I have been doing this column for a couple of months now, and you may have noticed a few changes. One is that The Tico Times hasn’t been running fishing reports in the print edition, only on the website. The reason for this is that with the paper’s production cycle and deadlines, fishing reports would be almost a week old by the time they went to print. As anglers, we know fishing can change at any minute, and week-old reports do not help the creditability of myself, the people sending in reports or The Tico Times.
On the other hand, The Tico Times’ online fishing reports are fresh when they get posted on the site. The sportfishing industry is enormous in Costa Rica, making up 14 percent of total tourism and 30 percent of tourism dollars that enter the country, and creating 63,000 jobs for Costa Ricans. Many Tico Times readers are tourists in the country and read The Tico Times online before they visit; many more read the online edition faithfully after they return home, before their next visit.
A great way to get your name out there is to do your own posts in The Tico Times’ online fishing forum. You can post anytime. Companies, fishing clubs and individual anglers are invited to participate. If you are in Costa Rica on vacation and catch a nice fish, you can post it here and email the link to your friends.
Sportfishing is huge in Costa Rica, but sadly we are an apathetic bunch. Our voice has been small because most people who participate are only in the country a short time. But that is changing.
Lately my articles have leaned toward the conservation side; I have a true passion for marine conservation in Costa Rica, but I certainly don’t want to stand only on that soapbox. I must tip my hat, though, to people like Randall Arauz of the Marine Turtle Restoration Program (Pretoma) for their persistence and dedication to stopping shark finning, and finally someone has been convicted in this country for illegal fishing (TT, March 25). We all know what is happening on our oceans. The Tico Times’ fishing forum is a great vehicle to bring this $600 million community together. Then, when the time comes, we can finally stand together and say, “We are tired as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore.” Archie Fields and Carlos Barrantes would rise from their graves and applaud us all.
I want this column to be fun, and I am open to article ideas from anyone. New operations, locations, unique people, different types of fishing styles and different species of fish all interest readers. I have already been accused of repeatedly posting reports from the same people. Well, as Charlie Sheen would say, “Duh” – those are the people who consistently send me reports. And don’t send me reports only when the fishing is great. Folks respect honesty, and I have actually booked trips over the years because I didn’t always say the fishing was fantastic.
So please use The Tico Times website to post your photos and reports online. It is a great tool to connect, share and even brag a little to the fishing community. Go to ticotimes.net/Weekend/Fishing/Fishing-Forum and get busy posting. If you don’t, I promise I’ll put a banana on your boat.
(Note to the uninitiated: It is a fishermen’s superstition that having bananas on your boat brings bad luck.)