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tarpon tarpon

There are 2 hotspots for big Tarpon in Costa Rica. The Rio Colorado on Costa Rica’s Northern Caribbean Coast has been one of the premier Tarpon spots in the world for decades. One lodge has old black and white photos of John Wayne and Lee Marvin when they fished in Costa Rica back in the 50’s and 60’s. The lodges in this area are the most popular Tarpon destinations in Costa Rica and lots of Tarpon and Snook are caught every year. Some of the lodges have added larger boats so you can also fish offshore for Wahoo, Dorado, Grouper and more.

More recently a few charter companies have opened up in the northern border town of Los Chiles. From Los Chiles you have access to the Cano Negro Lagoon, the Rio Frio, the San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua. All of these spots are remote, beautiful and lightly fished. This is a popular destination for hard core fishermen and some really big Tarpon and Snook are caught every year. Spend a few days fishing the rivers and lagoons for Tarpon and Snook and spend a few days fishing the islands in Lake Nicaragua for the “Guapote” Bass. These toothy and tasty fish run from 2 to 8 pounds and are lots of fun with ultra light tackle. I averaged 40 fish a day on my last trip.

Seasons: Tarpon are always around the lagoons, rivers and river mouths on the Caribbean Coast and along the Costa Rica / Nicaragua border. Traditionally high season is during the dry months from December through May. I have fished during rainy season and released a 100 pound Tarpon and had a 220 plus pound Tarpon on for 15 minutes, so Tarpon can be caught year round.

Method: Tarpon tactics are different depending on where you are fishing. In the river mouths jigging, drifting and trolling live bait and lures are common. In the rivers and lagoons trolling and sight fishing are common. Guides look for fish “rolling” or feeding and try and place lures and live bait in with the feeding Tarpon. My big Tarpon bit while trolling a 6-inch purple and black Rapala.

My best day: The best day was the day I lost a 220 plus pound Tarpon after a 15 minute fight. I was fishing the San Juan River in Nicaragua and hooked a huge fish using a purple and black Rapala. The fish was so big she couldn’t jump out of the water. She just raised her head out of the water and shook it from side to side, working the lure loose with each shake. The last time she came up, she shook once, shook twice… and the lure came out and plopped into the water in front of her. I felt like I had been punched in the belly when I lost that fish.

World Record: 283 lbs. (tie) Sherbro Island, Seirra Leone and Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela

More tarpon info >>>

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28 ft
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Hoo’s Up
28 ft
Mi Bruja
30 ft
Miss Behavin
32 ft
Sea quester
32 ft
R&J 33 ft
35 ft
Hoo’s your Daddy
Estrella de Mar
38 ft
38 ft
Tres Amigos
38 ft
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Hot Reels
40 ft
Super Fly 42 ft
The Bite
42 ft
Spanish Fly
42 ft
Marlin Mujer
48 ft
55 ft
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BIRD WATCHING: Basically everywhere but specific tours are available for the serious Bird lover.
BUNGEE JUMPING: Available at several places – lots of fun, a little scary.
CANOPY TOURS: Available all over Costa Rica. Everyone loves the Canopy Tours.
CASINO / NIGHTLIFE: Casinos and Nightlife are available in most of the popular towns.
CROCODILE TOUR: Day Tour available in several places.

DOLPHIN / WHALE WATCHING: Dolphins are usually everywhere plus we do see the occasional whale.
HORSEBACK RIDING: Available in most places, who hasn’t wanted to ride a horse on a beach.
HOT SPRINGS / SPA: Available only in a few places, the best in romantic and relaxing getaways.
KAYAKING: Available in several places, white water or ocean kayaks – cheap water fun.
LAKE FISHING: Fish for the Guapote (Central American Bass) at Lake Arenal and Lake Nicaragua, great fighters on light tackle.
MOTORCYCLE / QUAD RENTAL: Available in several places, great fun, wear your helmet.
NATIONAL PARKS: Available in most areas, great tours, see wildlife and beautiful scenery.

PARAGLIDING: Available in a few places…try it if you get a chance…a few moments of panic followed by the best ride of your life.
RIVER FISHING: Fly fish for Trout in the high mountain streams, fish the jungle rivers for giant Tarpon and Snook.
SHOPPING: Available everywhere, take home some souvenirs and coffee
SURF / BOOGIE BOARD: Available in the most popular towns, what the hell…give it a shot.

TURTLE WATCHING: Available only at certain times and certain places but for some the thrill of a lifetime.

VOLCANO TOUR: Available almost everywhere, good family trip.
WHITE WATER RAFTING: Scenic and serene beauty followed by wet and wild adrenalin rush.
WINDSURFING: Available at a few places, Lake Arenal is famous for its windsurfing

Salt Water Sportsman

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