Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Argentina Dove Hunt Reports

Hey George, 

We definitely had a blast down there. As expected the shooting was great. The lodge, staff, food, drinks, etc... we're top notch-- couldn't of asked for better. I'll send you some pictures when I download them off my camera. We expected the shooting to be superb but the amenities were way above our expectations. With only being three of us, it was fairly quite but I'm sure a large group down there would be a good time. 

I honestly don't have any critiques of the place. They obviously have their operation dialed in and I hope to be able to get down there again sometime in the next few years. ------Anthony


I wanted to tell you what a great time I had in Argentina.  The folks at Pampa Adventures are first class.  The sky was truly black with birds.  The food was first class and they treated me like I was made of spun gold.

I have a few suggestions for first timers that might be helpful.  Not at all critical but helpful.

You might want to caution first timers that they can easily shoot 100 boxes of shells if they don't show restraint in the field.  Really well worth it, but pricey.  Just forewarn them.  

My experience with everyone that I contact with in Argentina was great.  They were helpful, kind and warm.  They seemed genuinely glad to see the hunters and could not do enough for us.  Any request was attended to with expediency and a smile.

I can recommend this hunt to anyone without reservation.  Jorge and Nacho were at an off-road race somewhere down in Patagonia and Thomas himself attended to us.  He is a remarkable gentleman and intriguing to talk with.

Thanks a million.-------john

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

.....and while Anna was rafting......

......a big Black Marlin was being caught on the Dragin Fly, making their double digit day.   Today was pretty special, looks like the boat record is going to be in striking distance if this keeps up.  We've already shattered a one-month record of billfish releases.

One from Anna

So I never post on the blog my stories although you can bet I have a few, but I did feel the need to share our white water rafting tale as a cautionary story to all those that will ask me about participating on this tour this season.  Let me preface this with the fact that is experience is AWESOME and is gets better and better the farther away from “holy C%@*” moments you get.

The experience begins with a swim test that has you jumping in cold water and running a set of rapids with only your behind as cushion between you and the rocks.  The current pulls you under 3 times (at which point it helps not to breath) and you acquire your first bruise. The “test” does give you a taste of what is more than likely to occur at least once in the trip.

I have had plenty of clients that say “class IV, V…no problem I’ve white water rafted before”. Upon their return to the hotel I hear things like “why did you try and kill us…what did we ever do to you”.  Yesterday was no exception. No one got out without at least one minor bump and bruise and a few serious moments of OMG.  Below are picture of just one of the many class IV rapid which will be etched in my memory for the near future.

It became clear that the raft was going to remain stuck unless we got out and pulled it from the eddy. Well…when the raft got free there she went and with her my guide (who had already abandoned ship once in a previous class V to be hauled up by sheer adrenalin and a few choice words). We began to refer to him as our Italian Captain. I will leave it to your imagination to decide how I got myself off that rock in the middle of a class IV.  BUT HEY I’m STILL SMILING!

Here are two last pictures so you guys don’t think we spent the whole time having a near death experience ;-)  The guides and safety crew are GREAT but it helps to know what you are getting into. This is a technical river. There are very few places you can run a river that fast, shallow and tight.  It is something special.
The Other Half of the Group                                                           Us looking like we have it together


Monday, January 28, 2013

George and Anna,

Thanks for another great fishing trip to Costa Rica. It's unbelievable what I just did in only 2 days of fishing.

Friday 1/2 day inshore: 2 Roosters (one 20 plus pounds)
Saturday offshore: 22 grouper (cranked up from 400 feet) and 18 sailfish (including 2 doubles and 1 quadruple!)

I do have just one question for you though. Does your insurance cover Chiropractor visits or Massage Therapy for Fishermen who may accidentally overfish?

'Till next trip and thanks again,  Stan

Sunday, January 27, 2013

snook, surf competitions and boring fishing

No good snook report, although I've done some daylight recon to check out the croc lairs and new snook holes.  I guess the tide wasn't right, but I got a little local intel that I hope to soon put to good use.

Anna was a little bummed out at the Saturday surf competitions at the Backyard.  She doesn't have much interested in surfing, but sure does enjoy the sunset....when the competition is over and the surfers come out of the water to shower in front of the crowd.......This Saturday was "Seniors Saturday"....only over 50 surfers allowed in the competition......Sorry Anna

The sailfishing remains super consistent to the point that guys are getting "bored".  After several sailfish releases per person, they're looking for dinner, taking advantage of the great bottom fishing that we're having this year.  Tomorrow, they're heading out for a marlin.  No telling what they'll run into, hopefully some tuna.  I'm ready for sushi.

Friday, January 25, 2013

snook report

No snooks today, I was there earlier.....trying to eliminate all the factors.......4 days in a row.......must be a tide thing........My new bigger cast net is working out just right, got some extra mullets for my guys fishing for roosters on the panga.

On the Dragin Fly, no double digit day yesterday, after plenty of sails, these guys went looking for a marlin.  They found it and were not disappointed by the show, even though they jumped him off as he finished it's circle, most of it in the air, crossing all other lines in the water and looping back towards the boat, narrowly missing the transom.......then they joined the sailfish fleet and chalked up a release for all 6 guys before heading in.   It's that good.

How is the weather where you are?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bull Shark?

The glass minnows have left and the pelicans are no longer pounding my snook hole, but the mullet are still there.....and so are the snook.  No, I did not get a bite today, but I got another good look at them.   After several casts in the dark, it got light enough to see mullet starting to flip on the surface so I traded my spinning rod for a cast net.  The way that those snook were crashing mullet yesterday, I am not beyond trading anything that I'm using for something else that may work better, bring on the live morals.

So there I am, waste deep, cast net lobbed over my shoulder and in my mouth, still not much light, stalking up on these mullets when all of the sudden they start greyhounding in all directions, most of them right at me.  Pushing from behind was a really, really large bow wave shoving right at me.   I was waiting for a dorsal fin to pop out of that wave and was bracing fro impact.  About 7 feet away the wave turned into a huge flush and swirls of whitewater....I threw the net.   

If I had caught that snook in the cast net, I'm sure that I would've let her go, she had to have weighed over 20 pounds.  That just wouldn't be right, but I'd been happy to have caught her.  

 I did in fact catch 2 mullets that a 20 pounder would need a few seconds to get down.   I nearly drowned one of the mullets.  It had  wisely swam most of the line off my spinning the wrong direction.  Just as my tail-hooked mullet gets to the backing, that big snook returned and was again showering mullets a short cast away from me.....

Yes, I'm going back tomorrow.......

oh, the sailfish, yup, we're still getting them, another double digit day yesterday, looking like well over 500 sails for the month of January......

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

snook report

I got to the boat before 5 this morning to park the car, the boys were already there getting things together.  I pulled Berto away and he made a few casts with me, getting a good bite on a topwater bait.....I was strike-less.   Going back tomorrow.

Los Suenos Press Release

The first leg of the 2013 Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series, presented jointly by Smith Merritt Insurance, Travelers Insurance and International Special Risks, held from January 16‐19 at Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Costa Rica, welcomed 38 participating teams and 147 individual anglers. It was a record breaking tournament.

The tournament radio never went silent with boats reporting an incredible average of one billfish per minute. Over the course of the three fishing days 1,406 sailfish and 6 marlin were released, breaking the standing record, set during the first leg ofthe 2006 Series, of 1,282 billfish releases by 46 boats.

Rumor had it that the fishing was fantastic leading up to the tournament. Eight sailfish releases by 8:10 am was apromising sign of things to come. By 9:45 am, Rebel had taken an early lead with 800 points, followed by Boo Loo and Tijereta with 700 points each. Two hours after lines in a whopping 97 sailfish had already been released. The bitecontinued to heat up and just past noon the tally was up to 206 releases. By the end of Day 1, 415 sailfish were released and HT Hook had won first place, on time, over Dragin Fly, each with 2,200 points. Family & Friends placed third for the day with 1,900 points. With no marlin yet in play and the incredible bite, teams were anxious to get out again and see what Day 2 would bring.

Day 2 started where Day 1 left off. The radio was running hot, as teams called in doubles and triples galore, with some even reporting quadruples. Within the first 120 minutes of the day, 120 billfish were called in to Tournament Control. The first marlin of the tournament was released by Da Bait at 9:29 am. By 10:00 am Dragin Fly already had 7 sailfish releases for the day and had moved into the lead with 2,900 points. A second marlin was released by Tijereta at 12:52 pm. Fishing was off the charts with boats seeing 40 fish or more! Dragin Fly was able to maintain their lead with 4,400 points by day’s end, followed by HT Hook in second and High Hook in third. The total fish tally for Day 2 added up to an incredible 523 sailfish and 2 marlin, bringing the two‐day total to 940 billfish. Seafix took the day though, after releasing 27 sailfish, the most out of all the boats in Day 2. Seventy percent of the participating boats reported catches in the double digits on day 2.

Going into Day 3, everyone was wondering if the bite would cooperate for yet another day. Conditions could not have been better. The skies were gorgeous, temperature warm (not too hot), seas were calm and clear. Shortly after lines in was called out over the tournament radio, it was clear that the third and final day would be a busy one indeed. Just after 9:00 am the 1,000th fish was released by Miss Behavin. By 2:05 pm it was official! A new tournament record was set with a double by Uno Mas. What a way to celebrate the first leg of the 10th Anniversary Series! At 3:03 pm Dragin Fly released the third of the four marlin reported during Day 3, giving them a very comfortable lead. They secured their first place finish with 1,000 points more than their closest runner up‐ Rebel. Rebel quietly worked their way into second place overall with an astounding 27 sailfish releases on Day 3, ending the tournament with a total of  5,700 points. HT Hook followed in third place and showed amazing stamina over the three fishing days, ending with 5,200 points.
All told, a total of 1,412 billfish were reported, including 6 marlin.

Art Mc Donald, one of the IGFTO certified observes, made a quick calculation; 1,412 fish released, divided by 1,440 minutes of fishing equals a fish a minute.

Congratulations to all of the participating teams on an outstanding job well done!
The awards ceremony was held under the stars on the white sand in front of the Los Sueños Beach Club. The weather was perfect, and about 500 anglers, captains, observers and sponsors were treated to a delicious buffet dinner, a marvelous fire show by Cirko Vivo and incredible fireworks. Tournament winners took to the stage to receive a total of $95,000 in cash, as well as other prizes provided by tournament sponsors.
1st $47,500‐ Dragin Fly, 6,700 points: 62 sails, 1 marlin
2nd $28,500‐ Rebel, 5,700 points: 57 sails
3rd $19,000‐ HT Hook, 5,200 points: 52 sails

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Good fishing continues and the snook

The boys did fish like they were in a tournament on Sunday.  The sailfish have pushed in really close, up on the bank and in less than 400 feet of water.  James and the boys had a "double digit" day and while trolling around, they marked some great grouper rocks, dropping down to check some of them out and ending up with "double digits" of groupers.

Did the same thing yesterday.  Really, really good sailfishing and bottom fishing.   I have noticed a lot of smaller this an indication of new fish joining the adult population?  There are still those 100+ pound bruisers out there, but it's good to see some little guys.

As many of you know, I've got this thing about fishing for snook from the beach.....and I'm not very good at it, but boy was I close today.   I got there a little late  and as I was making my way down the beach I saw some pelicans working glass minnows.  Outside the pelicans were some huge explosions.  I got an up close show.

By the time I got there things had settled down, I had a couple of little bites, swats at the Mirror Lure.  There were lots of little jacks and unidentified tropical species that were cutting through the glass minnows which were flickering and flashing all through the dirty water,  inside the breakers.

On the edge of the occasional breaking waves was a sharp color change where schools of mullet cruised back and forth down the beach.  This is where I was casting and this is where I saw a coordinated attack by 3 really nice snook, each well into the teens.  One of them somersaulted through the bait 30 feet in front of me, it's pack mates showering mullet and glass minnows caught up in the fray.

One time I thought I got a good bite, but it was brief and I didn't connect.  What I felt on the other end of the braid was.....heavy.......other than that, no bites.

I will be there at daylight in the morning.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Pamlico Sound Great White Shark!!!!!

See the story at:

 Mary Lee is now out of Pamlico Sound:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

On the way to the awards ceremony....... pick up the trophy for first place. Detailed report to follow, but we've got a lot of work to do with a charter tomorrow. I cannot express enough my thanks for the dedication of the crew of the Dragin Fly, Capt. James, Berto and Marcos. They're going to fish for our customers tomorrow like it was a tournament......except the food is going to be better. (Not really, we ate pretty good during this tourney, ribs, shrimps, crab cakes, Marco's guac, etc.)
The Dragin Fly won the tournament today.  I am so proud of the boat and crew. The anglers did an awesome job! Thank you for all those who have been following along!

Day 2

James has made all the right moves, hope that we can make him proud tomorrow. We again started with one of the first fish of the day and took the lead, adding 10 sailfish to our Day 1 total by lunch. Then our bite died and the radio fired off as other boats continuously started reporting fish. Over 100 fish were caught in less than an hour.......except us. Although James prefers to fish alone, he had no choice but to pick up and run to the bite. Soon after putting them out, we caught 1 out of a double header, then 1 out of a triple header. Very frustrating not to have a better average, but the dozen sailfish releases that we racked up in the last couple hours of the tournament have put us out in front on the end of Day 2. With that crazy sailfish bite, anything can happen today. I'm heading out the door and hope to have a good report for you this afternoon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 1 Report

The top 5 boats all ended up in a shoot out at the end of the day and we came up short on time, in 2nd place  with 22 sailfish, 2 minutes behind the leader.   A double header at 3:59 pushed us ahead of 3rd place.

It's going to be a real shootout tomorrow now that our "secret spot" is public......hopefully James can find another one.

 To stay in the action, check out the below link:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Trout Report from Capt. Joe Ward

The weather has been gorgeous the past couple of weeks…and the bite has been on strong. I’ve never seen the trout so thick in the Trent river. Your Dad even had a double limit of fish with Wayne last Saturday ! LoL ! I’m wide open date wise. Hope you and Anna are having a blast. Take care.
Capt. Joe Ward

Drop us an e mail or give us a ring and we'll help get you out on the North Carolina or Costa Rica

Practice, practice, practice

Fishing remains good, blue marlin releases the last 3 out of 4 days and double digit days of sails continue.......

Los Suenos Tournament Series starts tomorrow with Leg 1, hope to have some daily reports coming in from the tournament.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


These are some shots from the one day that I have been able to go fishing since I got here.......other than with the crocs.  
 The above was almost a great shot.......

Pretty helpless feeling.......

......watching some dude get swept out by a rip current.  Thankfully a surfer hit the beach with his board and got to him.  30 seconds longer in the water and that guy would have been toast.   Puts things in perspective.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Really excellent fishing in Costa Rica

As with the fishing reports in North Carolina, when the fishing is really good, I don't like to get into the numbers.  It's not a competition out there and a good day on the water should not be defined by the numbers or the weight of your cooler at the end of the day......usually fish in the cooler should outweigh beers out of the cooler as a general indicator.....

  With an average of 4 people on the boat, a "double digit day" means that everyone caught a couple of fish.  Good enough, but sometimes it gets better.    When it does happen, it's even more fulfilling when you have people on the boat who appreciate a great day.

Right now we're having some great days........good enough that today we had one customer on the boat and he wanted a marlin.  Instead of opting for the steady sailfish bite, Capt. James and crew of the Dragin Fly gave our single angler a double digit day on sails, dorado for dinner and his first blue marlin.   We didn't fly as many flags (we don't fly flags....again, it's not a competition....until next week), but we gave our guy a trip of a lifetime today.

Crocs and Friends

Went for the daylight snook bite at Parrita today, heard that it was good.  Arrived on the scene with 3 "friends" at 4:37 am, yes, it was still very dark.  No flashlight of course.  There was no one else there, which wasn't a good sign either.

   We stumbled down to the river mouth and I gave the speech about the crocs, keep an eye out.  At least you can survive an attack if you are in less than waste deep water.....if you have friends around, because the shallow water and wave action will give clue to the presence of a struggling surf fishermen and a 8-18 foot crocodile......OK, if an 18 footer gets ya, you're done, but an attack from an 8 footer is survivable.....if you got friends......and as my dad says, "keep your rod tip up"

I advised my "friends" that the rip tides could sweep you out to sea even in knee deep water and  wading more than waste deep would put you in range of the bull sharks.......remember, it's frigging pitch black dark.

So some of this may have been "guide talk", but as I was of course, the furthest off the beach, in chest deep water and in range of the best fishing, I had it to myself......almost.   My "friend", Maxi was about 30 feet away off my flank throwing a big popper.  

As I was untangling line from around my tip, trying to keep my reel above the waves, not an easy feat in the dark, in waste deep water with a 8 foot spinning rod......Maxi yelled something to me.  I couldn't hear him and he didn't have much of an alarmed reaction, so I assumed that he was commenting on the breaking dawn, the blanket of fading stars or the sliver of a moon that was rising ahead of the sun........I should have paid more attention.

As I untangle my tip and took up the slack, off my bow about 10 feet I saw a tail dissappear in a large swishing motion heading down the beach.   At first I thought it may have been a snook, but the tail was jagged and lingered above the foam between breaking waves for far too long.    I took a couple steps towards Maxi and said:

"Hey dude, I just saw something and I'm not sure what it was".

My "friend" Maxi's reply......"That's what i was yelling at you a couple of minutes ago when you were getting your shit untangled, there was a croc that swam right up on ya, his head was about 2 feet accross, but I guess that he didnt' like the way you looked so he turned and headed down the beach"    

My incredulous look was followed by Maxi with:  "What?  I didn't think crocs was no big deal the way you was talking about them this morning, anyways, you was between me and him, so I didn't think much of it"

Thanks buddy.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

From Capt. Richard Andrews

"Fished yesterday and caught around 30 in pretty short order in the river after finding them. I would consider that a slower day up there.  Gotta love that.   Still plenty of fish scattered about in the sound.    Hopefully there will be a big push into the rivers in the next week or so with water temps right now in the 46-47 range and slowly creeping down with these consistent cold nights.  I am going to be surprised if those fish don’t start stacking up in  the rivers very soon.  I prefer to fish the rivers because they are just more charter friendly but will fish the sound if I have to and if I have some folks wanting to keep fish. 

I launch  on the Bertie side of the Hwy 45 bridge." 

Capt. Richard Andrews

Capt. Joe Ward report

"Fished Madison & Mason yesterday and we smoked their hineys…35+trout, 7 or 8 rock & about 10 or so puppydrum. Beautiful day, great clients, and awesome fishing !". 

Capt Joe Ward

Even though we're in the tropics, let us know if we can help get you out on the water a little closer to home. 

Shad Report

I got a reliable report that several shad were caught in Rocky Mount Saturday morning.  It's only January 5th, and that is hard to believe, but my sources are good so I think it is probably true.  ----Rick Goines

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Red Wine and Computers

Do  Not Mix.

Found this out first hand.  Recovering and rebuilding for the next couple of days now that I have a new computer here in replace the new computer that I just fried.  Kind of smells like Sonomoa County...  

With several groups here, we've been busy.   The fishing is red hot, with customers hooking their own, most days are "double digits" with as many as 30-50 sailfish bites/day.  Really good stuff.

If I can ever get caught up and get out there......