Sarah MunroThat's Fishin'

That’s Fishin’ – November 2016

Fish Friends on the Tranquilo
Fish Friends on the Tranquilo

There is SO much special in Manuel Antonio. In the air, on land, in the sea, there’s always something new for you to experience—and that’s regardless of whether or not if you live here. The rewards are so great—the biodiversity found here is some of the most epic in the world.

I count myself as one of the luckiest people on the planet, because I’ve been living and fishing here for the past four years. It’s been absolutely amazing and I don’t think that it’s possible for another destination to give me what this one has. Perhaps my most epic day on the water was fishing with fish friends Tan and Merlin out to Foruno to try our day for meat fish. Epic was the only word to describe it for me. Of course I’ve had good days out on the water, but a day where I out fished everyone else on the boat? While using lighter line and tackle? Not losing a fish all day?!!! Having Sportfishing Magazine make you a Sportfishing Girl of the Month due to this day out on the water!? This day was nothing but epic. We caught red snapper, amberjack, grouper, and we even tried to hook a hammerhead shark that was stalking the underwater mountain we were fishing. It was an amazing day, and we created amazing memories that will stick with us forever. Well, they’ll stick with me forever, and my guy fish friends still call me to go out so I guess they remember too.

Some fish friends are epic unto themselves. Recently moved here from Nicaragua, the Cofer’s of Tranquilo fishing fame are the very definition of fishing epic. They’ve won tournaments all over North and Central America, and have been DOMINATING. Currently, Team Tranquilo is fishing the Bisbee’s Tournament in Cabo San Lucas. Last year, they won the Bisbee’s and came home with millions in prize money. This, right here, is their training and home fishing grounds. That should tell you all you need to know about the fishing here. It’s just as epic as Team Tranquilo. Tight Lines and Stay Cool my friends.

I’ll never forget being told about the Zapata brothers the first time I visited Quepos. I was sitting in Pescadores, talking to ‘fish people’ about the bite and the local charter fleet. It was at that point that someone started whispering about the ‘Zapata’s’. You know when someone starts whispering it has to be good. So I ordered shots of tequila for the whisperers and made my way over. It wasn’t long before the whispers turned into loud conversations, with phones whipped out showing fish photos. I learned that the Zapata’s are actually a local fishing family, holding world records and legendary status in the community.

Sarah's Rooster
Sarah’s Rooster

Of course over the past few years I ‘ve fished with all the Zapata brothers, having a fantastic time doing it. There’s more than one brother with more than one boat, and they are all extremely competitive. You’ll usually find another brother or family member as mate on the boat, and you’re guaranteed a great time fishing with legendary world-class fishermen. I’ve never gotten a ‘world record’ fish yet, but don’t count me out. I’m still fishing these waters, albeit a lot less lately. When my line is in the water, I’m tuning in to all the epic around me—the birds, the water, the fishing, and the friends. The perspective you get of Costa Rica while on the water is such a different one than you experience on land. For some reason, I couldn’t feel where I was in the world when I first got here—until I went out on the water and looked back at the shore. The impact of perspective is impossible to explain. It’s like feeling grounded, humbled, shocked, awed, and close to God all at once.

I’ve met some really awesome people within the fishing community. From the dedicated staff at Marina Pez Vela, to Tournament Organizers, local builders Maverick Yachts. There are so many sport-fishing companies here that are better than good. They are all awesome. They are true Salties who live breathe and die fishing and just want to share their daily fantastic experiences with clients. It’s a truly amazing community, for a truly epic venue. There’s lots of support for fishing here in the local community as well. Businesses regularly sponsor tournaments, and the Offshore World Championship is held here yearly. Marina Pez Vela is currently installing a new section to the docking area and that means big growth for the community as well.

So, hopefully this gives you a feel of what my ‘fishing experiences have been like over the past four years. This should also give you motivation to get out there and experience it yourself. Because if you’re just visiting, you’re tight for time—and according to me, you’re going to miss the very best part of it here if you don’t get out on the water.

Looking for a fishing referral? Email Sarah: [email protected].

Otherwise, keep those lines tight and your rod hand ready. I’ll catch you next time with That’s Fishin.