It was the 3rd & final days fishing in Quepos for our good friends Ali MacLeod & Carl Hardie from the Isle of Man. We decided to spend the day inshore targeting Roosterfish & we were not disappointed!
There were lots of Sardines about in the morning so after quickly catching enough live bait for the day we headed 22 miles down the coast in search of the rocky outcrops & islands where the Roosterfish like to hang out.
Ali caught a Big Eyed Jack lure fishing to kick the day off and later in the day had his line snapped whilst lure fishing by a very nice fish which headed straight into the rocks once it was hooked. A good Snapper perhaps!
We caught several large needlefish throughout the day and during the first few hours had some bad luck with lost fish. Benn Gilmour lost a Roosterfish very close to the boat, captain Manuel was into what seemed to be a HUGE fish which really screamed his reel before breaking the line on the rocks. We guessed a really nice snapper but will never know! Carl Hardie was then into a great fish which had all the signs of a 30lb+ Roosterfish only for the hook to pull midway through the fight.
The day had all the signs of becoming a 'the one's that got away' kind of day before fortunes turned around lunchtime as the tide dropped & great line screaming bites came thick & fast. Ali then landed the first Roosterfish, around 10lbs to take the pressure off, then followed up with a 20 pound Rooster not long after. Carl was then into another good fish which turned out to be a 20lb Jack which he landed & released quickly.
Fortunes then took a really good turn when Benn Gilmour hooked into a big Roosterfish and after a good battle a 35 pounder was alongside the boat which was quickly returned after photos.
As the day drew to a close and with only 10 minutes fishing time left, Ali suggested that we have one last attempt at a Snook from a Rivermouth on our way back to Quepos. Ali had never caught a Snook & it was his main target during his 3 days fishing in Costa Rica. Day 1 Snook fishing in Parrita & Naranjo had drew a blank so it was the last chance of the trip to see if his luck could change. After some excellent boat handling by Captain Manuel we set the live baits just outside the breaking waves in front of the rivermouth. On the second cast Ali's lined started peeling off his reel before he expertly set the circle hook & the battle commenced! Ali was fishing with a very light travel rod and the fish put up an excellent tug of war with line screaming off the reel and Ali taking care not to bully the fish and pull the hook. After 10 or so minutes which seemed like an eternity, a stunning 20lb Snook was sliding into the landing net with the smile on Ali's face saying it all!
Today's catch summary:
1 Big eyed Jack
10lb, 20lb & 35lb Roosterfish
Lost count of missed bites & lost fish!
Mission accomplished - Happy Birthday Ali! :-)