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Quepos Flyfishing

By Ollie Bass

RobaloI have written previously about the fantastic sportsfishing available in the waters around Quepos and Manuel Antonio.  International  Game Fish Association world records have been held over the years in both flyfishing and “conventional” fishing by Puerto Quepos  fishermen.   The abundance of billfish in the area makes Quepos one of the premier spots in the world for flyfishing  with anglers successfully catching (and releasing) sailfish and marlin caught on the fly.   Quepos  annually hosts the Gray International Flyfishing Tournament  that was started as a memorial tournament to recognize Jim Gray a local flyfisherman and IFGA recordholder and a pioneer in saltwater flyfishing.   Next month Quepos  will host the Costa Rica Classic  International  Billfish Tournament (www.costaricaclassic.com) benefiting the Boomer Esiason Foundation. All the money raised in this tournament stays in Costa Rica to help those suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Seasonal  migrations  bring a wide variety of  fish to our waters.  Marlin (blue, striped, and black), Sailfish,  Dorado,  Wahoo and  more are available offshore.  The necessary “critical mass” of local expertise  is in place with our sportsfishing tour companies, captains, mates  and the support infrastructure  to effectively  catch fish.  Right now,  February,  there  is one of the best  Robalo  (Snook)  bites happening in the inshore waters around Quepos and it continues into March.  I can attest to this because I was introduced to Snook fishing  in mid January , the early end of the run , by my friend Skip Blackman with Capt. Roy Zapata and brother Capt. Rudy providing the expertise at the mouth of the Rio Savegre.  The  actual mechanics of Snook fishing  in the surf at the mouth of a river requires experience. Timing the set of waves and riding in on the backside of a cresting roller  before casting live bait into the soup  then,  doing a quick 180  back to the safe zone demands expertise.  The result  was satisfying and you can ask Skip for the exact details but I bet we brought in 150lbs of meat.

RobaloRobalo inhabit shallow coastal waters, estuaries and brackish  lagoons often going far inland in freshwater .   The movement between fresh and salt water is seasonal  (now)  but  they remain close to the shore never far from the estuaries.  There are 6 species of Snook in Pacific Ocean waters.  The IGFA all tackle world record  for 2 of these species were caught in the immediate Quepos area,  the   Rio Naranjo,  and Rio Parrita.  The Savegre should be on that list also.   Did I mention they are quite delicious?  Even if you don’t choose to try and catch Robalo,  please order  this exquisite fish at a local restaurant  during your visit.

IFGA world records in  Pacific  waters for Snook on the fly are scarce and didn’t exist at all in the 2002 World Record Game Book the only reference I have available.   All tackle records yes, right here.  Does that sound like an interesting challenge to anyone?   I’m thinking 10-11 wt. sinking tip wet fishing and I’m tying.

For a great day of Snook fishing call: Zapata Fishing: 2779-1465  or  8374-9429   rzapata76@hotmail.com


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