Tag: fishing for roosterfish

Costa Rica Roosterfish Tournament

1st Roosterfish Tournament Nears

Costa Rica’s Famous Roosterfish Finally Gets its’ Own Tournament!

Costa Rica’s 1st International Tournament Set to Kickoff November 16th, 2018 ( Enter Here ) at Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica’s South Pacific.

Costa Rica really hit the jackpot when it comes to sportfishing. From the river mouths to the bluewaters and way inland, the country is bursting with monster gamefish. But of all the fish out there, it’s the Roosterfish Costa Rica anglers are really proud of.

Funny, then, that there’s no Roosterfish tournament in Costa Rica. But now there is. On November 16 this year, Golfo Dulce’s Crocodile Bay Resort will kick off the first International Roosterfish Tournament. Teams will travel from the US, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and of course, Costa Rica itself to take part.

Man in a white shirt holding a large Roosterfish
Roosterfish are a species well worth traveling for.

Who is organizing the event? Why Costa Rica? What can we expect in years to come? We got in touch with some of the organizers to find out. From what we heard, it sounds like the teams are in for a treat!

What’s the Big Deal with Roosterfish?

Roosterfish are one of those species that can get you hooked from the first time you see them. They’re unlike anything else out there. Their wild mohawk and blue shimmer scream for a camera. Try catching one, and it’s the reel that starts screaming.

Roosterfish fight hard and don’t give in easy. The way they move is erratic, bordering on berserk. They have enough power to break your line and burn your drag if you’re not careful. They’re made even more interesting by the fact that you can’t catch them in the US. It’s easy to see why some anglers spend their lives chasing Roosters around Central America.

You can catch Roosterfish all the way from the north of Mexico to the south of Peru, but very few fisheries compare to Costa Rica. Sure, Baja might have the world record, but Costa Rica has some real monsters, too. And that’s just part of what makes the area unique.

Angler in a blue shirt holding up a Roosterfish in front of his face
Whatever the size, Roosterfish have some real star appeal.

Why Golfo Dulce?

We catch Roosters everywhere here” – says tournament organizer Todd Staley – “We catch them on the reefs. We’ve caught them in over 200 feet. We’ve caught them in the middle of the gulf away from the shoreline.”

This will come as a surprise to anyone who has tried Roosterfishing farther north. In Mexico, Roosters are only really caught along the surf line. Most anglers wouldn’t think of targeting them in more than a couple of fathoms of water. Not so in Costa Rica, clearly.

The fish don’t lack for size, either. According to Beau Williams, Crocodile Bay’s General Manager, Roosters can hit 100 pounds or more in Golfo Dulce. Sure, these aren’t your everyday catch, but on any given week they pull in plenty of fish in the 40-60 lb range.

What draws Roosterfish to the gulf? Several things, says Williams. “It generates an abundance of bait fish that Roosters prefer – sardines, mullet, goggle-eyes, blue runners, moonfish, and bonita.” He also points to the mix of sandy beaches and volcanic rock outcroppings. This all adds up to year-round Roosters. Sure sounds like a good place for a Roosterfish tournament.

View across Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica with mountains in the distance
To be fair, we would also live here year-round if we could.

The PanAmerican Delegation: Big Fish, Big Dreams

So who exactly is organizing the tournament? The people behind the event are the PanAmerican Sportfishing Delegation. They organize tournaments all across the Americas. They have two Bass tournaments, a Snook Tournament, and as of this year, a Roosterfish Tournament.

The Delegation’s aim is to get sportfishing recognized in the Pan American Games. Eventually, they even want to see it in the Olympics. For now, though, they’re happy putting on tournaments and building friendships through fishing. That’s exactly what they’re doing in Costa Rica.

The PanAm Delegation has partnered with FECOP, a Costa Rican non-profit which focuses on protecting the country’s fisheries. This is where Staley came in. He has worked with FECOP since it was first created in 2008. He also worked at Crocodile Bay for the best part of 20 years. This made him the perfect man to help set up the event.

Staley brought the tournament committee to Golfo Dulce and showed them around several resorts in the area. Crocodile Bay came out the clear winner because of its size and easy access to Puerto Jimenez Airport. It also has a large fleet of well-maintained, near-identical boats. This gives each team the same chance of landing a winner.

Angler holding a Roosterfish on a boat with water in the background.
Catching Roosterfish is tough enough without having to worry about the boat.

The committee found the spot for their tournament. It was time to get the teams together. It didn’t take long for the word to spread. A dozen teams from five countries signed up and will be heading down to Crocodile Bay in search of the biggest Roosterfish Costa Rica has to offer.

Catching Roosterfish Costa Rica-Style

One of the many things that makes Costa Rica great is the country’s dedication to responsible fishing. Billfish and Roosterfish are catch-and-release only and circle hooks are the norm on most boats. Local groups like FECOP work hard to keep the fishing sustainable, especially during tournaments.

In keeping with this, the PanAmerican Roosterfish Tournament is entirely catch-and-release. The fish won’t even be weighed. As Staley explains, “we’re not weighing the fish because they have to be out of the water and it’s too much of a strain on them.” Instead, teams will measure each Rooster they catch and submit their top ten every day. The healthiest fish will also be tagged to help scientific study into their movements.

A Roosterfish ready to swim off and fight another day.

How will the teams be fishing? That’s up to them. Tournament rules say up to 30lb line and no treble-hooks with natural baits, but other than that, anything goes. We asked Staley for some of his top tips for bringing in big Roosters and he gave some sound advice:

Here’s my analogy of a Roosterfish: They’re dumb as a rock to a live bait. You can fool them with a popper, or a jig, or an artificial. No-one’s found the holy grail yet on the fly. Fish all the columns of water – don’t just concentrate on the surf or the surface. Try it deep, try it on the surface – they’re gonna be someplace.”

A Big Deal Locally?

It sounds like everyone involved is going to have a blast, but what does it mean to the town? Many tournaments pass the local community by, especially when they’re organized from abroad. Williams says that isn’t the case here, though.

“The locals in this area are extremely excited to have an international tournament,” he says, explaining how the tournament trail has largely missed the south of the country. “While many experienced captains in our area have also fished professionally in Quepos for their Billfish tournaments, they are very excited to get Puerto Jimenez on the map.”

Staley also says that Golfo Dulce’s Rooster fishery doesn’t get the attention it deserves. That’s part of the reason for the tournament: “There’s plenty of other Sailfish, Marlin, and Dorado tournaments in the country,” he says, “Nobody’s really doing an all-Roosterfish tournament.”

a Roosterfish underwater with the hull of a boat behind it
This is definitely a fish that deserves its own tournament.

So how involved is the local community? Not hugely, at least for this year. Staley is sticking to his golden rule of “keep it simple, stupid.” This is the tournament’s first year, after all.

That’s not to say they’re not involved at all. There will be a presentation by the head of the local fish board and a performance put on by the local school. The captains and crews will also be from the area, but the Costa Rican teams won’t – it would be a little unfair if some teams were fishing their own backyard, we guess.

What’s next?

“The Pan-American Delegation was formed less than 2 years ago.” Explains Staley. “It’s in its infancy but hopefully it will take off.” He says that organizations in Europe have had a lot longer to get going and that the PanAm is still catching up. If that’s the case, they’re catching up fast. They already have four tournaments in three countries, fishing both saltwater and freshwater.

This is the first PanAmerican tournament held in Costa Rica, but it won’t be the last. If everything goes well, we could also see a Tarpon tournament sometime next year. The delegation is a long way from their Oolympic dreams, but they’re making a solid start.

November 14-19, almost 50 competitors will comb the Golfo Dulce on a dream Costa Rica Roosterfish adventure. They will put back all the fish and take away prizes for their countries instead. If nothing else, it sounds like great fun. We’re hoping for even more, though: more tournaments, more fishing friendships, and eventually, maybe even angling Olympians.

Have you ever caught a Roosterfish? Ever visited Golfo Dulce? We’d love to hear your experiences, so let us know in the comments below!

Article Courtesy www.fishingbooker.com

Related Articles

 

Read Blog Detail
Costa Rica Roosterfish Fishing Tournament

Roosterfish Tournament in Costa Rica

1st International Roosterfish Tournament in Costa Rica

November 16 – 19, 2018 at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica

 

Download PDFFOR COMPLETE ENTRY FORM, RULES AND ITINERARY IN PDF CLICK HERE

Entry Fee for United States Citizens is $1500 per person (including boat and lodging) and 100% Tax Deductible

The Pan American Sportfishing Confederation, FECOP (Federacion Costarricense de Pesca), and USA Angling Predator Team invite you to the first ever Pan American Roosterfish Championship for four-person teams.  This championship will be held at the 4 Star Crocodile Bay Resort on the tropical fjord Golfo Dulce in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica .  All Pan American countries are invited to participate.  This event will be part of the Pan American Sportfishing Confederation and will be an exciting competition for all the anglers from the Americas.

Costa Rica Fishing

We invite you to join us and represent your country at this tournament.  We also encourage all nations to invite our fellow Pan American nations to this event.  There are currently 41 nations participating in the Pan American Games, and we wish to invite them all.

Please review the attached application, competition rules, and event agenda.

Our team of volunteers are dedicated to making the event as enjoyable and exciting as possible.

Tournament Organizer:    

Costa Rica

Todd Staley    +506 8826 9658

Info@fecop.org

USA Angling Predator Team

Tournament Director:

Ben Blegen +1 612 232 3703

BenBlegen@USAPredatorTeam.org

Tournament location: Crocodile Bay Resort

Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica Central America
Crocodile Bay Resort

November 16 – 19, 2018

All banking and transfer fees are the responsibility of the paying attendees.

Wire information will be sent once application is received.

Email the Organizer for Bank Wire Transfer Details document and wire Instructions.

Henry Marin info@fecop.org por Espanol or

Registration Fee due at time of Application submission, by electronic money transfer.

Team Registration closes October 21, 2018.

If you have any problems with payment methods, please contact .

Send application via email BenBlegen@USAPredatorTeam.org copy to Todd@fecop.org

Registration fee for a four-angler team includes:       Based on quad occupancy

Lodging Crocodile Bay Resort… all meals included

Registration

All teams and attendees will be required to register at Crocodile Bay Resort and Resort, sign waivers, and take team pictures.  Please wear team jersey for team and group pictures.

Host Hotel Lodging

Championship headquarters will be Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica

Opening Ceremony

Country Flag ceremony will be at Crocodile Bay Conference Center where teams will enjoy the opening ceremony, festivities, and opening dinner.

Closing Ceremony
Staging, medals and flags at Crocodile Bay and awards banquet at Crocodile Bay Restaurant.

General Rules:

  • Costa Rica fishing license supplied to all visiting anglers. Copy of Passport ID needed in advance
  • All fishing done by rod and reel. Only one rod in use per angler at a time. Anglers can use own tackle or tackle supplied by Crocodile Bay Boats for those fishing on those boats.
  • Casting, trolling with artificial lures as well as live bait and dead bait are allowed.
  • All fishing done respecting Costa Rica fishing laws including no fishing in protected areas and no treble hooks allowed inside the Golfo Dulce. Circle hooks must be used while using live or dead bait.
  • Line limited to 30 lb test maximum.
  • Healthy fish will be tagged and released, and all fish must be measured and released as soon as possible.
  • Winners determined by team with most overall length of total roosterfish catch as well as anglers with three largest fish. Must have photo of fish measurement to show to judges if required. Captains will be stewards of all measurements.
  • Fishing area. Anywhere in Golfo Dulce and 25 miles in either direction of Matapalo Rock. Protected areas including National Park excluded.
  • Points given by fish measurement. (Tip of Nose to Fork of tail) One point per inch. 5 best fish per angler or 10 best fish for team per day.
  • Other inshore species like snapper, trevally, or jacks will be given 20 points per fish and can be used for teams that do not capture 10 roosterfish in one day
  • All ties broken by time off catch.

 

Agenda

Thursday November 15

Arrive to Costa Rica and transferred to hotel in San Jose (double occupancy)

Suggested airport for arrival – San Juan Santatamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose Costa Rica. One-night lodging in San Jose and round trip air to Crocodile Bay is included for visitors from other countries individual in package price. If you wish to drive it is 370 kilometers (229 miles or approximately 6 hours) to Puerto Jimenez.  Local phone at Crocodile Bay Resort is

2735-5631

Friday November 16

5:00am – 12:00pm transferred to airport for transportation to Crocodile Bay

7:00am – 4:00pm Arrival and registration

5:00pm – 6:30pm Captains meeting and boat drawing

6:30 – 8:30 Opening Ceremony and Dinner

Saturday November 17

5:30am Breakfast at hotel

6:15am Anglers meet boats at pier

6:30am Boats depart from Pier Day 1 fishing

3:30pm Deadline for arrival at pier after fishing

4:00pm – 5:30 snacks at bar

6:30pm Dinner at hotel and boat drawing for day two

Sunday November 18

5:30am Breakfast at hotel

6:15am Anglers meet boats at pier

6:30am Boats depart from

Pier Day 1 fishing

3:30pm Deadline for arrival at pier after fishing

4:00pm – 5:30 snacks at bar

6:30pm Dinner and awards at hotel

Monday November 19

5:30 – 8:30 Breakfast at hotel

Departure times depend on mode of transportation and may start as early as 6:30am

*What is included.  Transfer from airport (SJO) to hotel in San Jose for International visitors. Transfer from hotel in San Jose to domestic flight to Puerto Jimenez. Transfer by domestic airline to Crocodile Bay. Three days lodging and all meals at Crocodile Bay. Two full days of tournament fishing with boat and area guide, bait tackle and fishing license. Return flight to San Jose and transfer to International airport for departure.

Not included: Meals in San Jose, Alcoholic beverages (except complimentary wine at Crocodile Bay at dinner) and tips for hotel and fishing staff.

FOR COMPLETE REGISTRATION FORM, RULES AND ITINERARY IN PDF CLICK HERE

Read Blog Detail