Guest Writer

Angler Jargon

By Leanne Batten 

Want to impress your family and friends with your next Quepos fishing trip? Throw these terms around when you get back home describing your adventure, and you will have everybody around you green with envy! Meet us here in Quepos for some Costa Rica fishing this high season! 

Action: Self Explanatory– “Lots of action today! Released four Sailfish and got a nice Dorado on board for dinner!” 

Bluewater: The clear cobalt water that billfish and other predatory fish prefer to hang out in offshore, the magical place where memories are made! 

Bring to color: Bringing a fish to visibility in the water during a fight, hence “I see color!”. 

Boiling the surface: Usually applies to Tuna in a feeding frenzy at the surface, their actions of chasing the baitfish make the water’s surface look like a pot of boiling water. Throw a baited line out into the boil and hang on! 

CPR: Catch, Photograph, Release. Learn it and live it for all billfish and Roosterfish! 

Crashing the spread: When a predator (or predators) arrives to check out the goods offered on all the lines out, often with a nice strike…the best is when a Sailfish or Marlin attacks a bait and a spray of water erupts from the strike! 

Drop back: Fishing method used for billfish to allow line to spool out after bait is taken so fish can swallow bait, gradually increasing reel drag to allow hookset of circle hook at corner of mouth. Widely practiced here in Quepos amongst mates and captains. 

Greyhounding: One of the most exciting aerial moves of a Marlin during a hookup fight…a succesion of horizontal jumps out of the water…it looks like a greyhound in a dog race as all four feet leave the ground! Note: Marlin can jump up to 30 yards in a single greyhound leap! 

Lit up: The iridescent colors of a billfish during fight. Billfish change coloration when excited, appearing electrically charged, especially during a hookup! 

Marlin, Marlin, Marlin!: Magic to any offshore anglers ears! Usually called out by the captain watching the spread, and the mates spring to action! 

Raise: Enticing a billfish to the surface to check out the bait in the spread. Frequently called out by captain. 

Release: Letting billfish go back to water to fight another day! 

Revive: Process of forcing water into billfishes gills to “revive” them from fight to let them swim away safely. Done by mates and experienced anglers over the gunwale of the boat while boat is trolling very slowly. 

Tailwalking: Common amongst Sailfish and Dorado, a vertical acrobatic leap out of the water during the fight…it appears as if they are walking the surface of the water with their tails…very exciting to see! 

Vela, Vela!: Vela is Spanish for “Sail”, sounds like “Bella, Bella!”, usually called out by captain, a Sailfish has “crashed the spread” and mates go looking for a hookup and some excitement! 

Wire/Wrap: Wiring or wrapping is done by mate on the leader line to bring fish boatside at end of fight to remove hook. Frequently the mate wraps the line in controlled manner around palm of hand to allow for quick release in case the fish decides it is not done fighting and takes off!

Quepos Sailfishing Charters