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Jerry's Fishing Report

April 20th

by Jerry Ruhlow

Hot spot on the Pacific coast appears to be continuing on the southernmost coast, but well offshore. Zancudo Lodge at Golfito reports boats are raising 12 to 16 a day, about 25 miles off the point with water temperature running 82 degrees. Only one or two marlin a week reported, but getting a few tuna and on Saturday an angler boated a 42 pound wahoo and lost another.

I called everyone in my phone book in Quepos and Carrillo, but was unable to get a report, so assume things have slowed down up there as I normally get some calls when the action is hot.

The website for J.P. Sportfishing in Quepos reports five sails on their best day last week, and just one marlin for the entire week.

Calm seas are reported on the northern Caribbean coast, with large schools of tarpon outside the river mouth at Barra Colorado.  There hasn’t been any action in the river due to very low water although anglers are getting mojarra in the back lagoons when you can get a boat into those areas at high tide.

Rio Colorado Lodge reports that Jim Hanken and Harrison Jewell from Washington and Bob Herbert, from Colorado, last week jumpe 26 tarpon and boated nine in four days.

Gregory Rose, from Washington, jumped 12 tarpon over last weekend, breaking two 12-weight flyrods in the process, and still had two days of fishing left on his trip as this is written. Kota Hiruma and Sato Yoshio from Tokyo, Japan jumped eight tarpon and boated three on a four-day trip last week along with a 40 pound wahoo while Herman and Kirby Burton from Texas jumped 13 and boated three.

Had an email from Harlan Thompson in Indiana asking what we mean when we say tarpon are “jumped” and only a couple “boated.”

Harlan, the tarpon takes oxygen from the air, which is why you often see them rolling or free-jumping, and when hooked they immediately come high out of the water and shaking their heads in an effort to get free from the hook and get more oxygen pumping. When they come out, the anglers is well advised to “bow to the King,” which means dropping the rod tip to the water to give them slack lest they pop the line or your rod tip.

When we say a tarpon is jumped, it means one has taken a lure and come out of the water as they do when first hooked. They will then jump time and time again, often soaring high in the air at which time the experienced angler (or those wise enough to listen to their guide), drops the tip of his rod to give them some slack, and then starts cranking again when they crash back into the sea in order to bring them to the boat for release. Tarpon are always released alive as they are not a good food fish, and there is no commercial market (thank Heaven), but they have no equal as a game fish.

When fishing them in the open ocean you just drift, casting the lure out and twitching the rod now and again. They are often on the inside of the river mouth as well, and in that case you may want to cast and retrieve slowly with a twitching motion to keep you lure working and on occasion do some trolling.

To submit fishing reports, for more information on fishing or assistance planning a trip, fishermen, skippers and guides can call Jerry at 282-6743 or email him at jruhlow@racsa.co.cr. Fishing reports should be submitted as early as possible by Monday of each week.

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