Tag: costa rica fishing

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 sportfishing. 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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Fecop Costa Rica and Gray FishTag Update

Gray FishTag Research Symposium 2018

By Gary Graham – Dec 17, 2018

gray fishtag research

Approximately 40 Gray FishTag Research Scientific Advisory Board Members, GFR Marketing Partners, scientists, marine researchers, hotel owners, fleet owners, captains, publishers, members of the press and staff were on hand when Bill Dobbelaer, President of Gray Fishtag Research, Inc., (GFR) opened the 4th Annual Gray FishTag Research Symposium on Dec. 7 at the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club in Lighthouse Point, Florida.

Dobbelaer observed that he was “it was absolutely shocking, the number of folks present,” adding that

“many had traveled thousands of miles from two continents to attend the event.”

Continuing, he briefly introduced each participant, their background and their contribution to GFR: 1 of 3

Samantha Mumford
Moises Mug

Captain John Brownlee, one of the most recent Advisory Board Member as well as a Marketing Partner; Kristen Salazar, who represents Casa Vieja Lodge, Guatemala, the newest Research Center for GFR, and Samantha Mumford, founder of Premium Marine, Quepos, Costa Rica. Moises Mug, from Costa Rica (formerly of FECOP) , who is also on the Advisory Board, was unable to attend.

gray fishtag research

Dobbelaer announced that Carter Takacs of Marina Pez Vela was awarded the 2018 Bill Gray Conservation Award for outstanding achievement advocating for GFR and the ongoing research, as well as for being a true leader in fisheries conservation.

Nick Froelich was awarded the 2018 Top Fish Tagger in the World for tagging over 200 billfish on his charter boat, Double Nickel. Froelich declared that “tagging on his charters allows his clients to become more excited, and more involved, plus they had more respect for the resource.” He and his wife, Brandi, made a commitment to continue their great work by tagging even more fish in 2019.

Other meeting highlights:

Leah Baumwell, the new GFR Director, detailed the tagging statistics from the past year. More than 5,000 fish of 98 different species were tagged in 2018, and there were 133 recoveries from 32 species, many of which were discussed and emphasized in the program.

https://grayfishtagresearch.org/industry_news/gray-fishtag-research-is-expanding-its-team/

The following research centers were recognized for their ongoing efforts on behalf of GFR:
Pisces Sportfishing, Marina Pez Vela, Los Sueños, Sunset Marina, Zancudo Lodge, Grand Alaska Lodge, and Aqua World.

• GFR provided the data analysis from two roosterfish funded by Ramiro Ortiz and staff at Marina Pez Vela and one striped marlin funded by Pisces Sportfishing that were deployed with satellite tags during the year.

Kristen Salazar discussed Casa Vieja and their successful program banning all single-use plastic water bottles at both the lodge and their ten-boat fleet which she said had saved an estimated 80,000 plastic bottles from landfills and the ocean in 2018; this was supported by the Costa Del Mar program.

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/casa-vieja-lodge-goes-plastic-free/
gray fishtag research

• Congratulations from the entire GFR Team to Salazar who recently completed her Executive MBA at the University of Miami in a remarkable 17 months! At her graduation, she observed, “I started … with a 3-week-old Bebe that came to class with me and 23 strangers who thought I was insane. My sanity, patience, family, work, friendships, and intelligence were put to the test and it was one of the most rewarding experiences to date.”

After Baumwell detailed the satellite tag data recovered from the first year of roosterfish tagging, she reviewed some of the proposed work GFR is planning for 2019.

https://grayfishtagresearch.org/industry_news/gray-fishtag-satellite-tags-pop-off-and-data-is-recorded/

Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing, stressed that sportfishing was not only her family’s livelihood, but the livelihood of many others who depended on the striped marlin recreational fishery in Los Cabos. Fingerbank study review 1 of 14

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She concluded, “There are questions (mentioned in the next to last slide of her presentation) that must be answered. And to that end, Pisces Sportfishing will be funding another satellite tag for GFR research in 2019.

Tracy then described the ongoing, illegal striped marlin harpooning by pangas in Cabo San Lucas Finger Bank area, highlighting Pisces Sportfishing’s response and continuing efforts to prevent the illegal activity in the future.

gray fishtag research

Reports were received from the Sport Fishing sector in regard to commercial fishermen from Todos Santos (45 minutes drive up the Pacific coast from Cabo) capturing and commercializing marlin in the áreas knows as Finger Bank and Golden GateBank (where there is a concentration of these species due to schools of bait and other marine life which billfish feed on) killing them with hand held harpoons.

On the 21st of November of this year (2018), an operation was carried out with logistics set in place by SEMAR, FONMAR, CONAPESCA and PISCES GROUP CABO, where a navy interceptor boat and a Pisces Sportfishing boat participated with observers from FONMAR on board as well as representatives of  Sportfishing.  The result of the operation was the impounding of a 22ft panga with S.C.P.P Punta Lobos on the hull with the name Punta Lobos XLII and with registration number 0304182513-5 and a 115 hp Suzuki outboard motor 4 stroke, two harpoons and three trunks of fish without heads or tails which were fresh marlin giving a total weight of  95.78 lbs. It should be mentioned that more evidence could not be obtained at time of the inspection.

This action took place when the crew of the above mentioned boat, where found chumming with bait known as mackerel, to bring the marlin to the surface, where  harpoons were then used to spear the fish. When the fishermen became aware of the patrol boats presence advancing towards them,they threw the product, consisting of pieces or marlins into the sea, actions confirmed by the observers of  Fonmar and the representatives of Sportfishing. The patrol boat proceeded to do an inspection of the fishing boat, finding 30 pieces of mackerel bait, as well as two hand held harpoons, wrapped in a canvas sheet and blood on the floor of the boat which the fishermen were attempting to clean at the time of the inspection. Immediately a search was made of the nearby área where marlin trunks were found floating, which were secured and the formal report was written up along with the impounding of the fishing boat, motor, product and harpoons which possession and use of is prohibited by law.

Marco Ehrenberg accentuated the need to work with these panga operators to help provide them an alternative source of income.

Travis Moore, Marine Biologist and GFR research scientist, discussed a children’s field trip to a south Florida elementary school where a tagging lesson became a fish-anatomy lesson when they opened a fish for the kids to see inside.

Moore shared with the group how excited the students were to be a part of the activity.

https://grayfishtagresearch.org/industry_news/gray-fishtag-research-visited-beachside-village-montessori/

Todd Staley and Marina Marrari, representing “Federacion Costarricense de Pesca (FECOP),” promotes sport fishing in Costa Rica through science and advocacy. They outlined their 2014 victory convincing the Government to increase the no-commercial fishing limit to 45-miles, covering over 200,000 square kilometers. The 2017 analysis of previous bycatch records have shown that it saved 25 tons of what would have been marlin bycatch based on the favorable results thus far. They are proposing increasing the limitations further to include offshore sea mounts in FECOP’s continuing efforts to improve sportfishing in Costa Rica.

Samantha Mumford of Premium Marine pledged to tag in the region beginning with her Pescadora Billfish Championship tournament,

an all-female angler tournament, as well as her pledge to involve more women in fishing.

https://grayfishtagresearch.org/industry_news/34045/

Don Dingman of Hook the Future & Salt Life echoed the importance of involving women in fishing and then reviewed the need for research on redfish in Northern Florida.

https://www.saltlife.com/athletes/captain-don-dingman

Paul Michele of Navionics and Mike Caruso of The Fisherman Magazine underscored the strong interest in striped bass by anglers in the northeastern United States and agreed to fund two satellite tags for striped bass research.

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Luis Basurto, of Aqua World in Cancun,
Dave Bulthuis of Costa Del Mar
Mark Cooper, formerly of the Denver Broncos

Luis Basurto of Aqua World in Cancun, spoke on the importance of expanding tagging in his region and his dedication to creating more of an interest in fishing and conservation in Cancun, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres.

Dave Bulthuis of Costa Del Mar emphasized the importance of GFR and his personal commitment to attracting more Marketing Partners in 2019.

Mark Cooper, formerly of the Denver Broncos, volunteered to become more involved by helping to drive the GFR mission, starting with television exposure and outreach to industry friends.

John Brownlee announced that he joined Maverick at Los Sueños as the General Manager. Later during research project discussions, he brought up the possibility of comparing tagging data of roosterfish to amberjack. The results would be welcomed by the angling community.
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Dick Tanner of CR Primo Fishing Tackle and Will Drost committed to helping fund the Los Sueños, Costa Rica blue marlin study proposed during the meeting.

Zsolt Szekely of Dolphin Electric Reel, Alex Henry of Southernmost Apparel, and Joe Herdering of Shadow Graphics,Also, in attendance Kim UnderwoodOffice Manager Gray Taxidermy, Jonas MasreliezCreative and Marketing Gray Taxidermy and James “Mango” Buckwald – Captains Support that all participated in the conversations and joined GFR expeditions in 2018.

Eric Leech, GFR Advisory Board, spoke about his tagging efforts in the Dominican Republic.

By: JM-Admin Category: Fisheries, Gray FishTag Recoveries, Marine Research
On December 16, 2017 swordfish (Xiphias gladius) was tagged with a Gray FishTag conventional tag (GFR6486). It was caught, tagged and released by angler Anthony DiMare while fishing with Captain Nick Stanczyk aboard the “Broad Minded” charter boat out of Bud’n Mary’s Marina, Islamorada, Florida USA. The group was fishing the waters about 25 miles east of Islamorada. The swordfish was estimated to be 47-inches. (119 cm) Lower Jaw Fork Length (LJFL) and had an approximate weight of 50-pounds. After tagging the fish, Mr. DiMare registered the swordfish using the Gray FishTag Research website (GrayFishTag.org) and decided to name it “Little A.”

On August 11, 2018, 238 days later, the Swordfish was recaptured by NOAA observer McKenzie O’Connor while aboard PLL Vessel “Ellen Jean.

The tag recapture location was approximately 475 miles (764 km) straight line distance north from where the swordfish was originally tagged, in the waters 90 miles ESE of Savannah, Georgia. The measured length of the fish was 55-inches (139 cm) and a weight of 96-pounds (43.5 kg).

Recaptures are important and events such as this one are truly amazing! Not only do recaptures make valuable data available about each species that cannot be learned any other way, but they also provide encouraging incentives to continue tagging fish. The Gray FishTag Research program has been able to exceed their original expectations for fish recapture rates thanks to the hard-working professional fishermen who are on the water day in and day out.

GFR’s multi-species tagging program’s growth is remarkable with new species being tagged in new regions daily. Tags are provided free-of-charge to the collaborating professional fishermen, and the tag data is available to the public at www.GrayFishTagResearch.org.

After hearing the results of 2018, the entire group endorsed the plans on the horizon for the 2019 fiscal year research.

Those plans include:

1. Continuing satellite tagging work on striped marlin in Cabo San Lucas, with funding generously provided by Pisces Sportfishing.
2. Continuing satellite tagging work on roosterfish in Quepos, Costa Rica; funding proposed by Ramiro Ortiz.
3. Beginning a vertical habitat study of swordfish in Florida; Seaguar provided funding for one satellite tag.
4. Beginning a striped bass movement study in the northeastern United States; Navionics has committed to two satellite tags.
5. Beginning a blue marlin FAD/seamount study in Costa Rica out of Los Sueños Research Center. Maverick, Will Drost, and CR Primo Fishing Tackle have committed to supporting this research.

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Costa Rica Fishing Roosterfish

Roosterfish Tournament Results

Inaugural PanAmerican Roosterfish Tournament Results

From BDOutdoors.com

Canada Takes Gold in Inaugural PanAmerican Roosterfish Tournament!

crocodile bay resort
Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica is home to an awesome fishing fleet.

With all the excitement of a World Cup soccer match, 37 anglers from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica descended on the Golfo Dulce for the first PanAmerican Roosterfish Tournament. The event was hosted by the PanAmerican Delegation, USA Angling, and FECOP, the Costa Rican representative in the PanAmerican Delegation. The inaugural event was held at Crocodile Bay Resort in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica.

The format was Olympic style and the delegation’s purpose is to organize tournaments throughout the Americas. The organization hopes to add sport fishing to the PanAmerican Games, combine with European events and eventually be added as an eligible sport in the International Olympics.

roosterfish tournamentContestants who arrived early to pre-fish experienced great action. Jtodd Tucker, a professional bass fisherman from Georgia, took a rooster estimated at more than 50-pounds the day before. The bite was slightly off, at least by Costa Rican standards, once the actual competition started, however. With the catch and release format each fish scored one point for every inch of length measured from the tip of the head to the fork of the tail. This method was chosen because it is less stressful than weighing the fish and allowed for quicker releases back into the water.

roosterfish tournamentThe Canadian team took a commanding lead early in the two-day event with a total of 147.5 points. Team Mexico was second with 81 points. Day Two saw Mexico win the daily with 201 points, followed by Team USA with 178 points. But Team Canada’s second day tally of 125 points was enough to earn the Gold Medal with an overall total of 272.5 points. Mexico won the Silver Medal with 199 points, just edging out Team USA (198 points) which settled for Bronze.

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Two all-female teams (Costa Rica and USA) competed in this first-ever roosterfish event. Neither finished in the top standings yet both showed their male counterparts they are quite capable of competing on this level. The tournament also allowed all the teams to share conservation ideas that will benefit the fisheries in their respective nations.

“We were just a group of friends who thought it would be fun to enter a tournament,” explained Canadian angler Mike Haunton. “And we won! We have already joined the Costa Rican sport fishing and conservation group as well as the Canadian organization and haven’t even left Costa Rica yet.”

PanAmerican tournaments will be held in Canada, Mexico, Panama and again in Costa Rica in 2019. The September Costa Rican event will target tarpon.

For more information, contact: www.fishcostarica.org  or  info@fecop.org

 

 

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Costa RIca Sailfish worth more alive than dead

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

Win a Dream Costa Rica Fishing Trip for Two at Crocodile Bay Resort – We’ll even outfit you with AFTCO apparel from “Head to Toe” worth $9,270

Enter Below for your chance to win a 5 night all inclusive Costa Rica fishing vacation on a 33′ Strike VIP Tower Boat with a full set of AFTCO gear from “Head to Toe”. See full package details below

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November 24, 2017 thru April 1, 2019

Includes 3 day Tower Boat fishing package and 2 free days to explore one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, at Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica for 2 people (Total 5 nights at the resort). Plus AFTCO sport fishing apparel from “Head to Toe” for Two. Once you arrive at our front door, enjoy three full days of fishing offshore or inshore on our Tower Boat. Also includes luxurious air-conditioned accommodations, meals, and soft drinks at Crocodile Bay Resort.

Once you arrive at our front door, enjoy three full days of fishing offshore or inshore on our Tower Boat. Also includes luxurious air-conditioned accommodations, meals, and soft drinks at Crocodile Bay Resort.

Retail Value $9,270

 

Costa Rica Fishing

 

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Package does not include international air transportation – Juan Santa Maria International airport in San Jose Costa Rica. (SJO), meals in San Jose, alcoholic beverages, or gratuities at the resort. Package also does not include domestic transfer pack. This transfer package may be purchased for $415 per person which consist of ground transfers, round trip *domestic airfare from San Jose, Costa Rica to Puerto Jimenez, and inbound night at a San Jose hotel. * Does not include overweight Costa Rica domestic airfare tickets.

Includes wine at dinner at the resort and cooler with beer when fishing. This trip may be taken April 1, 2019 – December 15, 2019 *

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Other legal restrictions may apply in your country. Winner must be at least 18 years old and hold a passport issued by their country of residence and valid for at least 6 months following departure from this country. Package prize details may change at any time

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Costa Rica Fishing, It’s Not Always About the Fish

It’s Not Always About the Fish

Special Holiday Fishing Feature by Todd Staley, Communications Director FECOP

One of the most exciting days fishing I ever had was in a lagoon in Nicaragua accessible by passing through myriad of rivers and creeks on the Caribbean side of  Costa Rica. Mike Holliday and I hooked over 60 tarpon on casting plugs. We tired of tarpon and went to the beach to cast for snook. The tarpon wouldn’t leave us alone. We were hooking them from shore. I watched as Holliday played and eventually landed a respectable tarpon from the beach with a fly rod. That was nearly 28 years ago.
What did I see that day? Fish, fish, and more fish.

 

I fished the same lagoon many times over the next several years and although I never matched that one fantastic day, I always had good fishing. Then one day I went and the tropical rains had the lagoon  all muddied up. I cast furiously for hours with memories of that fantastic day playing like a movie in my head. I had not one bite. My arm tired of casting and I sat down to rest. I looked over towards the shoreline. Then it jumped out at me. A beautiful flaming orange wild heleconia. I scanned the bank. One after another they rose from the jungle.

On the long fishless ride back into Costa Rica I started to notice things I never saw before even though I had crossed this path many times. Wild orchids hang over the creeks, some of them humongous and all of them spectacular. There were so many different kinds. I had made this trek many times and only saw water and fish.  The normal trip back took one and a half hours. This day it took almost four hours. That was the day I learned it is not always about the fish.

The ocean off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica drops off  fast. A couple hundred yards off the beach you’ll find a couple hundred feet of, and by the time you reach twenty miles there is more than a mile of water below your boat. Most of the Costa Rica big game fishing is rarely done beyond twenty miles unless green water forces the fleet further out. Fishing the Pacific can be like living the Discovery Channel.

The humpback whales come twice a year. Once from the North and once from the South and enter the near shore waters with their calves. I’ve seen killer whales eat a sailfish. I’ve also had them come and surf the wake of the boat. Dolphins pass by in schools of thousands. Both spotted and spinner dolphins put on a show that is just as exciting to watch as the 200 lb tuna that swims below them puts on a show while testing your back. Pilot whales group up in pods or by the hundreds and cruise right next to the boat to check things out.

While fishing roosterfish in the Golfo Dulce, I’ve stopped fishing to watch six whale sharks feed on plankton. Another time I saw a leatherback turtle as big as a pool table patiently waiting for the sun to go down so she could go to the beach and lay eggs in the volcanic sand. What’s funny about every one of those experiences is I don’t remember what I caught that day, but I will always remember what I saw.

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The Monster Fish That Made Me a Conservationist

The Fish That Turned Me Into a Conservationist
By Todd Staley – Communications Director

A long, long time ago when I was in my early twenties I lived on the west coast of Florida and fished every minute I could. Blue water action was not much of an option.

A 30 mile trip offshore only got you to 90 feet of water, but there were plenty of snook, tarpon and grouper to keep a young man off the streets and out of serious trouble. Around the same time a group of County Commissioners came up with an artificial reef program that was either an extremely misguided effort or a well disguised plan to rid the counties landfills of it’s surplus of old cars, tires, and concrete culverts.

What seemed like an excellent plan for some turned out to be a disaster. It didn’t take long to discover that the lifespan of an old Chevy rusting in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t very long and that hurricanes and tropical storms can separate and scatter well tied together tires for miles across the sea bottom.

For a short time though, they seemed to function as designed. Barnacles started to grow on the junk pile. Baitfish found the structure and moved in. Pelagic fish would stop and feed during their migration routes and snapper and grouper began to call these reefs home.

The exact position of each of these artificial reefs were published in a big publicity push and anyone with navigational device on their boat could easily find them because they were marked with buoys as well. Both fishermen and divers alike began using these reefs regularly. The closet was only 3 miles off the beach and the farthest was only 20 miles out.

Most anglers would camp right over the top of them and have a field day reeling in grunts but every time they hooked a decent fish like a grouper they quickly lost it to the jagged terrain below.

Goliath Grouper Artificial Reef

We were smarter than that, we fished with grenades. Not literally of course, but that’s what we called them.

“We would mix sand with cat food and shape them into balls with a rock in the middle so they would sink fast.”

Then we would anchor up current of the structure and drop our grenades to the bottom. Our concoction had a sweet enough smell to draw decent fish away from the cover of the reef. Remember this was long before conservation was in fashion and if you caught more than you could use you could always give it to friends or sell it at the backdoor of a seafood restaurant for some extra beer money. One day our grenade technique was extremely effective. We had a cooler full of 8 to 10 lb grouper and lots of 5 lb mangrove snapper.

Then the monster took my bait and nearly yanked my rod out of my hands. It didn’t take off with burning speed, it was more like being on the losing end of a tug-of-war as line slowly peeled off my reel and there was nothing I could do about it. Then it stopped. I knew it had taken enough line to bury itself well into the reef and I could feel every breath it took as water rushing through its gills vibrated up my line. Then I got an idea.

Earlier I noticed a boat with a dive flag up on the other end of the reef so I raised the observer on the radio and explained I had a giant fish on my line and they would cover over and “shoot the thing,” I would split it with them. He said when the divers surfaced he would ask them. Soon a dive boat was tied up alongside us and a diver was preparing to descend with a triple banded spear gun unlike anything I had seen before. He disappeared below the surface following my line towards the bottom. Twenty minutes passed and nothing. Finally after thirty minutes he surfaced and his eyes were as big as saucers. “ You’re not kidding you’ve got a monster,” he exclaimed. “You have a 400 lb Goliath grouper,” (actually we called them by a different name back them, one that had been used over a hundred years, but the name was changed to Goliath grouper a few years back in the spirit of political correctness) “The stupid fish has swam inside a 61’ Mercury Monterey!” he went on to explain. “ Well just plug him between the eyes,” I said, “ and we will drag him out with the boat.” “What the heck you think I’ve been trying to do for the last half hour,” he answered. “Every time I get close to him he rolls the window up!”

Note: This was the day I learned that a fish was not only something to be used as sport and food, but that every fish has it’s own personality and is something to be used but not abused. It was that day I started thinking about tomorrow and not just living for today. It was that day I became a conservationist.

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Commericial Tuna Boat

Can a Fish Bring a Country Together?

Three Billboards Outside San José, Costa Rica: Can fish bring a country together?

By Todd Staley for the Tico Times November 14, 2018

A tuna-fishing boat launching speed boats. (Courtesy FECOP)

If you are driving from Juan Santamaría International Airport toward San José, you will pass two sets of billboards. Lettered in Spanish, the signs translate to English as:

  1. There are foreign boats fishing illegally in Costa Rica
  2. They are taking our marine resources without permits
  3. Together we can change this… Find out how at fecop.org

[Editor’s note: The author of this story works as the communications director for FECOP, the Costa Rican Fishing Federation.]

The campaign billboards were modeled after the ones in the award-winning film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” The signs were designed to be simple but effective. It is estimated that more than 25 percent of all tuna fished by foreign purse seine boats in Costa Rican territorial waters goes unreported or is taken by vessels not licensed to fish in Costa Rica — resulting in zero benefit to the country.

In an interview on Monumental Radio, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, denounced that the country loses millions of dollars in the illegal fishing of tuna. Thanks to the international licenses that the country provides for tuna fishing, this sector generates legal profits of $50 million and pays only $1.3 million for it. He went on to say if more tuna were available to Costa Rica fishermen, they would target tuna rather than engaging in controversial shark fishing.

Data collected by Amigos de la Isla del Coco Foundation (FAICO) during a study called “Characterization and analysis of industrial fishing pressure in the ACMC and the adjacent Exclusive Economic Zone” found that fishing vessels entered the prohibited areas for purse seining more than 130 times during the span of the study.

An analysis by Conservation International and the Coast Guard using satellite technology determined more than 100 vessels were involved in illicit activities in 2016-17.

The yearly average legal take from these boats had been around 25,000 tons of tuna. Of this, 9,000 tons goes to the cannery in Puntarenas and most of the rest never lands in Costa Rica. A study done by Federacion Costarricense de Pesca in 2013 showed Costa Rica only benefitted $37 a ton from tuna taken by foreign vessels. This brought about the first tuna reform in 2014, which moved the tuna boats offshore 45 miles and protected other important areas like the waters around Coco Island and a total of 200,000 square kilometers from purse seine fishing. In 2017, INCOPESCA, the governing board of fishing regulations in Costa Rica, reduced the number of legal licenses from 43 to 13 and this year put limits on the capture. But with very little oversight, illegal fishing activity is bound to increase.

To better understand all this one needs to understand all the pieces of the puzzle. Not all of them see eye-to-eye on many issues. Since this campaign was started by FECOP, we start first with:

Sport fishing

Sport fishing generates nearly $380 million for the Costa Rican economy and generates thousands of jobs for Costa Ricans. FECOP — which advocates for sport fishing as a sustainable business model as well as ocean management — represents many of them. A study recently conducted by Henry Marín, project manager for FECOP, showed that in a social-economic quality of life model study, Costa Ricans who work in sport fishing earned more than the average Costa Rican. Those who work in areas like Herradura and Quepos, where there has been a substantial investment in sport fishing infrastructure, have even higher incomes. There are also a good number of non-anglers who believe sport fishing is a senseless sport, where people torture animals for sport.

Commercial fishing

A tuna fishing vessel circles dolphins off the Osa Peninsula, on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast. Shawn Larkin/The Tico Times

This is another very important part of the Costa Rican economy that employs thousands in coastal communities. Costa Ricans consume a lot of fish and almost all the millions of tourists that come here each year want to experience fresh Costa Rican seafood. The exportation of fish products is also huge. Opponents complain about non-selective arts of fishing with a high incidental catch of non-targeted or over-exploited species.

Tuna purse seine fleet

Costa Rica does not have a purse seine vessel. The fleet consists of licenses sold to foreign-owned companies that capture tuna by circling a school with a net when closed captures everything inside. Opponents claim the bycatch — species caught other than tuna — include marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, sharks, turtles and marine mammals. More than 50 different species have been documented as bycatch in the tuna fleet. By examining previous catch records, it is estimated the fleet reduction saved 25 tons of would have been marlin bycatch in 2017.

Cannery

The tuna cannery in Puntarenas is a major player in the local community. It employs well over 1,000 Costa Ricans and requires 9,000 tons of tuna annually to operate. Because the demand of sustainably caught “one by one” tuna is growing so fast, the cannery is forced to import pole- and line-caught fish from other countries to fill their orders.

Government

The government, including INCOPESCA, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of the Environment, the Coast Guard, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Legislative Assembly all have input in the fishing licenses, controls and enforcement. Some have been accused of favoring one sector over another or business over environment, or that they don’t have the budget to operate more efficiently.

NGOs

There are many non-governmental nonprofits headquartered in Costa Rica that specialize in marine conservation issues. Many have done great things in Costa Rica. At times, conservation is a competitive business. Organizations compete for donor contributions. Because of this, they don’t communicate well with each other. Many times, they are working on similar projects but for fear of losing donations or credit for successes — which turn into more donations — they don’t share information. If they did a little more, positive changes could come more rapidly on smaller budgets.

General public

Costa Rica is the most expensive country to live in in Central America. Many sectors have been on strike or protesting the proposed tax reforms since September 10. They are especially displeased with some tax breaks companies receive whose products manufactured in Costa Rica cost nearly double in Costa Rica as the same product sold by the same company in neighboring countries. Many feel it is unfair to give away Costa Rica’s resources to other countries with little benefit to the country while they are asked to pay higher taxes.

Tuna

Tuna are the most prized fish on the commercial market and have a much higher market value than other species. Many people do not know how most of the tuna captured in Costa Rica are caught. A large purse seine vessel cruises the ocean looking for obvious signs that tuna is present. This could be feeding birds, tuna feeding, giant pods of dolphins, or floating objects like tree trunks. Often these boats will place artificial floating objects, which are illegal to use in Costa Rica because they attract juvenile fish.

Dolphins

A lot of the tuna caught here are caught under dolphins. Dolphins and tuna have a symbiotic relationship and swim together — the dolphin on the surface and tuna below. They will use speed boats to corral the dolphins into the net. If you net the dolphin, you will also catch the tuna. In the past, up to 6 million dolphins perished in tuna boat nets until there was a public outcry.

Today boats fishing legally will lower one end of the net to release the dolphin. According to data, the mortality of dolphin is now around 1,000 annually using this method, but Sierra Goodman, founder and president of the Vida Marina Foundation in Drake Bay, on the northern Pacific side of the Osa Peninsula, believes the actual number of dolphin mortality is highly underreported. Goodman’s concern is that tuna companies that fish and net dolphins are labeling their product dolphin safe.

Stop Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

“Ok, so this is my question: Are the dolphins still chased and encircled in the nets to get the tuna?” she asked. “Are dolphins involved in any way for tuna that is labeled dolphin-safe? Because any time free and wild dolphins are chased and entrapped, it is not dolphin-safe. I saw what happens in those nets. While I’m sure the lowering of nets helps with mortality, what about stress factors? We know that these tuna boats are out there for days in a row netting the same group of Costa Rican spinner dolphins.”

One question is whether the boats fishing illegally careful with dolphins. They have been witnessed throwing explosives from helicopters or speed boats to herd dolphin. And do they take the time to make sure the dolphin is released from the net carefully? I have never known a thief who sweeps up the glass after he has broken your window to enter your house.

Green Stick and pole & line

Green Stick is the common name for a piece of fishing equipment that was originally made from a long, green bamboo shoot that has a main line attached to a device that is designed to make a large splash on the water. It is trolled a couple hundred yards or more behind the fishing vessel. Off the main line, a half dozen or more lures are placed at intervals. This method has a 99 percent catch rate of tuna compared to catching species other than the targeted tuna.

Pole and line is basically done by chumming the water with live minnows to keep the tuna close in a feeding frenzy and catching them one a time, helping meet the growing demand for sustainably caught seafood — seafood caught without impacting the environment or other species. Green Sticks now made of fiberglass are nothing new. They have been used in Japan and in the Eastern United States for years. Innovating commercial fishermen like Robert Nunes has been using them some success in Costa Rican waters. After FECOP supplied the technical support to the government, INCOPESCA began issuing licenses to fish green sticks this year.

 

Adam Baske, Director of the Pole and Line Foundation based in the United Kingdom, recently visited Costa Rica and with FECOP staff met with long-line commercial fishermen in Puntarenas and Quepos to discuss the tuna industry and the market need for sustainably caught tuna. They heard the same from both groups. They explained that even though the sport fishermen are seeing a great increase in tuna catches since the Tuna Decree in 2014, there is still too much tuna being taken illegally or licensed to foreign vessels for them to successfully fish more selective gear and make a decent profit.

According to them, they would love it if they could. Tuna is a premium-value fish and would become the target species, taking pressure off sharks and billfish as bycatch in longline fishing. The incidental catch rate of other species would drop drastically. FECOP then met with six marine related NGOs to discuss the issue.

This writer has lived in Costa Rica worked in fishing going on 28 years and is a naturalized Costa Rican citizen. His wife is Tica, his kids are Tico and at many times feels as if he is at heart a Tico trapped in the body of a gringo. He has been here long enough to know if just one sector lobbies for change, nothing happens. When different sector joins on a common goal, change happens. The first tuna reform in 2014 is a good example of sport fisherman working together with longline fishermen. Giving tuna back to the Ticos would have a domino effect for all groups. Better income for struggling coastal communities, less bycatch of billfish, sharks, turtles, dolphin and other marine mammals. With more tuna available, the longliners could see the advantage of switching gear because the fish would be available to them and NGO’s protecting sharks, turtles and billfish would all benefit also.

It is not an easy task, but working together, it can be done. There is a petition to the government at www.fecop.org. The site is in English and Spanish; just click your preference.

Make An Impact – Sign Our “Tuna for Ticos” Petition to Stop Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

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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Three Billboards Warn of Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

Three Billboards Outside San José, Costa Rica: Can a fish bring a country together

Published by Sport Fishing Magazine Online Edition

 

 

Billboards Warn of Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

These billboards, modeled after the movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, now appear prominently along the highway connecting Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, with the international airport. The first says, “There are foreign boats fishing illegally in Costa Rica.”

If you are driving from the airport towards San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, you will pass two simple sets of three billboards each. Lettered in Spanish the signs basically translate into English as:

1. There are foreign boats fishing illegally in Costa Rica
2. They are taking our marine resources without permits
3. Together we can change this… Find out how at fecop.org

The campaign billboards were modeled after the ones depicted in the award-winning film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.” Designed to be a simple yet effective message, it is estimated that more than 25 percent of all tuna taken by foreign purse seine boats in Costa Rican territorial waters goes unreported or is harvested by vessels not licensed to fish in Costa Rica with zero benefit to the country.

tuna for ticos

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, says that the country loses mil-lions of dollars in the illegal fishing of tuna. According to the minister, of the total $50 million generated by the sale of licenses to foreign purse seiners, the country only receives $1.3 million. An estimated $12 million more is un-documented. Through an analysis done by Conservation International and the Coast Guard using satellite technology, it was determined more than 100 vessels in 2016-2017 were involved in illicit activities.

Stop Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

The yearly average legal take from these boats had been around 25,000 tons of tuna a year. Of this 9,000 tons goes to the cannery in Puntarenas and most of the rest never lands in Costa Rica. A study done by Federacion Costarricense de Pesca (FECOP) in 2013 showed Costa Rica only earned $37 a ton from tuna taken by foreign vessels. This triggered the first tuna reform legislation in 2014, which moved the tuna fleet 45 miles offshore and protected other important areas like the waters around Coco Island and a total of 200,000 square kilometers from purse seine fishing. In 2017 INCOPESCA, the governing board of fishing regulations in Costa Rica, reduced the number of legal licenses from 43 down to 13 and this year put limits on the overall harvest. The problem is with very little enforcement and control, the illegal fishing activity is bound to increase. The initial tuna harvest rules were enacted after sport and commercial fishermen set aside their differences and worked together to accomplish shared goals.

FECOP staff recently met with commercial longliners in Puntarenas and Quepos to discuss the tuna industry and the market need for sustainably caught tuna. Sport fishermen are seeing noticeable increases in tuna catches in the protected 45-mile zone since the Tuna Decree went into effect in 2014. The amount of tuna being taken illegally or by foreign vessels remains a deterrent for li-censed local commercial fishermen to switch to more selective gear like “green sticks,” or pole and line which have nearly zero bycatch and still make a reasonable profit.

The longliners are receptive to using sustainable gear if it’s economically feasible. Tuna is a premium value species and if they were targeted selectively, it would take pressure off sharks and bill-fish as bycatch in longline fishery. The incidental catch rate of other species would drop drastically.

FECOP also met with several marine-related non-government organizations to discuss the issue of sustainable fishing.

Billboards Warn of Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

More than 25 percent of all tuna taken by foreign purse-seine boats in Costa Rica waters goes unreported, with zero benefit to the country.

Tourist Sport Fishing
The recreational sport-fishing industry generates $380 million or more for the Costa Rican economy annually and supports thousands of jobs for locals. Critics claim sport fishing is a senseless sport and a form of cruelty to animals.

Commercial Fishing
Commercial harvest is also a multi-million dollar industry and the life blood of coastal communities. Critics claim the high rate of bycatch in certain types of fisheries is unsustainable and damages the environment.

NGOs
There are many non-governmental non-profits headquartered in Costa Rica that specialize in marine conservation issues. Many have an accomplished track record. But conservation is a competitive business as organizations compete for limited donor contributions. Because of this, communication between the groups is often lacking. Many times groups are working on similar projects but don’t share information for fear of losing donations or credit for successes (which is parlayed into more donations). If communication among the groups was more common, positive changes could come more rapidly on smaller budgets.

General Public
Costa Rica has the highest cost of living in Central America. Many sectors have been on strike or protesting the proposed new tax reform for the past month. Critics are upset with tax breaks companies receive whose products manufactured in Costa Rica cost nearly double domestically as the same product sold by the same company in neighboring countries. Many feel it is unfair to give away Costa Rica’s resources to other nations with little benefit while its citizens are asked to pay higher taxes.

Billboards Warn of Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

Many marine mammals are killed as bycatch in these illegal fisheries.

Tuna Canning Industry
The tuna cannery in Puntarenas employs more than 1,000 local workers and processes 9,000 tons of tuna annually. Because of the high demand of sustainably captured seafood products, the cannery is forced to import tuna harvested with sustainable gear from other countries to meet the demand.

Tuna and Dolphin
The fish and the mammals have a symbiotic relationship and swim together in the ocean. Most nets set by purse seiners are made over dolphins on the surface. Historically over 6 million dolphins perished with this method. By today’s standards, after the set one end of the net is lowered for the dolphins to escape to qualify for the “Dolphin Safe” label. The estimate of dolphin mortality is still around 1,000 a year in the tuna industry. Critics say the repeated netting of the same pods of dolphins should not qualify for the dolphin safe sticker on cans of tuna.

Critics also question whether boats fishing illegally are careful about dolphin welfare. Boats have been observed throwing explosives from helicopters or speed boats to herd the dolphin into the nets. There are also questions about how carefully the dolphins are released.

The goal is to bring all these various interest groups together to make more tuna available to benefit Costa Rican fishermen and the country’s economy. An increase in sustainable harvest would have a domino effect. With more tuna available there would be less bycatch of sharks, billfish, turtles and marine mammals, plus better economic conditions for struggling coastal communities.

The billboard campaign directs viewers to the FECOP website, www.fecop.org. A link on the site leads to a petition urging decision-makers to support more responsible ocean management and fair-ness for the people of Costa Rica.

Help FECOP Make an Impact – Sign the Tuna for Ticos Petition Below

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.

 

FECOP Featured On Channel 7 – Tuna for Ticos

 

 

 

 

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This Fish Can Live Over 60 Years

FECOP Fish Facts – Tarpon

Top 5 Cool Facts About Tarpon

Costa Rica Stomping Grounds

Caribbean side, Pacific Coast of Costa Rica (rarely),can live in both fresh and saltwater and have even been found in Lake Nicaragua

World Record

TarponThe all-tackle world record tarpon stands at a monstrous 286lbs 9oz. It was caught by Max Domecq off Guinea-Bissau in Africa on March 20, 2003. If that’s not hard enough to take in, try this on for size: prior to that day, Domecq had never caught a tarpon. The near-300lb behemoth, taken on a live mullet, was his first tarpon bite ever. Where do you go from there?

Respect your elders

The oldest tarpon in captivity lived to be 63 years old. So, the next time you’re down in the Keys or off the coast of Costa Rica, and you hook one of the big girls, remember, there’s every chance you’ve just attached yourself to something older than you.

The Name Game

Megalops atlanticus is the Latin name for the Atlantic tarpon. But what does that mean? Well, the “atlanticus” bit I think we can all work out. As for “Megalops”, that’s a combination of two words: “mega” meaning “large” or “extreme”, and “lops” meaning “face”. Sometimes those Latin names don’t seem nearly as clever once you’ve translated them.

May I See Your Passport

Tarpon are more widely distributed than many realize, and are found on both sides of the Atlantic. They’ve been found as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Brazil. Tarpon have also been discovered in small pockets of Pacific waters – off Costa Rica’s Pacific Costa in the South and on the Pacific side of Panama.

Tarpon Video From Tortuguero, Costa Rica by Eddie Brown

Prehistoric Perfection

You have to feel for the tarpon, they’re the classic victims of their own success. Just one look at them and you know this is a fish that’s been around for a while. Fossilised evidence confirms it – with roughly 125 million years of evolutionary development under their belts, these guys have become one of the ocean’s most efficient predators. They thrive in either saltwater or freshwater, they can tolerate oxygen-poor environments thanks to their unique air bladder, they can move at huge speed when hunting prey, and that bucket-sized vacuum for a mouth ensures that when something goes in, it stays in. Ironically, this incredible physiology that has allowed them to survive for so long is exactly what has turned them into such a prized sport fish.

Valenciennes, 1846; MEGALOPIDAE FAMILY; also called silver king, cuffum

Occurs in warm temperate tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This coastal fish can be found both inshore and offshore. Because of its ability to gulp air directly into the air bladder by “rolling” at the surface, the tarpon is able to enter brackish and fresh waters that are stagnant and virtually depleted of oxygen. Such areas are relatively free of predators, thus offering a convenient refuge for the young.

The body is compressed and covered with very large scales. The lower jaw juts out and up. The teeth are small and fine, and the throat is covered by a bony plate. The dorsal fin consists of 12 16 soft rays (no spines) the last of which is greatly elongated. The back is greenish or bluish varying in darkness from silvery to almost black. The sides and belly are brilliant silver. Inland, brackish water tarpons frequently have a golden or brownish color because of tannic acid.

They may shed up to 12 million eggs. The eggs hatch at sea and the eel like larvae drift in shore where they undergo a metamorphosis, shrinking to half the size previously attained and taking on the more recognizable features of the tarpon as they begin to grow again. Tarpon, bonefish, ladyfish and eels all undergo a similar leptocephalus stage, but the first three fish all have forked tails even at the larval state, whereas the eel does not. Tarpon grow rather slowly and usually don’t reach maturity until they are six or seven years old and about 4 ft (1.2 m) long.

Fishing methods are still fishing with live mullet, pinfish, crabs, shrimp, etc., or casting or trolling with spoons, plugs, or other artificial lures. The best fishing is at night when the tarpon is feeding. They are hard to hook because of their hard, bony mouths. Once hooked they put up a stubborn and spectacular fight, often leaping up to 10 feet out of the water. It was one of the first saltwater species to be declared a game fish

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Tarpon Jumping Video

Are Tarpon Breeding in Costa Rica’s Pacific Waters

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3 Costa Rican Teams to Participate in Black Bass World Fishing Tournament

Three Costa Rican teams will participate in the Black Bass World Tournament, in Nuevo León, Mexico from October 29 to November 4.

Black-bass is a well-known fish in the sport fishing sector. Its scientific name is Micropterus salmoides and is popularly known as perch, blasblas or – in Costa Rica – black bass.

The 3 teams are represented by the Costa Rican Fisheries Federation (Fecop). This organization reported that Costa Rica will compete with representations from Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Russia, Korea, Mexico, the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Panama.

Carlos Cavero, competitor and president of the Fecop, pointed out that for a tico sport fisherman, this type of fishing that will take place in the tournament is “a dream”.

“It is the sigh for what was out of our hands, at least until December 2017, the year Fecop became part of the Pan-American Sports Fishing Delegation and in February 2018 we had the opportunity to compete to Florida, with the best in that country, “said Cavero.

On that occasion 8 months ago, the Ticos won the bronze, after competing with Mexico and Canada, countries traditionally fishermen of bass. The patriotic teams will participate in pairs:

 Luis Gima Monge and Mauricio Monge
Alberto Gutiérrez and Edgar Cruz
Carlos Cavero and Jorge Narvaez

“We are going to represent Costa Rica in a global feat, in the sport that we like, against 15 federated countries around the world. This must be the most exciting thing that has happened to us. We go with everything, although we do not have Lobinas in Costa Rica, we know how to fish, “said Cavero.

The event will be at El Cuchillo Lake, which has an area of ​​18,000 hectares (180 square kilometers). The site is located in the municipality of China, state of Nuevo León, northeast of Mexico.

In that lake live black bass or black bass, with sizes called “trophy”. Fecop said that in 2009 he broke the record of the FIPSed World Championship, 6,060 kg. of the fish specimen (Fédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive, based in Rome).

“I am sure that the athletes of each participating nation, united with the directors, coaches and juries, will enjoy, appreciate the world famous Mexican hospitality,” said Luis Miguel Garcia, president of the A.C de Mexico Sports Fishing Federation.

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