Last week the "voice of the action" Keith Alan joined me at Sierpe del Pacifico www.sierpedelpacifico for 3 days of river, coastal, and offshore action utilizing mostly popping and jigging techniques.
Some of you might recognize Keith from ESPN2 where he is most famous in the fishing community for being the guy on the microphone calling the shots at the B.A.S.S. weigh-ins. Keith also hosts the live events for other notable ESPN events such as the Redfish Cup, X Games, and Stihl Timbersports Series. Keith and I know each other from the latter event as I've been competing in lumberjack sports for quite a few years now.
Keith is the owner/operator of The Ultimate Fishing Experience, a company that packages together travel to world class fishing destinations guided and organized by notable pros with free tackle and exclusive discounts on leading fishing brands. For more info please visit www.ultimatefishingexperience.com.
The first afternoon was spent fishing the headwaters of the Sierpe River for small snapper and snook. Fishing was slow, but as always the environment was as beautiful as could be and we had the entire river to ourselves.
This was our only snook. Small in stature, but packs as much flavor as possible into the world's best ceviche that we ate later that night.
This was my first opportunity to work with Sebile topwater and subsurface products. Needless to say I was impressed with the action and construction. This stick shad took our largest river snapper on the day.
Day two and we're out to the ocean. Our builder and creative consultant for Sierpe del Pacifico Marc Leorux joined us for the action.
First fish of day 1 for Keith, pacific barracuda in 25 lb. range. These barracuda hit just like a muskellunge in freshwater...they'll follow your lure right up to the boat and smash it just yards away with a slight increase or decrease in retrieval speed.
The topwater bite failed to materialize in the morning, so we headed out to the Cano Island reefs to drop the metal. This blue trevally was first in the boat.
Keith with a striped bonito. Locally we call them albacora. These guys were thick on the reefs and filled in the gaps between the bigger bites. We probably caught 30 or so each day.
Almacos started hitting the jigs just before the 11 a.m. tide change.
Captain Deidy shot this while were we are tripled up on almacos. This is a new Van Staal 165 gram jig rod that I picked up at tackle direct for $99. It had some really nice action to it and appeared to be of sound construction.
Right around mid-day a couple of us started free-lining live and butterflied bonitos. This was the biggest of the three caught on bait. Two of them including this guy were released in prime condition.
It's a struggle to lift these fish after wrestling them up from 160 feet down.
Cubera number two.
After the cubera action a pod of pilot whales came through our area. We had a couple breaching within 10 yards of the boat and shot some pretty awesome pics and HD video.
Just before picking up from the deeper reefs to head to shallower water for some topwater casting Deidy caught our sushi course for the evening on the jig.
Conditions were perfect around 2 p.m. for some topwater action: flat seas, clear water, and slightly overcast.
It was only a matter of time
These buff fishing gloves were light and comfortable, yet provided great grip for jigging, popping, and picking up the lunkers.
Of all the fishing I do in Costa Rica this is the ultimate prize. Nothing beats a big cubera on a topwater. This 40 lber. was released in good condition.
We're back at the dock just in time for the sunset.
We put the yellowfin to good use.
Day 2 starts at 6 a.m. with Deide patiently casting for snook at the Sierpe del Pacifico waiting for our arrival from my residence there.
On the run out to our jigging and popping grounds we spotted this flotsam - a tree with good barnicle growth and lots of bait. We worked it hard with swimbaits trying to get strikes from two big bull dorado underneath, but they were not having it.
The morning bite never materialized for the jigs or the poppers. Around mid-day things picked up on the jigs. Lots of striped bonito, jacks, and almacos came to the boat. This was the biggest of the almacos.
Right around 1 p.m. the largest and most active shoal of bonito I've ever seen surfaced nearby. Keith and I took turns picking them off on his medium-light American Rod Smith's inshore snook rod. Lots of fun!
A big pod of dolphins cleared the bonito out in short time.
This is a midget dolphin well known around Cano Island as "sharptooth". He's done growing, but swims and socializes normally with the rest of the pod. He put on a show for us coming out of the water a good half dozen times.
We finished off the day casting shoreline structure hoping for roosters. Keith brought Deide and I each a new pair of Kaenon sunglasses. Lets just say that my Costas are now riding the bench. The optics, fit, and construction on the Kaenon's are far superior.
It didn't take long for Keith to put the first rooster on topwater into the boat.
A big, aggressive spanish mack has no problems attacking an 8 inch River2Sea dumbell.
Keith and I end the day with a double on small topwater roosters making it 4 caught and released in well under an hour.
For more info on Ultimate Fishing Experience or Sierpe del Pacifico please visit our respective websites
Pura Vida - Cassidy
All photos are courtesy of Keith Alan.
WOW. Great pictures
Nicely done Cassidy. I loved to check out those Kennons one day. They are tough to find for a test fit on the face.
One day my friend. One day.
Nice post Cassidy. I hope the fishing is good next month. I am heading back down to Puerto Jiminez the last week in January. I tried to spot your place on the flight down from San Jose last year when we went.
Water temps are much cooler this year, which is more or less better for all species. Good luck in January.