Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

Information Page.

Costa Rica with Dave.

My Pal Dave Little is recently back from a wonderful holiday in Costa Rica. He emailed me some details of thetrip and here they are:-

Mike, Sorry to hear about your back - you would not have wanted to be with us in Costa Rica where good back muscles were de rigeur.

Paul and I feared that we might have led my brother - in - law to expect too much from our week in Nosara but he was not disappointed at all. We thought that we would give the off shore trolling a miss and concentrate on the in shore boat and shore fishing - as it turned out we couldn't tear ourselves away from the boat fishing and missed out on the shore fishing completely.

We equipped ourselves with one twelve-twenty pound class boat rod (for trolling) and a selection of spinning rods ranging from Ally's cheap as chips 100-150g spin rod down to my 30-60g bass spinner. It seemed that the boat rod was too heavy for the dorado which mostly went around twenty pounds. The first one I brought in was too lively but the boatman gaffed it anyway, so it promptly span off the gaff, wrapping my leader round the gaff head and snapping it, as it made its escape. B****r, I thought. The next one came a little closer to being caught when the boatman gaffed and swung it in to the cool box, where it jumped straight out of the other side of the boat, snapping another leader as it went. Double b****r I thought but I'd got the message. I was pleased that those two had been taken on single hooks (muppet) so probably lived to fight another day. I brought my 30-60g bass rod into use and it proved eminently suitable for dorado up to 28 pounds. Each one fought for about ten minutes, making searing runs and jumping until exhausted - I lost no more at the boat. My bass rod was excellent for targeting fish that I could see moving but was less good for imparting the crucial pop which brought the fish careering in from a distance. Paul used a 50-100g spin rod, so slightly heavier, which proved better at imparting the pop and an excellent tool for fighting the big dorado, only being seriously outgunned when two fish fell over themselves in an attempt to get his popper resulting in one being hooked in the flank. This led to a fight lasting over 30 minutes, during which Ally and I had a welcome rest! Ally's 100-150g rod proved to be an excellent tool for imparting the pop in larger lures, it was, however, tiring to use if the fish did not respond very quickly. We were all very pleased with our selection of tackle.

On our first day on the boat we got six tuna and a dorado, second day eleven dorado and a jack, then a day when only Ally caught - one Dorado and a jack. After that things picked up and we caught seven Dorado on the third day. Fourth day produced a fifteen pound (guess) roosterfish for Ally and a handful of Dorado. Fifth day started with a stunning rooster for Ally which we three guessed at between forty and fifty pounds. It was unfortunate that after taking sufficient pictures we didn't have the time to weigh it properly as it had to go back, pronto. As it was we had trouble reviving it, it eventually swam away, I think it was O.K.. I have seen on our holiday company website that they have described it as " the fish of a lifetime, best one from the resort this season and well north of seventy pounds" I accept that it was an impressive looking fish but no way was it seventy. We then went nearly a mile out to find a scum line where the dorado were everywhere! We landed eleven dorado before we got embarrassed by the overloaded fish box, it's a shame, but it's not possible to remove a popper plug from a twenty pound dorado safely unless it is dead. So we headed off to pastures new, where Ally got another jack of around ten pounds.

The highlight of the trip for me was when Ally (jammy b*****d again, he says it's skill but we know it's his lucky underpants) was playing a twenty five pound dorado, and making a real meal of it, when Paul spotted a whale shark coming up to the boat. This thing was a baby (twelve or so feet long) but was clearly curious about the dorado bouncing around and wanted to look at the boat and us. I strapped my waterproof camera to my wrist and jumped in to have a little swim with it. I held on to its dorsal and had a ride then swam round it for a couple of minutes. None of my pictures from underwater were any use - I couldn't make out the screen, so just pointed in the general direction and clicked away - all the shots were too close up. I've got full screen pictures of flank or gills or fins but nothing of the whole beastie. The thing was not in the least fazed by me or that I stood on it to get back in the boat! Good job Paul and the boatman got some decent pictures. After the whale shark disappeared we remembered Ally still battling with his dorado....

We're told that this is the best dorado season in Nosara for five years and I believe it. Most of the others staying at our fishing lodge were from the southern states ( like Ben, pronounced Bayun) and were all heading off shore, trolling for marlin. One boat brought in FORTY dorado on a single day. We all thought that we'd had enough after a week and could not have coped with any more. I had the dorado for starters every evening done carpacchio style and I've eaten more dorado and tuna than can possibly be good for me. We will certainly be back. Ally outfished Paul and I every single day, he says it's skill but we know about the lucky underpants. He did smell something awful by the end of the week!

Finding it very difficult to attach pix, will have to send the pix separately.

Dave Little

Sounds pretty good eh? The trouble with trips like that is that I wasn't there. The big rooster fish was a real stonker.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com

A dorado takes to the air.

Another spotty monster.'

Nice fish!

Another spotty monster.'

Beautiful rooster.

Another spotty monster.'

Hitching a lift from a whale shark - quite an experience.

Another spotty monster.'

Hell of a fish! That's the one I'd have really liked to catch

Another spotty monster.'