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Costa Rica Billfish Crazy

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

February 24, 2015
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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

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SAILS APLENTY IN CALM WATERS

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

A bull dorado gets in on the action. Will Drost
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BONITO RIGGED AND READY

Pacific bonito make a great marlin bait once carefully bridled. Will Drost
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MARLIN WITH A MOUTHFUL

Here’s proof that the bridled bonito in the previous photo did the trick! Will Drost
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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
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RIGGED & READY

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

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

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

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

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

It’s not unusual for billfish to charge the boat. Will Drost
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MAHI MOMENT

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