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Topwater Jack Crevalle From The Costa Rica Surf

Ryan Collins

Yesterday afternoon I was working on my computer, taking care of some business in preparation for the Feb. 22 MFCC Breakfast event.

The front porch where I was working provides me with a clear view of the Golfo Dulce. It's a perfect spot where I can be productive on the computer, while simultaneously scanning the water for birds and other signs of roosterfish and big jacks.

Suddenly at around 2pm a flock of fifteen to twenty frigate birds appeared over the surf directly in front of our cabina. I could see splashes beneath the birds which meant that bait (and most likely roosters or big jacks) had moved in tight to the beach.


playa zancudo beach, costa rica, drone view

I quickly grabbed my gear and ran down to the beach. Jane and Tom Simpson, who are members of My Fishing Cape Cod, had already beat me to the action.

Jane and Tom were part of last year's MFCC Group Trip to Costa Rica, and this year they had decided to come down again on their own. We all entered the surf and began casting.

halco roosta popper

The Halco Roosta 135 popper has been the most productive lure for me in Costa RIca.

Without warning a big wave rolled in and smashed Tom in the face, knocking his GoPro into the surf while simultaneously breaking his rod. The frigate birds soon moved off and the action disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.

It was disappointing, but at least we knew there was life in the area. 

sunset golfo dulce

I returned to my cabina to regroup and continue working, but at sunset I found myself back on the beach. So far this trip all of the fish I have caught from shore have bitten just before, during, or after sunset. 

As I walked the beach I searched for signs of life and it wasn't long until I began spotting frigates, terns and dolphins in the surf. I entered the water and to my right I noticed a school of nervous sardines in the wash in waist deep water. I figured the sardines were being corralled by either dolphins, roosterfish or big jacks, so I waded over for a closer look.

One of my first casts produced a follow from something large, so I lobbed my popper towards the sardines and worked it along the edge of the school when SMASH! - I was on with a good fish that was peeling 30lb braid from my VR175.

At first I thought it was a roosterfish but after a great fight I had the largest jack crevalle of the trip at my feet in the wash. 

It was a great fish which I chose to keep. Today I will make the rounds and distribute the meat to some of our friends here in Costa Rica. Quite a few local people in this community rely on what they catch to eat, so I know these fillets will be greatly appreciated.

As our time here in Costa Rica winds down (we leave this Sunday January 26) I can't help but feel a little melancholic. However I am looking forward to getting back to Cape Cod and preparing for the 2020 spring fishing season.

Until then I have provided some links below to more posts and videos from our time here in Costa Rica, which members of MFCC can access by clicking below. 👇

Whether you are a longtime member of My Fishing Cape Cod, or just clicked through via a Google search or from Facebook, thank you for following along with this Costa Rica adventure!

Hopefully I will have more exciting fishing action to report on later this week. I will definitely keep you posted. Have a great week and thanks again for reading.

Tight lines and take care 🎣

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Ryan, always enjoy your fishing adventures and I know those big jacks are powerhouses. One more example showing how much fun it is to catch fish from the beach.

    1. If only these big jacks swam along the beaches of Cape Cod! Pound for pound I think they fight much better than stripers or bluefish.


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