Black & Striped Marlin out there also, the Blues & Stripeys in the deeper water and the Black Marlin over our Offshore reefs. We expect a good Sailfish bite to keep us busy during April and put that with an excellent run of Tuna & Dorado (Mahi-Mahi), which are a welcome addition to any trip this, many boats have returned to the dock having caught Sailfish, Marlin, Tuna, & Dorado in the same day which is an awesome day’s fishing wherever you are in the world! There is the odd surprise species out there too—several nice Wahoo have been reeled in recently during Offshore trips out of the Marina Pez Vela!

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That’s Fishin’- March 2018

TunaWe have had a blistering start to the Sportfishing year here in Quepos with some magical fishing experienced during January & February. At the start of the year, water temperatures remained cool due to the la niña weather cycle which made for some great fishing with fantastic species variety. There have been lots of Blue Marlin this year with boats getting multiple shots on Marlin during Offshore trips on many occasions. The Dorado bite continued with most boats in the fleet have been seeing a few Dorado each trip which makes for a fantastic addition when targeting the main event, Billfish. The Tuna bite has been strong with many 100lb plus Yellow Fin’s landed and a few supersized fish also, the kind of fish you spend your whole life wishing you could hook and once it has been on the line for 30 minutes, you kind of wished you had not hooked…but that’s fishin’ my friends!

In recent weeks water temperatures have risen dramatically and we expect the Dorado and Tuna bite to start to thin and the Sailfish numbers to peak during March. We have experienced some banner Sailfish days with boats raising more than 20 Sailfish but the bite has been a little up and down, great one day and a little slow the next but that keeps us on our toes and always searching for the best action.

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That’s Fishin’- February 2018

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Sailfish By Benn Gilmour

February can only be described as a HOT HOT HOT time for Offshore fishing here in Quepos. It is perhaps the Number 1 month in the calendar for Sailfish and is why thousands of Anglers from around the world descend on Quepos to hook up with one of our great captains and experience our amazing fishery. If you have always dreamt of catching a Billfish then you have come to the right place and you could not have timed it better than coming here in February. Big Pacific Sailfish in the 70-140lb range will be available 20+ miles off our coastline. Blue, Black and Striped Marlin will be in the mix also, as well as Yellow Fin Tuna and Dorado. If you want to target the big Pelagic’s such as Sailfish & Marlin, a full day (8-9 hour) Offshore trip is the best option to give you adequate time on the water and increase your chances of landing a dream catch. Check out some of the photos of our happy Anglers from the past month or so releasing their trophy Marlin & Sailfish catches. They will not be forgetting their experience in a hurry!

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That’s Fishin’ – December 2017

That's Fishin' headerBy Benn Gilmour

Our November Fishing here in Quepos was a blast with lots of big Dorado (Mahi Mahi) keeping Anglers busy during their Offshore trips. The bite has been super close to Quepos with great Dorado fishing only 10 or so miles from the Marina. Dorado will continue to be caught in December, however, boats will be pushing out further and deeper as most visiting Anglers will be here with one thing on their mind, Billfish!

Blue Marlin ready for release

Blue Marlin ready for release

December is one of the top months of the year to catch Marlin and our Sailfish bite will be heating up as the month progresses before it peaks between January & March. With good numbers of Sailfish about and the opportunity of catching Blue, Black & Striped Marlin, December holds great potential for Anglers that would love to try and catch a grand slam of three different Billfish species in a day. No easy feat anywhere in the world, however, Quepos holds that potential.

There will be some great Yellow Fin Tuna fishing Offshore whilst our Inshore fleet will be focusing on Roosterfish, Snook, Snapper, Jacks & Mackerel whilst fishing the rocks, islands and river mouths close to Quepos. With the water temperature warming as we enter the summer, we will see more bait inshore around Quepos than we have for six months bringing the predatory fish hot on their heels.

Check out those dentures!

Check out those dentures!

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That’s Fishin’ – November 2017

That's Fishin' headerBy Benn Gilmour

November is one of the favourite months for fisherman here in Quepos. A month or two in the boat yard getting our boats ready to go again for high season is long enough for any Captain and we cannot wait to go fishing again come November 1st!

The rains disperse as the month progresses to make way for the clear blue skies and flat calm seas that the Central Pacific coast is famous for. November is a transitional month, where water temperatures start to rise, baitfish numbers increase and lots of predatory fish hot on their heels.

CaribSea from Marina Pez Vela

EXCELLENT VARIETY IN NOVEMBER

Yellow fin tuna

Yellow fin tuna

We typically don’t see the crazy Sailfish bite that we do during January-April but there should be good numbers of Sailfish around and couple this with the excellent variety of species we have in November, Anglers should be in for some awesome fishing. Right now is the peak time to catch Blue Marlin on day charters from Quepos and there were some epic Marlin days recorded this time last year. You can expect some big Yellow Fin Tuna schools 30+ miles Offshore as well as pretty much the TOP month of the year for Dorado! We have had some great Dorado fishing during September & October along the current lines off Quepos and this action should peak this month when good sized fish should be here in numbers. Often some of the best Dorado action can be found less than 10 miles from the Marina Pez Vela, an added bonus—less running time & more fishing!

Take your kids fishing!

Take your kids fishing!

Inshore Fishing trips are a great option for families or those worried about spending a full day Offshore. Half day Inshore trips will give you 5 hours on the water, take you along the stunning coastline where you can target Roosterfish, Snook, Snapper, Mackerel, Jacks & more. With the bulk of the rains out of the way, water clarity will improve as the month progresses, large shoals of sardines will gather inshore with the big guys not be far behind!

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That’s Fishin’ – September/October 2017

That's Fishin' headerBy Benn Gilmour
We are now in what are traditionally our wettest months here on the Pacific Coast where heavy rains & flooded rivers cause an abundance of trees, branches and other debris to make their way down the rivers and out into the Ocean creating huge areas of weed & floating debris along our current lines. Any fisherman will tell you that this means only one thing, a super-highway for DORADO!

AWESOME DORADO ACTION OFFSHORE!

Nice Bull Dorado

Nice Bull Dorado

Floating debris creates the perfect Dorado fishing environment and anglers should find some excellent sport during offshore trips. On a day charter during the peak of last year’s rains, we caught 18 Dorado up to 50lbs aboard the GOOD DAY! At one point we hooked 6 good sized Dorado at the same time, carnage is an understatement with rods, lines & jumping fish everywhere but our guests had a blast catching these hard fighting, excellent eating fish!

SUSHI ANYONE!?

Tuna Time

Tuna Time

Our Yellow Fin Tuna fishing has been fantastic this year and should continue over the coming months as water temperatures remain cool. Our Tuna fishing has to be experienced to be believed!
Hundreds of Spinner Dolphins, diving birds and Tuna busting the surface as they hunt down their prey. Picture an airborne Flying Fish with a hungry Tuna in hot pursuit, jumping clean out of the water behind it. Discovery Channel material for sure but a common sight for a Captain in Quepos! We are so lucky to witness the wonders of the ocean play out before our eyes.

We catch many Tuna in the 40-80lb range, plenty over 100lb and there are a few HUGE 200lb-300lb Tuna caught off Quepos every year also.

Aside from the Tuna & Dorado action there will be Blue Marlin and Sailfish offshore as well as some excellent ‘deep drop’ bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper. Inshore boats will be in search of Roosterfish, Snook, Snapper, Mackerel, Jacks & more and a half day inshore trip can be a great option during the rainy season with trips ending at lunchtime.

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That’s Fishin’ – August 2017

That's Fishin' headerBy Benn Gilmour

Welcome to the fishing promised land, a.k.a. Quepos, Costa Rica. If you’re new or just visiting, make sure to go down to Marina Pez Vela and check out all your fishing choices. There’s plenty there. We’ve got a world record bite, world record holding anglers and captains—the only thing missing is you, and unfortunately me. That’s why after 3 years of writing the fishing article for Quepolandia, I am stepping down and handing over my fishing article to Benn Gilmour. It’s one hard thing to do, but I feel happy that my readers will be entertained now by a close friend and very well respected fisherman in our community. I love you all and greatly miss the good friends that I’ve made while living in Quepos. Don’t get too upset though, because Sarah has big plans for the fish and otherwise. You’ll be seeing me sooner than you think! Until then, I leave you in Benn’s most capable hands. Tight lines friends. See you on the water! Sarah Munro

MARLIN, MARLIN, MARLIN!

Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin

If catching a Marlin is on your bucket list…do not stop reading! Some years ago around 100 miles Offshore from Quepos, the BEST BLUE MARLIN FISHING ON THE PLANET was discovered at the area known as the Seamounts/FADs. The area possesses an incredible series of underwater mountains where the Sport Fishing Industry has worked together to deploy FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) on top of these underwater Seamounts creating artificial structure to attract baitfish, which in turn attracts the big predators…namely, Blue Marlin!

I got to experience a FAD trip for myself just a few weeks ago aboard CARIBSEA, a 46’ Guthrie and a real classic Sportfisher based here at the Marina Pez Vela. We did a 2 night trip which included one full day (around 13 hours!) of fishing at the FADs, non-stop from the moment it was light, until the sun dipped over the horizon. And wow, those sunsets when you are bobbing around 100 miles off the coast, simply breath-taking!

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