Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Steffen Spring Break- Day 4 of fishing

I'm actually back home to write this as I spoke of my computer woes while in Costa Rica.

Day 4 on the Frenzy found us without Chris as he was not feeling well. So Amy had Marco to herself for the day. Since it was Sunday we brought some of our employees and family members to enjoy the day. The bite was a long way out again today but since I wanted to fly-fish, felt it was worth the run to have more shots at the fish.

It wasn't long before Jose found the honey hole and we were into fish. I was first up to try my skills once again. Rafa was on the teaser rod for the first fish in the teasers. He soon had a fish to the ideal position for me to cast and the fish piled on my fly and the Frenzy team soon had the leader in the guides and we released our first sail on the fly this trip.

I wanted Amy to give it a shot but she was more in the mood to catch some rays on the bow with Lisa so I asked Willy if he wanted to give fly-fishing a try. Marco took him to the transom and gave him instructions in Spanish as I chimed in with pointers here and there. It wasn't long before the next fish popped up. Again Rafa teased the fish in, Willy made the cast. You can see the cast and the fish take the fly in the video I took but can't seem to get it to load on the blog. Willy worked up a good sweat bringing in the fish (note, it was done properly with a left hand retrieve fly reel). We are now two for two. A good start to the day.

The baits were back in the water and I was trying to change out Willy's fly when the next fish came screaming in. I had to grab the spare rod, peel the line off and fling the fly into the water just in time to cast to the fish. Another great bite and we quickly another released sailfish on the Frenzy. Now we're 3 for 3!

Soon after a double came in but the first fish did not come close enough to cast a fly. The second fish took the Bally-hoo that was on the Shotgun and we put Marilyn, our housekeeper, on the rod. The first Fish she ever caught in her life is a nice Pacific Sailfish. Pretty good bragging rights for a nice young lady and we are 4 for 4.

Now the fish went into that weird mid-day bite they will sometimes do and either not tease well to the boat or when they do they seem too be too lazy to bite. Finally after lunch, I convince Amy to give the fly-rod a try. A fish comes in, she makes a good cast, the fish takes and she promptly lifts the rod and jerks the fly out of it's mouth. Oops! I hadn't given her the proper instruction to let the fish take the fly and keep the rod low to the water. I console her and tell her she'll get it next time. Next time will have to wait for the next trip as we didn't see another fish. We had been 4 for 4 but ended up 4 for 12 on raised sailfish. (We always wonder how many of those we would have landed on conventional tackle) We also had another Marlin in the teasers that would have been the perfect size on a fly but it turned off quickly without teasing to the boat. We headed home after another great day of fishing with the crew of the Frenzy.

I'll finish my blog about our trip soon but I have to get some pictures from Chris and Amy's cameras.

The Frenzy continues.....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Steffen Spring Break-Day Three of Fishing

Amy was not feeling well today and decided to stay home. Thus, of course I knew we were in for an exciting day.

Lisa was up early to prepare coffee, put on her make-up, a pink dress and her secret weapon.

Today we headed a little South of where we first fished and only 27 miles out. We were told that fishing had slowed dramatically but of course we were on the Frenzy. It was over an hour before we had the first sailfish in the boat.

After about another hour without a sign of a fish, I sent secret weapon number one (Capitan Ian) to the bridge with orders to “put us on some fish”. In short time he had us on two more sailfish.

I told Lisa it was her turn so she made a pass to the stern of the boat and allowed the scent of her Coco Chanel Madamoiselle fish attractant to drift over the waters. This is secret weapon number two because next thing I saw was a large dorsal fin crashing the baits headed for the stern of the boat. I grabbed the pitch bait on the 30 and Marco politely asked me to get it out of the water. Suddenly there was a tremendous dorsal fin within 10 feet of the boat moving fast. Marco swings a lateral cast with the pitch bait on the 50 and the fish takes the bait 5 feet from the boat as it´s moving towards the bow. Marco slams the hook about three times and it´s game on. Seconds later the fish is dancing 150 yards behind the boat and headed out. Since Lisa had teased this fish in with her perfume (I swear it was trying to get in the boat with her), we put her in the chair. After the lines were cleared, Jose backed her down on her fish and within 15 minutes the amazing crew of the Frenzy had leadered a blue marlin estimated at 400 pounds!!! We didn´t get many good pictures of the fish and since it was still green, so we let Lisa continue the fight. She worked hard for another 30 minutes and she and the crew brought the fish in close once again. We got more pictures and I tried a little movie making. I´ve added one of them here and hope it works for you.

We continued fishing and had Ian caught another sailfish. This time he sat in the chair by himself and reeled the fish all the way in by himself. We saw a huge pod of spinner dolphin and more tuna but couldn’t hook up this time. We didn’t stay on them long as we wanted to try for a grand slam since we had a marlin and sailfish in the boat.

I continued to hook some fish and miss some as well, as I’m learning this new way to fish. I did land one myself when we had a double on. So the final count for the day was eight sailfish released (We had at least twice that many bites). And the first marlin released on the new Frenzy by a woman in a pink dress wearing Coco Chanel. Did I forget to mention she fixed her make-up after landing her fish?

The Frenzy continues…. Maybe fly-fishing on


Steffen Spring Break-Second Day of Fishing

I am very fortunate to have a wife and kids who are not afraid to try new adventures. We loaded up the car and met some of Costa Rican friends and headed off to Rancho del Tilapia. It was about a 20 minute ride from Quepos at the foot of the mountains.

Ian was quick to get a cane pole and soon had his dinner caught. We let our friends and the kids catch all the fish.

Ian later wanted to know why they didn´t have nice rods like the Frenzy. He told me he preferred a nice custom rod over the cane pole. I forgot to include this picture of Ian landing his Yellow-fin Tuna from the first day of our fishing. You can see the difference in equipment. I set up a 6wt. fly-rod and after changing flies and lines finally landed a new specie of fish for me on a muddler minnow.

Lisa was in La Cocina learning the local cooking techniques. The owners prepared our food over a wood burning outdoor stove. The local fare was served on wooden plates covered with a fresh banana leaf. It was muy delicioso.

After lunch, the kids played in the pool, fed from a local stream

while Willy gave me a tour of the ranch and pointed out some of the local flora and fauna.

On the way back we saw turkey next to the road and I thought of our friends, the Walker´s in South Carolina, who love to hunt Turkey.

Next… our other secret weapon!!!!!

Steffen Spring Break- First Day of Fishing

I´ve been having problems with my computer so I borrowed Willy´s and have to figure some stuff out in Spanish so forgive me.

It´s our first day of fishing on Spring break and we decide to go offshore. Our team includes myself, my beautiful wife Lisa, 6 y.o. son Ian, Lisa´s sister Amy and her Beau Chris (his first time blue-water fishing). We are soon underway and headed to the West about 40 miles out. At 24 knots, the new Frenzy gets us there in short order. Our crew consists of Captain Ian Steffen, assistant Captain Jose, First Mate Marco and Second Mate Rafa (Marco´s Dad and and expert Captain as well).

We have two secret weapons we soon discover. We put Ian in the captains seat and with him at the helm we are quickly into sailfish. On this trip I'm trying to learn to hook the fish on conventional tackle as opposed
to on the fly as Jamie and I have talked about coming down to fish some of the conventional tournaments on the Frenzy. I adopt the watch one, do one, teach one method. Marco soon has a fish on and Chris lands his first Pacific sailfish with help from the mates and a lot of razzing from me.

The baits are back in the water and now I´m up. It´s minutes before the next fish strikes and I´m on the reel. I let a nice backlash develop a beautiful bird´s nest on the reel. Lucky for me we have such a great crew. They quickly are backing down on fish and Amy lands a nice 30lb. Mahi. We now have Ceviche in the boat. I go to work getting the bird´s nest out of the reel.

We barely have the teasers in the water when a sail pops up on the left short teaser. I expertly drop a pitch bait to the fish, he bites, turns, runs, I flip the drag and it´s fish on! Amy lands the fish in short order as she is getting quite good at fishing the Frenzy.

I miss the next couple of bites and when Jose hooks the ne
xt sail, Ian decides he´s watched enough and he´s off the bridge in a flash and on my lap in the chair. With a little help from me, he lands his first sailfish. His sister, Olivia who is in Japan on a school trip will be happy for her
er but will now have to fight for who´s turn it is to catch a fish as Ian is hooked!

Ian returns to the helm and quickly puts us upon a pod of white-bellied dolphins chasing a school of tuna. Moments later the crew has changed the baits and lures for tuna and we're on them. We land six yellowfin tuna. It´s the first time for tuna for Ian, Lisa, Amy, and Chris. Amy and Lisa land one on a fly as well. Lisa has some choice words about acrylic nails and the handle design on the Waterwork's fly reel and I promise her I will talk to the manufacturer when I return.

We land one more sailfish and then Lisa prepares lunch for the all of us. The bite is pretty much off for the afternoon. The i-Pod is hooked up and we bump to tunes as we decide to head in a bit early. We finish off the day with a dinner prepared by Chris to compliment Ian´s favorite meal, Tuna Sashimi and lots of it!

Count for the day is four Sailfish, six Yellowfin Tuna and one nice Mahi.

More to come....especially our other secret weapon!!