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Costa Rica Tarpon Run at Barra Making History

May 25, 2020

Barra Colorado, on the northern Caribbean coast, has been having the hottest run of tarpon in the more than 20 years I’ve been hammering out fishing reports for The Tico Times, but was hit by a tornado late Sunday night that blew the roof off the Río Colorado Lodge’s lounge and boat docks at river’s edge.

Lodge operator Dan Wise said the blow lasted about 10 minutes. Other than losing the roof, the storm did no damage to the lodge or boats, and Monday anglers happily braved 10-foot breakers to get outside the river mouth where the bite has been solid, with a one-day record 89 tarpon in the air for the 11 anglers fishing last Saturday, the day before the tornado.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Pennsylvania anglers Fred Quinn and Hamil Wilson jumped 45 of the silver rockets, boating five, along with a 48-pound wahoo, while on Thursday and Friday Pat Cunningham and Roger Darce wet eight releases for 15 in the air, and in four days earlier last week, John Anderson and Jeff Langston from Mississippi hooked 35 and got nine to the boat for release,Wise reported.

“The lodge has been running at capacity, with all of our boats on the water every day for the past week, and this may be an alltime fishing record,” he added.

No reports on damage or fishing from the other two lodges in the area, though we seldom, if ever, hear from them.

Playa Carrillo still appears to be the best bet for fishing on the Pacific coast. Kingfisher skipper Rick Ruhlow, my son, on Monday said the incredible marlin bite reported there in recent weeks appears to have slowed, but they are still finding sailfish and a lot of dorado in spite of increasing Papagayo winds.

On the central coast, Quepos and Dominical have been in the doldrums, with high water temperature and very little action on billfish, though Kent Malinkowski reports they are finding fish about 30 miles to the northwest, which would bring them closer to where the Carrillo boats fish.

“My friends the Deebs from Tallahassee, Florida, fished four days on the SailsCall and raised 64 sailfish, releasing 42 (and) two marlin and catching two dorado,” he said.

He adds that boats should look for birds sitting on the water, and mark bait on your fish finder between 100 and 250 feet below the surface.

No reports from the southern Pacific coast this week.

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