Costa Rica, the "rich coast", fulfills the promise the name implies. It is a land of incredible biodiversity all the way from its 10,000 foot cloud forests to its two ocean shores. Bordered on the north by Nicaragua and on the east by Panama, Costa Rica has coasts on both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans. If you head south on the west coast until you almost reach Panama, you'll find the pristine Osa Peninsula which creates the body of water known as the Golfo Dulce.This "sweet gulf" lies at the extreme southern border of Costa Rica's Pacific shore. If you are seeking a spot that can accommodate a wide variety of angling expectations and angler's skills, you should consider Crocodile Bay Lodge for its proximity to excellent inshore fishing opportunities and for its great access to the prolific offshore fishery west of the Golfo Dulce.
A typical winter's day in southwestern Costa Rica offers plenty of sunshine and relatively calm seas. You can fish inshore using a variety of fishing techniques from slow trolling a live threadfin herring to casting plugs to throwing flies like deceivers or Clousers. Along the rocky ledges that are west of Golfo Dulce's entry point at Punta Matalpo, live a huge variety of sport species including houndfish, barracuda, jack crevalle, bonito, cubera snapper, African pompano, as well as the area's major draw, the incredible roosterfish. With its bold stripes, gaudy comb and stubborn attitude, the roosterfish is the inshore prize and the goal of many who visit this area.
The best and most comfortable place to quickly access this western side of the gulf is from Crocodile Bay Resort. It also may be the most consistent place to catch roosterfish in the world. In addition, from 2 to 20 miles offshore, the "big blue" offers Pacific sailfish, amberjack, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin and at times, some good shots at marlin.
Crocodile Bay was opened in late 1999 and quickly earned an excellent reputation. Just minutes from the Puerto Jimenez airstrip (which sees daily flights from San Jose), Crocodile Bay Resort enjoys light winds and calm seas during the December to May dry season. The resort's beautifully landscaped grounds are home to four, two-story housing units that offer quiet air-conditioning, large bathrooms and plenty of hot water. The main lodge includes a large bar area, a poolroom, a gift shop and a spacious dining room staffed by the most friendly and accommodating waitresses imaginable. Breakfasts are made to order, lunches are taken on board the boats and dinners are a superb collection of poultry, steaks and seafood, sometimes served at an outdoor buffet. When you're done fishing, you can cool off in the pool and enjoy a drink at the swim-up bar or perhaps visit the lodge's butterfly lepidopterary and gardens. Non-fishing guests will find plenty to do with many eco-tours available through the lodge's front office.
Crocodile Bay's multi-million dollar fleet boasts 26 boats including Strike 33's and 35's, 27-foot center consoles, Boston Whaler Outrages and 17-foot flats skiffs. There is a boat for every type of fishing from trolling 20 miles offshore to probing deep into the shallowest areas of the gulf. These boats are accessed via a floating dock that is located at the end of a long pier designed to accommodate the gulf's big tidal flows. Attached to the dock is a floating bait pen that is kept well stocked with threadfin herring and blue runners.
Fishing Director, Todd Staley, has trained a crackerjack crew of captains and first mates. They are some of the most hardworking and accomplished crews you'll find anywhere in Central America. The boats are very well maintained and are found sparkling clean each morning.
Out past the rocks that guard the "sweet gulf" and into the big blue, anglers will find dorado, marlin, yellowfin tuna and the occasional wahoo. But there is no doubt that the leading character and the primary reason most anglers visit this area is the powerful Pacific sailfish. These hard-fighting sails are around all year, but prime time is January through March, when huge schools move south and into this area. During this peak season, it is not unusual to raise 12 ñ 20 fish a day with most in the 60 ñ 100 lb. range. Anglers find success with pitch bait dropped back and with flies. Twelve wt. rods are the norm. Flies are big and gaudy monstrosities usually with noisy popper heads in neon colors.
The technique for sails on the fly is complicated and requires a thrilling combination of luck and skill. The captain controls the speed, the first mate is on the teaser and the angler waits with a big, psychedelic fly pinched between thumb and forefinger. When a sail is spotted on the teaser, the first mate must reel in the teaser until the spread is within the casting distance of the flyrodder. As the captain throws the boat into neutral, the angler casts his fly beyond the sailfish just as the mate pulls the teaser out of the water. In theory, the fish turns, spots the fly and engulfs it. If all goes right, you feel like you've just latched onto a refrigerator that has been dropped off a skyscraper. If you don't hookup, that's why you chose a destination that offers lots of shots... and that's why we recommend Crocodile Bay!
Opportunity!... That's what you look for in a good fishing destination and Crocodile Bay offers great angling opportunities from the most shallow stretches of the Golfo Dulce to the rocky coast just outside the gulf to the bluewater Cocos Ridge that begins just a couple of miles offshore. This area offers a complex mix of shallow and deep waters that attracts a wide variety of fish. In the winter dry season, the ocean is often sunny and calm making the Oso Peninsula truly a land of opportunity... and you can do it in great comfort with Crocodile Bay Resort.