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May 09, 2011

Jason Cannon

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DOA's soft plastic lures make great plugs for tarpon.
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Jason Cannon and his wife, Lori, are traveling to Costa Rica to check out a new fishing resort. The Crocodile Lodge's location at the tip of the Oso peninsula makes for easy access to bay, nearshore and offshore fishing. They are fishing inshore for roosterfish, snook and cubera snapper. Offshore, they are targeting dorado, marlin (black, blue, stripes), sailfish, tuna and wahoo. Keep checking in as Jason explores every facet of of this rich marine habitat, and look for his full story to appear in Sport Fishing magazine early next year.
Anglers who appreciate the beauty of the outdoors will experience a thrill when they steep themselves in the ecological diversity of the Osa Peninsula. More than 400 species of birds including toucans, hawks, eagles, falcons, tanagers and the world's largest population of scarlet macaws inhabit this lush rain forest. Nearly 140 species of mammals including monkeys and sloths reside here among the 500 species of trees. Crocodiles, whales and dolphins can be found in the surrounding waters.
The past two days weren't as exciting as the first day, but we had a great time on the water -- and on land -- courtesy of our hosts. The lodge blends first-rate fishing boats and experienced captains, with comforts of a luxury resort (pool/Jacuzzi with waterfall, nice rooms with A/C, hearty homemade meals at the restaurant). Several anglers brought their wives and kids without hesitation.
Although permit (Trachinotus falcatus) can reach 50 pounds, small fish can be easily mistaken for their close cousins, the Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus). Both have short, wide bodies with silvery sides and gray backs and occasionally swim together, feeding on crustaceans in the same areas. Since Tampa Bay's shallow-water permit generally run from 3 to 15 pounds and frequent the same areas as pompano, it's helpful to know how to differentiate between the two. Permit set themselves apart at the dorsal fin.
Avid permit anglers leave the docks prepared to fish a few different areas and try various methods in order to locate the bite. Areas these fish frequent can vary with the wind, tides, weather and season. Captains Eric Shapiro and Mark Bennett provide a few other options for die-hards when fish don't cooperate along the beaches. Wrecks: Wrecks that hold permit are within seven miles of shore, with the vast majority being near shore (within two to three miles). Tackle can range from 12-pound mono to 130-pound superbraid, depending on the size of the fish and profile of the structure.
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Try the remote Chandeleur Island chain off Mississippi and Louisiana for great inshore and offshore action.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGENumerous outfitters operate out of Biloxi, and two of these bring along an offshore fishing boat for those who want to fish the area's various oil and gas rigs.
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Lookout, Bassmasters! The pro redfish circuit is forging path to big-time success.
Anyone can fish the Redfish Tour, as long as you pay the entry fees, supply your own boat and tackle, and join the Inshore Fishing Association (IFA). Organizers try to accommodate 75 to 100 boats in each event. Anglers can keep two redfish in the legal 18- to 27-inch slot per boat. All reds must be brought alive to weigh-in; teams face penalties for each dead fish. That's the biggest difference between this circuit and pelagic offshore events, where it's impractical to keep fish alive.