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Caribbean gears up for peak snook month

September 30, 2005

NO current fishing reports this week, as I was scheduled to head to Barra Colorado, on the northern Caribbean coast, over the weekend with Dr. Michael Snarskis, an archaeologist from the University of Costa Rica, for some preliminary research to determine whether pre-Columbian exploration in that region is justified.

Snarskis said there was traffic south along the Caribbean coast in past centuries, and the quiet waters of what is now the Río Colorado would likely have been an inviting respite for travelers exploring and trading south from Guatemala and other points.

Ample evidence of early settlement has been found farther north on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, and he theorizes settlement likely took place in what is now the Barra Colorado region as well, although no research has been done in that area.

However… it’s more than likely I will find time to wet a fishing line while there. AS often mentioned in this column, October is rated the peak month for snook in that region. They are caught throughout the year, but the major bite is from late September through October.Six world-record Atlantic snook (Centropomus spp.) have been caught in the region during the month of October, including the all-tackle record of 49 pounds caught at Parismina in 1978. The only one of the five record-size snook not taken in October is the men’s 16-pound line-test record of 45 pounds, 8 ounces, caught in May 1990.

The fly-fishing record on 16-pound tippet weighed in at 26 pounds and was caught by the late Billy Barnes, who pioneered fishing in the region when he opened Casamar Lodge. It was caught on 16-pound tippet in October 1980.

All other Atlantic snook records recorded by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) were caught in Florida between May and August, and Florida likely has more snook fishermen on the water over the average weekend than Costa Rica does all year.

To best of my knowledge, there are four fishing operators in the best regions for snook on Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coast, including Casamar, Silver King, Río Colorado Lodge and Parismina. IF you really want to get your name in the record books, you might try the Pacific coast, where only six of the linetest records for Pacific snook are listed in the IGFA 2005 book, leaving 11 line class categories open. Three of those six were caught in Costa Rica. Two others were caught in Mexico and one in Ecuador.

Two other Pacific snook records have been caught on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast in recent months and submitted to the IGFA. If approved as expected, they will appear in the 2006 edition of the record book. Both of those were caught surf fishing from shore.For more info on fishing or assistance in planning a trip to Costa Rica, contact Jerry at jruhlow@costaricaoutdoors.com or visit www.costaricaoutdoors.com.

Skippers, operators and anglers are invited to contact Jerry with fishing reports by Sunday of each week. Call or fax 282-6743 within Costa Rica or write to the e-mail address above.

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