Had an awesome day of fishing today! The morning was kind of slow, using the gyro - binoculars, we found an enormous (over an acre) school of spinner dolphins and Yellow Fin Tuna in the morning, and there were 100 pound Tuna jumping all around the boat. Millions of birds, seagulls, brown boobies, and frigates. We were so excited when we got there, because we had loaded up on the live bait in the morning and tlive bait on a school like this is almost guaranteed a day full of 100 pounders. We stopped in front of the school countless times though, and nothing would bite! There was even once where a 100+ YF jumped out of the water chasing a flying fish and landed right on top of our poor sardine, and still no hookup! We tried cedar plugs, feather jigs, birds, daisy chains, pencil jigs, sardines, blue runners, and finally lookdowns. Nothing. Frustrated with seeing the big cow tuna jumping all around us, and getting tired of the "white rain" of the huge school of birds overhead, we decided to head a little more offshore and try to save the day with some billfish. About 12:30, we had our first looker. Mike (the mate) saw an unusual wake behind the short teaser and everybody started yelling, Mike throws the pitch bait, teaser comes in, Fish takes / touches the bait. Mike lets the line go freespool... one ... two ... three .. four ...five ... six. Mike raises the brake... Nothing. No bent rod, not even a zancocho. (zancocho is the Spanish word for when you have a fish and he eats your ballyhoo and not the hook). After examination of the bait, it looks like the fish just swatted at it with the bill but wasn't eating. A little bummed out we didn't land our first one, but excited we finally were seeing hungry fish, we decided to stay in the area. We started making circles and it wasn't 10 minutes later and finally had our first hook up. Double sailfish. One knocked down the long rigger bait (ballyhoo) and one was on the teaser. Mike quickly bait and switched the close one and Jose (2nd mate) dropped the rigger line into freespool letting the fish eat, raising the brake to demonstrate how to successfully use a circle hook! The fish of course go in opposite directions, so we have to use the reels to get them all to the boat. Finally the day was getting started! It was now about 1:15 and we had 2 to the boat. We drop the lines in the water again, running a sprial pattern out from where we had the double and this time a sail kills our yellow green islander and somehow someone got a picture of him knocking it into the air! No hookup yet, but on the next pass we had one on the long teaser which is a pink moldcraft squid daisy chain with the large chugger islander chaiser(with a ballyhoo but no hook), quick pitch bait throw, teaser in and fish hooked! By 3:30 we had released a total of 8 sailfish out of the 15 sailfish we had behind the boat. Today the fish were in love with the pink daisy chains and green chasers. Our moldcraft daisy chain had 6 fish on it, and we have another diasy chain made from 3 sea striker pink birds being chased by a green moldcraft wide range that had 5. Alot of the plain ballyhoo hits were on the riggers right behind the chains as well.
We just started running ballyhoos behind each of the teasers like a pitchbait and then the long ballyhoos on the corners and the really long center ballyhoo, and I think it has helped raise more fish. We go through more ballyhoo, but sometimes when the fish was just coming to look and that pitchbait is already swimming behind the teaser, he just changes his mind for an easy meal
We also just had the riggers lowered for the calm season here, giving us a wider spread and pulling the fish from a better angle and making everything swim better. We are lucky though, we haven't even had 1 foot seas for the last two months, and shouldn't get into any waves until the end of May so we can get away with having the riggers about 2 feet off of the water. It's fun because it's so stinkin wide we can get all the baits out of the boat wake and into the clear blue water! It's kind of a neat setup, it wouldn't have worked in Texas or Florida because it's never flat (or at least not when I would go out), but it's something different we can do here!
It was a action packed afternoon and we got back in with some tired fisherman! Enjoy the pics! Great day of fishing out of Quepos, Costa Rica!