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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Monster Tarpon Caught from Shore

One of the most impressive feats I can recall in my more than 20 years fishing Costa Rican waters occurred Feb. 17 when Francisco Mejías caught a 61-pound tarpon fishing from the shore of the Río Frío in northern Costa Rica to take first place in a National Fishing Club tournament.

Known for their incredible fight and stratospheric jumps, tarpon are regularly caught from boats in the country’s northern rivers and Caribbean coast, but we have never heard of one this big being fought and landed from shore; in fact, I have never heard of any tarpon being caught from shore on rod and reel.

According to Rapala Lures Pro Staff and National Fishing Club member José Manuel López, the tarpon hit a red Rapala DT10 lure and was brought to shore after a lengthy battle on 12-pound-test monofilament line.

López said that never before in Costa Rican fishing history has an angler fishing from the bank of a river caught any fish of that size, adding that while immense fish have been preciously hooked from shore, they were not brought in, particularly on such light line.

After a couple of slow days last week following the tornado that was mentioned in my last report, tarpon action on the northern Caribbean picked up where it had left off, and the Río Colorado Lodge had 13 tarpon to the boat for release and a total of 64 of the silver rockets hooked for the week, with action just inside the breaker line at the river mouth, according to reports from the lodge.

While a bit belated, we also learned that Enrico Capozzi, who we suspect holds the world record for the most world records, added still another Feb. 3, fishing aboard his boat Spirit of Pilar out of Guanamar in Carrillo, on the northern Pacific coast.

Capozzi landed the new Pacific blue marlin International Game Fish Association world record on a fly, for a new 12-pound tippet record following a one-hour-and-20- minute battle with the 104.5-pounder, displacing a 44.5-pounder.

The boat skipper was Capt. Scott Jones, and gaff men were Jim Gates and Fred Thibault.

We’ll have a photo in a coming issue, as well as a roundup of Capozzi’s world records, most of them set in Costa Rican waters.

Most of the action on the Pacific is still in the Carrillo region, and while steady has not been as hot as in recent weeks. No reports from anyone in Quepos, so we assume action there is still in the doldrums.

All the way south on the Pacific, Gregg Mufson of Zancudo Lodge reports it was “a tough week,” with boats averaging two sails a day on the blue water and inshore action slow as well, though they did get some snapper in the 35-pound class and a very few roosters.

“Water temps are in the upper 80s, and we (had) a few tuna in the 30-to-40-pound range,” he reported. “(There was) light on the horizon toward the end of last week,with boats averaging four sailfish, and a fourpound black skipjack for a potential new women’s eight-pound tippet fly-fishing record for that species.”



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