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San Jose
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Monster Guapote Taken at Arenal

The most sensational catch reported this week was a monster 12.5-pound rainbow bass (guapote) caught trolling deep along the southwest shore of north-central Costa Rica’s Lake Arenal by Paul Kelly (see photo), fishing with guide Ron Saunders, an old friend of his from Connecticut.

That’s the same weight as another guapote caught at the lake several years ago that held the International Game Fish Association world record for the species until displaced by an even bigger fish taken from a lake in Nicaragua, but I was never able to find out what lake it was.

Saunders said smaller guapote were abundant at Arenal, and the weather was holding up perfectly until Monday of this week, when they got some rain and heavy wind.

On the central Pacific coast, Quepos hasn’t had many fishermen out, but the outlook has been good, with the Bill Collector last week nailing two sails and a marlin, and another boat one of each. Boats working closer inside are getting some dorado, jacks and miscellaneous fish.

No reports from any boats or fishing operators on the northern or southern Pacific coasts this week.

Tico Times reader Joe Ostmeyer, from the U.S. city of Denver, asks for suggestions regarding fishing out of Quepos in January, when he is coming down with his father. He writes: “My 72-year-old father from Kansas enjoys fishing – but it has been the throwthe- line-from-the-bank, or boat type of fishing,” he said, asking if there are any types of fishing around the Quepos area he

might enjoy.

“I know there are world-class marlin and sailfish experiences there, but I don’t think he would enjoy spending several hours on a boat in the ocean, especially if he is not used to the wave actions,” he writes, and asks if we have any suggestions.

Joe, I can sympathize with your father. I’m two years older than he is, and a full day on the water is no longer my idea of a lot of fun, even though I can put the arm on my son who has been running his own boat here for close to 20 years.

I know of only two boats in that area that would likely work for the old man, and I suggest that when you arrive in the country you call Raúl (he speaks English) on his cellular at 360-4978. If you call from the United States, first dial 011-506.

He can book a 28-footer that charters for $500 for a half day and $600 for a full day, or for a bit less he can arrange a 25-footer, which would likely work as well if there aren’t a lot of others going along. Tell him you are the party I talked to him about so he can deduct the normal commission from your cost.

If I can be of any assistance while you’re here, feel free to call me at 282-6743. I am in the San José area, not far from the airport, and the coffee is always hot if you care to stop by. If anyone else in Quepos has other suggestions for Joe, e-mail him directly at (send me a copy at

I get a lot of queries similar to this, and if anyone here in Costa Rica knows of charters at reasonable rates any place on the coast, please let me know so I can pass along the information to Tico Times readers.



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