Tight Lines in Costa Rica!

Pictures from a recent trip to Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica.

Landing A Tuna

Landing A Tuna

There's always something going on for anglers out of Crocodile Bay Resort on the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. While that something is most often sailfish, starting about mid-autumn, during a recent Sport Fishing _trip, yellowfin tuna and roosterfish proved to be the main draws for action. Here, Penn's Hunter Cole (left) exults in his first tuna of the trip and in the flawless performance of the new Penn Spinfisher V series, about which the manufacturer had brought along to put in the hands of the sport-fishing media to try... Stay tuned for a full feature in _SF on the June run 'n gun action off the Osa Peninsula.
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Flying in on a cloudless day reveals Crocodile Bay Resort at the edge of the Costa Rican jungle on the Golfo Dulce. Photo courtesy of Crocodile Bay Resort
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SF's intrepid editor, Chris Woodward, documents the offloading of passengers bound for the resort at the little Puerto Jimenez airstrip to which Nature Air flies from San Jose.
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Once at the resort, in our case about 7 a.m., most anglers dropped off gear in the spacious rooms and headed for the docks. Photo courtesy of Crocodile Bay ResortIAN DAVIS
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Crocodile Bay boats were ready to head out.
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Some boats focused on roosterfish, which are usually reluctant to pass up a small live blue runner.
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Charlie McCullough of the Coastal Angler exults in a good rooster.
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Ten- to 15-pounders seemed particularly abundant during this trip. Here, Brandon Hayward, writer extraordinaire with Western Outdoor News, pauses before releasing one.
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Hunter Cole freelines a runner after a pickup near Roca Matapolo, near the mouth of the Golfo Dulce.
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This prominent rock is a popular mainstay among Crocodile Bay boats when roosters are the target.
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The Osa Peninsula, at left, sits just above Costa Rica’s southern border with Panama. The upper red circle shows the location of the resort; the lower circle is Matapolo Rock. Map courtesy of NavionicsDoug Olander
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Penn's John Bartow keeps a tight line on a head-shaking rooster as Fred Golofaro with The Fisherman looks on.
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A hooked roosterfish charges along the surface.
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Bartow’s first roosterfish is worth a smile, just before mate Manfred Serracin releases it.
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The first of a venerable series, we had a chance to try Penn’s Spinfisher V reels before they were available to consumers. For a modestly priced reel, these proved solid and reliable. My prediction: Bound to be popular once these hit the market.
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Find the dolphin, with scores leaping and spinning, and you’ll find tuna. That seemed to be the rule of thumb where scenes like this waited, starting a few miles offshore.
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Of course the dolphin, the bait and the yellowfin moved continually and often quickly, so it was run and gun for some quick shots then off again. Here, Chris Woodward waits with spinning gear in hand to toss a popper into a feeding frenzy.
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Alternative to throwing lures: live bait. For the rapacious yellowfin, just about any kind would do, including small moonfish.
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Cole clamps down on a Spinfisher to try to rein in a determined tuna nearing the boat as Sport Fishing's Scott Salyers stands by.
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School-size yellowfin savagely nailed Sebile Splashers.
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Speaking of Sebile, Monsieur Patrick Sebile himself made an appearance one afternoon and evening. He brought with him a selection of his metal jigs. For heavy-duty use (which would include yellowfin), Sebile generally removes trebles and uses one or two straight single or assist hooks.
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Sebile proved the effectiveness of his new Fast Cast jigs. Throwing them far out and skipping them across the surface, he caught two yellowfin in short order and missed other strikes.unknown
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The larger of Sebile’s tuna is shown here; it gave him a chance to test both his new jig and new Penn reel. With Sebile taking the fight aggressively to the fish, the tuna was at the boat in a remarkably short time.unknown
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Of course other species of fish were caught during those few days, but not many. A couple of the sleek, fast-moving sierra mackerel showed themselves.
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A Vibrato jig fooled Golofaro’s first Pacific red snapper.
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The Costa Rican jungle covering the Osa Peninsula is home to a vast variety of creatures, including colorful poison-arrow frogs. Photo courtesy of Crocodile Bay Resortunknown
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And then there are somewhat larger animals — including these fellows, as you might expect in a place called Crocodile Bay. Photo courtesy of Crocodile Bay Resort