I just got back from another great trip in good ol Costa Rica. I have always gotten off the plane and rushed to the land of the billfish (Pacific coast) but this trip we switched it up and tried a few new fishing spots inland before hitting the blue water.. Let's just say getting to the La Fortuna volcano from San Jose in the rainy season is an adventure all in itself.
Once to our destination I couldnt wait to wet a line. My fiance had her heart set on touring a wildlife sanctuary, after I looked at the map of the place and seeing "Trout Lake" I figured there could be some fish involved. Little did I know it was actually a swimming pool! Yes, a real live swimming pool where guests can take a dip and lay out on lawn chairs. My hopes of fishing there were crushed until I saw 4 antique looking rods behind the bar. A couple hundred colones later the bartender let me get one off the wall, rig it with a rusty hook and try my luck in this pool. I wasnt too optimistic but he swore there were rainbow trout in there, since I couldnt see the bottom I couldnt doubt him. First cast and BAM, sure enough fish on! A few cervezas and a couple more fish later and I was a believer. Good start to the trip.
The next day was off to try a diffferent kind of fishing. Volcano fishing in a lake at the base of the La Fortuna volcano. I had been in contact with our Captain and by now he had sold me on catching guapote. I've been an avid angler since the time I could walk so I couldnt sleep the night before knowing I had a chance of catching a new species to add to my list. We got to the lake, met the Captain and as we were headed to the first fishing hole it felt eerily similar to fishing here in Florida with the exception of a roaring volcano in the backdrop. It was a slow day on the lake but we did manage to catch a couple of the targeted species. Hearing an erupting volcano during a back cast is an interesting experience indeed. Guapote are found in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and are nothing like any fish I have seen. There size does them absolutely no justice and until I saw the first one come up I thought I had a 20lb snook on. The best I can describe is that they are a mix of a peacock bass and a mangrove snapper but fight like a jack crevalle and a snook. Excellent eating although these guys were realeased to fight another day.
Although that was fun and different my mind couldnt stop thinking forward to cobalt blue water filled with sails and roosterfish. Everytime my head hit the pillow I had thoughts of our last trip down there where we were literally worn out catching big sails on light spinning rods.
Unfortunately this offshore trip was the opposite result. The weather forced us to stay inland and fish for roosters, which I was OK with. After 8 hours of trolling without a bit we called it a day, but like they say a bad day fishing beats a good day working (especially in Costa Rica).
Tight Lines and Pura Vida!
Capt Ryan Harrington
Great report! That's a bummer about the sail hook-ups, but hey, you're fishing in Costa Rica!!! Not everyone can say that!!
Great memories, and thanks for sharing them.