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Everything about Sportfishing

March 2, 2017

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Sportfishing

By Captain Jesse Baletti, WaveDancer
The first thing, the most important thing — in fact, the only thing you really need to know about sportfishing — is how to get on the boat without falling into the water.Tennis shoes are recommended. They may even prevent you from falling off the boat if you do manage to board without falling into the water. Also take a hat to avoid sunburn and a long-sleeve shirt to avoid sunburn

Meet the Crew (and what they do)

Once aboard, it’s time to meet the crew. There’s the captain, the mate and often times a helper . The captain handles the boat and finds the fish. Hunting for fish is 90% skill, 10% luck. That why we check out all the boats and crew personally before they are recommended by Costa Rica Uncovered. The last thing you want is a captain of your charter to have 4 months experience in the area you are fishing.

Mates are essentially captains in training. The rig lines, and different types of baits, and are in charge of teaching new fishermen how to handle the rod and reel. They also have one of the most dangerous jobs on the boat… namely unhooking the fish. This must be done in such a way as to not injure the fish. Additionally they must pull the 200 pound plus billfish up on the rail for photographs. This is call “getting the rail shot” the fish is kept out of the water for a relatively short time… 30 seconds or so …and then put back. The mate holds on to the bill and the captain movers the boat forward to force water (oxygen) through the fish’s gills before letting go. This assures that the fish will have the stamina to swim off and live to fight anointer day

Parts of the Boat

Don’t worry about this. No one agrees on the true names of any part of any boat. The bathroom is typically referred to as the “head,” and the big steering wheel as the “wheel,” back is called “stern” but feel free to make up your own names as you go along (everyone else does).

Things to Do While Trolling
You can assist the crew and skipper in looking for fish, which, depending on your eyesight and luck, may or may not help. A distant splash, a nearby flash, a piece of flotsam, a bird — any of these might mean a giant school of record-setting fish near.

What you’re looking for is fish such as dolphin, which eat other fish that are also eaten by the fish you want to catch. Birds eat fish too, dipping into the water to snag lunch, so their flight path is another key factor.

You may even see a marlin or sailfish break the surface, which is generally a good indication you’ve spotted a game fish

Sportfishing Basics: Trolling with Outriggers.

On each side of the boat, a long metal pole, outrigger juts into the sky at right angles from the boat. Fishing lines from the rods run through the outriggers, via pulleys, and then back into the water. The idea of the outrigger is to spread the baits out as wide as possible from the back of the boat.

When the captain gives the command the outriggers are lowered horizontal with the ocean. The line strung through the pulleys is attached to something that resembles a clothespin, and connected to the fishing rods in the stern (rear) corners on either side of the boat.

The mate will now place two or three more poles in the rod holders over the rear of the boat and let their lines trail in the wake. These lines also have lures or live bait “rigged” (a nautical term for tied) with mullet or ballyhoo at the ends, or maybe a live blue runner on a circle hook.

These are called flat lines. Flat lines go right from the rod straight off the back of the boat in to the water. At the end of each line, a lure or live bait is in the water at different distances. Relative calm is enjoyed on the boat until someone yells “Left rigger!” to announce a strike

Then either grab a rod or get out of the way.

A crew member or another angler will show newbie’s the basics of handling the rod and reel. A good captain will assist by maneuvering the boat as the fish fights with all its might.

Tips on Sport fishing in Costa Rica

Tips on Tackle.
“Tackle” just means things such as rods, reels, lures, teasers — any of the gear used in fishing

Beer and Food

If not included with the charter, find another boat.

Tips on Tipping
The harder the skipper and crew work to find and help you catch fish, and the more fish you catch, the more you should tip at the end of the day. The skipper will know which places in town will cook fish such as dorado and snapper

Photo & Video Tips for Billfish

To get a good shot of the fish jumping, watch the line. When the fish dives, the lines descends. So when you see the line begin to rise, it means the fish is on the way up.

Aim the camera about 20 feet in front of the spot where the line emerges from the water and get ready for the jump.

Make your reservations today to avoid missing out this high season: send email with date of arrival, # days to fish from Quepos or Jaco, and number of anglers.

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