Fishing reports for the entire United States coastline and freshwater systems.
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We recently took a trip down to Golfito, Costa Rica, to fish with some clients aboard legendary captain Bobby Mcguinness’ 37’ boat.. The day started with us heading straight for a commercial fishing boat who had anchored a giant log to the ocean floor. As we approached the boat, Bobby said hello to his friends, giving them a bag full of bread to thank them for the tip, later telling me, “It’s always great to have friends out here”. That other boat even asked if one of their own crew members could come with us so that he could learn just how Bobby the master fishes. The other crew member came along for the ride, and we started messing around along this log. This log attracted a school of fish that to me seemed like an aquarium out on the open ocean. After about 20 minutes of throwing the fly and dropping back live bait, we had 3-4 dorado, a few small yellowfin tuna, a nice rainbow runner, and a few albacore.
We could have stayed there all day a caught hundreds of fishing, but we were after bigger game. Bobby and his mates Fernando and David artfully put out the teasers and ballyhoo, and we were on our way to find some sailfish. Within minutes, we found them. Overall, we got 11 to the boat, only missing one, which Bobby kicked himself for. While trolling, I asked Bobby about some of his best days. He tells me that one day they landed 18 marlin, and another day they had 57 sailfish to the boat. A day of 20 sailfish, he tells me, is a common place for him. He maneuvered the boat like a magician on each hookup, effortlessly pushing forward, backing down on the fish, or doing whatever needed to be done to get all of them to the boat. Over the course of the day, my boss Dan and the mates taught me how to drop back the bait on the pitch rods to the hungry sailfish that were chasing the teasers, something that was both informative and very exciting. Having a boat so organized and with such experienced fishermen was incredible, and Bobby and his mates made the process of catching sailfish look so easy. Of course it is not, but the Golfe Dulce is so full of life that there is almost guarenteed action. Over the course of the day, we saw sea turtles, pockets of fish feeding on the surface, manta rays, and a few dolphins.
The highlight of the trip came at the end, after we hooked a few bonito to use for live bait. We went back to the spot with the log, only because Bobby had a strong gut feeling. “I just know something big is down there, and I am not leaving until I find it”, said the very cool and confident captain. Bobby has instincts that only come to a natural fishermen. He paid extra attention to the teasers seconds before we hooked up on the sailfish, as if he knew exactly when and where he would find the fish. After a little while of trolling the live bonito, we hooked up on a fish that very few people will see in a lifetime of fishing. A few hundred yards behind the boat, a massive dorado erupts and leaps 10-20 feet out of the water and inhales the back left bonito. Our client Phil took the rod and began hanging on for dear life. A few seconds later, the other line is tight, and I grab that one, thinking we are doubled up on two big fish. After crossing back and forth with Phil a few times, ducking over and under each other trying to get our lines out of the way, we realize something strange is going on. We look at each other and Phil says to me, “I think this fish ate both bonito!” This massive dorado was so big and powerful that after eating one bonito and realizing he is hooked up, he still went over and at the other one. Phil and I begin simultaneously pumping and reeling for a good 10-15 minutes, and finally get this beautiful creature to the boat. Fernando gaffes it, and was almost pulled overboard by its weight if it wasn’t for Phil grabbing a hold of him. We get it into the boat, and the beast starts wrecking havoc. To calm it down and put it out of its misery, Bobby pours some diet coke into its gills, a trick I had never seen before, and the fish is ours to eat. What a fish it was, a 78-pound bull that one truly had to see to believe.
We decided to end the day on a high note, and went in after what to me was an incredible trip. We ended the day without a marlin, only because we decided not to run out to go after marlin and instead wanted to fish hard for sails and dorado. After getting back to the beautiful Casa Roland resort, we head to the bar to rehash our day. Boat owner Timmy, who has been fishing on his boat dozens of times, says to me, “Yea, that was just an average day for Bobby”. Average day?!?! That was one of the most remarkable days of fishing in my life, and a day I will never forget. We sit around enjoying a few drinks and going over the day. Our final conclusion: why don’t more people come down and fish with Bobby? He should be booked everyday, but very few people have ever heard of Bobby McGuinness or Golfito, Costa Rica. Dan has been pushing Bobby’s boat to all of his clients who want to come down to Costa Rica for some serious fishing. After a day like that, I realized we have to push harder, because people who are serious about fishing and serious about seeing the beauty of Costa Rica need to experience Golfito and fishing with Bobby McGuinness. Please visit us at DRSportfishing.com to learn more about Costa Rica fishing, and hopefully to book your trip with Captain Bobby.
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