Benn GilmourThat's Fishin'

That’s Fishin’- February 2019

That's Fishin' headerWelcome to the February installment of That’s Fishin’ and what incredible fishing we have experienced here in Quepos the past few months folks! With blue skies, hardly any rain for the past two months, calm seas and a great bite, what is not to love! The fishing both Offshore and Inshore has been fantastic during much of November, December and January with visitors travelling from literally all over the world to see what all the fuss is about!

Close up of fish headOFFSHORE FISHING

The Offshore fishing headlines during January are all about the Sailfish and some consistent bites have developed 20-35 miles Offshore in areas such as Furuno, The Pocket, & The Corner in recent weeks producing good numbers of Sailfish. Many boats in the Quepos fleet got into the double-digit Sailfish release days in January that Costa Rica has become famous for and these opportunities should continue through February. After an insane Blue Marlin bite in November and December, good numbers of Blues continued to be caught in January with a few Striped Marlin & Black Marlin mixed in also. A big shout out to the guys on Double Nickle who kicked off 2019 in style with a Grand Slam on January 4th! They had one of the best fishing days of their lives catching several Sailfish, a 350lb Black Marlin, a 500lb Blue Marlin plus a few Dorado for good measure! That is one incredible day of fishing wherever you are in the world!

There were some HUGE Tuna caught during December and January also. One lucky Angler aboard GOOD DAY had the fight of his life when he battled a Tuna estimated between 160-200lb for 4 HOURS single handed! That is one determined young man and a very big fish to catch on 30lb class tackle, congrats! January continued to produce plenty of Dorado Offshore and it was great to see plenty of Big 30lb plus Bull Dorados keeping Anglers busy. February should produce more of the same, a solid Sailfish bite, Blue and Striped Marlin out deep and a chance at Black Marlin over the Offshore Reefs. Water temps will be hot which may thin Dorado numbers out a little but there should still be a few Dorado around plus Yellow fin Tuna together with the Spinner Dolphin mega pods.

Man with big tunaINSHORE FISHING

January produced some excellent Inshore fishing at the rocks, islands and river mouths close to Quepos and some really quality fish were caught. The Roosterfish bite has been great with plenty of small to mid-sized Roosterfish showing up along the beaches and river mouths with a few larger sized Roosters also. The guys aboard IDRA 2 tagged & released a real trophy Roosterfish on January 9th and have been catching some great Roosterfish, Snook & Snapper so far this season. This is a great boat for a half day Inshore trip. Another great boat for Inshore fishing is Chloe Frijole, a stunning 33 foot Superpanga and a great choice if you would like to target Roosterfish, Snook, Snapper, Jacks, Mackerel and more. The Snook fishing this season has started off well with the Parrita, Naranjo, Savegre and Barú river mouths all producing good sized Snook during the past month, mainly in the 8-20 lb range with a few bigger fish. There have also been some nice Corvina landed around 15-20 lb at the river mouths. Moving out to the deeper water at the rocks and islands there have been some larger Roosterfish caught up to 50-60 lbs, however, I would expect some much bigger fish to be caught in February and March with 70-80 pounders caught every season and a few larger fish too. We have caught some stunning Cubera Snappers during the past month on both Livebait and Topwater Lures providing some excellent action for our Anglers and a shout out to the guys aboard Happy Ending who caught a HUGE Broomtail Grouper recently on an Inshore trip, the largest caught out of Quepos for some time, congrats guys.

Man holding Cubera snapperCUBERA SNAPPERS – CATCH & RELEASE?

Cubera Snappers are one of the most prized, hard fighting and beautiful fish that we catch here in Costa Rica. It is no wonder Anglers are willing to travel half way around the world to be in with a mere chance of catching one! It is possible that a Cubera Snapper may spend much of its life on the very same reef system and it is well known that these fish can live for a very long time, often producing more eggs the larger they get. Whilst Marlin, Sailfish & Roosterfish are mandatory Catch & Release by Sport fisherman in Costa Rica, it is not yet mandatory to release fish such as Cubera Snappers. I would personally love to see Cubera Snappers receive proper protection in the future, to help conserve this species and ultimately for their numbers to increase. However, until such time, there is more that every Angler can do to help protect them. I would challenge any of you lucky enough to catch a Cubera Snapper, to consider releasing it. Imagine the satisfaction of watching a potentially 20-30 year old fish swim away and knowing that you played your part in the conversation effort to protect our local reef systems. I have tested this on my own boat and over the past two years have asked our guests to support us in releasing all Cubera Snappers that they might catch. Sure, they would love a Snapper dinner that evening if they did catch one, however, I explain the importance of the Species, that their numbers are not what they once were and that there are much more plentiful and faster growing species that are abundant that they can gladly take for dinner such as Dorado or Tuna. I have found that almost all people are more than pleased to support us with this. Other less common/exotic species such as Goliath Grouper, Broomtail Grouper, Bluefin Trevally, Golden Trevally & African Pompano, could all benefit from a similar level of protection and a catch & release approach. Please help to do your part guys.

Two men holding large roosterfishTOURNAMENT DATES

February 22-23 – The Pescadora Billfish Championship (Ladies only!)
March 15-16 – Quepos Billfish Cup
April 26-27 – Marina Pez Vela Open
April 28-May 3 – Offshore World Championships
See for details!