Looking back on the trip from my hotel room in San Jose
The last few days since my last update have been ones of both highs and lows. After our first two days of absolute frantic fishing, we experienced 2 days where the sea became playable, but unpleasant. On the first day of the unpleasant wind, we were happy to have a rest, as Dave, John and myself were all sore from fighting so many big tarpon. The second day of rest was a little more unwelcome, as we were all itching to get back out on the ocean and get connected to yet another silver train.
Thankfully the unsettled weather passed pretty quickly, and in this part of the world, it doesn’t take long for the ocean to settle down. So on the forth morning of our trip, after two days of rest we were up at 4 in the morning, packing the boat and anticipating the day.
We headed north to explore a stretch of coastline that we hadn’t yet fished. Close to the Nicaragua border. The morning started slow, although there were plenty of rolling tarpon, we failed to find any that were keen to eat. Leaving the area of the rolling fish, we headed even further north, towards were we could see two frigate birds circling, a sure sign that there were fish in the area. Chasing the frigates certainly paid of, as it wasn’t long before we were solidly into the fish.
For the next 3 hours we were constantly fighting, photographing or releasing fish. Although the tarpon were smaller, in the 60 to 90 pound range, we managed to land 5 tarpon in the morning session, along with 5 big jacks in the 15 to 30 pound range. Like our previous session of casting to aggressively feeding balls of tarpon, we once again came across two such situations. Twenty to thirty poons, in a tangle of white water, fins and fleeing fish, and in amongst these were plenty of hunting jacks. In some casts, John and Dave would connect with a Tarpon, it would come off after a couple jumps, and they would reconnect with a big jack or another tarpon on the same retrieve. Certainly stuff of dreams, and memories that will stay with us forever.
We returned to the same area that afternoon, hoping for a repeat, the fish were still there, but not in the aggressive mode of the morning session. Never the less we managed to jump a number of fish, with Dave landing a good fish of around 120lbs, along with a couple jacks.
Our last two days, were ones of mixed fortune. We had become so used to absolute frantic fishing, that in times when we had to work for bites we felt a little frustrated, as if we were doing something wrong, and we kept questioning our strategy and tactics.Although the fishing was relatively tough compared to what we had experienced already, we still managed a couple of tarpon and jacks in each session.
I am sure if we had concentrated more, we would have jumped a lot more fish, as it seems we missed a number of the more subtle takes. I think it was a product of us becoming accustomed to the hugely aggressive takes of the previous sessions, and when the tarpon became a little less aggressive and a little gentler on the take, we failed to connect properly. The chances were certainly there, we just didn’t make use of them. This being said, these last few days have still been superb, and if every day of the trip had been exactly like these, we would have still left blown away.
The memoirs of this trip are going to haunt me until the day I am packing my bag to come back out here and hunt these incredible fish once again. I am personally very blessed to be able to frequently fish many as well as possibly the most superb and remote fishing destinations in the world, and still I am absolutely blown away. I have already cleared my calendar for September and October, and as soon as I land back in South Africa, I’m booking my ticket to come back. Whoever wants to come with me, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just be sure to come prepared.
Time to go have a couple last beers in San Jose to toast the trip
Cheers from Costa Rica.