Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Johnston's Frenzy Experience

Remember back in March when the Johnston's had the best two days of the year? Well Pat sent me this e-mail about her trip and some photos. I thought I would share them with you.

From Pat:

Many thanks for helping us plan our most exciting vacation ever!! Willie made our life a breeze going through customs and taking care of us throughout the week.

Our three days on the boat were fantastic. Jose and Marco take such great pride in keeping the boat CLEAN and ready for ACTION. What a great team! Catching that many sailfish in two days is still amazing for us- as you well know- we aren't really good anglers! 44 in two days!!! John and Jane Chapman were with us and they loved every minute being on the boat and pulling in so many fish. We decided that the "REEL FRENZY" was when we had 4 sailfish on the lines at one time!!! Talk about crazy!!! That was sooo much fun! Marco and Jose were able to help us bring all 4 in without loosing any within an hour of our first REEL FRENZY-- it happened again!! 4 more sails on the lines at the same time... we even made up a dance called the Reel Frenzy!! (That was actually after a few cocktails....)

Anyway- I have some great pix that I will send to you....what a blast! All and all, we caught 44 sails, one rooster, one snook, one dorato and a bird!!! (The bird got caught in the hook trying to steal our bait- Marco was able to free it...)

You are running a first class operation down there and it shows. Looking forward to next time. Pat and Clay Johnston

p.s. You home is absolutely breathtaking!!! We were walking around it unable to talk...what a fabulous place to have thought of everything!

Pat and her crew sure had a great time with our Frenzy team. As we look towards the summer months some dates are open in June and July. I love fishing those months because there are less boats on the water and the fishing can be really good. Plenty of sails, marlin, tuna and dorado around plus some wahoo start hanging out with us. Wahoo may be my favorite fish to eat!

Make your plans to come down this summer as the Frenzy continues ...


Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Break (the Steffen's) We're Home!

Yesterday we said good-bye to Donielle and Casa Carolina.  Misael and Willy transported us to the airport for our return trip.  We caught an earlier flight to Houston than scheduled but couldn't get an earlier flight home from there.  As you can see from the pictures, the girls returned to civilization by plugging in their technology gadgets.  Jeff and I managed to stay on vacation a few more hours.  We arrived home early this morning to a balmy temperature of 43 degrees.  This morning I thought about putting on my thermal underwear, rain gear, and going fishing.  Then I realized it was a nightmare, rolled over and went back to sleep.

I did get an update on the fishing report.  The crew went out Easter Sunday and fished a half day.  They landed 3 Roosters.  They then took the clients on a snorkeling tour somewhere around the park.

I did make a mistake on the previous report.  It was 7 sailfish and 2 Mahi.  I guess the Mahi both weighed 60-65 pounds!!  I'll be interested to hear the reports from the boat as the clients from Wyoming finish their last two days of fishing.

The Frenzy Continues!!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 8 and 9

Happy Easter to all my Frenzy Friends and "Family"!!!!!

Today I'll start with the fishing report from yesterday as I didn't get a chance to post last night.  One of the reasons we enjoy having our crew is how hard they work to please the customer.  As I reported earlier, the off shore fishing near Quepos has been very slow.  Jose has been talking to many of his connections and there was a report of blue water about 40 miles off-shore that seemed to be holding some fish.  Jose consulted with the clients and they were willing to take the chance and make the long run knowing it could be "hero or zero".  Well, it was the former in this case.  They had something like 18 bites.  They landed 7 sailfish and one Mahi.  They had a triple on with two sailfish and the Mahi and landed all three.  Today they will switch and try the in-shore fishing.

Our day yesterday, began with some of Lisa's relatives coming to say good-bye.  We had a small troop of the spider monkeys come right to the deck to entertain us.  The iguanas were posing for pictures and of course the birds are constantly telling us what they think of us.  I found out Jenny was trying to find a sloth on her last trip here and we had the good fortune of having one in the tree right next to the pool all day.  We have had the most wonderful vacation at Casa Carolina thanks to the Southern hospitality of my dear friends, Jenny and Jamie Walker.

We finished our last evening in Costa Rica with dinner at El Avion.  Jose brought us some of the Mahi they caught today we had it for appetizer.  We were joined with the entire Crew of the Frenzy with wives, girl friends, and kids for our end of the season Fiesta.  Olivia was in heaven getting to see Marco and Rudy once again.  She, of course, is now more than ever determined to move here.  Ian has two Costa Rican girlfriends.  Rachel, Jose's daughter, and Monserat, Willy's daughter.  I asked him who he liked better and he told me "I like em' both Dad".  Jeff calls Ian the "Lady Killer" and I guess now I know why.  Jose and his wife Jenny, brought the new baby Joseph as Lisa has not seen him yet and everyone teased her and called her grandma in Spanish.  Willy kept us in tears with his jokes and cut-ups.  Such an evening with "family" makes it all the harder to leave.

Today we will head home to the Great NorthWet as I call it.  As we work through the summer, I'll keep you up to date on happenings with the Steffen part of the Frenzy family.  I'm still working on Lisa to bring the kids back in June since the weather in Washington doesn't get nice until mid July.  We are all excited for the new boat and can't wait to once again see all our many Frenzy Friends and "Family" from South Carolina and Costa Rica.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 7

Time flies so fast and it seems that here, it goes at light speed.  We spent a wonderful day at Casa Carolina.  Lounging in the pool, checking out the sloth in the tree and feeding the Iguanas.  Lizbeth made us her famous guacamole for lunch (I watched so hopefully I can make an attempt of it at home).  Lizbeth has promised us her gallo pinto (a traditional Costa Rican dish) for breakfast.  Please excuse my spelling because me Espanol es muy malo.

We made a return trip to El Gran Escape' for dinner.  I got some pictures of Olivia and her fly that she caught her first sailfish with.  Marsha and Christal have mounted it in their wall of fame.  That's correct, I don't have a fly on that wall either.  I just don't rate the way Olivia does.  It was a sad time as I said good bye to Marsha and my many friends that work at the restaurant as I probably won't return until Christmas time.  (Thanks Marsha for telling me that some one is reading my posts!)

I failed to include a picture of the beach at Playa Arco yesterday but found one on Amy's camera today.  Tomorrow is our last day and it feels like we got here yesterday.  If you need any information from me about Costa Rica or the Northwest U.S., feel free to contact me at

The Frenzy report from today was 3 sailfish and everyone had another wonderful day on the boat.  Tomorrow they are planning another trip off-shore and then will change to in-shore on Sunday.

Willy called me from the airport and I spoke again with Danny Smith from Charleston.  Danny told me how much he and his family had enjoyed their trip and that they are looking forward to returning to Costa Rica and fishing on the Frenzy!

My final fishing report will be tomorrow as we leave on Sunday morning.  Does anybody know what the temperature is in Gig Harbor or if it's snowing?



Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 7

Last night we moved to the incredible home of Jamie and Jenny Walker, Casa Carolina, to spend our last few days of Spring Break.  We were up early this morning and headed South of Dominical to spend a day at Playa Arco.  We parked the car by the highway and trekked through the jungle to the beach.  After exploring the cave or Arch that defines this beach area, everyone hit the surf. Everyone but me, that is.  I took off and was determined to find another path back to the road.  Once I had located it and made my way to the top of the hill, I started back down and was greeted by a couple from Germany.  They were staying at a small Hotel near-by and we had a pleasant chat about the wonders of Costa Rica.

I wound my way back down the path and took note of several different species of butterflies that were active, some lizards, birds and one little snake.  I have been told there are more species of butterflies in this small country than on the entire Continent of Africa.  Luckily I found the beach again by going downhill and listening for the surf.  I knew where the natural spring that has a built in "shower" is located and made a bee-line for it to cool off after my hike.

We played in the surf and figured out how to send Ian flying towards shore on the boogie board we had brought with us.  We all "showered" the salt water off and then hiked up the hill to see the huge stands of Bamboo that mark the entrance to the trail.  Again we saw many butterflies as we worked our way back to the car.  We stopped at a small Hotel, Cuna del Angel, (Crib of the Angel) and had the most delicious lunch.  I would drive there again just for the food.

The group from Wyoming went off-shore.  The report was one sailfish and two Mahi-Mahi. Willy said they told him that they were very impressed with the boat and the crew and were looking forward to tomorrow.  I'll try to give the updates as they come in.


Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 6

We were up early and packed our bags.  It's off to the Frenzy for a day of in-shore fishing.  The crew had been out early and caught sardines for us to use as live bait.  We started fishing for Snook at the mouth of the river.  I was the only one with a bite but no hook-up.  

Then we were off to the rocks around Dominical for Rooster fish.  Today we were joined by Jose's daughter, the beautiful Rachel.  Ian and Rachel spent the entire day on the bridge.  Jose let Ian and Olivia man the helm for much of the day.  Both kids will have their Captain's license before long.  The trees around Dominical were in bloom and I've never seen the area like it was this day.   As usual, the crew of the Frenzy worked and worked but we just couldn't seem to get a fish to take the bait.  The tides were good, the bait lively but only a couple of light bites with no hook-ups.  We even trolled Rapalas around an anchored shrimp boat in hopes of a fish.

We decided to run back to the Quepos Rocks, have a delicious lunch of Arroz Con Pollo, and try our luck.  Just like the day before on Olivia's tuna, the bait wasn't in the water but a minute and it was "Fish On!".   Jeff landed a nice Rooster, his first, and it made my day as he has talked about wanting to catch a Rooster and a Marlin since we first discussed fishing in Costa Rica.  I told him how happy I was that he caught a Rooster but I'd like him to put in a little more rod time to catch the Marlin, since it took me more than 10 years to finally land one.

Amy was next to land one and you can tell by the picture that she is the inquisitive type.  It wasn't enough just to catch one, but she had a million questions for Marco and Rudy about the fish.  I finally had to call a halt to it and make them put it back in the water.

We finished off the day with a double hook-up.  Jeff on one rod and Olivia on the other.  It looked like Jeff had a monster.  Unfortunately for "Little Pea", hers came unbuttoned.  She was polite enough to let Jeff finish bringing in his fish.  It wasn't a monster, but a fun way to end the day.  I guess I'll just have to let Olivia make another trip on the Frenzy to try and catch her first Rooster.  



Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 5

Tuesday at last.  We got a bit of a late start for me.  Lots of primping and then a stop for coffee.  Remember the Seattle connection.  Even though we had heard it was slow off-shore, we thought we would give it a shot.  We had fished about 2 hours when we came across a pod of spinner dolphin that had to be in the thousands.  I have seen large pods before but nothing like this.  We had some live bait and within a couple of minutes we were hooked up.  Guess who took the first turn?  Yep, Olivia.  Marco calls her "Little Pea" as does her mother.  After a prolonged battle during which time we were joined by 4 other boats, she landed a yellow-fin tuna that was estimated at 70 lbs.  A new species for Olivia and of course a bigger yellow-fin than I've ever caught.  All the boats worked this pod for quite awhile with the Frenzy boating the only fish.  

Lisa decided she wanted to go swimming with the dolphins so She, Amy and Marco and later Olivia all jumped in and swam with the dolphins.  I asked Amy if she could touch the bottom and she said that she thought it was a little deep.  I told she was right and that she was snorkeling in 3000 feet of water.  Jeff tried to direct them to a sea turtle that was swimming close by but they couldn't see it and it moved off too quickly.  We moved off the pod and fished and over the next several hours but as we came upon this same huge pod, we would work it again.  This pod would sometimes split into two pods and some would go racing off in another direction and then after some time they would join up again.  It was spectacular!  

Next, it was Jeff's turn.  As I said it was a little slow.  One fish came in and gave the teasers a look but no bites.  After some time, I asked who's turn it was and we laughed when they said it was still Jeff's.  We decided to give some one else a turn so we put Ian (the 5 y.o.) in the fighting chair.  It wasn't more than 5 minutes and a sailfish took the bait.  We were going to let Ian sit in Uncle Jeff's lap and land the fish but alas, he spit the hook.  Ian had just as much fun, reeling in the bait.  It was time to head for home and Sashimi.  Lots of Sashimi!!

Tomorrow it's Rooster time!!!!


Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 4

I'll try to catch up and get two posts in for the last two days.

On Monday, Olivia, her aunt Amy and Uncle Jeff braved the Canopy tour (zip lines).  Had a great time.  All the pictures that seem to come back had Olivia and one of the "cute" guides and she's only twelve (God help me!).  Amy and Jeff have done the zip lines in Mexico and said the ones here were outstanding.  Jeff wants a bigger thrill however and the guides told him there are some really big ones near San Jose.  Sounded like it is worth checking out.

The Smith Family went in-shore fishing and the report was they landed 3 roosters on six bites.  Also got 4 snook and some snapper.  Overall, it sounded like they had a great time and the crew of the Frenzy enjoyed them as well.  Tuesday will be our turn.


Monday, April 6, 2009

spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 3

As you can see from my posts, I'm about a day behind.  Day 3 was another day relaxing  by pool and soaking up some sun.  We got time to visit with Willy and his wife Jamie.  Ian has learned to swim all the way across the pool without his life jacket.  My pictures are going to be tougher since Ian dropped my camera and it's toast.  I will see if I can get some from other cameras.

 We have been seeing Monkeys every day and have seen all three species.  I think the Howlers were sleeping in the trees by the condo since they sounded very close.  Lisa has found a dog.  It is a Chihuahua and now she wants to adopt it.  It's name is Paco.  She is driving me loco about this dog.  Just ask Willy.

Fishing report from yesterday.  A lot of fish in the teasers but not many biters.  I went to the dock to meet the boat and I ended up giving Danny Smith and his son a ride back to their hotel. His son is catching all the fish and Dad says he is having a great time watching him do that.  They plan on going rooster fishing tomorrow.  We will make our decision based on their reports.  I can't wait!!
Olivia and I then gave a ride to two British girls  back to Quepos.  They had just completed high school and were taking time before college.  They are spending 6 months traveling Central and South America and doing volunteer work.  Olivia had fun talking with them.  Their favorite place so far......Manuel Antonio!

Off to Rico Tico for Chicken Nachos!!!!!!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 2

I've sent a picture of the weather we just left (please note the coats and long pants) and what it is like here.  The trees are in bloom outside our place and it's spectacular.  We had a lazy day today.  I went for a jog down to the Manuel Antonio Beach early and saw some Howler monkeys on the way.  Lisa, Jeff, and Amy went to their favorite coffee place for breakfast, Cafe Milagro.  We hung out at the pool with a visit by the white faced monkeys and we are off to El Gran Escape for dinner tonight.

I'm cooking up a little gift for my fishing partner, Jamie Walker since he turns 50 today.  Yes, fifty.  One half of a century.  So if you want to send him a little note of congratulations, feel free to send it to  I wish we were there to celebrate with him and Jenny but will make up for it later.

The Smith family from Charlotte were on the boat today.  The unofficial report was two sails and one Mahi.  I will try to hook up with them before they leave and see how their trip has been.


Spring Break (the Steffen's) Day 1

Since this is a fishing blog site, my posts will not be near as exciting as the Walker's posts from their Spring Break.  Unfortunately we do not have 12 teenageers in tow and only have two days scheduled fishing on the Frenzy.  I will try to report the fishing as I hear from Willy.

We arrived today without any major problems.  Our flight was delayed by an hour leaving Seattle but we still had plenty of time to make our connection is Houston.  There are six of us.  Lisa, me, Olivia (the 12 y.o. fishing phenom), Ian (the 5 y.0. water rat), Amy (Lisa's sister who caught the first fish of her life on our last trip and has been watching ESPN fishing shows for tips ever since) and Amy's husband, Jeff who would like to land a marlin or rooster fish this trip.

We had a great trip across the mountains in the King Air.  Eleven minute flight from San Jose to Quepos.  It is my favorite airplane of all time !!!!  Amy got to ride shot-gun and loved it.

Just took easy this afternoon.  Our concierge manager, Donielle, treated us to a tour of the improvements made to our accommodations at Casa El Mar.  It is such a treat to return here for another idyllic week in Costa Rica.

After settling in, the water rat (Ian) had us head for the pool.  As always, I learn what a small world we live in.  The family staying in the unit below us is from Colorado where I grew up.  The husband is friends with a doctor who I was on student council with in junior high.  I spoke with them about fishing and although the Frenzy is booked the whole time they are here, Willy may try to find them another boat.  They are here with their three children and we gave them lots of tips on what to do and where to go.

Following the pool, we slipped next door to Issimo Suites for a relaxing dinner with one of my favorite waiters in Manuel Antonio, Dixon.  Dixon saw to our every need and I enjoyed my New York Steak prepared Tamarindo style.  Tamarindo is a type of fruit found in the mountains and it's flavor is indecribable.  You just can't get this at home.  Jeff had filet with a mushroom reduction sauce; Amy hade Caribbean style shrimp with a sweet and sour zing; Lisa and Olivia had fresh tuna prepared in different styles and Ian........fell asleep on my lap.  I put him down on an adjoining sofa as we finished our meal with a banana split we all shared.  Tomorrow we are all sleeping in!

I have a special report for Saturday!!