Costa Rica Billfish Crazy

When marauding sailfish and marlin take to the air off Costa Rica, photographer Will Drost captures the breathtaking action.

There are some mighty big beasts of blue marlin swimming off the coast of Costa Rica.Will Drost

THE BEAST AWAKENS

Editor’s Note: Will Drost, a favorite Cajun photographer of ours, has been contributing great images of fishing his native Louisiana to Sport Fishing for years. Recently, he’s begun a charter operation on the north-central coast of Costa Rica, at Los Sueños. That’s provided him with great opportunities to photograph leaping game fish, and in this SF-exclusive gallery, Drost shares some of his favorites. You can find more information on the photographer and his new Costa Rica operation at the end of the gallery. — Doug Olander

SAILS APLENTY IN CALM WATERS

Pretty hard to beat that — a flat Pacific teeming with sailfish.Will Drost

ATTACK MODE

"Izquierda larga! Izquierda larga!" (Left long, left long!) I love hearing those words shouted over the Sea Fly's Caterpillar engines — just in time to drop back a ballyhoo.Will Drost

BREAKING BULL

A bull dorado gets in on the action.Will Drost

BONITO RIGGED AND READY

Pacific bonito make a great marlin bait once carefully bridled.Will Drost

MARLIN WITH A MOUTHFUL

Here's proof that the bridled bonito in the previous photo did the trick!Will Drost

A SWING AND A MISS

Tuna abound off Costa Rica during much of the year. This yellowfin tuna knocked high into the air the baitfish it was trying to nail.Will Drost

RIGGED & READY

Pre-rigged, chin-weighted ballyhoo are a great trolled bait for just about any pelagic game fish.Will Drost

BALLYHOO SNACK

Fortunately, Pacific sails have a hard time saying no to trolled ballyhoo, as this fish shows.Will Drost

MAGICAL MARINA

Beautiful Los Sueños Marina — nothing quite compares to it. I took this shot on a beautiful full-moon night after a calm day at sea.Will Drost

THE HORIZONTAL BOP

This feisty blue marlin made like a horizontal high jumper as it sped away from the boat. Blues are here year around.Will Drost

SAIL TAILING ON A FLAT?

With the ocean so impossibly calm, this cruising sailfish resembles a redfish or permit gliding over a shallow-water flat in search of food.Will Drost

BRUTE STRENGTH

Another big blue show its unhappiness at being hooked. Like all billfish we bring to the boat, this fish was released shortly after this photo.Will Drost

UP, UP AND AWAY

Flyingfish can be ubiquitous and are particularly easy to spot when they burst from the surface in very calm/glassy conditions.Will Drost

TAILWALKER

There are few things more exhilarating than watching a Pacific sailfish tailwalk across the water.Will Drost

CATCH OF A YOUNG LIFETIME

The calm waters and superb fishing off Los Sueños make for a perfect place to introduce young people to the excitement of fishing for pelagic game fish — and the importance of careful catch-and-release.Will Drost

BLAST OFF

Small yellowfin are voracious eaters. A bait ball formed under the boat while we fought a blue, and yellowfin this size made quick work of them.Will Drost

LIGHT-TACKLE DISPLAY

Light tackle allows Pacific sails to show off their acrobatic inclinations.Will Drost

RIP-OFF

When I snapped this photo, I could hear the monofilament ripping across the top of the water.Will Drost

COMIN' AT YA

It's not unusual for billfish to charge the boat.Will Drost

MAHI MOMENT

Anglers off north-central Costa Rica in early 2015 enjoyed some spectacular runs of dorado.Will Drost

A MIGHTY BIG MARLIN

After missing a couple of blues in a tournament and feeling down, I looked up and saw this cloud. The Big Boss was sending me a message.Will Drost

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Photographer extraordinaire Will Drost (pictured, pursuing a favorite pasttime in his home waters of Louisiana) is owner/operator/manager of Sea Fly Sportfishing. Located in the Los Sueños Marina, Sea Fly is 43-foot Maverick sport fisher that underwent a complete refit in 2014. In addition, a brand-new 2015 43 Maverick sister ship will join the Sea Fly in 2015. Both boats will be run by the best crews with brand-new equipment and offer extended range to explore the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean. For information, visit Sea Fly Sportfishing's Facebook page.Will Drost