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Costa Rican Fishermen Want Access to Local Tuna

Tussling for tuna: Costa Rican Fishermen Want More Access to Local Tuna

The Tico Times

Todd Staley Published for The Tico Times February 14, 2019

Speed boats launched for a purse seiner to herd dolphins and tuna. (Photo courtesy of FECOP)

Robert Nunes is a commercial fisherman who actively defends his peers in Costa Rica’s commercial fishing industry. He volunteers a lot of his time with Mauricio Gonzalez, director of the Camera de Palangreros (or the chamber of longliners) traveling the country lobbying for fisherman’s rights.

Longlining is a type of fishing that boats set miles of hooks across the ocean and is not selective in what type of fish takes the bait placed on a hook. This has caused grief among many different groups who support, sharks, marlin, and sailfish that some people consider bycatch to a longline boat. The longline sector does not consider these species bycatch as the total catch is utilized and nothing gets wasted.

But Nunes is an innovator and found a way to specifically target tuna with less than one percent bycatch. One of first to outfit his commercial boats with greenstick, an art of fishing that targets tuna and rarely catches anything but tuna.

 

Robert Nunes (Photo courtesy of Changing Seas)

Tuna are able to see what’s happening above the water and greenstick fishing uses lures that skip along the surface, so greenstick fishermen rarely catch anything besides tuna.

Nunes has a six-boat operation. He fishes greenstick whenever possible and catches about 80 tons of tuna a year. That still only makes up for 40 percent of his catch though. Lots of times, tuna isn’t available so he longlines for dorado, which can catch sharks and billfish.

Gonzalez, the director of the chamber of longliners, is not opposed to using greenstick, but for him, it’s a matter of cost.

“We would love to fish greenstick a lot more,” says Gonzalez “If we had access to the [tuna]. We don’t have a lot of interest in many other species, but we need to make a living.”

Costa Rica has rich fisheries, but every year, thousands of tons of tuna are fished by foreign vessels. While local fishermen face high costs, those from other countries extract Costa Rican tuna for pennies on the dollar.

“It costs us as Costa Rican fishermen a lot more than foreign tuna boats to extract tuna from the ocean,” Nunes said.

To extract 80 tons of tuna, Nunes says he paid the government $46,178 in fees for licenses, social security, INS insurance, and taxes or $1.73 per kilo of tuna extracted from Costa Rican waters.

“If you add the salaries of my employees on the boats which is part of the costs to access the resource it is over $157,000 per year,” Nunes said.

That’s almost 200 times more than what the country makes off of foreign vessels.

Costa Rica sells a license to a foreign boat for $54 per net ton of that vessel’s capacity. If that boat sells 300 metric tons to the cannery in Puntarenas it receives the next license gratis. The system is perpetual. In 2018 Costa Rica issued 12 tuna licenses to fishing boats called purse seiners. Four were paid for and the rest were given away for free. All the boats were flagged from either Nicaragua or Venezuela.

They reported a total catch of 8,422 tons of tuna. In total Costa Rica collected $153,264.48 in fees. That means Costa Rica had a benefit of just under 2 cents or 11 colones for every kilo of tuna extracted from Costa Rican waters.

Gonzalez says purse seiners are also a local fishermen’s biggest nemesis.

A purse seiner set ontop of dolphins to catch the tuna below The Tico Times archives

Purse seiners surround schools of fish with up to several kilometers of net. The net is pulled in from the bottom and everything caught in the net’s radius is hauled into the boat. This type of fishing is highly regulated due to the amount of fish and bycatch a single boat is capable of producing.

In the Americas, the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) allots each member country a quota of tuna it can catch with purse seiners. The IATTC allots Costa Rica around 9,000 tonnes a year, but we catch none of it.

Costa Rica does not have any purse seine boats of its own and sells its quota to foreign flagged vessels. The system in place is outdated and Costa Rica benefits next to nothing by them being here.

We have a lot to gain from the leaving though.

As of 2014, purse seine boats can no longer work within 45 miles of Costa Rica’s shore and the sport fishing sector has seen a giant recovery in tuna. We’ve also seen more marlin and dorado which are often discarded bycatch by tuna boats.

By studying bycatch records from observers on board tuna boats in 2017, FECOP found that 25 tons of what would have been marlin bycatch were saved by reducing the area they fish. One purse seiner has the capacity to catch as much tuna in one trip as the entire commercial fleet of 300 longlines catches in one year.

“If there were more of the resource available to Costa Rican fishermen, we would target tuna. It is the fish that pays most at the market,” explained Nunes. “If you add the money generated by the sport fishing fleet for Costa Rica into the figures it is much more when you look at the whole picture.”

The benefit of giving tuna back to Costa Ricans would have a domino effect. Better living conditions for coastal families, less pressure on controversial species and more fish for the sport fishing sector as well. It would also place another star on Costa Rica’s reputation for taking care of nature.


Todd Staley has run fishing sport operations on both coasts of Costa Rica for over 25 years. He recently decided to take some time off to devote full-time to marine conservation and is the communications director at FECOP. Contact him at wetline@hotmail.com.

This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.

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Win a Costa Rica fishing trip

Meet Last Year’s Costa Rica Fishing Trip Winner

The Costa Rica Fishing Trip of a Lifetime – Review From The Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica 2017 Sweepstakes Winner

Former specialist and now veteran Joshua Cumings and his wife Ashley Cumings won our 2017 all-inclusive Costa Rica Castaway Sweepstakes.

Joshua was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He joined the Army in February of 2003 at the age of 22 and attended OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at FT. Leonard Wood, MO to be a Combat Engineer/Demolitions and bomb expert. During his career, Specialist Joshua Cumings served as an Engineer Squad Leader. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. His additional deployments included South Korea as a member of 2nd Infantry Division 44th Engineer Battalion Charlie Rock Sappers Air Assault Company and Kosovo as a member of KFOR (TF Falcon). During Specialist Cumings deployment to Iraq In August 2004, he and his squad survived a severe attack by enemy forces. Due to Specialist Cumings injuries during his deployment to Iraq he was later awarded a combined award of 100 % disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Please read an excellent review by Mr. and Mrs. Cumings about their vacation at Crocodile Bay Resort.

The Trip of a Lifetime!

“When you think of paradise where do you think of, Belize, Honduras, or maybe skiing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado? Well, let me tell you something I’ve been to all those places and nothing compares to the gorgeous lush mountains, the vibrant tropical birds and the amazing views you’re going to experience at Crocodile Bay Resort. We caught and released over 22 roosterfish, snapper and sailfish. I don’t normally go saltwater fishing, but  this was just beyond amazing.

The Resort Staff

The resort staff was out of this world. Olimpia, one of the main concierge’s was phenomenal, she was always there to make sure we had everything we needed like a mom making sure her kids had the best time possible. And her cookies are out of this world. Her son Anthony was just as kind and made sure we had a great time doing some charter fishing.

Pura Vida

The locals have a saying in Costa Rica. Pura Vida! The saying simply translates to “Simple Life”. In Costa Rica it really is all about the simple and pure life. Everything just kind of slows down when you come to the Osa Peninsula. People here really know how to make you feel at home and treat you like family here. As an American that works an average of 60-80hr work weeks we don’t tend to know how to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Like just going for a walk down the road and enjoying the wild life and the beautiful scenery.

The Food

The food that we enjoyed at the resort was out of this world. Expertly prepared in traditional plating the chef certainly knows what he’s doing. All of the ingredients are locally sourced and always fresh with an amazing flair for thinking outside the box with unique flavors. For example, we had a bowl of the pumpkin crème soup, braised and barbequed pork ribs and a local root that’s mashed and tastes like mashed potatoes that have amazing flavor as well as traditional beans and rice and a side salad.

Always going the extra mile!

Our last night at the resort the chef asked me what my wife’s favorite dessert was and I told him “Anything to do with chocolate”! He then said to me “I have the perfect dessert for her then that I shall create”. The desert that was made was so beautiful I was almost sad to eat it. But then, we took one bite and couldn’t stop. From the fresh cream and strawberries to the basil and coco locally sourced for the chocolate lava cake it was all amazing. And just the thought that was put into making our last night special simply put, makes Crocodile Bay Resort the ultimate home away from home destination with every accommodation imaginable.

In closing, if you’re looking for a world class resort with one of a kind sport fishing spectacular views, phenomenal customer service, and an experience that is unrivaled in one of the most exotic and beautiful places on earth then Crocodile Bay Resort is the place to go. From a several tour combat veteran and his wife, Thank you so much to the owners and staff for a once in a lifetime experience at Crocodile Bay Resort and until next time Pura Vida!”

Respectfully,Joshua and Ashley Cumings
Baldwinsville, NY.

 

 

 You can sign up here for a shot at winning this year’s fishing trip at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica!

Gray Roosterfish Tagging Update by Todd Staley

Win a 5 Night Costa Rica Fishing Trip for Two at Crocodile Bay Resort

Costa Rica Sets the Bar High for Sport Fishing

Gray Roosterfish Tagging Update by Todd Staley

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saltwater fishing knots

The Best Salt Water Fishing Knots

The Best Fishing Knots Of All Time [Ranked Strongest To Weakest]

By: Luke Simonds for SaltStrong Online

It’s fishing knot time!

Do you want to know something that might shock you about fishing knots?

After testing hundreds of fishing knots over the past couple of years, I’ve learned one very important lesson…

The “100% fishing knot” is a myth.

Why?

Physics.

Yes, simple physics is the reason why. Pretty much all knots will create a weak point on the line given that it creates a point on the line where a max load is hitting it from more than just one direction.

And although there are some instances where the main line (or leader) will break before the knot fails, there is no single knot that can always do that with all types of lines.

So step #1 in using the strongest possible knots for your fishing needs is to understand that there is no such thing as a “100% knot”…

And if you hear someone say that their knot is 100% without any exclusions, then they likely have never tested it out in a controlled test with multiple lines, so I be wary of their recommendation.

Here’s the hard truth…

Your favorite fishing knot is weak, and so is mine

This is simply due to the fact the contorting line and creating hard turns that get put under tension will always create a weak point in the line making it the weakest point in the system (assuming that the main line is not compromised).

Note: This weak point is almost always at the first hard turn in the top section of the knot coming from the main line, so it most often leaves a clean break which looks like the mainline simply snapped when an angler examines the line after a break-off. 

Now that we’re past the first hurdle (acceptance), step #2 is to actually test our knots to make sure that you don’t lose the fish of a lifetime due using a knot that isn’t the absolute best for each connection in your line system.

To help save you time in testing knots, I’ll be displaying results from my continued testing on this page.

Best of all, the individual fishing knots will be ranked based on their strength & performance results for the following knot connection categories:

Do You Know The STRONGEST Fishing Knot For Every Situation?

The results of these knot strength tests might surprise you!

Click here to download the FREE “Ultimate Fishing Knot PDF Guide” (only takes a few seconds)

 

Knot Category Groupings

Feel free to use the links below to skip down to the knot connection that you’re most interested in. Otherwise, you can simply scroll down to see all of the knots.

And if you don’t see your favorite knot listed, just leave a comment on the bottom of this post (click here) and I’ll add it to my list of fishing knots to evaluate.

So let’s get started…

Definition of Bad, Good, & Great Fishing Knots

best fishing knots

Before going on the knot strength results, it is essential that we first all understand the different categories of knots in terms of their strength:

  • Bad Knot: unravels/slips when under heavy tension
  • Good Knot: does not unravel or slip (it breaks before unraveling)
  • Great Knot: does not unravel/slip and has a higher breaking point than “Good knots”

How To Determine A Bad Knot

A bad knot is very easy to see because it leaves behind the telltale sign of trouble… the curly tag end.

Yes, the curly tag end that you may have seen after a break-off means that the knot used was either a bad knot, or there was a poor job in tying a good/great knot.

So if you ever see the curly end after a break-off, do not tie the same knot the same way because it’ll likely happen again.

How To Determine A Good Knot vs. A Great Knot

The difference between a Good knot and a Great knot requires the act of intentionally breaking them under a controlled test to see how much tension they can hold before the break occurs.

This is the missing link that most anglers overlook because it requires time and effort.

I am the perfect example of this because I was even fishing tournaments with money and pride at stake and never even bothered to actually test my personal knots.

And when I finally did test my knots, I was shocked at the results… the very first test I did revealed that I was getting 30% less strength than I otherwise would have had I been simply using a different knot for my line to leader connection (replacing the Double-Uni knot with the FG knot… both shown below).

So I highly recommend testing out your knots. And if you’d like a shortcut, this page shows the results from my testing below to help guide you to the best knots from my many tests done so far.

And I’ll continually update this “best fishing knot” post as more and more knots are tested so that you can have the latest and greatest data.

So if you want to save time while maximizing your line strength, this post is for you.

What Are The Best Fishing Knots?

There are many different types of lines which in many cases have completely different textures, sizes, and friction coefficients.

So we’ll be evaluating knots based on the type of line used within these general line categories:

  • Braid
  • Monofilament/Fluorocarbon
  • Wire (Coming soon)
  • Flyline (Coming soon)

And to truly evaluate a fishing knot, it is essential to focus each test on a specific type of connection because a knot that is very good for line-to-line connections is often not good at all for line-to-lure connections (and visa-Aversa).

So we’ll break out the rankings shown below into the following connections types for each line category:

  • Line-to-Line Knots
  • Line-to-Hook/Lure Knots [Snug]
  • Line-to-Hook/Lure Knots [Loop]

Let’s get started!

Do You Know The STRONGEST Fishing Knot For Every Situation?

The results of these knot strength tests might surprise you!

Click here to download the FREE “Ultimate Fishing Knot PDF Guide” (only takes a few seconds)

 

Best Fishing Knots for Braided Line

braided fishing line

Braided line has quickly become an extremely popular choice for inshore anglers because it allows for longer casts and better feel of lures given that its strength to diameter ratio is so much higher than mono/fluoro lines.

Plus, it has very little stretch which enables the angler to feel even the lightest of taps on the other end of the line.

But braid requires much for friction within the knot compared to monofilament so it almost always requires a different knot than the traditional knots used on mono.

Best Braid to Leader Knots

To kick things off, we’ll start with the most important of all connections for most saltwater anglers who use a lighter main line to connect to a stronger leader.

This setup is becoming very common because it allows for the overall system to have optimal casting performance (due to the lighter line in the reel) while having a stronger leader line at the business end to hold up to the sharp teeth and/or rough mouths of the target species.

Fluorocarbon is the most commonly used monofilament leader these days since it’s known for being less visible in the water while also being more resistant to abrasions, so this analysis is focused on connecting a braided line to a fluorocarbon leader.

Here are the top 5 ranking knots based on the knot tests I’ve done so far:

  1. PR Bobbin Knot [requires tools]
    1. Pro: This is an extremely strong knot when tied correctly
    2. Con: Requires tools to tie and takes a long time (extremely tough to do while on the water)
  2. FG Knot*
    • Pro: Thinnest knot I’ve ever seen while also having the highest breaking strength.
    • Con: Requires a strong cinch before cutting the tags so that it fully locks into place.
      • Note: Only use this knot if tying a braided line to a stronger mono/fluoro leader.
  3. 6 Turn Surgeon’s Knot
    • Pro: Very quick to tie while having a shocking strong breaking point and can be tied using lines of any size
    • Con: Bulkier and slightly weaker than the FG knot
  4. Doubled-Over Double Uni Knot
    • Pro: Easy knot to tie and it can be used for all connections
    • Con: Up to 30% weaker than the FG knot in my tests
  5. Crazy Alberto Knot
    • Pro: Nice low profile knot with a strong breaking point
    • Con: Up to 30% weaker than the FG knot in my tests
  6. Improved Albright
    • Pro: Nice low profile knot with a strong breaking point
    • Con: Weaker than the FG knot and the Crazy Alberto

Click here to see the first contest I hosted for this connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Doubled Braid-to-Leader Knots

Many anglers like to double the braid by forming a loop at the end of the braid and then tying a line-to-line knot to connect the doubled braid to the leader.

In many instances, this does increase the overall line strength for anglers who are using a lighter braid relative to the leader.

However, the FG knot tied on a single line has proven to outperform the doubled knot connections in most of my testing. The only combination that consistently beats the single line FG knot is the use of the FG knot to connect a doubled line formed by the Bimini Twist to the leader.

Line Doubling Knots [Braid]

  1. Bimini Twist
    • Pro: Extremely strong doubling knot
    • Con: It often requires more twists (30+) with braid so that it won’t slip
  2. Spider Hitch
    • Pro: Faster to tie than the Bimini Twist
    • Con: Not as strong as the Bimini Twist
  3. Surgeon Loop (6-turn)
    • Pro: Extremely fast to tie
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Bimini Twist

Doubled Line To Leader Knots [Braid to Fluoro]

  1. FG Knot
    • Pro: Thinnest knot I’ve ever seen while also having the highest breaking strength.
    • Con: Requires a very strong cinch before cutting the tags so that it fully locks into place.
      • Note: Only use this knot if tying a braided line to a stronger mono/fluoro leader.
  2. No-Name Knot (aka- Bristol Knot)
    • Pro: Quick and easy knot to tie
    • Con: Not as strong as the FG knot
  3. Yucatan Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie (very similar to Bristol knot)
    • Con: Not as strong as the FG knot

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Braid-to-Swivel/Lure/Hook Knots

This next category is focused for anglers who use braided line and like to use swivels.

But it could also be useful if you like to use connect your braided line directly to your terminal tackle (although I do not recommend tying directly to your lure or hook using braid because fish can see it so much better than mono/fluoro… instead, use a ~20 to 30 inch leader in between your braid and lure/hook).

  1. Braid Uni Knot
    • Pro: Great knot that is very strong and easy to tie
    • Con: Although an easy knot to tie, some are faster
  2. San Diego Jam Knot
    • Pro: Strong knot that is easy and quick to tie
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Modified Uni Knot
  3. Palomar Knot
    • Pro: Very fast and easy to tie
    • Con: Not as strong with braid as it is with mono
  4. Orvis Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie
    • Con: Not as strong with braid as it is with mono
  5. Improved Cinch Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie
    • Con: This knot doesn’t perform well with braid (prone to slippage)
  6. Clinch Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie
    • Con: This knot doesn’t perform well with braid (prone to slippage)

Click here to see results from a contest I hosted for this connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Fishing Knots for Monofilament/Fluorocarbon Line

best fishing knots for mono line

Monofilament line is used by almost all anglers in some capacity, so I’ve done many tests with knots using mono line.

For tests that I’ve done for my personal use, I focused on Fluorocarbon line, which is a specific type of mono.

Many anglers use Fluorocarbon for their leader material since it’s known to be stronger the less visible than traditional monofilament line.

Here’s what I’ve tested so far:

Best Mono-to-Mono Knots

Here are the top mono-to-mono knots that I have tested:

  1. 3 Turn Surgeon’s Knot*
    • Pro: Extremely easy and fast knot to tie with very strong holding strength
    • Con: Need to tie this before tying on a lure or hook
  2. SS Knot
    • Pro: Versatile knot connection with an impressive breaking strength
    • Con: Not quite as fast or strong as the Surgeon’s knot
  3. Double Uni Knot
    • Pro: Easy knot to tie and it can be used for all connections
    • Con: Not as fast or strong as the Surgeon’s knot
  4. Albright Special
    • Pro: Easy knot to tie that looks very nice once completed
    • Con: Not as fast or strong as the Surgeon’s knot
  5. Blood Knot
    • Pro: Easy to tie with lines of similar size
    • Con: Not as effective with lines of different diameters

Click here to see results from a contest I hosted for this connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Line-to-Hook Knots [Mono/Fluoro]

Now that we covered the very important line-to-line connection, let’s dig in to the best fishing knots for connecting our hooks and lures to the end of the line.

For this category, we’ll split it up into two sections to cover the two core different types of connections:

  1. Loop Knot – Leaves a loop so that the lure/hook has more range of motion in the water (less strength compared to snug)
  2. Snug Knot – Line hugs around hook/lure eye forming a strong connection (less range of motion)

Note: I’ve specifically focused on fluorocarbon line since it’s the most popular for saltwater anglers… if you want me to test these with standard mono, just let me know and I’ll add it to this post.

Best Loop Knot to Lure/Hook

When fishing with artificial lures, using a loop knot is an advantage because it allows the lure to have more motion in the water which most often leads to more strikes.

But the downside is that loop knots are not as strong as snug knots, so that needs to be taken into account when selecting your leader line size and when setting drag.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Rapala Loop Knot
    • Pro: The strongest loop knot I’ve tested so far
    • Con: Takes a bit longer to tie than many others and leaves a tag end facing up which can snag weeds/debris
  2. Non-Slip Loop Knot (aka. Kreh Loop)*
    • Pro: Very quick and easy to tie and has a tag end that points down towards the lure (more weedless)
    • Con: Just a tad weaker than the Rapalla knot
  3. Figure 8 Loop Knot
    • Pro: Tested to be very strong (very close to Rapalla Loop Knot
    • Con: Takes longer to tie than the Non-Slip Loop knot and does not have a weedless tag end
  4. Perfection Loop Knot
    • Pro: Strong loop knot that is quick to tie
    • Con: Tougher to tie since this knot requires the hook/lure to pass through a loop
  5. Canoe Man Loop Knot
    • Pro: Extremely fast loop knot to tie
    • Con: Strength test was great with traditional mono, but it didn’t perform nearly as well with fluorocarbon

Click here to see the first contest I did with this important connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best “Snug” Knot to Lure/Hook

When going for maximum strength when having action in the water is not as important, then the snug knot is the way to go because a good snug knot will be a significant amount stronger than a good loop knot.

Here’s my ranking of the Snug knots that I’ve tested so far:

  1. Palomar Knot
    • Pro: Very strong knot that is easy to tie when using bare hooks
    • Con: Can become cumbersome when using larger lures because it requires the lure pass through a loop
  2. Uni Knot
    • Pro: Good knot that is fairly quick to tie and can be used for almost any connection
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Palomar knot
  3. Orvis Knot*
    • Pro: Very quick and easy knot to tie that is very strong
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Palomar knot
  4. Clinch Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy knot to tie
    • Con: Not as fast and easy as the Orvis Knot nor as strong as the Palomar Knot
  5. Double Davy Knot
    • Pro: Very quick and easy to tie (just 1 more twist vs. the Davie Knot)
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Orvis knot which is just as easy to tie
  6. Davy Knot
    • Pro: Very quick and easy to tie
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Orvis knot which is just as easy to tie

Click here to see the first contest I did with this important connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

More test data getting added soon, so be sure to bookmark this page!

Conclusion

best fishing knots

Of the many factors that determine if you land the fish of a lifetime that you hook, the one that we have 100% control over is the quality of the knots that we use.

So it’s essential for us to select the absolute best fishing knot for each connection to get the most overall line strength.

You have certainly heard the saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link…” Well, a rod, reel, and an angler are only as strong as the knot between them and the fish.

Make it count.

There isn’t (and never will be) one fishing knot that can do everything with all line types and connection needs, so make sure to be mindful of the knot options you have for each connection need you have.

This post will continually grow over time as knot suggestions come in, so leave a comment below letting us know of any other knots you’d like us to add to this analysis.

Note: The * symbols next to the knots listed above are the ones that I personally use for each of the respective connections.

The tests have been done using 10 to 20 lb PowerPro tied to 20 to 30 lb Ande and Seaguar fluorocarbon.

Do You Know The STRONGEST Fishing Knot For Every Situation?

The results of these knot strength tests might surprise you!

Click here to download the FREE “Ultimate Fishing Knot PDF Guide” (only takes a few seconds)

 

Related Posts:

1. How To Tie The Perfect Leader Assembly For Inshore Fishing

2. What Is The Proper Drag Tension To Use For A Fishing Reel?

3. How To Get A Hooked Fish Out Of Structure Without Breaking Off

 

P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would enjoy seeing this, please Tag them or Share this with them.

Related  Fishing Articles on FECOP.org

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How to Fish for Wahoo

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Fishing for Science – Tagging Billfish

Read Blog Detail

How and Where to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

What you need to know to catch the Eastern Pacific’s iconic roosterfish

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Tough guy of nearshore reefs, rocky headlands and sandy bays, roosterfish — iconic game fish of the Eastern Pacific — is a bucket-lister for many anglers.

Adrian E. Gray

A lazy swell rolled in from the open Pacific, gradually forming into a single cresting wave as it encountered ever-shallower water. Our panga steadily chugged along at little more than a walking pace just behind the surf line, so close to the verdant jungle backdrop that I could see flocks of scarlet macaws browsing on sea almonds.

Beaches such as this offer prime real estate for predators to pick off smaller fish that dart about the turbulent water to feed on the countless shrimp, sand eels, shellfish and other tasty tidbits revealed by powerful wave action continually scouring the sandy seabed.

An open beach off Panama’s Coiba Island is not a great place for a lone blue runner to be swimming, especially one bridle-rigged to a circle hook. Certainly the fish so tethered at the end of my line was not having the best of days, and a sudden increase in activity telegraphed up the rod told me things were about to get much worse for that hapless baitfish.

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Nematistius pectoralis occur in a limited area, mainly from Mexican waters south through Ecuador.

Sport Fishing

I tensed in anticipation of an ­imminent strike. Moments later, I spotted the runner skipping across the surface, closely followed by the unmistakable seven-stranded dorsal fin of a roosterfish as it surged forward to engulf the fish in an explosion of whitewater

For two or three seconds, I allowed line to pour unchecked from the reel, then gently eased the lever drag forward to the strike position. I waited for the line to tighten, and smiled as my rod bent in confirmation that the hook had indeed found its way into the sweet spot in the corner of the fish’s jaw.

“Cinquenta!” shouted my captain a bit later, when he leaned over the side and grabbed my fish just ahead of its tail. Hoisting it aboard, he announced that I had indeed caught the 50-pound roosterfish he knew I so desperately wanted to catch. I could see that he was being overly generous, the fish weighing at best 40 pounds or so. I knew it wasn’t the 50-pounder I have sought for so many years now.

Roosterfish, Nematistius ­pectoralis, inhabit the eastern Pacific, from the Baja Peninsula south to Peru. It’s the only species in the genus Nematistius and, with its iconic seven-stranded dorsal fin — like the rooster’s comb from which the species gets its name — the roosterfish is one of the most recognizable species of game fish. For a great many saltwater anglers, as for me, it’s a bucket-list species.

Over the years, I have caught lots of roosters during numerous trips throughout Costa Rica and Panama. Often I have fished destinations where fish over 50 pounds are caught with some degree of regularity, but a 50-plus-pound trophy always seems to elude me.

Are there ways I can fine-tune where, when and how I fish in order to maximize my chances of catching that elusive trophy rooster? Keen to put the odds as much in my favor as possible in my ongoing quest, recently I contacted several experts who regularly see big roosters caught in their waters.

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Roosters often feed in the surf zone around rocky outcroppings.

Dave Lewis

Tricks from Tropic Star
Tucked into Piñas Bay in southern Panama, very close to the Colombia border, Tropic Star Lodge ranks as one of the world’s great fishing lodges. Numerous world-record roosters have been caught by anglers fishing these prolific waters, including the men’s 8-pound class, currently held by a 54-pound, 9-ounce rooster.

“There is always a degree of luck to catching any trophy fish, but there are certainly things that anglers can do to increase their chances, namely look for the optimal time of year depending on area, baits and techniques,” says Capt. Richard White, Tropic Star’s fishing director and assistant manager. “In our waters, the best months for larger roosterfish are from April, when the water starts to become very clear, till around August.

“Live bait is the best bet for larger roosterfish, especially hardtails [blue runners], mullet and bonito,” White continues. “Large roosterfish have such big mouths, a 50-pound rooster can easily engulf a large mullet or bonito. We swim live baits bridled with a circle hook. Smaller hooks are generally preferred, but you need a hook with a gape big enough to hook those larger fish.

“A lot of the bigger fish are hooked from a downrigger, with baits fished at about 30 to 50 feet down.” White emphasizes that big baits take big roosters: “You’ll have less action overall, but when you do get that bite, you know it’s going to be a big one.”

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

No lure, beats a live bait, with bridled blue runners such as this one being one of the roosterfish’s favorite hors d’oeuvres.

Dave Lewis

White says that both swimbaits and poppers work effectively for roosterfish. Color seems less important than matching the hatch in terms of size. Adjust your retrieve until you find the speed that the fish want, and note exactly where you get bit. “Was it on the sunny side of the rock or the shady side? Was it in the whitewater or the swirls?” White asks. “Was it just after a pause, or was it a reaction bite? If you can start to identify a pattern, you’ll be able to refine your technique to catch more fish.”

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Many roosters are taken on poppers and stickbaits worked along sandy beaches.

Dave Lewis

Roosters on the Tuna Coast
Panama’s remote “tuna coast” on the Azuero Peninsula is home to Panafishing Lodge, another destination where trophy roosters are very much a house specialty.

“Catching a 50-plus-pound rooster on the tuna coast is definitely a realistic target,” lodge owner Pierre-Andre Demauge says. “Big roosterfish can be elusive and picky, but some anglers will catch a trophy on their first day, while it might take others several trips before they catch a really big one.”

Demauge says that in their waters, “big roosters are much more likely to eat a live bait than a lure. We find that the big fish move around a lot, with no one spot consistently producing trophy fish. In our area, there is no such thing as ‘targeting a big rooster.’ We just fish a likely spot, have fun with whatever wants to bite, and sooner or later a big rooster will show.

“On the tuna coast, the biggest roosterfish tend to be caught in the wet season, especially in May, June and October,” Demauge continues. “I think this is due to the fact that bigger fish feed primarily on green jacks, which are abundant during the wet season. Juvenile roosters love to hunt the balls of anchovies so abundant in the dry season.”

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

The unique, telltale “rooster comb” dorsal fin often slices the water behind a lure.

Dave Lewis

For Demauge, live bait is much more effective for trophy roosters than any lure. The best bait in these waters is a 7- or 8-inch cojinua (green jack), but many other species will work. “We’ve seen big roosters eating anything from 2-inch anchovies or needlefish to small yellowfin tuna or jack crevalle.”

But Demauge says that many anglers like to fish lures, and “we catch our share of big ones on all kind of artificials.” Demauge cites one major upside to lure‑fishing: “Nothing beats the strike of a big rooster on a topwater lure!”

Lures that can be worked fast produce best, he says, citing a 6- or 7-inch popper or stickbait worked energetically with short strokes and nonstop action as the most reliable lure for roosters there. However, at times, roosters can be reluctant to strike lures on top. Then it’s time to send down the jigs.


Read Next: Breathtaking Roosterfish Leap


“For the past few years, slow-jigging has proved a really effective and unexpected way to target trophy roosters. Fighting a big rooster on slow-jigging tackle is something that even the most experienced angler will remember!

“When that big rooster does ­eventually show up behind your lure, its comb sticking aggressively from the surface, whatever you do, don’t stop working your lure!” Demauge cautions. “When you are hooked up, maintain steady pressure, and if the rooster races toward the boat, be ready to reel as fast as you can. Roosterfish are masters at unhooking themselves if you let them have any slack.”

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Perhaps no area is more renowned for its consistent roosterfishing than southern Costa Rica’s Matapalo Rock, on the west side of the Golfo Dulce, where this monster was caught from a Zancudo Lodge boat.

Adrian E. Gray

Costa Rica in the Offseason
Repeating the refrain of big baits for big roosters, Allan Smith, fishing director at Crocodile Bay Resort on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, says: “Big roosters want a meal, not a snack. Our bait of choice are live bonitos, trolled slowly.” It can take longer to get live baits the right size, and you won’t get as much action, but when you do get the bite, it will likely be the big fish you’re looking for.”

Smith says the odds of bigger fish also increase when fishing pressure has eased off.

“The best months here off the Osa Peninsula are the offseason, August through November, when fewer boats on the water mean some spots don’t get touched for weeks at a time. “The big fish tend to make more mistakes when there is little fishing pressure.”

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Even when sailfishing offshore is hot, lots of anglers will take at least a day to fish nearshore for roosters.

Julien Lajournade

Mexican Monsters
More anglers have probably caught their first roosterfish in the waters of Mexico than any other country, especially around the Baja Peninsula. The current International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record is held by a 114-pound fish that was caught at La Paz in 1960. A quick scan through the list of various line-class records reveals no fewer than a dozen current line-class rooster records from Baja.

“We catch many roosterfish in June and July over 60 pounds,” says Grant Hartman, owner and head guide at Baja Anglers in Cabo. For their waters, Hartman says, live mullet or ­caballito (scads) produce the biggest fish, though big Pencil Poppers and similar lures also work.

“For the really big fish, you usually have to put in the time on the water, but having said that, I have had many anglers catch a giant roosterfish on their very first day.”

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Large poppers such as this Halco Roosta Popper attract attention when fished at a modest pace.

Dave Lewis

Global Perspective: Fish Those Lures!
“Catching a big rooster on a lure has nothing to do with luck, only hard work and patience,” says Julien Lajournade, editor of the French global fishing magazine, Voyages De Pěche.

Lajournade, who has caught his share of large roosters, notes: “More people fish with lures than bait at the lodges I have fished, and in recent years, a lot of very big fish have been caught with poppers, including trophy roosters exceeding 60 and even 80 pounds.

“In my opinion,” Lajournade continues, “the best lures are big poppers. XL-size poppers made for giant trevally can fool monster roosters, especially in deep rocky places.” Lajournade favors a white belly with a light-blue back, rigged with a single strong treble hook at the rear. He attaches it to a 60-pound ­fluorocarbon leader.

But, Lajournade says, rooster hunters should avoid heavy drag settings. “You’ll lose many roosterfish if you fight them giant trevally style.” When fishing relatively deep or in agitated water, Lajournade suggests big, deep-cupfaced poppers fished slowly with pauses. But when shallower and in calm waters, he says, “use a steady retrieve, popping regularly but without violent splashes. Remember,” he adds, “make long casts and stay focused; roosters don’t strike a lure twice. Never slow down a retrieve, whatever is happening behind the lure.”

Where and How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Most guides favor circle hooks both because they work so effectively and minimize release mortality.

Dave Lewis

Other Rooster Destinations
In addition to several ­countries already mentioned, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru all have roosterfish hunting in their inshore waters. Guatemala’s Pacific resorts widely seek roosters inshore as an alternative to the popular sailfishing offshore.

The main issue when ­planning to fish in little-known or underdeveloped countries is finding a reliable outfitter who can arrange safe boats with knowledgeable crews. Following the recent cease-fire and peace agreement with the FARC terrorists, Colombia is already starting to attract an increasing number of sport fishermen; it certainly will become the next big Central American destination to draw anglers from around the globe — where, among other game fish, you can be sure they’ll target roosters.

 

About the Author
The work of Dave Lewis, a retired firefighter and U.K.-based angling photojournalist, appears regularly in publications around the world. He travels extensively, and acts as host and guide to groups of sport fishermen traveling to salt- and freshwater destinations (visit davelewisfishing.com).

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Costa Rica Fishing Species – Roosterfish

Gray Roosterfish Tagging Update by Todd Staley

 

 

Stop Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica
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costa rica fishing banana boat

“No Bananas on the Fishing Boat”

Why are fishermen so superstitious about making sure there are NO Bananas on board their boat while fishing in Costa Rica or any other region on Earth???

I did some serious research on this banana fishing myth, interviewed anglers, and even put bananas on our own boat to test out this theory.

It turns out that “bad luck bananas on boats” is one of the oldest, longest running, and controversial fishing and boating superstition out there.

Some boaters and anglers swear by “bad luck bananas on board,” while others laugh at the superstition…

Note: You will be blown away below when you hear what happened on our fishing trip  to Costa Rica when there was an actual banana on board our boat…

But first, let’s cover the facts about fishing superstitions and bananas on board fishing vessels.

Fact: The more serious you are about fishing, the more superstitious you become…

I would even argue that fishermen and fisherwomen are perhaps the most superstitious group in America (besides the guy I see in the 7-11 convenient store that sits down on the ground Indian style every day as he scratches off his lotto tickets. Apparently he won $1,000 while sitting down Indian style with his legs crossed one time, and he thinks he must do it every time from now on to summon the good look fairy).

But anywho…some of the craziest superstitions (always masked as reasons that the fish aren’t biting on your boat) seem to arise from anglers.

Related Post: “Are Bananas Really Bad Luck On Boats? [PICS & TRUE STORIES]!” (see it here now)

no bananas on board

A palm reader giving a sailor his future on a boat filled with bananas

Here are just a few funny fishing superstitions:

1) Whistling on a boat causes extreme bad luck for the entire boat

2) You can only enter the boat from a certain side or the entire day of fishing will be ruined

3) And the topic of this blog… that having Bananas on board your boat while fishing causes everything from motor failure, no fish, and a wild list of other detriments that you will hear about shortly (this “bananas cause bad luck fishing” theory has some anglers so superstitious about bananas on board that they won’t even allow Banana Boat sunscreen on board)

“No Bananas On Board!”

Let me tell you my own true story of what happened the one (and only) time that we “accidentally allowed” a banana on board our boat down in Florida.

It started off as a perfect summer morning in Marco Island, Florida back in 2000. We were down there with our incredible friends the Bentley Family, and the trip had been fantastic so far (mostly inshore fishing for snook and redfish).

But today, we were headed offshore (going after big snook, cobia, and grouper) to a wreck that we heard from a trusted source was on fire!

Clear skies, only a 20% chance of rain (which is an incredibly low percentage for Florida in the summer), and we were riding in our dad’s 3-year old 21ft custom flats boat made by Release.

Note: One of us (many fingers still point angrily at me), had accidentally packed a banana on board the boat that day…

My dad, my brother Luke and I got an early start to catch some threadfin “greenback” bait fish as we were headed out about 20 miles to catch some lunkers.

no bananas on board

Joe, Papa Simo, Luke, the 21ft Release Boat, and a Banana on board…

After just a few casts with our 12-foot cast net, we had enough bait fish for a few boats. In fact, we actually threw back over 40 baitfish from the second cast because we had so many.

The live well was pumping salt water through a magnificent looking live well full of bait fish, we had a nice breeze, and we even had plenty of food and drinks (including a banana) to last us the entire day and then some.

“What a heck of a start,” we thought as we headed out on the 20-mile stretch.

What could go wrong?

The Offshore Fishing Trip from Marco Island

As we finally approached the wreck, we were very pleased to see that we had it all to ourselves… not a single boat within sight in all directions.

As we excitedly grabbed our rods to wet our lines, my dad lifts up the live well hatch (with scoop net in hand), and grunts, “What in the world happened…?

Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw…

The live well was full of dead fish.

Over a hundred of them.

The water in the live well was there, but not a single baitfish was still alive from our 20-mile journey southwest… turns out that the intake got clogged and no new water was pumped in during the long trip out.

So there we were, 20-miles out in a flats boat with nothing but dead fish in our livewell… a ruined day, three ticked off fishermen, and a banana.

But the story gets even worse…

After debating about how the live well could have failed on our trusted boat that had never had an issue before, we noticed that the floor of the center console was covered with a thin layer of water that usually wasn’t there unless packed with people (the floor of the boat sits just barely above the water line, and when enough weight is added to the boat, water can be pushed up the drain pipes into the walking area).

Given that it was only three of us without much gear, the only answer to that floorboard water is that a lot of water must have gotten into the hull of the boat… sure enough, we opened the hatch to the bottom hull and we had over 5 inches of water in there.

Typically, the float switch on the bilge pump would ensure this never happened, but it somehow didn’t get activated. We have a manual switch to turn on the bilge pump, but that didn’t turn it on either… the bilge pump is dead!

Five inches of water never seemed so scary

no bananas on board your boat

At this point, we faced a crisis.

I tell you, five inches of water never seemed so scary when you are out in boat 20 miles away from the closest shore, with shark infested waters all around, and no other boats anywhere in sight.

So we now had to cut open a Gatorade bottle to scoop out the water as fast as we could… hopefully, faster than it was coming in.

After about twenty minutes scooping, we realized that however, the water got in there, it wasn’t coming in very fast anymore because our scoops were able to cut the level down… water issue no longer a threat.

However, our focus on the boat took our attention away from the horizon to the north (our way back home) where a nasty storm was brewing. The kind that most of us Floridians love to admire from the comfort of our homes…

NOT

from the uncomfortable and exposed view on a 21ft flats boat on the open Gulf.

So we did what any sane fisherman would do…

We cut our losses for the day and gunned it back towards home while praying we could beat the storm.

Long story storm short…

Lightning Storm – 1

Team Simonds – 0

We got nailed by some of the thickest rain you have ever seen.

And of course, we had no serious rain gear as we didn’t anticipate any rain according to the weather forecast that day (we blame it on the banana).

The rain was so bad, and it was hitting us so hard, that we had to slow down.

But as much as the rain hurt us like hail hitting a car, it took a back seat to our fear of the lighting.

no bananas on board

Good old Florida Lightning at its finest

If you have ever been in the middle of a lightning storm, you know what I am talking about.

And if you don’t know what it is like to be exposed in a lighting storm, here is my best analogy…

Imagine three grown men screaming like little 10-year-old girls every time a big boom hit near us.

It was one after another… booms, bolts, and shrieks from the Simonds’ bros and father.

I dare say it was one of the scariest and most vulnerable moments of my life (besides my first prostate exam, but that is an entirely different story).

After the longest boat ride back home of our lives, we finally see the channel marker for Caxambus Pass (south side of Marco Island), the rain finally dies down, the lighting has almost gone away completely, and we cry like little girls again (in a joyous way that we survived).

The last few minutes into the idle zone to our dock were spent with the three of us wondering how everything had turned so negative so quickly.

After a few minutes of debate, my dad mentioned the banana that we had on board.

Could it be?

It was the only thing abnormal on our boat that was usually not there. And the banana certainly seemed like the only logical patsy for us to blame our misfortune on…

Fast forward to today…

My dad still has the same 21ft Release and we all use it often.

It has never had a banana on board since that day.

It has also never had any livewell or bilge pump issues again, even though the boat is 14 years older.

So call it what you will, but the Simonds will never forget that dreaded fishing trip where nothing went right.

And you can be certain that we have a strict “No Bananas On Board” policy on all of our boats since then.

Without further adieu…here are the top 5 reasons why bananas are bad luck on fishing boats…

Top 5 Myths about Bananas on Board Your Boat While Fishing

bad luck bananas on the boat fishing

The following “bad luck bananas on board boat myths” are in no particular order.

They are based on years of banana research and interviews with fishermen from all over the world who claim bananas are bad luck on fishing boats.

Enjoy.

 

#1 Reason To Have No Bananas On Board Your Boat While Fishing

Spiders.

no bananas on board

More specifically, crap-loads of spiders.

I grew up in a house in Winter Haven, FL that actually had three banana trees on one side of our home.

And do you know what could be found almost year round in and around those banana trees?

You guessed it, spiders.

For some reason, spiders love bananas.

And I can only imagine that back in the day when shiploads of bananas were being brought over from Africa, they were loaded with small spiders.

And do you know when spiders are most active?

At night.

So imagine this scene: the sailors carrying the banana cargo go to bed for the evening, they get bitten by these poisonous African spiders, and no one can figure out why the crew is dying (keep in mind that 1700s when this was occurring, they did not have cures for venomous spiders like we do today, especially not out at sea.)

When they finally arrive in their destination port with a big chunk of their crew dead, you can see just how easy a rumor could spread that bananas were bad luck on board.

#2 Reason To Have No Bananas On Board Your Boat While Fishing

“The Smoking Floating Gun – Bananas”

no bananas on board

The floating banana

Back in the 1700s and 1800s, there was no Coast Guard.

And there certainly wasn’t high-frequency radio, cell phones, or any other way to call in for help or distress.

So when a ship went down, it usually went down without anyone else knowing about it (except for the unlucky sailors on board).

Of course, other vessels that were passing through the same shipping channels found many of these shipwrecks.

Do you know what rises to the top of the water when a ship goes down?

Anything that floats of course…including bananas!

And when another ship came up to the spot that a ship had sunk, only to see a ton of bananas floating amongst the other debris, you can imagine how easy it would be to assume bananas were bad luck.

When the sailors that came across the sunken ship went back to port, you better believe every story that was shared made mention of the floating bananas.

Before you know it, that story gets passed on and elaborated upon until everyone in town believes that bananas caused the wreck.

As Gwen Stefani said, “It’s Bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S”

bananas bad luck fishing

Gwen Stefani “Hollaback Girl” Video (It’s Bananas)

#3 Reason To Have No Bananas On Board Your Boat While Fishing

Stinky Bananas…

no bananas on board

Have you ever left a banana at home while you went on a long vacation?

I recall one time that I went away for a little over two weeks and came home to a horrible smell in my kitchen.

I checked the trash cans, I checked the garbage disposal, and I checked to make sure my fridge hadn’t crashed and all of the food went bad while I was gone.

But it wasn’t any of these culprits that were causing the wretched smell in my house.

And then I saw it…

Almost blending into my black granite counter were two shriveled up, completely black, almost morphed together into one banana, rotten as can be, smelly bananas.

It smelled as if something had died in my kitchen.

And that smell was produced from only two bad bananas.

Can you imagine what hundreds or even 1,000 bad bananas would smell like?

Well, some sailors certainly did back in the 1700s.

How?

Let me explain.

When a ship left with a cargo full of bananas, speed was key.

The sailors knew that they only had so many days before the bananas would go bad, which meant their cargo would be worthless (thus they didn’t get paid).

But what it also meant that when a bad storm, huge waves, getting lost at night due to the captain falling asleep at the helm (aka passing out after too much rum), or a variety of other reasons that things don’t go as planned on the ocean, was that the bananas on board began putting off an odor.

And most people don’t know this, but the odor that bad bananas put out doesn’t just make your nose twitch, it also can kill other produce around it (the odor speeds up the time that other fresh food and produce goes bad).

So when a ship would be out at sea longer than expected (thus they actually needed more food for the longer than expected voyage), yet the bad bananas were killing off much of their existing produce, many times the crew ran out of food.

And if they were out at sea long enough, it could mean death.

But even at best case, it meant a smelly, stressful, and a very malnourished trip.

Not to mention, the stories the sailors came back with to their families and friends involved the mention of the “bad luck bananas”, furthering the “No Bananas on Board” superstition.

#4 Reason To Have No Bananas On Board Your Boat While Fishing

Wood eating, banana loving, termites.

bad luck fishing bananas

Stop Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

 

Back in the 1700s, all boats were made of wood.

And it was also said that some banana rich areas of Africa and the Caribbean had some of the most destructive wood-eating termites in the world.

So you can imagine that sometimes these termites would cling to the banana trees as they were dragged across the land to the docks where they were loaded on the ship.

And when the termites realized that they were now in an all wooden cargo hold, it was like a kid getting left in a candy store…aka Wood Heaven for a termite.

Needless to say, the termites went to town on the wooden ship, causing tons of damage, and in some cases eating holes in the hull that were not repairable (as the sailors found out about the leaks way too late).

Because many of the sailors wanted to blame the bad luck on something, the obvious patsy was the bananas, as they were the reason the termites had made it on board.

#5 Reason To Have No Bananas On Board Your Boat While Fishing

Fast “Banana Boats”

bad luck bananas on board

Sorry, I couldn’t resist putting this picture in…it has nothing to do with the blog

As I mentioned earlier, speed was of the essence when moving bananas across the ocean.

Another fact is that sailors on cargo ships loved to fish while at sea.

And because most cargo ships took their time and went at normal speeds, the crew would take breaks to catch fish, and usually did quite well.

But on the “Banana Boats”, they didn’t take breaks, and in most cases went full speed ahead to their destination.

In most cases, way too fast to be trolling to catch fish.

So what happened?

Crew members talk with other crew members from other boats, they realize that the banana boats seem to be the only ones that don’t catch fish, and thus a rumor is born.

One sailor tells another that they never catch a single fish when a banana is on board, and before you know it, everyone believes the myth.

 Conclusion

no bananas on board

Whether you believe in superstitions or not, it has hard to ignore the wild amount of fishing nightmares and instances of bad luck where bananas were on board the boat.

However, it is also easy to see how easy these rumors of bananas being bad luck on board fishing boats can spread out of control.

Fishermen and fisherwomen hate not catching fish, and blaming their bad fishing luck (or even boat problems or malfunctions) is something that has gone on for many generations of anglers.

And as long as people keep bringing bananas on board boats, expect to keep hearing stories of how the banana ruined their fishing trip.

Because when all else fails, it is easier to blame a banana than admit you just couldn’t catch any fish (or to explain why your bilge pump is acting up…)

Costa Rica Fishing Species – Sailfish

Three Billboards Warn of Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

Three Billboards Warn of Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

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Top 100 Game Fish

Worlds’ Top 100 Game Fish

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish – Where Does Costa Rica Rank

A ranking of the world’s major saltwater game fish according to 61 top anglers and skippers

The world's top 100 game fish.png

A unique ranking of game fish based on scores from many of the best-known and most-respected names in the world of sport fishing.

Sport Fishing magazine

1 of 1

When it comes to game fishes, most anglers have their favorite species. How do yours rank as game fish among the species that anglers pursue? Now, that question can be answered thanks to Sport Fishing’s unique, authoritative list of The World’s Top 100 Game Fish.

In brief, we devised a quantified rating system using eight key indicators of a species’ value as a game fish and assigned a point range to each.

You can read a more detailed explanation of our rating system and its methodology.

Then we asked 61 of the world’s top captains and anglers to use this system to rate separately 100 specific saltwater game fish. That proved a very time-consuming task, and their participation offers a good indicator of their commitment to this extraordinary list.

See the complete list of experts and read for each a short bio and see their number one game-fish picks.

We’ve divided the top 100 game fish into two lists. After you’ve discovered what species occupy numbers one through 50, see the rest of the world’s top game fish — number 51 through 100 — in this gallery.

ALBACORE — #50

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

albacore tuna

ALBACORE
Thunnus alalunga

Photo by Barry Wiggins; Computer Generated Map for Thunnus alalunga (albacore). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 50.1 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Found in all the world’s warm/temperate seas, albacore are sometimes known as “longfin tuna,” thanks to their unique, distinctively long pectoral fins. Marketed commercially for their very white flesh, the species supports popular sport fisheries off California, Oregon and Washington in late summer, as well as off South Africa and elsewhere. Larger albies remain well offshore, often feeding in deep water. The all-tackle record of 88 pounds, 2 ounces came from the Canary Islands in 1977.

Greatest attribute: Stamina

BLUEFISH — #49

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

bluefish

BLUEFISH
Pomatomus saltatrix

Photo by Jason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com; Computer Generated Map for Pomatomus saltatrix (bluefish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 50.5 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

One of only three species in its family, this piranha of the seas can be caught in subtropical and temperate coastal zones around the world. Bluefish are popular with shore and boat anglers alike in southern Australia (where they’re known as tailor), as well as in the U.S. Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. With a mouthful of razor teeth and a vicious, voracious attitude to match, roving packs of bluefish are slash-and-burn predators that churn through schools of baitfish, boiling the surface. Although it’s hard to beat live bait for blues, as you might suppose, they’re likely to strike anything moving. That has been known to include unlucky or careless anglers’ fingers; caution in the boat is warranted. Fierce fighters, bluefish occasionally jump when hooked. Some anglers find them delicious; others eschew the strong, dark flesh. The all-tackle record of 31 pounds, 12 ounces came from Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1972.

Favorite of: Dave Bard

Greatest attribute: Speed (8.9 out of 15)

 

BLUEFIN TREVALLY — #48

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

bluefin trevally

BLUEFIN TREVALLY
Caranx melampygus

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Caranx melampygus (bluefin trevally). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 50.5 (out of 100 points possible)

Found in much of the Pacific and Indian oceans, bluefin are one of the most striking of trevallies, unmistakable with their brilliant neon-blue fins, tail and upper-body spots. Bluefin inhabit nearshore reefs and enter harbors, reef channels and lagoons as well. They’re typical of the jack family, in that they aggressively strike lures, jigs, flies and bait, and offer a balls-out, tough fight to the end. The IGFA all-tackle world record is 29 pounds, 3 ounces from Clipperton Atoll (2012); however, Fishbase.org suggests they get larger — much larger, citing a maximum published weight of nearly 100 pounds.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (10.8 out of 15)

Here’s more about bluefin trevally:

RED STEENBRAS — #47

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

red steenbras

RED STEENBRAS
Dentex ruprestris

Photo courtesy John Rance; Computer Generated Map for Dentex ruprestris (red steenbras). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 50.6 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Porgies are common, generally small, food fishes of tropical reefs worldwide. But red steenbras are giant porgies of frightening proportions, rapacious appetites and impressive power. Their range is limited to the rocky coast and estuaries along the southern part of Africa, where strict laws fully protect the prized — and delicious — slow-growing species today. The IGFA all-tackle-record red steenbras weighed 124 pounds, 12 ounces, taken off South Africa in 1994.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (11.4 out of 15)

Read more about steenbras:

 

WHITE SEABASS — #46

Top 100 Game Fish

white seabass

WHITE SEABASS
Atractoscion nobilis

Photo by Jim Hendricks / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Atractoscion nobilis (white seabass). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 51.1 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

One of the larger members of the family of drums and croakers — which includes the spotted seatrout and weakfish of the Atlantic Coast — the white seabass is one of the most coveted saltwater prizes among anglers from northern Baja to central California. It frequents nearshore sandy areas, particularly around kelp beds, feeding on a variety of small baitfish as well as squid and crustaceans. Anglers catch them on a variety of lures and baits, with live squid leading the top of the list. The all-tackle record has been unbroken for more than a half-century: Caught in 1953 off San Felipe, in the northern Sea of Cortez, it weighed 83 pounds, 12 ounces.

Greatest attribute: Fight dynamics (11.9 out of 20)

Read more about white seabass:

 

KAHAWAI — #45

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

kahawal

KAHAWAI Arripis trutta

Photo by Sam Mossman; Computer Generated Map for Arripis trutta (kahawai). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 52.6 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

The kahawai (or Australian salmon) is unique to Australia and New Zealand, where it’s an important and highly valued light-tackle and fly-rod game fish among coastal and inshore anglers. Kahawai often gather in large schools to crash bait, à la bluefish. When hooked, they’re nimble fighters, often leaping repeatedly. There is only one genus in the family (Arripidae), with three species. Commonly two to 10 pounds, the world-record kahawai is 19 pounds, 4 ounces, taken in Australian waters in 1994.

Greatest attribute: Fight dynamics (11.2 out of 20)

 

JACK CREVALLE — #44

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

jack crevalle

SCORE 53.0 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Photo by Michael Patrick O’Neill / mpostock.com; Computer Generated Map for Caranx hippos (jack crevalle). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 53.0 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

In an odd way, the jack crevalle actually resembles Rodney Dangerfield a bit. In any case, it sure don’t get the respect by many anglers that it deserves, since in reality, few species fight harder or give it their all more than the crevalle. Perhaps their lack of trophy status is because they’re so ubiquitous (they’re abundant throughout much of the temperate and tropical Atlantic, and similarly abundant in the Pacific version) and widely considered inedible (strong, dark, bloody meat). But plenty of anglers do appreciate tough battles with even small “jacks,” as they are often simply known. Jacks don’t jump or tailwalk, but they slug it out to the bitter end. They’re often found in schools, and make top-notch sight-casting targets; few species more readily strike lures and flies. The all-tackle world record was caught in 2010 on the coast of Angola and weighed 66 pounds, 2 ounces.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (12.1 out of 15)

Read more about Jack Crevalle:

 

CUBERA SNAPPER — #43

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

cubera snapper

CUBERA SNAPPER
Lutjanus cyanopterus

Photo by Albain Choinier; Computer Generated Map for Lutjanus cyanopterus (cubera snapper). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 53.1 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Brute power — that’s what these giants of the snapper clan are all about. And stopping power is what an angler who would tangle with them needs to have, or he’ll find his quarry back in its reef or wreck in a flash. Atlantic cubera range from deep reefs to estuaries on occasion (especially when smaller). A specialized springtime, full-moon fishery using whole lobsters occurs off Miami and the upper Keys, but the species is found in most warm waters in the western Atlantic. Anglers often hook it incidentally. Slightly smaller Pacific cubera (record: 78 pounds, 12 ounces) lurk over shallower reefs where they’ll come up to strike (explode on) large poppers. Somewhat larger African red snapper (record: 132 pounds, 4 ounces) can be caught from sandy beaches in southwest Africa. The all-tackle Atlantic cubera weighed 124 pounds, 12 ounces, from Louisiana’s Garden Bank in 2007.

Favorite of: Todd Staley (“They have the power to put you on your knees.”) and Julien Lajournade

Greatest attribute: Stamina (11.7 out of 15)

OWBARRED MACKEREL — #42

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

narrowhead mackerel

NARROWBARRED MACKEREL
Scomberomorus commerson

Photo by Peter Zeroni; Computer Generated Map for Scomberomorus commerson (narrowbarred mackerel). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE 53.1 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

While quite similar to king mackerel, narrowbarred (also called narrowbarred Spanish or often simply “Spaniards” by Australians) grow a bit larger, have a prominent barred pattern on their sides. and skyrocket even more readily on surface-schooling baitfish as well as anglers’ baits and poppers (especially early and late in the day). The leaps might be 20 feet or higher and nearly as far horizontally. When hooked, narrowbarred turn on the afterburners for searing runs. Found throughout the Indian and tropical Pacific oceans, the species is a favorite with many anglers who, typically, catch them while trolling dead or live baits and lures. The all-tackle record, in place since 1982, was caught off South Africa and weighed 99 pounds.

Greatest attribute: Speed (11.7 out of 15)

Here’s more about narrowbarred mackerel:

Video: “Soaring Mackerel: Unbelievable Leap Caught on Video”

 

GREAT BARRACUDA — #41

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

barracuda

GREAT BARRACUDA
Sphyraena barracuda

Photo by Adrian E. Gray; Computer Generated Map for Sphyraena barracuda (great barracuda). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 53.3 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

The great barracuda is by far the largest of many species of ‘cudas. It’s found in warm Atlantic waters, particularly the Caribbean, and in the Indo-Pacific region, but is absent in the eastern Pacific off the Americas. Larger ‘cudas hooked in deep water seldom jump, but when hooked over sandy/mangrove flats, they often explode in spectacular leaps. Their flesh is tasty but widely avoided, as it’s frequently implicated in ciguatera poisoning. The all-tackle record of 84 pounds, 14 ounces was caught in 1991 in the Philippines.

Greatest attribute: Dynamics of fight (10.5 of 20)

leerfish

LEERFISH
Lichia amia

Photo by Antonio Varcasia; Computer Generated Map for Lichia amia (leerfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 53.3 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Limited to the Mediterranean and tropical eastern Atlantic, the leerfish (aka garrick) is a member of the jack family and, accordingly, a powerful and determined fighter. In appearance, the species is unique and unmistakable. Like many coastal pelagics, the leerfish migrates seasonally. Anglers fish live baits along Atlantic beaches and rocky headlands, both from boats and often from shore. The all-tackle record is 61 pounds, 4 ounces from Spain in 2000.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (10.6 out of 15)

 

STRIPED BASS — #39

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

striped bass

STRIPED BASS
Morone saxatilis

Photo by Ethan Gordon; Computer Generated Map for Morone saxatilis (striped bass). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 54.2 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

The striper is one of a few species on this list that qualifies as an all-American game fish. It’s enormously important along the coast and in estuaries from Maine through the mid-Atlantic states, locally important south into northern Florida; it’s sometimes taken even in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Stripers also thrive in San Francisco Bay and San Joaquin Delta waters, where they were introduced, and a few still hang on in southern Oregon rivers. They’re naturally anadromous but can also thrive landlocked in fresh water. A widely imposed moratorium on any retention in the 1980s helped populations come roaring back after heavy overfishing. A classic game fish that looks, eats and fights great — what’s not to love? The all-tackle world record was recently broken with an 81-pound, 14-ounce brute taken off Long Island Sound in 2011.

Favorite of: David Hadden (especially “when a thousand hungry bass explode into a surface blitz… It’s a species that can go airborne better than any tarpon and rip into the backing with any fish on the flats.”)

Greatest attribute: As a sight-casting target (9.6 out of 15)

Read more about striped bass:

TRIPLETAIL — #54.9

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

tripletail

TRIPLETAIL
Lobotes surinamensis

Photo by Will Drost; Computer Generated Map for Lobotes surinamensis (tripletail). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 54.9 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

There’s no other saltwater game fish anything like a tripletail, its shape more like a large sunfish than a sleek predator. But this slab-sided species proves its agility and speed when it suddenly attacks a bait, lure or fly. It also proves its capricious temperament all too often, as saltwater anglers around the world know from tripletail encounters. When spotted finning near buoys or other surface objects, the surface-loving tripletail might turn up its nose at every offering, even live shrimp. When trips do strike, they hit hard, and run and even jump from the water with surprising dexterity. By most standards, tripletail qualify as one of the best eating fish in any ocean. The all-tackle record came from Zululand, South Africa, in 1989; it weighed 42 pounds, 5 ounces.

Favorite of: Capt. Sonny Schindler

Greatest attribute: As a sight-casting target (12.4 out of 15)

Read more about tripletail:

BLACKFIN TUNA — #37

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

blackfin tuna

BLACKFIN TUNA
Thunnus atlanticus

Photo by Doug Olander; Computer Generated Map for Thunnus atlanticus (blackfin tuna). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 54.9 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Widespread throughout the temperate and tropical Western Atlantic, this very accessible and aggressive surface-schooling tuna is a favorite of anglers. When thrashing baitfish or chummed into a frenzy, blackfin are great targets for fly-rodders as well as popper enthusiasts. Although considered good eating, the blackfin is not as choice as its larger relative, the yellowfin. However, their dogged fight is, pound for pound, the equal of any tuna. While footballs of five to 10 pounds are often thick, at times they might run two or three times that size. The all-tackle record is a 49-pound, 6-ounce fish caught off Marathon, in the Florida Keys, in 2006.

Greatest attribute: Speed (12.4 out of 15)

Read more about blackfin tuna:

KING MACKEREL — #36

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

kingfish

KING MACKEREL
Scomberomorus cavalla

Photo by Doug Olander; Computer Generated Map for Scomberomorus cavalla (king mackerel). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 55.4 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

One of the larger mackerels, the king (widely, just “kingfish”) is an everyman’s coastal game fish, found both in large schools and as solitary individuals, from inlets and just off beaches to open nearshore waters. The species is also a booster of coastal economies, particularly via the monstrous SKA (Southern Kingfish Association) tournament circuit. Common from the mid-Atlantic through the Gulf and Caribbean south to Brazil, this coastal pelagic typically follows seasonal migration routes. Light tackle makes even smaller “snakes” a blast, with their sizzling initial runs. Though they don’t jump when hooked, it’s a thrilling sight to see kings skyrocket high into the air when attacking a lure or bait at the surface. Kings in the 10- to 30-pound range are common, but it takes “smokers” of 40 pounds or more to raise eyebrows. The all-tackle world record is 93 pounds, caught out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1999.

Greatest attribute: Speed (12.5 out of 15)

 

RED DRUM — #35

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

red drum

RED DRUM
Sciaenops ocellatus

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Sciaenops ocellatus (red drum). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 56.1 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Being one of the most accessible, available game fish over a very large area (from the westernmost Gulf of Mexico to the mid-Atlantic states) helps account for the tremendous popularity of the red drum (aka redfish) among inshore and nearshore anglers. Redfish are found in a great variety of habitats, from clear flats to muddy bays to Atlantic beaches to the base of structure in more than 200 feet of water offshore. They’ll readily strike bait, lures and flies. Their habit of tailing in shallow water and the schooling of bull reds at times in open water off beaches make them a favorite target of sight-casters. Reds hit hard and run strong, particularly in skinny water. They’ve been given game-fish-only status in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas; in all federal waters, no red drum may be kept by anyone. The all-tackle record weighed 94 pounds, 2 ounces, from North Carolina in 1984.

Favorite of: Morgan Promnitz

Greatest attribute: Sight-casting opportunities (12.5 out of 15

 

WHITE STURGEON — #34

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

sturgeon

WHITE STURGEON
Acipenser transmontanus

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Acipenser transmontanus (white sturgeon). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 56.2 (out of 100 possible points)
See the scoring breakdown

Living fossils — it’s a description often attributed to these heavily armored bottom feeders with sharklike heterocercal (asymmetrical) tails. Neither the phrase nor their appearance suggest sturgeon would make a good game fish capable of repeated leaps clear of the water — both when hooked and just free-jumping. White sturgeon are anadromous, and often caught in estuaries such as California’s San Pablo Bay and the lower Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, as well as farther up the Columbia and British Columbia’s Fraser River. Their delicate chin barbels and sensitive tubular mouths make them a challenge to hook, usually on crustaceans or small baitfish. The all-tackle record of 468 pounds came from Benicia, California, in 1983. Soon after, and still today, white sturgeon are protected throughout their range with upper size limits that guarantee the world record won’t be beaten. But white sturgeon grow to at least a reported 1,800 pounds!

Greatest attribute: Stamina (11.5 out of 15)

Read more about white sturgeon:

Fishing for Columbia River Sturgeon

 

OPAH — #33

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

opah

OPAH
Lampris guttatus

Photo by Bill Roecker / fishingvideos.com; Computer Generated Map for Lampris guttatus (opah). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 56.5 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

The opah surely gets top billing as the least-caught fish on this list. While not rare, these solitary and unique predators of the open ocean’s middepths are nowhere abundant: they patrol waters often too deep for anglers. Off California and Baja, speed jigging with heavy metal jigs accounts for some of those caught on rod and reel — always incidentally, usually when albacore, bluefin or yellowfin tuna are the targets. Opah are found worldwide in tropical to temperate waters and are occasionally caught in the Hawaiian Islands, as well as off California and Baja, and often found in markets; their orange flesh is superb eating. The IGFA all-tackle record was caught in 2014 off San Quintin, Baja. It weighed 180 pounds, 12 ounces, but fishbase.org cites the capture (presumably commercially) of an opah just shy of 600 pounds.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (11.5 out of 15)

 

DOGTOOTH TUNA — #32

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

dogtooth tuna

DOGTOOTH TUNA
Gymnosarda unicolor

Photo courtesy Capt. John Pearce; Computer Generated Map for Gymnosarda unicolor (dogtooth tuna). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 59.0 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

There really is no tuna anything like the dogtooth. It’s one of the larger tunas, but unlike yellowfin or bigeye (in fact, the scaleless dogtooth is a species of bonito), it sports a mouthful of daggerlike teeth — and rather than patrolling the high seas in big, predatory schools, the solitary dogtooth prowls slopes and channels through large coral reefs. But it is a tuna and known for its very tunalike endurance when hooked. Dogtooth are found throughout the Indo-Pacific, and readily strike metal speed jigs, baits and trolled lures. The IGFA all-tackle record of 236 pounds, 15 ounces, came from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2015.

Favorite of: Nicola Zingarelli

Greatest attribute: Stamina (12.9 out of 15)

Read more about dogtooth tuna:

 

CALIFORNIA YELLOWTAIL — #31

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

California yellowtail

CALIFORNIA YELLOWTAIL
Seriola lalandi dorsalis

Photo by Barry Wiggins; Computer Generated Map for Seriola lalandi dorsalis (California yellowtail). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 59.2 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring breakdown

Mostly geography alone distinguishes the California from the southern yellowtail. In terms of geography, the California subspecies is more limited than most game fish, common only from Southern California south into the Sea of Cortez. The powerful, aggressive jack is a staple of the Southern California fleet, both day boats and long-rangers that find phenomenal fishing along the Pacific coast of Baja where anglers vie for the largest “mossback” yellowtail with live baits and metal jigs (“iron”). Private boaters and kayak anglers tangle locally with yellowtail — considered excellent eating, —along the south coast from spring through fall around structure or kelp. They’re common from 15 to 30 pounds, but the all-tackle world record, from Japan, tipped the scale in 2009 at 109 pounds, 2 ounces.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (12.2 out of 15

SOUTHERN YELLOWTAIL — #30

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

yellowtail

SOUTHERN YELLOWTAIL
Seriola lalandi lalandi

Photo by Alistair McGlashan; Computer Generated Map for Seriola lalandi lalandi (southern yellowtail). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 60.7 (out of 100 points possible)

There’s not a lot of difference between southern yellowtail and (the next fish in this list) California yellowtail — which are, in fact, the same species but believed to be different subspecies — except size, slightly. The southern variety grows just a bit larger. It’s also found over a much larger area — Southern Hemisphere oceans, both the Pacific (off New Zealand’s North Island and off southeastern Australia, in particular, where they’re known as yellowtail kingfish or just “kingies”) and Atlantic (off southern Brazil and southwest Africa). It’s a member of the jack family, similar in appearance and toughness to amberjack. Two fish tie for the all-tackle world record of 114 pounds, 10 ounces; both were taken off northern New Zealand, one at White Island and the other out of Tauranga.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (12.8 out of 15)

 

COBIA — #29

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

cobia

COBIA
Rachycentron canadum

Photo by Michael Patrick O’Neill / mpostock.com; Computer Generated Map for Rachycentron canadum (cobia). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 60.9
See the scoring breakdown

Anglers not intimately familiar with the cobia’s appearance and habits often shout “shark!” when they see one or a group approach a drifting or anchored boat (which cobia very often do, seemingly among the ocean’s more-curious fish species). The resemblance from above is legitimate at a glance, but in fact, cobia are the only species in their own family, unrelated to sharks. Most tropical/warm waters in the world are home to cobia (though oddly, the eastern Pacific is an exception). Tough fighters and delectable eating, cobia are always a welcome addition to any angler’s day. The world record was caught in remote Shark Bay, along the south central coast of Western Australia, and weighed 135 pounds, 9 ounces.

Greatest attribute: A tie — Stamina and as a sight-casting target (both 11.2 out of 15)

Read more about cobia

 

BLACKTIP SHARK — #28

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

blacktip shark

BLACKTIP SHARK
Carcharhinus limbatus

Photo by Pat Ford; Computer Generated Map for Carcharhinus limbatus (blacktip shark). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 61.1: (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Blacktips are one of the world’s most ubiquitous inshore/nearshore sharks, found around the globe in tropical and temperate waters, in habitats ranging from muddy estuaries to clear coral reefs. They’ll aggressively strike baits, lures and flies, and they make sizzling runs when hooked, often leaping and twisting in the air (as does their close relative, the spinner shark). In areas such as the Florida Keys, blacktips make a popular flats target. Though on the flats they’re usually of modest size, the species can grow large: The all-tackle record, from Malindi Bay in Kenya, weighed 270 pounds, 9 ounces.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (10.6 out of 15)

Read more about blacktip sharks:

BONEFISH — #27

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

bonefish

BONEFISH
Albula vulpes

Photo by Jason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com; Computer Generated Map for Albula vulpes (bonefish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 61.2 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

One of the game fish most coveted as trophies by flats anglers, bonefish are the dragsters of shallow water. At the sting of a hook, they become horizontal missiles, sizzling away on an initial run that lasts far too long and is impossibly fast for a fish of its size. There are several species of bonefish in the world, but the largest is the common bonefish of tropical oceans. There are many outstanding spots in the Caribbean to try for bones, but the Florida Keys remains one of the best bets for big bones. They might move into deeper waters off the flats as well. The IGFA all-tackle record of 19 pounds has held since 1962, when it was caught from the surf off South Africa (though not A. vulpes — another species).t

Favorite of: Mike Mazur, Ed Truter

Greatest attribute: As a sight-casting target (14.6 out of 15)

Read more about bonefish

 

THRESHER SHARK — #26

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

thresher shark

THRESHER SHARK
Alopias spp.

Photo by Jason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com; Computer Generated Map for Alopias spp. (thresher shark). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 61.3 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Many species of pelagic sharks look similar, and some might be easily confused, but never the thresher, with a tail about as long as its body. Several species of threshers are found around the world in warm to cool, temperate waters. Some thresher species feed in the upper water column, while bigeye threshers inhabit the depths. Threshers use their tail to herd and stun prey (and are commonly foul-hooked in the tail). With their small mouth and teeth, threshers are not feared as man-eaters, but feed on small fish. They’re stubborn fighters, capable of uncanny bursts of speed, and can make spectacular leaps into the air. Threshers are known to be one of the better-eating sharks. Regulations vary from region to region; for example, the bigeye thresher is protected in Atlantic waters. The all-tackle world-record thresher was caught out of Bay of Islands, northern New Zealand, in 1983; it weighed 767 pounds, 3 ounces.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (11.9 out of 15)

Read more about thresher sharks:

Black Papuan Snapper — #25

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

Papuan black snapper (aka black bass).jpg

PAPUAN BLACK SNAPPER
Lutjanus goldiei

Courtesy Halco Lures

SCORE: 63.4 (out of 100 points possible)

Aficionados of “black bass,” as Papuan black snapper are widely known, often proclaim it the world’s toughest fish. Both its habits and habitat are part of that mystique. The black bass likes to ambush prey in the convoluted confines of downed trees and rugged rocky areas in the current of lower rivers; this powerful, hard-to-stop predator starts its fight amid snags. Adding to its mystique is the species’ limited range: It’s found only in southern Papua New Guinea. The all-tackle world record is 47 pounds, 8 ounces, from Papua New Guinea’s Tauri River in 2015.

Greatest attribute: Fight dynamics (15 out of 20)

Read more about Papuan black bass:

 

TALANG QUEENFISH — #24

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

24-queenfish.jpg

TALANG QUEENFISH
Scomberoides commersonianus

Photo by Herle Hamon; Computer Generated Map for Scomberoides commersonianus (talang queenfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 63.4 (out of 100 points possible)

The queenfish is one member of the jack/trevally family that has it all, including a great aerial show when hooked, making it an ideal light-tackle opponent. The talang queenfish isn’t found in the Americas but is widely distributed about the Indo-Pacific. Australians value them as black marlin baits. Queenies inhabit lagoons (but avoid low-salinity estuaries) and shallow reefs, preferring clear waters. The world-record talang stands at 39 pounds, 7 ounces from South Africa, caught in 2010.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (13.7 out of 15)

Herre’s more about Talang queenfish:

THRESHER SHARK — #26

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

thresher shark

THRESHER SHARK
Alopias spp.

Photo by Jason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com; Computer Generated Map for Alopias spp. (thresher shark). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 61.3 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Many species of pelagic sharks look similar, and some might be easily confused, but never the thresher, with a tail about as long as its body. Several species of threshers are found around the world in warm to cool, temperate waters. Some thresher species feed in the upper water column, while bigeye threshers inhabit the depths. Threshers use their tail to herd and stun prey (and are commonly foul-hooked in the tail). With their small mouth and teeth, threshers are not feared as man-eaters, but feed on small fish. They’re stubborn fighters, capable of uncanny bursts of speed, and can make spectacular leaps into the air. Threshers are known to be one of the better-eating sharks. Regulations vary from region to region; for example, the bigeye thresher is protected in Atlantic waters. The all-tackle world-record thresher was caught out of Bay of Islands, northern New Zealand, in 1983; it weighed 767 pounds, 3 ounces.

Greatest attribute: Stamina (11.9 out of 15)

Read more about thresher sharks

Black Papuan Snapper — #25

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

Papuan black snapper (aka black bass).jpg

PAPUAN BLACK SNAPPER
Lutjanus goldiei

Courtesy Halco Lures

SCORE: 63.4 (out of 100 points possible)

Aficionados of “black bass,” as Papuan black snapper are widely known, often proclaim it the world’s toughest fish. Both its habits and habitat are part of that mystique. The black bass likes to ambush prey in the convoluted confines of downed trees and rugged rocky areas in the current of lower rivers; this powerful, hard-to-stop predator starts its fight amid snags. Adding to its mystique is the species’ limited range: It’s found only in southern Papua New Guinea. The all-tackle world record is 47 pounds, 8 ounces, from Papua New Guinea’s Tauri River in 2015.

Greatest attribute: Fight dynamics (15 out of 20)

Read more about Papuan black bass:

 

TALANG QUEENFISH — #24

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

24-queenfish.jpg

TALANG QUEENFISH
Scomberoides commersonianus

Photo by Herle Hamon; Computer Generated Map for Scomberoides commersonianus (talang queenfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 63.4 (out of 100 points possible)

The queenfish is one member of the jack/trevally family that has it all, including a great aerial show when hooked, making it an ideal light-tackle opponent. The talang queenfish isn’t found in the Americas but is widely distributed about the Indo-Pacific. Australians value them as black marlin baits. Queenies inhabit lagoons (but avoid low-salinity estuaries) and shallow reefs, preferring clear waters. The world-record talang stands at 39 pounds, 7 ounces from South Africa, caught in 2010.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (13.7 out of 15)

WAHOO — #23

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

wahoo

WAHOO
Acanthocybium solandri

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing, Computer Generated Map for Acanthocybium solandri (wahoo). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 63.8 (out of 100 points possible)

Built for speed — one look confirms that description of wahoo: torpedoes with fins. Many anglers believe wahoo to be the fastest fish in the sea — and perhaps size for size they are — but in any case, their first run (particularly if on tackle of appropriate size) is simply smokin’ hot. A testament to their velocity: Some wahoo trollers pull lures at speeds exceeding 15 knots. ‘Hoos are found around the world in tropical/warm seas and may travel in packs. They typically patrol near the surface, from blue water far offshore to the edges of steep rocky shorelines and submarine shelves. Hurricane Bank and other areas off Baja provide great numbers of wahoo to long-range anglers. One of the largest members of the mackerel family, wahoo are esteemed for their white flesh. The all-tackle world record weighing 184 pounds was taken off Cabo San Lucas in 2000.

Greatest attribute: Speed (14.4 out of 15; highest rating of any game fish)

Read more about wahoo:

“12 Wahoo-Fishing Techniques”

 

BARRAMUNDI — #23

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

22-barramundi.jpg

BARRAMUNDI
Lates calcarifer

Photo by Doug Olander; Computer Generated Map for Lates calcarifer (barramundi). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 64.2 (out of 100 points possible)

It’s easy to see the family resemblance of barra to snook. The barramundi is a bit more thick-bodied and lacks the distinctive lateral-line bar. But the two are clearly kissing cousins in the same genus. Barramundi share all the hard-fighting, high-jumping characteristics of snook, and they get considerably larger. They’re also estuary-based ambush predators, hiding around mangroves or rocks in channels to dart out and snatch a live bait or lure. Barra are found around the upper half of Australia, where they’re the No. 1 inshore game fish, and north through much of tropical Asia. Like snook, these popular game fish are highly regarded for the table. Down Under, barramundi have been stocked in freshwater reservoirs, where they often grow to gimungus proportions. In fact, the all-tackle-record barra, weighing 98 pounds, 6 ounces, was pulled from Lake Monduran in Queensland in 2010.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (12.4 out of 15)

 

GIANT TREVALLY — #21

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

giant trevally

GIANT TREVALLY
Caranx ignobilis

Photo by Doug Olander; Computer Generated Map for Caranx ignobilis (giant trevally). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 64.2 (out of 100 points possible)

Quick, let’s play word association. I say “giant trevally.” You say — ? If you know much about this species, your immediate response is “Brutal!” or some synonym. One of the largest members of the jack (Carangidae) family, giant trevally (widely known as GT) are quite simply one of toughest fish on rod and reel in the world. Not surprisingly, that challenge attracts anglers far and wide to pit their skills and tackle against big GTs in areas such as Oman, Australia, New Caledonia, the Andaman Islands and Hawaii. GT are common over rugged oceanic reefs throughout the western tropical Pacific and Indian oceans. The frightening power in a GT attack on a popper (which they often demolish before they can be brought to the boat) is unforgettable. Most serious GT enthusiasts use at least 80-pound braid with a locked-down drag to try to stop monsters from powering back over sharp coral reef or bommies. The IGFA world record is an amazing 160 pounds, 7 ounces caught in Japanese waters in 2006.

Favorite of: Capt. Rick Gaffney, Jim Rizzuto, Chris Tan

Greatest attribute: Stamina (13.8 out of 15)

Read more about giant trevally:

“Biggest Trevally Ever Caught?”

 

SPEARFISH — #20

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

spearfish

SPEARFISH
Tetrapturus spp.

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Tetrapturus spp. (longbill spearfish, shortbill spearfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 64.8 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

The IGFA lumps into two categories these smallest of the billfishes: the shortbill and the Atlantic species. The shortbill spearfish inhabits most of the world’s oceans except for the Atlantic and Mediterranean, inhabited by the longbill, Mediterranean and round-scale spearfishes. Spearfish are seldomly targeted because they’re seldomly found in numbers; they’re typically caught incidentally (and often on tackle too heavy to allow much of a fight, though the novelty of releasing a spearfish is reward enough for many anglers). Kona is one exception; there, shortbills can be around in sufficient quantity for directed fishing by anglers for whom catching one is a goal (often to complete an offshore slam). Besides their small size, spearfishes are characterized by bills quite short compared with other billfishes. The all-tackle record shortbill weighed 110 pounds, 3 ounces; it was caught off Sydney, Australia. The all-tackle record for the longbill spearfish, caught in the Atlantic off the Canary Islands, weighed 127 pounds, 13 ounces.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (12.8 out of 15)

Read more on spearfish

 

PACIFIC SNOOK — #19

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

Pacific snook

PACIFIC SNOOK
Black Snook and White Snook
Centropomus nigrescens and C. viridis

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Centropomus undecimalus (Atlantic snook). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 65.0 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Although six species of Pacific snook inhabit tropical estuaries of the Americas, the two largest — black and white — are of primary interest to anglers. Very similar and not easily distinguished, the species are lumped together by the IGFA for the purposes of records as “Pacific snook.” As with their Atlantic counterparts, a fertile mangrove coast, particularly in lower rivers, offers the best chance to find these elongated predators. In estuaries where local netters fish them hard, Pacific snook populations might be mostly smaller fish; finding lightly fished waters where trophy fish remain can be a challenge. In the eastern Pacific (only), snook range from Baja to Peru (including the Galapagos). The IGFA record Pacific snook is a 59-pound, 8-ounce black caught near Quepos, Costa Rica, in 2014.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (12.3 out of 15)

 

KING THREADFIN — #18

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

king threadfin

KING THREADFIN
Polydactylus macrochir

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Polydactylus macrochir (king threadfin). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 65.7 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Relatively few anglers enjoy the opportunity to catch king threadfin since they’re geographically limited mostly to northern Australia (where they’re often called salmon) and New Guinea. But those who have tangled with threadies recognize the species as “a tornado on a string once hooked, seemingly going in all directions at once,” as the IGFA species’ description puts it, including out of the water. King threadfin live in muddy, silty intertidal waters, where they use their characteristic long filamentous feelers beneath their throat to sense prey. They readily strike lures and bait. Although king threadfin are reported to reach 100 pounds, the IGFA all-tackle record is more modest, at 27½ pounds, from northwestern Australia in 1966.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (12.2 out of 15)

 

COHO SALMON — #17

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

coho salmon

COHO SALMON
Oncorhynchus kisutch

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 66.0 (out of 100 points possible) See the scoring

While considerably smaller (typically five to 15 pounds) than chinook, coho (aka silvers) are more abundant and qualify as one of the world’s great light-tackle gamesters. Coho strike hard and run fast, their fight characterized by sudden shifts in direction and wild leaps. Coho tend to feed higher in the water column than chinook. Naturally abundant, many wild runs along North America have been decimated by human development damming and degrading rivers, though hatchery programs have helped augment recreational fisheries. Coho mix with chinook but can be distinguished in several ways, including the lack of spotting on the lower half of the tail. They range from south-central California, throughout the northern Pacific and in the Great Lakes, where they were introduced decades ago. The all-tackle record, in fact, came from the Salmon River in New York in 1989, weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces.

Favorite of: Joan Vernon

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (12.9 out of 15)

 

CHINOOK SALMON — #16

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

chinook salmon

CHINOOK SALMON
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (chinook salmon). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 66.7 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

One of the world’s most valuable species commercially and recreationally, chinook (aka king) salmon are easily the largest of six Pacific salmon species. They range naturally from central California to northern Alaska (though introduced into the Great Lakes, South America and elsewhere). Their complex life history involves conditions in the rivers of their birth, where they’ll spawn several years later as well as unpredictable ocean conditions, making management difficult at best. Anglers generally troll for a combination of wild and hatchery chinook, using herring, anchovies, plastic squid (Hoochys) and hard plugs, often on downriggers set at 50 to 200 feet. The IGFA all-tackle record came from Alaska’s Kenai River in 1985, weighing 97 pounds, 4 ounces.

Favorite of: Capt. Andy Mezirow (“wily, hard fighting and unpredictable”)

Greatest attribute: Stamina (10.5 out of 15

chinook salmon

ROOSTERFISH — #15

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

roosterfish

ROOSTERFISH
Nematistius pectoralis

Photo by Adrian E. Gray; Computer Generated Map for Nematistius pectoralis (roosterfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 66.8 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

The distinctive high, comblike dorsal fin of a lit-up roosterfish cutting through green inshore waters, hot on the trail of a live bait or popper, is one of sport fishing’s most memorable sights. Roosters are unique to the eastern Pacific, where they’re caught from Baja into northern South America. Once thought to be a species of jack (Carangidae), roosters are in fact in their own family. They do, however, certainly fight with jacklike stubbornness and power — but add to that fight the ability to jump, which further explains their appeal as game fish. Roosters are fish of beaches and rocky shores. They can reach weights in excess of 100 pounds, witness the IGFA record since 1960 of 114 pounds from La Paz, Mexico.

Favorite of: Antonio Varcasia and Raleigh Werking

PERMIT — #14

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

permit

PERMIT
Trachinotus falcatus

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Trachinotus falcatus (permit). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 67.4 (out of 100 points possible)

Widely considered the most elusive and wary trophy among flats fishermen, permit range throughout tropical waters of the western Atlantic. Other species occur elsewhere, notably in tropical Australia, but T. falcatus is the largest. Permit are a favorite target of fly-fishermen; for those using conventional gear, a live crab or a half-crab gets the best results, since crustaceans form a major part of their diet. When hooked in skinny water, they use their speed and flat sides to full advantage. Permit range widely out to shallow reefs and wrecks, where they might gather in large schools, much less spooky and striking far more aggressively than when stalked on the flats. The all-tackle world-record 60-pounder came from Brazil in 2002.

Favorite of: Bill Classon, John Frazier, and Paul Sharman

Greatest attribute: Sight-casting opportunities (13.9 out of 15)

Read more about permit:

YELLOWFIN TUNA — #13

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

yellowfin tuna

YELLOWFIN TUNA
Thunnus albacares

Photo courtesy Capt. Josh Temple / primetimeadv.com; Computer Generated Map for Thunnus albacares (yellowfin tuna). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 70.2 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Yellowfin (and the very similar bigeye) tuna are incredibly popular worldwide among sport fishermen, whether running-and-gunning to throw poppers into great breaking schools of 20-pound “footballs,” or fishing kite baits for the world’s largest yellowfin (in the 300- to 400-plus-pound range) off Mexico in the eastern Pacific. The current all-tackle world record is 427 pounds, caught off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in 2012.

Favorite of: Dave Bertolozzi, Bill Boyce, Louis Chemi (“It’s always been my favorite”), Jim Harnwell, and Dave Pfeiffer

Greatest attribute: Stamina (14.2 out of 15)

Read more about yellowfin and bigeye:

 

ATLANTIC SNOOK — #12

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

Atlantic snook

ATLANTIC SNOOK
Centropomus undecimalus

Photo by Jason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com; Computer Generated Map for Centropomus nigrescens, C. viridis (Pacific snook). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 71,.4 (out of 11 points possible)
[See the scoring](Centropomus undecimalus)

Most of the game fish occupying the top-12 slots in this list are found around much of the world. Not so for snook. That level of interest in fish limited in distribution to a small swath of tropical Atlantic — in shallow coastal waters from southern Florida and Texas south into Central America — says something about the species’ appeal. In fact, there are a half-dozen Atlantic species and as many similar species in the Pacific, but only a few grow large. Snook frequent mangrove estuaries, lagoons and inlets, at times dwelling in fresh water. They explode readily on plugs and flies, and usually put on an exciting aerial display. The underslung jaw and dark lateral-line stripe make snook hard to mistake for anything else. A 53-pound, 10 ounce Atlantic snook has held as the all-tackle world record since 1978, where it was taken in Costa Rica’s Rio Parsimina.

Favorite of: George Large (“They can be caught on light tackle, hit hard, pull drag with strong runs, jump multiple times, are not easy to catch — especially on lures — and taste good.”)

Greatest attribute: Sight-casting opportunities (11.1 out of 15)

Read more about Atlantic snook:

 

BLUEFIN TUNA — #11

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

bluefin tuna

BLUEFIN TUNA
Thunnus thynnus

Photo courtesy Capt. Josh Temple / primetimeadv.com; Computer Generated Map for Thunnus thynnus (bluefin tuna). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 71.8 (out of 100 points possible)

Only marlin, among all bony fishes, can rival the bluefin tuna as the oceans’ largest predators, and none can rival it in commercial value; large fish can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Japanese market. The largest bluefin are found in summer and fall off Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, where food is abundant and where these endothermic (warm-blooded) giants are able to thrive in the frigid waters. A winter fishery has also developed off the mid-Atlantic coast for giant bluefin. Management of this precious resource by the international agency charged with doing so has been problematic, and stocks remain severely overfished. A Pacific species of bluefin provides anglers off southern Australia and New Zealand with action for fish almost as large. The world-record bluefin has remained unbroken since 1979, when Ken Fraser caught his 1,496-pounder off Nova Scotia.

Favorite of: Ray Rosher

Greatest attribute: Stamina (14.2 out of 15)

Read more about bluefin:

 

ATLANTIC SAILFISH — #10

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

Atlantic sailfish

ATLANTIC SAILFISH
Istiophorus platypterus

Photo by Scott Salyers; Computer Generated Map for Istiophorus platypterus (Atlantic sailfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 77.9 (out of 100 points possible)

Both elegant and iconic, the gorgeous sailfish is an “accessible trophy,” ranging from nearshore to blue waters on both sides of the Atlantic. High-jumping sailfish readily take trolled baits and lures as well as live pitch-baits, and can be teased in to strike large flies. With a widely cited measured speed of more than 68 mph, sailfish are considered the world’s fastest fish. Recent years have seen great numbers of sailfish off southeast Florida, but the largest Atlantic sails prowl the waters off West Africa; the all-tackle world record of 141 pounds, 1 ounce was caught in 1994 off Angola.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (18.5 out of 20)

Read more about Atlantic sailfish:

 

WHITE MARLIN — #9

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

white marlin

WHITE MARLIN
Tetrapturus albidus

Photo by Ken Neill: Computer Generated Map for Tetrapturus albidus (white marlin). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 78.1 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

This smallest of Atlantic marlins — typically 50 to 70 pounds — is found in all temperate and tropical areas, where it often comes relatively close to shore. Great jumpers (see video below), whites are particularly popular among anglers in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Its rounded fins distinguish it readily from blue marlin — but not from the round-scale spearfish, so closely resembling white marlin that only a few years ago did scientists realize these were separate species (see first item below). The all-tackle record white marlin weighed in at 181 pounds, 14 ounces; like the world-record blue marlin, it was caught off Vitoria, Brazil.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (17.8 out of 20)

Read more about white marlin:

 

PACIFIC SAILFISH — #8

The World’s Top 100

Pacific sailfish

PACIFIC SAILFISH
Istiophorus platypterus

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Istiophorus platypterus (Pacific sailfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 78.6 (out of 100 points possible)

Sailfish range throughout warm waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. I. platypterus tends to run considerably larger in size than does its Atlantic counterpart, with 100-plus-pound fish being run of the mill. The fishery off Guatemala is known to be a leading sailfishery in the world, with some charter boats enjoying dozens of shots in a day. Malaysia’s burgeoning sailfishing in the Sea of China off Kuala Lumpur is another fishery with often-astonishing numbers. The world record has held since 1947: a 221-pounder taken off Ecuador.

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (18.5 out of 20)

Read more about Pacific sailfish:

 

SWORDFISH — #7

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

swordfish

SWORDFISH
Xiphias gladius

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Xiphias gladius (swordfish). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 81.1 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Arguably the most amazing of the ocean’s apex predators, the swordfish — found around the world in tropical and temperate seas — is often seen basking at the surface (especially in the chilly Pacific off Southern California), and at night hunts in the upper reaches of the water column (where it is taken by trolling lures and bait in geographically disparate areas such as New Zealand and Kenya). Yet much of the time, it prowls the extreme depths — black, cold and with limited oxygen — associating during daylight hours with what is known as the deep-scattering layer, typically 1,500 to 1,800 feet down. Here it feeds on squid and other organisms (aided by heaters that keep its large eyes warm and provide visual acuity). In recent years, protection from longliners by the U.S. government has seen a tremendous surge in populations in the Atlantic off the Southeast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Swords are known for their incredible power and endurance on rod and reel. The world-record broadbill, a 1,182-pound monster, came from the waters off Chile in 1953.

Favorite of: Bill Shedd

Greatest attribute: Stamina (14.5 out of 15 — the highest ranking game fish of all for stamina)

Read more about swordfish:

 

MAHIMAHI — #6

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

dolphin

MAHIMAHI
Coryphaena hippurus

Photo by Doug Olander / Sporf Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Coryphaena hippurus (mahimahi). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 81.9 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

“The ideal and arguably most popular offshore game fish: a willing striker, sight-casting friendly, determined and often aerobatic fights, stubborn tendency to sound, great table fare, and beautiful. What else could one want?” George Poveromo’s comment nicely explains the universal popularity of mahi among warm-water offshore anglers around the planet. “The perfect game fish,” says Dave Ferrell, past editor of Marlin Magazine. The flashing neon hues of emerald, peacock blue and brilliant yellow among a lit-up school of rapacious dolphinfish around a boat is both common and extraordinary; there’s nothing quite like it in fishing. Mahi eat insatiably and grow at an astounding rate, up to 18 inches in a year. The all-tackle-record 87-pounder was taken off Papagallo, Costa Rica, in 1976.

Favorite of: Jim Hendricks, Doug Olander, George Poveromo, Phil Richmond (“Beautiful, hard fighting, plentiful and tasty. Can’t ask for much more in a game fish.”), and Harry Vernon III

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (17.5 out of 20)

Read more about mahi

STRIPED MARLIN — #5

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

striped marlin

STRIPED MARLIN
Kajikia audax

Photo by Brandon Cole; Computer Generated Map for Kajikia audax (striped marlin). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 83.7 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

A favorite blue-water target throughout the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, stripes seldom fail to put on a great show once hooked. The waters off southeastern Baja each fall offer some of the best numbers, while New Zealand is the place for monsters — including the 494-pound world record (1986).

Favorite game fish of: Capt. Dan Kipnis (“Great fish to cast to”)

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (18.0 out of 20)

Read more about striped marlin:

 

BLACK MARLIN — #4

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

black marlin

BLACK MARLIN
Istiompax indica

Photo by Alistair McGlashan; Computer Generated Map for Istiompax indica (black marlin). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 85.9 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

While blue marlin inhabit all warm seas, blacks are strictly limited to the Pacific and Indian oceans. And while blue marlin seldom venture from the deep-blue open ocean, blacks are known to prowl shallow banks and near-coastal waters. Australians often use huge live or rigged dead baits to hook grander blacks, which are also taken off Hawaii, Panama and north into Mexican waters, and elsewhere. Along with the blue marlin, this apex predator is one of the ocean’s ultimate trophies. And the ultimate black to date — the all-tackle-record 1,560-pounder — came from Cabo Blanco, Peru, in 1953.

Favorite of: Ray More (“magnificent animals of strength and beauty”), Neil Patrick, and Tom Yust

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (17.8 out of 20)

Read more about black marli

 

MAKO SHARK — #3

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

mako shark

MAKO SHARK
Isurus spp.

Photo by Doug Olander / Sport Fishing; Computer Generated Map for Isurus spp. (mako shark). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 86.0 (out of 100 points possible)
See the scoring

Few fish strike more awe in the hearts of blue-water anglers than does the mako. The streamlined predator is widely reputed to be the fastest shark; it can turn on a dime, and most amazing of all is its ability to jump. When hooked, makos may leap high into the air — 20 feet or more — and do so, in hang-time somersaults, repeatedly. Longfin and (more commonly caught by anglers) shortfin makos are circumglobal in distribution — found in all tropical and temperate oceans. Their close cousins, the porbeagle and salmon shark, take up residence in colder waters. Makos are excellent eating, but can be dangerous in a cockpit. The all-tackle record mako was caught in 2001 off Massachusetts, and weighed 1,221 pounds.

Favorite of: Conway Bowman (“I can sight-cast to makos up to 300 pounds within two miles of my front porch — plus, no fish jumps like a shortfin mako!”), Paul Michele and John Raguso

Greatest attribute: Speed (13.1 out of 15)

TARPON — #2

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

tarpon

TARPON
Megalops atlanticus

Photo by Jason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com; Computer Generated Map for Megalops atlanticus (tarpon). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 87.1 (out of 100 points possible)

While most major game-fish species have similar relatives, the Atlantic tarpon is one of a kind. Found on both sides of the Atlantic, the air-breathing chrome-plated tarpon is an amazing jumper and dogged fighter; it strikes lures, flies and bait. It has recently extended its range by migrating into the Pacific through the Panama Canal; tarpon are now caught regularly off Panama and Costa Rica, and appear to be breeding in the Pacific. Enduringly popular fisheries exist around all of South Florida, and for sheer numbers, Costa Rica’s Rio Colorado is hard to beat. The all-tackle world record — a whopping 286 pounds, 9 ounces — was taken off Guinea Bissau, Africa, in 2003.

Favorite of: Dean Butler, Larry Dahlberg, Adrian Gray, Mark Hatter, Dave Lewis (“an amazing game fish that ticks all the boxes, caught in a wide variety of amazing locations”), Skip Nielsen, Jason Schratwieser (“of any size on fly; it’s the best bite in the piscatorial world”), and Chris Woodward

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (18.8 out of 20 — the highest ranking game fish of all for aerial acrobatics)

Read More About Tarpon:

The World’s Top 100 Game Fish

Blue Marlin

BLUE MARLIN
Makaira nigricans

Photo by Adrian E. Gray; Computer Generated Map for Makaira nigricans (blue marlin). www.aquamaps.org

SCORE: 88.9 (out of 100 points possible) See the scoring

Hooking and releasing a large blue marlin qualifies for many anglers as sport fishing’s greatest challenge, thrill and accomplishment. Blues are caught in oceans around the world on live and dead baits and large trolled lures. Seeing the bill of a big blue in a trolling spread and then watching an amazing display of power as hundreds of pounds of angry billfish repeatedly go airborne, make for angling’s most unforgettable sights. Blue marlin populations are under siege primarily by (often illegal) commercial longline fishing, which is a threat to the species. The all-tackle record for the Atlantic is 1,402 pounds, 2 ounces, caught off Vitoria, Brazil, in 1979. For the Pacific: 1,376 pounds, taken off Kona, Hawaii, in 1982.

Favorite of: Capt. Antonio Amaral, Capt. Eduardo Baumeier, Dave Ferrell, Ken Neill, and John Pearce

Greatest attribute: Aerial acrobatics (18.7 out of 20)

Costa Rica Roosterfish – A Fish to Crow About

Having a Successful Costa Rica Fishing Trip

Read Blog Detail

Fishing for Science – Tagging and Studying Sailfish and Marlin

Fishing for Science: Tagging and Studying Sailfish and Marlin Habits

By Todd Staley published for The Tico Times Jan 31, 2019

Left to right: FECOP member Henry Marin tagging expert Robbie Schallert, Captain Francisco Lobo, First mate Gerardo “McFly” Moreno, Dr. Danielle Haulsee, and Dr. Larry Crowder. (Todd Staley / The Tico Times)

The site of a billfish coming up into a spread of teasers, happily skipping across a deep blue ocean never gets old. Sailfish, named for their extremely tall dorsal fin and a sword-like bill, will light up in a purple hue when excited.

They generally come into the teasers — which are hook-less lures that trail behind the boat to attract sailfish — gracefully swatting them with their bills. This gives you time to place your bait in front of it. A marlin looks similar to a sailfish, but they’re much larger. They also almost always bust through the ocean like a linebacker blitzing the quarterback, or a bull tearing through the ring at Christmastime in Zapote. The adrenaline rush of catching one of these fish is always rewarding, but it’s even better when you know you’re helping science learn a little more about these fish.

FECOP’s Henry Marin brings a study subject on board

I recently helped a group of scientists, led by Dr. Larry Crowder from the Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University, catch fish to better understand and manage ocean pelagics like sailfish and marlin.

It was a good day for fishing and science. There was enough fish for the scientists to be selective with the ones they tagged. They placed satellite tags in three marlin and nine sailfish They chose the healthiest looking fish to place the tags. The tags cost around $4,000 a piece, so it pays to be careful. The tags they use have a “double loop” system which limits the drag in the water and keeps the tag close to the body. It’s black so predator fish won’t be attracted to it.

The team several scientists from Stanford University, tagging experts and several local captains. The team of scientists were here to start-up a four-year project called Dynamic Marine Animal Research (DynaMAR) and are placing satellite tags on marlin and sailfish along several points off the Pacific coast.

 

The tag is black so it won’t attract predators. (Todd Staley / The Tico Times)

 

It was a good day for fishing and science. There was enough fish for the scientists to be selective with the ones they tagged. They placed satellite tags in three marlin and nine sailfish They chose the healthiest looking fish to place the tags. The tags cost around $4,000 a piece, so it pays to be careful. The tags they use have a “double loop” system which limits the drag in the water and keeps the tag close to the body. It’s black so predator fish won’t be attracted to it.

The team several scientists from Stanford University, tagging experts and several local captains. The team of scientists were here to start-up a four-year project called Dynamic Marine Animal Research (DynaMAR) and are placing satellite tags on marlin and sailfish along several points off the Pacific coast.

The tag is black so it won’t attract predators. (Todd Staley / The Tico Times)

The tags will gather information on movement, location, depths traveled and water temperatures. They are set to pop off at intervals of, six, nine, and 12 months and float to the surface. Then an antenna will transmit the data to a satellite. Scientists will compare that data from other sources the fish have traveled to.

They are especially interested in what these fish are doing during an El Niño period. During this period, the water warms and changes the upwelling of nutrients. The fish’s normal patterns change and they become more lethargic.

They plan to tag fish every month of the year in future visits and hope to have data on nearly 150 billfish after they’re finished.Dr. Crowder says a similar study on swordfish of the coast of California changed the thinking on Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s).

“Fish don’t always stay in the same place, especially pelagic species, they are always on the move,” Dr. Crowder said. “What we found was at times the fish and marine life we were trying to protect were not even in the area we were protecting”

Dr. Larry Crowder (Pictured Right –  by Todd Staley / The Tico Times)

With the information they gathered from the swordfish study, they were not only able to predict where the concentration of swordfish would be, but more importantly, they could predict where the highest concentrations of bycatch would be. In that case, it was blue sharks and Leatherback turtles, a highly endangered marine reptile.

That study led to the creation of Mobile Marine Protected Areas. By predicting the location of bycatch, areas could be closed to commercial swordfishing for a period and changed with the movements of the bycatch. This led to better conservation effort while allowing commercial fisherman a larger area to fish.

 

 

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Investing In The Blue Economy

Rethinking Our Oceans: Investing In The Blue Economy

Our oceans are in the worst state they have ever been. The sea is choked with plastic and heavy metals that are killing wildlife and destroying fisheries. We live on a blue planet, and the oceans contain 99% of available ecological space on Earth. Our atmosphere and the climate rely on the oceans, which has absorbed 50% of the greenhouse gases emitted by humans. But our oceans can also provide an opportunity for prosperity.

↪ Read also: These Islands Are Leading The Drive For Hydrogen Energy

The “blue economy” is a radical approach to rethinking the way we interact with our oceans. Small island nations such as Seychelles are pioneering this approach to see the oceans as a resource that can generate wealth while simultaneously improving ecosystem health. By giving the oceans greater value, local people are encouraged to preserve them for future generations.

Globally, the blue economy, including tourism, fisheries, marine renewable energy and biotechnology, is predicted to grow at double the rate of the rest of the economy by 2030.

Garbage, plastic, and waste on a French beach after winter storms. Can the Blue Economy provide a more sustainable model?Getty

What Is The Blue Economy?

Ocean health is key to the blue economy. The concept involves sustainable management of oceans for now and future generations. Healthy seas are key not only for the health of our environment, but also to accelerate economic growth, create jobs, and fight poverty. Recognizing the great potential of the blue economy, world leaders and scientists united for strategic talks about the future of our oceans at the first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2018. The world can improve the health of the oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers and ecosystems they support which are under increased threats and decline across the globe.

At its core, the blue economy sets a framework for the international community to actively work on conserving its ocean resources and develop more sustainable habits to protect ocean ecosystems. The blue economy is a source of economic growth – not just a way to protect the environment but also a source of food, jobs, and water. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that if the ocean were a country, it would have the seventh largest economy in the world. Because over 3 billion people around the world rely on the biodiversity of our world’s oceans and seas for their livelihood, nations must work together to protect these important natural resources for generations to come.

The United Nations has recognized the importance of the blue economy and its important role in a sustainable future for the world’s oceans. Sustainable Development Goal 14, aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.” The UN seeks to prevent and reduce marine pollution of all types by 2025, and sustainably manage, conserve, protect, and restore coastal and marine ecosystems over the next 5 to 10 years. In addition, the SDG 14 aims to conduct greater scientific research into ocean health and marine biodiversity, particularly in small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs). The inclusion of oceans as an SDG is a signal to help small island developing countries thrive economically from the sustainable use of marine resources, driving tourism and better fisheries management.

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The blue economy is particularly important for the fiscal well-being of SIDS. In small island nations such as Palau and Seychelles, marine-based tourism represents over half of export earnings, and fisheries can represent anywhere from 10% to 50% of these nations’ GDP. Sustainable fishing practices coupled with environmental conservation efforts can ensure that the coastal natural resources utilized so heavily by these nations can continue to exist for centuries to come.

Palau and Seychelles: Leaders In The Blue Economy

Small island nations which benefit economically from the world’s oceans have pioneered the blue economy approach to utilize the oceans as a resource to improve their nations’ wealth while preserving the health of our great oceans. SIDS, as well as other coastal states, have a huge opportunity with the blue economy to give positive economic benefits for citizens alongside improved environmental protection, Palau and Seychelles are two island countries which serve as excellent case studies for the blue economy.

Seychelles Ambassador to the United Nations, Ronald Jumeau, pointed out the importance of rethinking the relationship with the oceans. He said, “The blue economy allows countries like Seychelles to put oceans at the center of our finances. We are not a small island state – we are a large ocean nation!

The Seychelles is one of the world’s premier biodiversity hotspots and, as a global leader in sustainable ocean use, represents another blue economy success story – undertaking a transition to sustainable ocean management. More eco-friendly fishing activity in Seychelles will diversify the small island nation’s economy, create high-value jobs, improve food availability and security for the small nation, and sustainably manage and protect the nation’s oceanic resources. The islands also launched the world’s first Sovereign Blue Bond, demonstrating the potential for countries to harness capital to obtain finance for the sustainable use of marine resources.

Sustainable fisheries are vital to healthy oceans.Getty

Meanwhile in the Pacific Ocean nation of Palau, which is comprised of over 250 islands with a cumulative 1519 km of coastline, an equally ambitious undertaking is happening.. Known around the world for its commitment to conservation of the oceans and wildlife, Palau has designated nearly 80% of its territorial waters as a marine sanctuary. Diving is the main tourist attraction in this nation, and Palau’s tourism board has sought to make tourism more sustainable by working on bringing more ‘high-value’ travelers to their small island country. By focusing their tourism efforts on marketing to smaller numbers of high-paying tourists, Palau has aimed to reduce the stress on the marine areas. Palau’s tourism board has also focused on more sustainable tourism activities, such as bird watching and sports fishing, as well as local cultural activities. The nation also became the first nation to enforce a pledge on all visitors to act in an ecologically responsible way.

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The blue economy can provide a model for us to rethink how we preserve and sustain and improve our biodiverse ocean resources for future generations. While small island nations have much to gain from the blue economy, the worldwide importance of a healthy ocean ecosystem cannot be overstated and urgent action must be made by all countries for its protection.

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Archie Fields

Costa Rica Legend Archie Fields

Remembering Costa Rica Fishing Legend Archie Fields

Printed for the Tico Times by Todd Staley

Archie Fields, a giant of a man, sat wearing a white guayabera shirt on the veranda overlooking the Río Colorado. Next to him were myself and two local women who worked at his hotel, the world-famous Río Colorado Lodge on Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coast. The women jabbered away in Spanish and I didn’t understand a word they were saying. But I kept hearing over and over again the words “don Archie.” I remembered “The Godfather” movies from the ’70s and thought to myself, Holy crap! I’ve gone to work for the Mafia.
That was my first day of work for the late Archie Fields.

I have since learned to speak Spanish and that the word “don” is the equivalent of “mister,” a respectful title that has nothing to do with organized crime. Fields hailed from Tampa, Florida, and arrived in Costa Rica by way of the Bahamas, where he had set up a thriving tourist business but found it difficult to do business after the British gave up rule of the islands.

He then set up shop in Costa Rica and founded Swiss Travel, which today is one of the biggest travel agencies in the country. The landing of the first cruise ship in Costa Rica at the Caribbean port of Limón was organized by him. His Costa Rican Tourism Board license was No. 17.

In 1972, he bought a cabin in Barra del Colorado on the Caribbean coast and started the first boat tour down the Río San Juan and Tortuguero canals.

When he discovered what a great tarpon fishery the area offered, he added sport fishing. Cabin by cabin, he built the lodge until he had 19 rooms and created what has been called a “Rube Goldberg designed, Swiss Family Robinson type of fishing lodge.”

A history of celebrity and folklore infuses the lodge. Actor Lee Marvin and Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant used to fish there. Jimmy Buffett, in his book, “A Pirate Looks at Fifty,” describes Río Colorado as a place where overweight older guys who do not know much about fishing can get their picture taken with a large tarpon with relative ease and comfort. Novelist Randy Wayne White titled his “Batfishing in the Rainforest” after an experience at Río Colorado.

There are rumors that at one time a secret compartment below the lodge’s bar held a stash of guns that were secretly slipped upriver to Edén Pastora, “Comadante Cero,” and the Contras during the Nicaraguan Revolution. This was around the same time a Nicaraguan fighter plane blew up the fish house in Barra del Colorado because the pilot mistakenly thought he was over Greytown, Nicaragua.

Fields didn’t just come down here and grow wealthy. He gave back. The school system in Barra del Colorado went only up to the sixth grade in his day, so he sponsored many children who had to be fostered in Guápiles or San José to continue their education. Some have gone on to become doctors and business professionals.

He also led a campaign for conservation of Costa Rica’s marine resources. His secret to success was to “underpromise and overdeliver.” He never put really large fish in his brochures or advertising materials. He wanted all his guests to catch a bigger fish than they were expecting.

The current owner of Río Colorado Lodge, Dan Wise, was in Costa Rica celebrating his 40th birthday when he met Fields at a hotel in San José. Fields convinced him to go fishing at his lodge. Over the years, Wise became a regular visitor. When Fields fell ill with cancer, he thought it would be too taxing for his wife, Anita, to run the remote lodge, so he decided to sell the business.

Wise humorously describes how he ended up owning the famous Archie Fields’ Río Colorado Lodge: “The name Archie Fields in the tarpon fishing business is equivalent to Colonel Sanders in the fried chicken business. [Fields] was quite a salesman, as he sold me a termite-infested wooden hotel in a town with no road access or fire department and talked me into leaving the country of my birth, abandoning a good law practice and living in a totally different culture in a tropical paradise. Meeting this silver-headed old man by chance certainly was a life-changing experience for me to say the least.”

Speaking from experience, I can say that living and working in Barra del Colorado is the Costa Rican version of Herman Wouk’s “Don’t Stop the Carnival.” Archie Fields left a lifelong impression on many people. To this day I can’t remember the date of my own father’s death, but I remember the day the big fisherman in the sky took Fields: April 8, 1993. A lot of people miss you, don Archie.

Todd Staley is the fishing manager at Crocodile Bay Resort in Puerto Jiménez, on southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Skippers, operators and anglers are invited to email fishing reports by Wednesday of each week to todd@crocodilebay.com. To post reports and photos on The Tico Times’ online fishing forum, go to www.ticotimes.net/Weekend/Fishing/Fishing-Forum.

http://fishcostarica.org/meet-costa-ricas-pacific-coast-snook-king/
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Panama Tells China No on Purse Seining

Panama Tells China: No Purse Seining in our Waters – Will Costa Rica Follow Suit

Stop Tuna Purse Sei

Published for Sport Fishing Magazine

The Panama government has announced that it will not authorize China or other countries to purse seine for tuna in its waters

Panama to China: No Purse Seining

Panama’s reputation as one of the world’s great destinations had been threatened by a proposed arrangement allowing Chinese purse-seine vessels to harvest tuna in the country’s waters.

Adrian E. Gray

The Fishing Authorities of Panama have announced a clarification about the signing of a protocol between Panama and to the People’s Republic of China regarding fishing in Panama. In a statement, the Autoridad de los Recursos Acuaticos de Panama reiterated that purse-seine fishing will not be allowed in Panama and is currently prohibited by existing guidelines and laws. The protocol does not alter or modify the current legislation that regulates the activity of fishing in Panama.

The ARAP release states that, based on current regulations, it will not authorize purse-seine vessels, whether for internal or external service, under national or foreign flag, to operate or develop tuna extraction activities with purse-seine nets in the jurisdictional waters of the Republic of Panama. ARAP explained that the capture of this resource with fishing gear known as purse seines, is prohibited by the provisions of Executive Decree No. 239 of 2010. Article 1.

We appreciate the clarification from ARAP regarding the protection of tuna and other species from harmful fishing methods like purse seine fishing. We are relieved and happy with the clarification. Knowing that the fishery in Panama will remain protected from harmful practices like purse seine fishing is important to us as a leader in sport-fishing conservation and fishery management.

Pressure from within Panama and across the worldwide sportfishing community resulted in ARAP’s formal statement that purse seine fishing is currently against the law in Panama and will remain so. We want to thank everybody who joined us in voicing their concerns about the China/ Panama protocol.

ARAP’s statement explains that tuna fishing is limited to the restrictions established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), of which Panama is a Contracting Party and in general, by the international agreements signed and adopted and ratified by the Republic of Panama.

Located on the Pacific coast of the Darien jungle in Panama, Tropic Star Lodge as been providing fishing adventures for serious anglers for more than 55 years. Tropic Star Lodge is an Tropic Star Lodge strives to protect and conserve the treasured species found in the waters off Piñas Bay, Panama.

Ursula Marais is the general manager of Tropic Star Lodge at Piňas Bay, an industry leader in catch and release conservation and utilization of best fishing practices

You can help fight Illegal foreign Purse Seign Fishing in Costa Rica by signing the following petition

Your Voice is Important – Sign the Tuna for Ticos Petition

Dear representatives,

Presidency of the Republic,

Legislative Assembly Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock,

National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture,

Ministry of Environment and Energy,

Vice Ministry of Water and Seas,

National Coast Guard Service,

The situation of illegal fishing that is happening in our country is a serious problem that affects our marine resources, the national economy and that of our communities.

It is for this reason that through this petition we request better controls and effective surveillance for foreign tuna fleets.

Better penalization mechanisms for those who break the law of our country and exploit our resources indiscriminately.

As well as support and prioritization for national fleets in the consolidation of sustainable tuna fishing in our territorial waters.

I hereby support this cause by registering my information on the following petition.

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