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
Costa Rica Fishing Vacation and AFTCO Apparel Prize Details:
Wishin’ I was Fishin’ at Crocodile Bay in Costa Rica
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.
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 *
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
Caribbean side, Pacific Coast of Costa Rica (rarely),can live in both fresh and saltwater and have even been found in Lake Nicaragua
The 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
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
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.
The lifetime of a sailfish varies from 4 to 10 years. Most of the juveniles spend their first few years off the coast of Mexico. That doesn’t necessarily mean they were born there. For example, a west coast Florida tarpon starts its life 100 miles or so off the beach, but spends its early years in the estuaries. The largest sailfish and the long-standing world record of 222 pounds came from their farthest range to the south in Ecuador.
The tropical Pacific is really not a very inviting place for sailfish. The low oxygen content in the water will not support them, but two famous currents bring in healthy water. The Humboldt Current flows north from Chile and Peru and collides with the California Current flowing south from the U.S. and Mexico off the coast of Central America, forming a “tongue” of current that supports sailfish, though to a depth of only 100 meters or less. Unlike the striped marlin that is caught off Mexico but might spawn off Australia, the eastern tropical sailfish’s range is limited to the coastal waters of the two currents and the tongue formed off Central America.
Another phenomenon happens each year: Three distinct and powerful winds blow from land offshore. They start in December or January and blow until March or April. In Mexico, winds that start in the Gulf of Mexico push across the Tehuantepec lowlands offshore into the Pacific. Likewise, the Papagayo winds from Lake Nicaragua push offshore across Nicaragua near the Costa Rican border. Also, a Caribbean wind current crosses Panama heading into the Pacific near the Panama Canal.
As the Pacific surface water is pushed offshore, the upwelling sends to the surface oxygen-depleted water that cannot support sailfish. The entire population is forced into pockets of healthy water, which happen to lie in front of windless parts of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and parts of Panama. During this period, El Salvador, Nicaragua and other parts of Panama are nearly devoid of sailfish. This is the equivalent of taking the entire population of San José and moving everybody to the Pacific coast for four months out of the year, with no one living in between. Fortunately for the sailfish, their main food source, squid and sardines, follow the same pattern.
The reality is that these areas do not have a tremendous abundance of fish, but the whole population is forced to share these pockets. When there is a strong El Niño, the winds do not blow, so the population is not condensed into oxygen-healthy pockets caused by the normal upwelling. The surface waters also warm, and peak-season fishing results in Guatemala and Costa Rica drop dramatically.
Costa Rica has the benefit of two peak sailfish seasons. From the Gulf of Nicoya south, the peak is January through April. The Guanacaste region to the north begins to peak in May after the winds die and the fish begin to move freely out of prisons formed in Guatemala and southern Costa Rica.
Dr. Ehrhardt’s studies have shown that a strong management plan is needed with all Central American countries working together. The Costa Rican Tourist Fishing Federation (FECOPT) is working with sport and commercial fishermen and the government on management plans within Costa Rica. In addition, CABA, The Billfish Foundation and local groups are working with Central American governments to form a united effort to conserve the region’s sailfish populations.
Inhabits tropical and subtropical waters near land masses, usually in depths over 6 fathoms, but occasionally caught in lesser depths and from ocean piers. Pelagic and migratory, sailfish usually travel alone or in small groups. They appear to feed mostly in midwater along the edges of reefs or current eddies.
Its outstanding feature is the long, high first dorsal which is slate or cobalt blue with a scattering of black spots. The second dorsal fin is very small. The bill is longer than that of the spearfish, usually a little more than twice the length of the elongated lower jaw. The vent is just forward of the first anal fin. The sides often have pale, bluish gray vertical bars or rows of spots.
More on the Saifish from the IGFA.org Fish Database
Its fighting ability and spectacular aerial acrobatics endear the sailfish to the saltwater angler, but it tires quickly and is considered a light tackle species. Fishing methods include trolling with strip baits, plures, feathers or spoons, as well as live bait fishing and kite fishing. The most action is found where sailfish are located on or near the surface where they feed.
Recent acoustical tagging and tracking experiments suggest that this species is quite hardy and that survival of released specimens is good
FECOP Fish Facts: Pacific Sailfish
Fastest Fish in the Sea at up to 70mph
World Record 222 lbs (Ecuador)
Common Name: Sailfish
Scientific Name: Istiophorus
Group Name: School
Average life span in The Wild: 4 years
Feeding Tactics: Uses its bill to stun individual fish or slash groups of fish
Costa Rica’s Fishing Laws Allow International Fleets to Capture 95 percent of the Tuna Caught Within Costa Rican Waters
Costa Rica’s laws allow international fleets to capture 95 percent of the tuna caught within Costa Rican waters, researchers from the National University (UNA) announced.
The figure is part of the research for a new book called “Characteristics of Tuna Fishing in Costa Rica” that researchers presented at a press conference on Wednesday.
The commercial value of tuna here is of some $62 million per year. Of this total, Costa Rica receives only $904,000 in licensing fees, the report states.
That means the country receives some $19 for each metric ton of tuna, which can reach a market price of some $2,000.
Official data from the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA) say that the estimated total catch of tuna here is 25,000 metric tons per year. According to the researchers’ report, approximately 5,000 tons stay here for local distribution.
UNA researcher Olman Segura said that this situation “forces Costa Rica to import tuna every year, despite having plenty inside its territory.”
The report notes that international vessels are using industrial purse seines with lengths of up to two kilometers (some 1.2 miles) and more than 200 meters (656 feet) in depth. The local fleet, however, is still using artisanal fishing techniques.
“Local artisanal fishermen catch in a year what these vessels can catch in just one trip,” the report states.
Moreover, industrial fleets don’t even process the tuna here. They take their catch to processing plants located primarily in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Venezuela.
The study urges the government to amend fishing laws in order to boost income for the country. They also recommend improved training for artisanal tuna fishers and the drafting of measures to promote tuna processing at local plants.
MARVIVA Director Jorge Jiménez Ramón said at the presentation that Costa Rica is giving away its fishing wealth.
“Instead of fostering a local fleet that can fish in a responsible way, we are allowing others to take our fish away from the country,” he said.
Researchers also recommend updating license fees using a tonnage-based collection system as established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. Updated fees, according to current standards, would provide an estimated annual revenue of up to $2.7 million, the report says.
Segura said that one of the main objectives of the study is to boost job creation in coastal areas, which include some of the regions of Costa Rica with the fewest job opportunities.
“We also aim to strengthen the work of INCOPESCA so they can improve their controls, especially over illegal fishing,” he said.
The report came just days after the Executive Branch announced it is drafting a decree to amend regulations on tuna fishing in Costa Rica.
INCOPESCA Executive President Gustavo Meneses said on March 7 that the new decree will outline the guidelines for a new tuna license-granting model based on scientific and technical criteria.
Meneses said they will also update fishing license fees according to current market standards.
“The new model seeks to rationalize the impact of purse seine tuna fishery,” he said, adding that the plan will allow grant fishermen “a better chance of improving their catch, without compromising environmental balance.”
Local artisanal fishermen catch in a year what industrial tuna fleet vessels can catch in just one trip, the report states.
FRIENDS… last week we had a Satellite Tag recovered in Costa Rica. Talk about a needle in a haystack. The odds of recovering one of these tags after popping off are “one in a million.” However, thanks to great friends, a great team and world-wide support we got it.
A Pop-Up Satellite Archival Tag (PSAT) that was originally deployed on a Roosterfish while fishing the coastal waters near Quepos, Costa Rica has been found and returned to us!
This PSAT was is part of a larger project evaluating Roosterfish behavior and movement along the Central American Pacific coast. It was deployed during our visit to Marina Pez Vela and our tagging group was joined by Mr. Gray Ingram and Mrs. Camilla Ingram, and sponsored by the Ortiz family and employees at Marina Pez Vela.
After being deployed for 60 days the tag popped off and was now floating in the water. Incredibly the tag was recovered by a local gentleman Mr. Emiliano Vasquez while he was kayaking the coastal waters of the Gulf of Nicoya, near Paquera, Costa Rica. Mr. Vasquez described seeing something unusual in the water and once he pulled the tag out of the water he recognized the importance of what he found. He immediately decided it needed to be returned to its owner. After finding the contact information embedded in the tag he made arrangements to return it to one of our local representatives, Christian Bolaños of Gray Taxidermy. Mr. Vasques was thrilled to learn the importance of his effort and the fact that we will learn more about game fish, in particular the Roosterfish. For his effort we rewarded him $250.00 a pair of Costa Sunglasses and Gray FishTag Apparel.
What makes this story even more remarkable is how the tag got back to our office in Florida. While once again visiting Costa Rica, this time in Los Sueños Resort & Marina, Mr. and Mrs. Ingram met with our representative Christian near Los Sueños. A few words were exchanged before they had to rush to the airport and head back to the US. The Ingrams excitedly returned it to our office in Pompano Beach the next day. Talk about full circle!!
These are the kind of stories that make our program so unique and worthwhile. The large Gray FishTag Research network, all the supporters, Charter Captains and Mates, marina personnel and friends in general, all pulling together making the program move ahead. We could not do this without all the help and we are forever grateful. Stay tuned for the most detailed analysis ever, of a Pacific Roosterfish. By getting the actual tag back, we are now able to get a complete and total picture of all its activity.
Thank you all again and we are looking forward to many more stories alike!!!
Amazing Costa Rica Tarpon Captured on Video During a Fishing Trip in Costa Rica!
Thanks to Captain Eddie Brown out of Tortuguero, Costa Rica for sharing this EPIC Tarpon footage. This is one of the many reasons why Costa Rica should be at the “top” of your bucket list. FECOP is dedicated to protecting Costa Rica’s precious marine resources through educating anglers about sustainable fishing practices. Please join our effort by signing up here – Be part of our collective “voice” for responsible fishing in Costa Rica and across the globe. www.fishcostarica.org | www.fecop.org
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Environmentally sustainable fishing practices are often cast as a choice between healthy fish populations and healthy economies and societies. A new global study led by University of Florida scientists shows that, when managed well, ecologically sound fisheries boost profits and benefit communities.
Using a database of 121 fisherieson every continent, the researchers evaluated relationships between the three pillars of sustainability defined by the United Nations: economic development, social development and environmental protection. Their findings were published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“With fisheries, there are often perceived to be trade-offs between those pillars,” said Frank Asche, a professor in the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. With good reason: Plenty of case studies document that profits can drive overfishing, or that regulation can hurt fishing communities. But Asche and his co-authors argue that those examples don’t point to the impossibility of managing fisheries in a way that benefits all three goals — just a flawed approach to management.
“Those case studies are most likely correct, all of them,” Asche said. “But when you find trade-offs, you have to look for the problem that is causing them, because around the world, enough people are getting this right. If you create a trade-off, something in the design of your management system doesn’t work.”
The finding is particularly timely as the U.S. Senate considers revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. A bill passed in the House would weaken the management strategies that most benefit economic and social sustainability, potentially reducing the sustainability of U.S. fisheries, Asche said.
Asche authored the study with UF/IFAS Institute for Sustainable Food Systems director James Anderson, professors Karen Garrett and Kai Lorenzen, post-doctoral associate Taryn Garlock, and researchers from Duke University, the World Bank, the United Nations, the University of Washington, the University of Stavanger in Norway and Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands.
The worldwide database they created — which compiles 68 outcome metrics and 54 input metrics for fisheries and the communities and economies around them — will in future be used to investigate what factors make some management systems work better than others, and how success across the three pillars varies with the type of fishery or species.
“It help sort out some of these conflicts,” Asche said. “Is it necessary to limit fishing to protect fish stocks? Yes. Will excluding some potential fishers create poorer-functioning coastal communities? The answer is a clear no.”
Why a Costa Rica Sailfish is Worth More Alive than Dead
Article courtesy www.larepublica.net
A study carried out by the Research Institute of Economic Sciences of the UCR, reports that in 2008 Costa Rica sport fishing as an economic activity contributed approximately $ 599.1 million, which represents 2.13% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country (2008).
Another study by Southwick Associates Inc. estimated that “271,200 United States residents fished in Costa Rica” during 2009. Of those 271,200 Americans, 40% said they would not visit Costa Rica if they had not been able to fish. This means that in 2009, Costa Rica would have received 110,690 fewer visitors, which represents a loss of $ 128.7 million.
Fortunately, ten years later, Costa Rica continues to be a world-renowned sport fishing destination. However, our ability to retain this tourist segment is at risk due to mismanagement of species of sporting interest, such as sailfish, tuna and marlin.
This risk forces us to know in depth the contributions related to our economy of sport fishing and commercial fishing because both seek to extract the same species.
Therefore, it is necessary to reiterate the need for a strategy of integral management of species such as sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and blue marlin (Makaira Mazara) that seeks to maximize the creation of socio-economic value through the conservation of the fishing resource and the sustainable development.
For example, one day of sport fishing aboard a Costa Rican boat generates about $ 1,000, while one kilo of retail sailfish only around 1,776.6 colones (about $4). A good day of sport fishing consists of 10 sailfish caught and released alive, while a good day of commercial fishing consists of extracting these same sailfish to be sold at a very low commercial value.
The sport fishing sector provides formal and stable jobs, generates commercial clusters that benefit entire communities such as Herradura, Quepos, Golfito and Papagayo. Courtesy / La Republica
The sport fishing sector provides formal and stable jobs, generates commercial clusters that benefit entire communities such as Herradura, Quepos, Golfito and Papagayo, and additionally guarantees the conservation of species of tourist interest. Its tradition of capture and release has high survival rates, and the technical advances in the tools used in the capture have allowed to reduce the damage of these species to a minimum.
That is to say, the sport fishing is a sustainable model that includes the three fundamental axes: society, environment and economy.
In general terms, it is evident that the effect on employment and the economy is greater in the case of sport fishing than in commercial fishing and requires strategic attention.
Even, there is a great opportunity in this sector that we have not taken advantage of. Currently we only attract 3.6% of the fishing tourist population of the United States, while other countries such as Mexico manage to attract more than three times, thus generating profits well above ours.
It is clear that we must strengthen and develop the sector in such a way that we are able to attract more numbers of sports fishermen.
In conclusion, it is necessary that the commercial fishing sector and the sport fishing sector be complementary in order to maximize the opportunity of creating socioeconomic value for the country.
We can not risk losing the many benefits of of sports fishing tourism to Costa Rica
For Costa Rica, the opportunity is magnificent.
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