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“Monsters” In The Surf | December 19th Report

Ryan Collins

There was little doubt in my mind that monster-size fish were cruising the shore.

After all I had been watching adult bonito go airborne, as they tried to escape the jaws of big Roosterfish.

A few casts later and I see a giant swirl behind my swimming plug.

I figured the swirl was produced by a big Rooster, or maybe one of the elusive giant Snook I keep hearing about.​


I reel the plug back to my rod tip and fire another cast into the same spot.

I watch my plug slither through the crystal clear water, and at this point I have all the confidence in the world that it could be inhaled at any moment.

I saw the fish an instant before the monster engulfed my plug. Then the plug suddenly disappeared and my rod doubled over.

Fish on!

Click play below to check it out but be warned...

The last part of this video is not recommended for folks with weak stomachs.

The full realization of what had just happened did not really sink in until after the hook was removed from my hand.

Did this really just happen!? ​

Then Lauren showed me her photos, which confirmed that I was not dreaming.

Roosterfish in the Costa Rica shallows
costa rica roosterfish surfcasting
costa rica roosterfish surf fishing
Roosterfish in the Costa Rica Surf
costa rica roosterfish from the beach
fishing hook thru my finger costa rica roosterfish from the beach
fishing treble hook thru finger

That was my second surf caught Roosterfish this trip.

It was a gorgeous fish in the 40 pound range, but I know there are some even bigger monsters patrolling this coast.

I am going to fish hard this weekend and try to catch a 100 pound Roosterfish and/or a 50 pound Snook from the beach.

I will keep you posted.​

What do you think?

Let me know
by commenting below 

  1. I’ve read that a great technique for the biggest Roosters is to live line a bonito. If you have access to a kayak you could take the bait out beyond the surf line, drop it, then return to the beach and fish from shore. Similar to the technique that anglers use when fishing for sharks from shore.
    Funny posts about your mother’s reaction to the video. Hope you’re healing well.

    1. Thanks Dex the hand is feeling good. I actually caught a much larger Rooster (which will probably be my last of the trip – we are leaving tomorrow) which I think might be around 70 pounds. What a battle! I will post the video tomorrow morning.

      Good tips about the kayak/bonito idea. I think I will have to come back down here again at some point to try different techniques such as live-lining and hand-lining for Roosters from shore.

      Merry Christmas!

  2. Got a good look at the picture and video on a high def screen…..dont’ know what your supply of spare hooks is, but if it were me, I would have pushed the hook thru until the barb came our, then cut off the end of the hook. Much easier to then back the hook out of your finger. But, glad you got it out. I can echo others comments of a tetanus shot ASAP.

    1. I do have plenty of hooks, but I’m not sure if I would of been able to snip the hook with the pliers I have. That is a good idea though and I should test it out. It would be much easier than yanking it all the way back out, that is for sure!

      Hope you have a great holiday Dave. We are heading home tomorrow but I still have 1 more report/video about CR to share with everyone. It will be live in the morning.

      Thanks for following along on this journey!

  3. great video, man, you tough, good control of situation, good luck

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Predrag! I guess you just never know what to expect when fishing, especially down here in CR.

      I definitely didn’t plan on having to yank hooks out of my finger when I woke up that morning. However I would do it again in a heart beat … well worth it to chase these big fish.

  4. Dude, sick fish! Sorry about the finger – but you’ll never forget it.

    1. Absolutely! Small price to pay and the finger is feeling good.

  5. Great post, Ryan. Sorry for your finger. Ouch! You handled that very well…you were more concerned about properly releasing the fish than the treble hook in your finger. Not too much excites you, does it? Well done indeed. Now go catch that 100 pounder.

    1. Minor price to pay in order to catch those fish! Roosters are definitely a dream come true for surfcasters.

      I will try for that 100 pounder. Be great to get another big boy before we head home. Have a good one Brian!

  6. great catch, Crush those barbs!

    1. Si Senor Zappa!

  7. Way to go Ryan. That was amazing. And what a beautiful fish. I love the way you took great care to gently escort the fish back out to sea and then worried about your wound. A true gentleman fisherman. I’m living this vicariously through you.

    1. I am very grateful to be experiencing this great fishing.

      I very easily could be getting skunked right now, because as we all know, it is up to the fish to decide when to show up and whether or not to bite.

      As the fisherman we just need to hope and pray we happen to be in the right spot at the right time!

      Very happy you are enjoying this adventure Jeff. Lots more to come that is for sure.

  8. What an epic battle. From your warning, I assumed the poor fish would be bleeding from multiple hook wounds. I never thought YOU would be the victim. Then you performed surgery on YOURSELF. Atta boy. Keep ’em comin’.

    1. lol – Hooking myself was a small price to pay for such a nice fish. I suppose it’s only fair.

      There are some true monster Roosters around right now. One of the boats fishing this area caught an 80 pounder on a live bonito.

  9. OK Ryan, when was your last tetanus shot??? If greater than 5 years, consider a local clinic! Good thing it happened in saltwater and Lauren is a tough gal! And don’t forget to keep that wound open whenever you can, so it can drain – but I can say it was well worth it, fantastic video!

    1. Thanks for the medical advice Lori! I figured I could count on you to chime in with some words of wisdom.

      The finger is looking and feeling surprisingly good. I am not sure when my last tetanus shot was but we will keep an eye on it.

      Definitely worth it.

  10. Great Video!
    Fantastic catch! – both fish and fisherman at the same time!
    How did you manage to hang on to the fish?
    I haven’t been “hooked” like that since I was 14 and went to a doc to have it removed.
    Watch out for infections – put an antibiotic on it!
    Good luck in hooking in to a 100 pounder or a big snook!


    1. You bring up a good point Gene and one that raced thru my mind after I realized the treble hook was embedded in my finger. That Rooster still had a lot of energy and if he made it to deeper water there is no doubt he would of kicked hard and started swimming away with me and my rod still attached.

      I’m glad that didn’t happen!

      As I mentioned above in the comments, there was an 80 pound Rooster caught by some people fishing in a boat on a live bonito. I just need some more good luck to have a real huge fish like that to come within casting range.

  11. I would have just dropped the fish where it laid. Great job making sure a good release.
    I went to the ER last fall to get mine removed. I guess you did not have that option.
    Be careful. Looking coward to a great 2016 season with MFCC.
    Watch out for sharks.

    1. Thanks James! I think that fish swam away pretty healthy. It had a good amount of energy and I’m glad I released her before tending to my hand.

      All I can say is thank God I had a high quality pair of pliers and a brand new First Aid Kit. I would also recommend a Snake Bite kit for anyone thinking of visiting remote areas of Costa Rica.

      2016 ought to be a fantastic season here on MFCC, and it is great to have you onboard!

  12. I don’t want your mother to view this. She will be on the next plane to C.R. Great video.

    1. lol, you can have her watch it. Just let her know the hand is looking and feeling good. Healing up very well.

      1. I got a voicemail about this video today! Lol. She was very upset you got hooked and couldn’t believe I just stood there and recorded it. As long as you’re ok (and I knew you would be!), I’d say it was worth it. Great post. Tough dude!

  13. Well that looked painful…

    Awesome fish though! You are getting some great photos and stories. Good work!

    1. It looks more painful than it was, however I am sure the adrenaline probably had a lot to do with that!

  14. Great job Ryan! Ouch!! The Giants are there go get them.

    1. The giants are definitely here Richard!

      Getting hooked now and again is a small price to pay to be able to pursue these fish, that is for sure.

  15. Wow. The rooster fish and the medical drama both had me on the edge of my seat.

    Be careful down there!

    1. Who knew fishing videos could be so suspenseful! LOL

      We’ll see what happens the rest of this weekend…

  16. Tough luck with those hooks. As I was watching you wrestle that fish I was dreading what was about to happen haha. Great fish as well ?. Your ticket to a monster snook or Rooster could be live bait, but the sebile seems to be working very well too.

    1. Yeah those hooks work well, especially when they have a barb on them. I also discovered just how amazingly tough human skin is.

      Good thinking regarding live bait. I think I saw sardines this morning in the surf, so maybe I can catch a few with a sabiki rig.

  17. Ouchie….

    1. lol, I am sure you have put a few hooks through your hand in your day Jason.

  18. Now by God, that’s a real Cape Cod fisherman. Of course, most of us don’t have a beautiful nurse standing by. Go for that 100 pounder!

    1. Thank God she is here! I’d be a lost soul without her!

  19. That’s what real fishing it’s about….. yeah buddy…. kill em…. that’s 2 gallos…

    1. Yes sir Mario!

      2 gallos pescadors and maybe a big snook later today if I get lucky.


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