2016 Billfisheries of the Year – #4 Jaco & Quepos

The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year and our #4 Billfishery is Jaco & Quepos, Costa Rica. Criteria for our Top 10 include fish numbers, variety of billfish species, average size of fish, length of season and number of boats fishing. With over 12,000 Billfish Reports submitted to us in 2016 from around the World, to even be considered for our Top 10 makes a fishery one of the best!

Blue Marlin on Geaux Fly

Jaco & Quepos, Costa Rica – It was another great year of fishing out of Los Suenos and Pez Vela Marinas.  The great Sailfishing still remains the main attraction, but the offshore Blue Marlin bite is what has elevated this fishery. The overnight trips to the once relatively secret “FADS” (Fish Aggregating Device) for Blue Marlin has become a FAD (Fishermen Aggregating Device) of its own. There may some debate between the “haves” and the “have nots” when it comes to FAD fishing, but for those who want to experience the bite, it can be special. Throw in some double digit Sailfishing and you have a worthy contender amongst the world’s best billfishing.

This fishery is all about numbers. It gives you the chance to have non-stop action on Billfish and in calm waters we may add. There is only one other fishery in the Pacific and really the World that can match the quantity of Sailfish in these waters. The prolific numbers of Sailfish and reports on them, caused us to up our own game, where we had to consider only 40+ Sailfish days to be considered an exceptional catch. We had eleven (11) reports of Sailfish releases from 40-50 and then fifteen (15) reports where a boat released more than fifty (50) Sailfish in a day. The Top Boat of the season was the Jaruco, who released eighty (80) Sailfish in a Day. Other over achievers included Sea Fix with (63), Outlaw (63) and Trophy Box with (61).

On the Blue Marlin side, we also had to increase our minimum standards for releases. We had fifty-six (56) Days reported to us with at least 5 Blue Marlin released and then thirteen (13) days with at least 10+ Blue Marlin reported. The two best Blue Marlin single release days came of the Scatterbrain and the Fish Tank, both with sixteen (16) released. These would also tie for the most Blue Marlin released in a day for 2016 in the Pacific. Fish Tank  also released our best aggregate score for an overnight trip of forty-four (44) Blue Marlin released over 3 1/2 Days. Our 2nd best day for aggregate Blue Marlin came from Capt. Bubba Carter on Tijereta, releasing thirty-four (34) over 3-Days. While these are simply staggering numbers, it may be Capt. Chip Shafer on Old Reliable with forty (40) Blue Marlin on Fly over 6-Days as the best day of fishing this season.

There is good variety in this fishery with Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Sailfish caught routinely and even Black Marlin from time to time. We had thirteen (13) Grand Slams reported to us, making it the 2nd Best Place in the World for a Grand Slam in 2016. We also had a Double Grand Slam on the Fish Tank, who released 4 Blue Marlin, 2 Striped Marlin and 8 Sailfish.

This is not a big fish fishery, but with the growing number of boats fishing these waters, we were bound to see a few, with two (2) Blue Marlin and one (1) Black Marlin over 500 lbs. Sea Fly released an estimated 800 lbs. Blue Marlin and Geuax Fly released an estimated 750 lbs. Black Marlin.

Congratulations to Jaco & Quepos, Costa Rica our #4 Billfishery of the Year.

 

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Capt. Ian Mac Allister on Scatterbrain released 24 Blue Marlin and 2 Striped Marlin over 3-Days.

Capt. Howard Lynch on Tuna Bite went 50-74 on Sailfish.

Capt. Bubba Carter on Tijereta went 34-46 on Blue Marlin over 3-Days.

Capt. Chip Shafer on Old Reliable released 40 Blue Marlin on Fly over 6-Days.

Capt. Ian Wichers on Outlaw went 63-82 on Sailfish.

Capt. James Smith on Dragin Fly released 21 Blue Marlin a Striped Marlin and Sailfish over 2-Days.

Capt. MJ Alligood on Epic released a Grand Slam going 11-19 on Sailfish, Blue Marlin (200), Black Marlin (400).

Geaux Fly released 22 Blue Marlin, Black Marlin and 2 Sailfish over 2 1/2 Days.

Sea Angel went 23-40 on Blue Marlin over 2 1/2 Days.

Sea Fix released 63 Sailfish.

Sea Fly released 24 Blue Marlin and a Sailfish over 2-Days.

Tranquilo released 15 Blue Marlin on 1 1/2 Days of fishing.

Port A Fino went 7-10 on Blue Marlin.

About Hook

Hook Harmeling is the Co-Founder of Billfishreport.com and Granderwatch.com, the only daily international fishing report on all billfish species. Hook travels the world in search of the best fishing areas and is recognized as a billfish expert. Follow him on Facebook under "Marlin Billfish", Twitter @billfishreport or email hook@billfishreport.com

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