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That’s Fishin’ – December 2013

Jim's Tuna

Jim’s Tuna

By Sarah Munro

One word. ANGST. That’s right, that’s what happens when a sea-loving maven doesn’t get to stretch her legs on the water often enough. Especially when the fish are running. I managed one offshore trip this month, had to cancel three others. Funny how I work to fish but sometimes the work takes over and the fishing doesn’t happen. So, I have to be satisfied with only 11 Wahoo. 

You must be thinking, this girl is out of her mind, and yes, you are right. For those of you who have fishing in your blood, it’s easy to understand. For those of you who don’t – sorry – but whatever. 

Captain Tan

Captain Tan

My trip for Wahoo was actually quite awesome. I went out with one of my favorite Captains, Tan, and we fished with visiting family and friends. There’s nothing like a little friendly fishing competition to make for a most excellent day on the water. The ladies were up first, and went 3 for 3 on bringing in our first Wahoo of the day. The boys, not so lucky, but earned their stripes nonetheless. What we all learned that day; is that Wahoo are brutal fighters, and not just in the water. When you get them in the boat they thrash and flop, and believe me, you get out of the way of sharp fins. The crew was amazing, taking care of all the hard work, while we enjoyed our awesome family day on the water. We shot some great video, photos, and brought in some awesome fish. 

Obviously manners dictated that I fish last, as we had some rookies on board, and it was totally cool watching, taking photos until my turn came up. My rod went off, and I was up. Finally, it seemed. Into my hands it went and WOW, it felt and looked by the fight it was way bigger than anyone else’s. He ran and ran and ran with line, at least 500 feet of it, before I got it under control. Then, the line just went slack. I assumed that I lost him, and kept reeling, reeling, and reeling. Jeez, the work it takes to bring in 500 feet of line, with or without a fish. Then, the mates start laughing at me. Unbeknownst to me, the Wahoo on my line was tail-hooked and this was the reason it was so easy for him to run with all of that line, and when it felt like I lost him, it was actually because I drowned him, dragging him backwards in the water. 

The mates continued laughing, and soon, Tan, our Captain, was laughing as well, and telling everyone how I made it an easy job for the mates, this time there was no dangerous thrashing in the boat – just laughter, and a drowned fish. 

Wahoo Hat-trick

Wahoo Hat-trick

My luck should be better next time, I’m stoked to find time to go out for some mahi-mahi, and cranky that my friends have had time to go out for some epic times on the water without me. I suppose I should be saying “My name is Sarah, and I am addicted to fishing.” No problem, I admit that, but there will NOT be any kind of 12 step program. 

When I look out on the water, I feel the waves under my legs, the rod in my hand, and wonder which fish is mine next. Today I look, and know that the mahi-mahi are here, as a matter of fact the conditions have changed exponentially in the past week. Captains were fishing 40 miles out to get them last week, and today, they’re in at 15-20 miles, and running hard. Oooooh, I hope I get to fill my freezer. That, and release some pent-up physical energy to improve my psychological outlook. 

 That outlook is fantastic, because the fishing season is just starting. Mahi-mahi, marlin, and sailfish are all fishing excellent right now, and Snook and Tuna are right around the corner. We had the best year in 10 years last year for Snook so I’m stoked to get out in a Panga in the whipping waves come January. 

Reel Hard

Reel Hard

As for yourself, don’t miss out on fishing the waters here in Quepos. There’s a reason the World Championships are held here. As a matter of fact, Marina Pez Vela hosted the contest last year for the first time, and the results speak for themselves – a new record for the amount of fish caught – and released. We take pride in our fishing community and the sustainability of it. Welcome, and enjoy. 

Marina Pez Vela is hosting the 3rd annual Quepos Billfish Cup February 19th–22nd, 2014 and is accepting entries. Make sure you spread the word; I’m looking for some competition. And by the way, last year a woman took Top Angler. Check out how it went down with my audio updates on www.queoposbillfishcup.com. 

I’m also headed out with some rookies the next couple of weeks; the best option for skipping sea sickness is mangrove fishing. You sit on the flats, hand-lining and working the tide, no roll, and a nice wide boat, so everyone can toss out a line. Our mangroves hold some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet (20% of the planet’s biodiversity can be found in Costa Rica), and this is a great time of year to head out. Rainy season is just ending and everything is lush and alive. Babies and juvenile animals can be found everywhere. 

As for me, I’m going to stalk some mahi-mahi and marlin this month – got my tackle and fishing partners planned. Keep your fingers crossed folks and ask the Fish Gods “Please” for me when you gaze at the sea, or stretch out your own sea legs. I’m angling for a step up from the status that I am – that means a record. World Record – because those are the kind of fish that swim here.

So, there you have it, you know what the fishing is like, all that’s left to do is book your boat and get your sea legs working. It’s kind of prolific awesome, so make sure you take your camera and a Pura Vida kind of attitude – the Fish Gods are watching, and waiting….. 

Want a referral to one of Sarah’s preferred Captains? Call 8708-6152 or email sarahjmunro@gmail.com. OR… come on down to THE HAWG ‘N’ BILL – the new bar/restaurant on the beach (Playa Espadilla). Sarah’s got the fresh catch and a fresh attitude. 

Sarah Munro is an ex-pat Canadian living in the Manuel Antonio area; who has been fishing since infancy. Rumor has it, Sarah gutted her first fish before she could ride a bike. It’s quite likely, that yes, one day the fish will come for her. 

Looking for more of That’s Fishin’? Check out all of my articles here. Until then peeps, keep your sea legs swayin’ and your rod hand ready!


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