A Fishing Adventure in Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Images from a U.K. fishing photojournalist capture the action and flavor of a bi-coastal visit to Central America.

01 dsc_0383.jpg
A Tale of Two Coasts
Joined by my son, Luke, I recently visited Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast for a few days of outstanding tarpon action out of Rio Indio Lodge. (The photo at left is an estimated 140-pounder we released; fish closer to twice that size have been released here in the past year.) For the other half of our Central America adventure, we fished Costa Rica's Pacific coast out of famed Crocodile Bay Resort. _(All photo in this gallery by Dave Lewis.)
02  dscn2616.jpg
Costa Rica sailfish release
Luke gets a quick lesson on how to release his first Pacific sailfish on a Crocodile Bay boat off southern Costa Rica's pristine Osa Peninsula.
03 dsc_0310.jpg
Jungle Lagoons
We fished many amazing lagoons hidden in the coastal mangrove jungles of Nicaragua.In three trips to Rio Indio, I have yet to see anyone sport fishing other than via the few boats from the lodge.
04 dsc_0303.jpg
Transition Time
We make the short hop from San Jose to San Juan Del Norte (a.k.a. Greytown), Nicaragua, as Luke does a brief stint as pilot in our little six-seater.
05 dsc_0324.jpg
Run Through the Jungle
Much like Creedence Clearwater Revival, we did indeed run through the jungle in shallow-draft skiffs. These boat rides are a great part of the daily adventure at Rio Indio Lodge.
06 dsc_0425.jpg
Tarpon Release
Rio Indio guide Rito holds up a bright "fun-size" tarpon for a quick shot and release.
07 dsc_0040.jpg
Rounding the Tip
Just ahead of us, another of Crocodile Bay's fast, roomy 33 Strike express boats heads out past the southern tip of the Osa Peninsula to look for billfish in blue water.
08 dsc_0055.jpg
A Brace of Ballyhoo
Chin-weighted ballyhoo ready to troll for Costa Rica sails.
09 dsc_0121.jpg
An Old-Fashioned Revival
Crocodile Bay crew are very conservation oriented and make it a point to spend the time necessary to resuscitate sailfish before their release.
10 dsc_0335.jpg
Bait Shop
A Nicaraguan cast netter makes a throw for live bait. Anglers can catch their own with sabiki rigs but this is quicker.
11 dsc_0474.jpg
Hooked Up — Again
Luke tries to put the brakes on a big tarpon, one of six afternoon hookups we enjoyed just 10 minutes from the lodge.
12 dscn2728.jpg
Dangerous Beauty
Tiny poison dart frogs in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica come in many colors. All of them are toxic though if you have no open cuts (access to your bloodstream), their slime shouldn't harm you. (Still, I can say that's not me holding this little guy!)
13 dscn2689.jpg
Clean-Water Dispenser
Rio Indio fishing guide Rito also acts as a jungle-walk guide; here, he demonstrates how to get drinking water from a vine.
14 dsc_0091.jpg
Long Walk off a Long Pier
Not so much a stairway to heaven as a pathway to paradise, the long walk down Crocodile Bay's distinctive pier leads to its fleet of express and center console boats.
15 dsc_0215.jpg
Where Roosters Prowl
Where the Pacific hits the Osa Peninsula is some of Central America's best-known roosterfishing. A variety of other light-tackle targets lurk just outside the surf line as well.
16 dsc_0250.jpg
Sardine for a Silver King
Expertly rigged sardine with backbone removed, on a circle hook, works for just about everything.
17 dsc_0086.jpg
A Tale of Two Pools — Crocodile Bay
Nothing beats relaxing in a cool, freshwater pool at the end of hot day of fishing, and Croc Bay's pool is certainly inviting.
18 dscn2743.jpg
A Tale of Two Pools — Rio Indio Lodge
Time for a rum 'n Coke and a float in the beckoning pool at Rio Indio.