Costa Rica Charter trip

Discussion in 'Fishing the Midwest' started by JNRBRONC, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Active Member

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    Well, as a kid raised in Iowa, reading Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and other similar magazines had me dreaming of someday going deep sea fishing for Marlin. Figured better give it a try while I can.

    The boys and I went down in March 2015 when they were on spring break. I knew it wasn't prime fishing season then, but they were out of school and I figured if I started making plans for Costa Rica in August/September, I'd draw an archery elk tag in New Mexico and there would be no way to miss that much work. I did draw the NM tag, so it worked out better to go to Costa Rica in March, but the fishing wasn't good. I vowed I'd go back for a charter in Aug/Sept during peak fishing season. Well, this was the year. :D I'd recommend going sometime in the last two weeks of August and/or the first week of September. The rainy season is starting at this time, peak tourism is winding down.

    For both trips, we worked with Steve and Liisa Quinn of Go Fish Costa Rica. They can help with all aspects of the trip: charter boat, hotel reservations, transportation, and a myriad of other local activities. For this trip, we opted for the 32' Blackfin boat, their highest recommendation for a crew.

    We flew into Liberia, Costa Rica on August 30th, the boat was chartered for September 1. A short walk down the beach from our hotel had us getting into a smaller boat to take us out to Blackfin anchored off shore. The view of the boats moored off shore, taken from the beach outside our hotel.
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    After boarding, they asked what I wanted to catch, which my reply was Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi (Dorado) and Tuna. Before we got too far off shore, the crew decided to troll some smaller spoons in an attempt to catch skipjack to be used for live bait on tuna later. After catching 3 keeper sized mackerel, they decided to move on and set up for trolling for sportfish.

    They put out a "teaser" on each side of the boat. The teaser makes a fair amount of noise and commotion on the surface of the water to draw the fish to the surface, where they hopefully hit on the other baited lines being trolled near the teaser. We had a Marlin smash a teaser, which there isn't a hook, so obviously didn't catch that one when it refused to hit the other lines. Another Marlin tossed a bait, without getting hooked, then a sailfish did the same thing. Around 11:30 am, while down in the cabin of the boat making a sandwich, I hear excited voices up on deck with Julie yelling "get up here!". Sailfish on!

    Coming up on deck, I see the fish jumping. Carlos, the first mate, hands me the pole and the fight is on. As I'm fighting this fish, I'm thinking that my left arm is going to fall off. Thoughts move to whether I could successfully land a Marlin that could be 3 or 4 times bigger, but I need to land this fish first before I worry about that. A quick picture before the fish is released.
    [​IMG]

    We go back to trolling, with the next fish hooked being a Mahi Mahi. A shorter fight and it is in the boat.
    [​IMG]

    Then we got into sharks, with me catching two rather quickly. The first one.
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    The second one.
    [​IMG]

    I'm getting tired, yet Carlos keeps handing the pole to me each time. I guess he's hoping its a Marlin to make me happy. Trolling along, I see a Mahi leap behind the boat, fish on! I tell Julie to grab the pole this time. She fought it to the side of the boat for Carlos to gaff it. Carlos commented that it was the biggest Mahi (Dorado) he had heard of being boated this year by ten pounds. It bottomed out their hand scale that maxed at 55 lbs, measured 67" long.
    [​IMG]

    We start trolling back to shore when another Mahi leaps behind the boat, looks to be a twin to the one Julie caught. I grabbed the pole and get it close to the boat. I handed the pole off to Julie to finish the job, but the hook pulled out of its mouth before Carlos could gaff it. Oh well, we got to fight the fish which was the main point. We had more than enough Mahi steaks, 2 one gallon ziploc bags full (our share, left the rest for the boat crew). We kept them in the refrigerator in our hotel room, taking a couple of pounds each night to local restaurants where they would prepare it for us.

    We had a great time and hated to leave. The only upside is we can now start planning the next trip and see where we wind up.
     
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  3. mplane72

    mplane72 Member

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    Glad I could see the pics on this one! Looks like a lot of fun and a similar trip is on my list. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. Meat Hunter

    Meat Hunter Life Member

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    Wow that looks like a great time.
     
  5. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Where's the jealous icon? :) Looks like a super trip, glad you had a great time!
     
  6. goatman

    goatman I hunt days ending in Y

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    Great trip. Awesome fish and congrats to you and your wife. I bet getting them cooked in town was great also.
     
  7. jkratz5

    jkratz5 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome story Randy and some great fish. Some of the best fishing in the world down there. Looks like you guys were in the Playa Flamingo area, at least from the boats anchored out offshore, no marina I assume. We fished out of there 3 years back and had the trip of a lifetime with the sails and Mahi!!! Thanks for sharing and way to get the wife out there booking into some great fish too!!
     
  8. HorseDoctor

    HorseDoctor PMA Member

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    Looks like a blast! Congrats on a great trip!
     
  9. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Active Member

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    Playa Tamarindo, not sure how far from Playa Flamingo.

    When Julie grabbed the pole, Carlos the first mate on the boat said, "She's fished before!". :D
     
  10. jkratz5

    jkratz5 Well-Known Member

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    About 15 miles away from each other. Awesome country for sure and even better oceans. Next time we go we are going to kayak fish for a day too, looked awesome

    Congrats again on the fish and successful trip!
     
  11. Central Iowa

    Central Iowa Administrator

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    Very cool, congrats!
     
  12. Deer&Ducks

    Deer&Ducks PMA Member

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    Awesome trip! Are marlin & sailfish catch & release only?
     
  13. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Active Member

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    Yes for Costa Rica, and I'm fine with that. If I was to have one "mounted", it would be a replica.
     
  14. turtlshell

    turtlshell PMA Member

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    Nice fish, especially that monster Mahi Mahi
     

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