On May 4th, 2011 I will be heading off on an exciting 1-year trek across Central & South America. I will be carrying two fishing rods in my backpack - one spin casting & one fly rod. Join my adventure as I search for each country's best fishing spots, learn local techniques, and show you how to get in on the action. Rainbow Bass fishing in Nicaragua, Machaca in Costa Rica, and Peacock Bass in Guyana are only a few of the adventures on the itinerary.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A wild adventure on Lake Arenal, Costa Rica - Part1

Last June I made my maiden voyage to Costa Rica with my longtime amigo Denver. We landed in San Jose, rented an SUV and headed out on a 10-day road trip across the country. As usual, I walked with my fishing roads and a tackle box full of my favourite crank baits and spinner baits just in case the opportunity to cast a line presented itself. Before leaving Canada I had done some quick internet research about where I could fish in Costa Rica. Of course I was bombarded with countless deep-sea fishing charter websites that boasted the best Wahoo, Sail Fish, Marlin or Dorado fishing in the country. Coincidently I came across a site that offered Rainbow Bass fishing on Costa Rica’s largest lake, Lake Arenal. The lake was located right at the foot of one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Volcano Arenal.

The colourful Rainbow Bass (locally known as Guapote, meaning ‘the most handsome’) are renowned for their fierce strikes and the fact that they fight like it were a title heavyweight bout in the UFC. Rumor has it that a Rainbow hits twice as hard as Largemouth and makes a Smallmouth look like a geek in an arm wrestling competition with the high school jock.

Let’s just say that I ended up going on zip line tours through the jungle, hiking to the largest waterfall in the area, relaxing at the hot springs and drinking one too many Imperial cervezas, then ran out of time to get in a day of fishing. Well…not quite. 

On the drive out of Arenal going to Monteverde, we decided to pull over on the highway to take one last look at the lake and the smoking volcano in the horizon. We shook our heads in disbelief that we were about to leave without having the opportunity to fish such a picture perfect lake. The sun was high in the sky and it had to have been one of the hottest days of our trip. Standing there drenched in sweat, we decided that it was probably not the best use of our money to rent a boat at the hottest hour of the day. Just when we decided to go back to the car we were approached by a guy who asked us if we were interested in fishing or going for a tour of the volcano from the lake. To feed our curiosities we asked him how much he would charge for 2 hours and he quoted us $150. We knew it was literally highway robbery (since we were standing on the highway) but decided that we would go if he lowered his price to $120 (that’s $60 per person). Minutes later we were on a little fishing boat heading towards the volcano. 

 The calm before the storm - Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

We were out for just about 45 minutes when a severe storm came out of nowhere. It was unbelievable how a perfectly blue sky could suddenly change to a deep depressing grey. Within minutes a torrential downpour started and bolts of lightening were firing across the sky. Naturally we Canadian boys were not afraid of the rain but it seemed like the lightening was getting closer to our little boat by the minute. We could sense that our guide didn’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings but the weather was worsening by the millisecond. A loud explosion rang out from above and bright blot of lightening seemed to have hit the ground on shore about 400 meters from where we were. At this point we were officially shocked and scared knowing that we were like sitting ducks with our fishing rods pointed at the skies.

We knew that once we finished reeling in our lines it would be time to sprint for the shoreline. Denver got his lure to the boat first and I could see his purple Rapala Husky Jerk breaking the surface of the water. I reeled even faster since I didn’t want to be the one responsible for our electrocution in the middle of the lake.  Before I could get my line in, I heard a loud splash near the boat. At first I thought that the lightening had finally found our boat but when I looked around I saw Denver standing there like a deer in headlights with a fish furiously flopping about on the end of his line. I don’t think that Denver knows how and when the fish hit his lure but the fact is that he had just caught his first Lake Arenal Machaca

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. For some fishing trips, to gain the most benefit from your time and enjoy the adventure, you may need to hire a fishing guide. Here are several tips in preparation for making that decision.

    Ketchikan Fishing Trip


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