Saturday, June 18, 2011

Shades of Gray - Montocchio Video Released

It is with great excitement that Frenzy Sportfishing announces that Marc Montocchio has released the video of his photoshoot "Shades of Gray." Back in April Frenzy Sportfishing hosted renowned underwater photographer Marc Montocchio and cutting edge filmmaker Luke Pearson for a week of shooting sailfish teased up behind the FRENZY. Some stunning images and video were the result of our team's efforts.

Shades of Gray is a stunning portrayal of sailfish behavior as they are teased into casting range right behind the transom of the boat. The video can also be seen on Frenzy's website at this LINK.

Come join us for some spectacular summertime fishing for huge yellowfin tuna and some really whopper dolphin!

Come on down and join us in July!

Find us on Facebook!

The Frenzy continues...

Jamie Walker

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pink prevails!

Once again the Frenzy pink fly does it's trick on the Quepos sails. You can't imagine how many fish we saw today. I was frustrated early with the weak bite I was getting. My typical MO is to start with the blue fly and use it until 10:30 AM at which time I switch to this pink fly. When I couldn't get a bite on the blue fly I went and pulled out our tournament bag and started looking at my options. As usual I went with the pink streamer and rigged it with a pair of 7/0 hooks. The next fish came in quickly, Marc and Luke jumped in and timed it perfectly as the fish gave me a tremendous right to left bite. I jammed the 7/0's in hard. The sail headed for the horizon as we picked up the guys. After some fabulous jumps at the boat, all caught on film, we released the sail at boatside. There was much more action to the afternoon. Read about it on Marc Montocchio's blog when it's posted at

The Occhio Frenzy continues...

Jamie Walker

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Picking up the pieces...

Marc Montocchio examines a piece of flotsam we picked up this afternoon on the way back to Quepos. There was a bunch of plastic floating on a "trash line". Think about this the next time you buy a bottle of water.

The Occhio Frenzy continues...


Day 3 of the Occhio Frenzy

What a day!!! We raised a few, jumped in the water on some, but nothing panned out on the sails today. However in typical Frenzy Sportfishing fashion the day provided some treasure in the form of a huge log floating about 25 miles offshore of Quepos. We jumped in and filmed the remarkable array of life swimming around the log. There must have been hundreds of fish of all descriptions calling the log home. We even saw dorado (mahi) down about 25 feet. There were yellow fin tuna down about 50 feet. Simply spectacular! Watch the video for a mere sense of the frenzy that was available to us.

See it on You Tube at

The Occhio Frenzy continues...

Jamie Walker

Monday, April 11, 2011

Occhio Adventure - Day 2 on the water

Marc coming out of the water after getting the shot!
We left the marina this morning with high hopes. But I'll have to admit that I was more than a little concerned about the morning cloud cover we had. We blew past the Furuno as I watched 5 boats sitting on top of one of my favorite fishing holes. We ate pizza while waiting on the sails to show. Marco and I discussed knots, crimps, hooks, you name it. Suddenly a sail came crashing in on the long teaser and the guys quickly got their gear on and jumped in as the boat came to a stop. Fortunately the sail cooperated and Marc and Luke were able to spend 5 minutes in the water with this fish. Marco and Mako threw teasers and live bait at the sail as he went back and forth from teaser to livie, at times crushing the livie and going back to the teasers. What a fabulous opportunity we were presented today. Check Marc's shots at

Follow us this week as we continue to pursue what has never been done before.

And when you have a chance ask me about the marlin that would have gobbled up a fly today. The Frenzy continues...


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bills and Pixels - Day 1 on the water

Day 1 of the Occhio adventure found us about 30 miles offshore in the typical flat calm Pacific Ocean off Quepos. We started the day with a meeting in the cockpit discussing our tactics for teasing sails in close enough for Marc to get the shot he wants while Luke shoots video of the whole process. The first two fish we raised didn't show enough interest to warrant the guys jumping in but they gave us a chance to work on our timing. The next fish showed up right where I like them to appear, on the short right teaser. After chomping on that one he switched to the left teaser as Marc and Luke jumped in. The sail did a few turns all lit up but not close enough for good shots. We retrieved the guys and threw out the teasers again.

We ended up raising a few more, getting our timing down and getting Marc and Luke in the water. While we didn't get the shot that Marc is looking for we felt like our day was a success. We just need a bit more cooperation from the fish!

Upon our arrival in Quepos we were greeted by an afternoon rain shower. This gave Marc a chance to jump in the pool, rinse his cameras off and see if there were any sails in the pool. 

We're back at it tomorrow as the Occhio Frenzy continues...

Jamie Walker

Bills and Pixels - Arrival Day

And Jose thinks I bring a lot of camera gear on the FRENZY!

Jenny and I have arrived at Casa Carolina with Marc Montocchio and Luke Pearson for a week of photographing free swimming sailfish as they attack a fly. Our plan is to tease them up as usual for flyfishing then Marc and Luke will jump in the water to film and photograph the sailfish as we pull the fly over Marc's head. With luck Marc won't get speared by a lit up sailfish as it comes barreling past him chasing the fly. 

Follow us all week long as we attempt to do what has never been done with sailfish. Marc's blog link is

The Frenzy continues...

Jamie Walker

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Club Limited – Frenzy Sportfishing Trip is in the books!

After the fine fishing we have had this past week it was appropriate to have a celebratory dinner at Casa Carolina. But first I had to get in the pool and enjoy a wee dram of Scotch! The slight heat of the pool washed away the long day. Lance jumped in and we toasted the remains of the day. It might have been more than a wee dram of Scotch we had, not sure. The evening’s feast began with crab dip appetizers that Willy purchased from our friend Marsha at El Gran Escape restaurant. That crab dip with a few jalapenos has always been a favorite of mine. For our main course Saul grilled to perfection some lobsters that Willy had rounded up. A generous helping of Malbec encouraged the sharing of stories and laughter about the various funny events that have happened during the week. With an early start in the morning we all turned in at a reasonable hour. Too much packing to do with all the gear we fly fishermen lug around.

I really enjoyed meeting these guys, catching some fish on fly with them and sharing stories and laughter around the dinner table. I am very appreciative to Lee for putting this together. Muchas gracias and buen trabajo mi amigo!

Join us in Quepos as the Frenzy continues…

Jamie Walker

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 3 of the Club Limited Trip

A sail trails the fly line as he leaps away.

Sorry for the delay in posting this but here goes... On the heals of a day which saw the FRENZY release 28 and the FRENZY II release 16 on conventional, our day began with a substantial amount of discussion about which boat would release the most sails on fly. I was back on the 43 and felt pretty confident about our chances, except that I was planning on catching one on 4kg tippet. That’s 8.8 lbs and reasonably light for 100 lb fish. Nonetheless, I had Ber and Lance with me and I knew that those guys could fish. Heck I’ve seen Lance catch one while smoking a cigar. But I have learned through many years of fishing the GIFT Tournament not to bet against Rafa and Lee. Therefore I remained pretty quiet during the van ride to the marina.

After about an hour ride on a perfectly flat ocean, typical for Costa Rica this time of year, we set the teasers out and waited for the first fish to show. Pretty soon we found a current line with a lot of plastic trash in it and a humongous amount of bait. There were all kinds of little bait fish swimming around under the trash and pieces of wood. I would have jumped in and shot some video and photos but it was the one day that I left my underwater cameras at home. We even had a small shark try to eat one of the teasers. Cute little fellow.

Oddly enough we didn’t raise a sailfish amongst all that bait so we headed a few miles offshore. Lance was first up and whipped one in short order. Someone rang the beer bell and Lance had his first Imperial of the day. Next up was Ber who had a fish come screaming in only to have it bill the fly and come unhooked after a short run. That put me up and after a few minutes I cast my fly with the 4kg tippet to a sailfish only to have him do the same thing as Ber’s. Bummer.

So Lance was at it again with his cigar and landed another one without putting his stogie down. Very stylish Lance! Then Ber had another shot at one and this time really got a good hookset. Despite the leaping and reel blistering run of Ber’s fish Ber had him caught in about 7 minutes. Pretty work Ber!
Ber holds his fish at boatside while Mako prepares to grab the leader.

We were on a pretty good bite so it didn’t take long for me to get another crack at one on 4kg tippet. This time I got a good hookset in the sail’s mouth and the game was on! I wasn’t sure how much pressure I could put on the fish so I backed the drag way down to maybe a pound. Captain Jose did his usual fabulous job of handling the boat and within a few minutes I had the sail at boat side. I have caught hundreds of billfish on a fly rod but this was my first one on 4kg tippet. Rather than having one of my mates bill the sailfish to pull the fly out I let it run back out about 30 or 40 yards so I could see how much pressure I could put on that light tippet. I cranked down on the drag and put as much low side pressure on the fish as I could. Frankly I was amazed at how much pressure I could put on 4kg tippet. Now on to 2 kg tippet…

Mako shows off a sail for my camera!
As the hour was drawing towards our 4 o’clock quitting time we had a double header come screaming in. Lance made a perfect cast and quickly hooked his fish. I grabbed the other flyrod and promptly hooked the other. Now we had two leaping sailfish on the hook and thankfully they were headed in opposite directions. We were within a couple of hundred yards of the FRENZY II which also had a fish on. I had to cast a smile towards Lee on the FRENZY II as Lance caught his fish and mine was close at hand. Jose really knows how to handle the FRENZY in virtually any situation. I caught my fish a few moments later and with high fives all around we spooled up the turbos and headed back to Quepos, another fine day of fly fishing behind us.

There are a huge pile of fish here now so come join us as the Frenzy continues…

Jamie Walker

A note from Dan Ross

Dan Ross is the owner of Dan Ross Sportfishing. He is kind enough to send us clients from time to time and recently sent me this via e-mail:

"Hello Jamie, I am off and running this morning, but wanted to take the time to send this quick note to you.  Myself and my clients were amazingly impressed with your Frenzy crew yesterday.  I have fished all my life, the last 12 years here in Costa Rica and the15 years before that in Guatemala, learning how to fly fish for sails and marlin.  Your crew was leaps and bounds above every other crew I have ever fished with.  Marco is a jewel of an individual and made us all tired just by watching him work!  Mako is also awesome, and along with the captain Jose, they make a great team.  I think I will give up on competing in the fly tournament, we don't have a chance against that team, haha.  Anyway, what a great day, thanks so much and I will be working hard to book you guys some more.

Dan Ross - Owner
Dan Ross Sport Fishing"

It is always great to hear from clients and booking agents that they have had a great time fishing with us on the FRENZY. A successful day on the water takes a lot to put together and our team is always working hard for our clients.

There are a huge pile of fish hanging around Quepos so come on down! Contact Willy Jimenez for reservations.

The Frenzy continues...

Jamie Walker

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joe vs Asplundh

Day two of the Club Limited trip started off with a bit of unusual weather. To my surprise it was raining offshore. I rarely see rain offshore this time of year. Nonetheless, we dropped the teasers in the water at about 35 miles out in 3700 feet of water. I was on the 35 with Nat and Lance. We raised a few early but had difficult bites out of them. The fish were billing the fly rather than crashing it. Lance finally got a huge bite out of a sail that got him into the backing immediately. Lance has picked up this fly fishing thing pretty quickly and got the sail to the boat in just a few minutes.
Lance's sailfish takes to the air.

Nat was up next and didn't have to wait long for a fish to be raised. While Nat prepared himself for the cast, Johan teased the fish into casting range. The call "cast the fly" came and Nat slapped the fly down beside the teaser. Johan yanked the teaser out, the fish ate the fly going left to right and Nat gave a hard left sided hook set. Somehow, and I'm not sure how, the fly came right out of the fishes mouth. Go figure.

I'm up and it's quite raining. Nice! Then it starts again. Bad! A hungry sail shows up, eats the fly and after a short fight is released at boatside.

Lance catches another one. But this time with a little more style. Before the fish is raised Lance lights a stogie. The fish shows up on the left short teaser and Lance casually walks to the transom, tosses his fly in the water, casts the fly and hooks the fish. Simple, except that it was raining and a bit choppy. Lance caught the fish in about 7 minutes and throughout it all he never lost the fire in his stogie!

Nat's back at it again. After some discussion between us about hook setting strategies Nat gets a shot at a hot fish. I am not lying when I say that Nat set the hook with a wild look in his eye and makes quick work of the sailfish. Our mate Rudy announces that the fish has a very short bill. At boatside I lean over to stick a tag in the fish and see that Nat has sunk both hooks to the hilt. Now that's a tournament style hook set if I ever saw one. Pretty work Nat. And by the way we have this fly fishing tournament coming up next year if you're interested...

We ended the day with 4 sailfish released on the FRENZY II, two of which I tagged with Billfish Foundation tags which I am hoping will get reported back to us when the fish are re-captured.

On the 43' FRENZY they had a big day catching 6 on fly. Lee apparently caught two back to back in a total elapsed time of no more than 6 minutes. He mentioned something about the other guys not wanting to get out in the rain.

A beautiful sail shows its colors at the boat.
When they got back to the house all I heard about was some story about Joe that involved him running to the stern of the boat, pitching the fly in the water and putting the hooks to a feisty sailfish in short order. Then something about him and some guy named Asplundh building a sportfishing boat together. Hey Lee what's up with that...?

One more day at it as the Frenzy continues...


Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 1 of the CLub Limited trip

Yesterday was fishing day #1 of the Club Limited trip to Quepos. I took Joe and Nat on the 43 and Lee took Ber and Lance on the 35. We saw a fair number of fish with each boat having its shot on fly. In the end we came back even up with 3 fish each. More to come today as the Frenzy continues...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My little friends...

My morning began with a visit from my friends the spider monkeys! I love these little fellows but they sure are loud as they bounce across our metal roof at Casa Carolina. Today they gathered for about 30 minutes on the 2nd floor porch. I would like to think that they were waiting for an invitation to go fishing on the FRENZY but I think they were more interested in getting into some monkey business! There must have been 50 of them. Some were carrying babies on their backs. I just love their little faces, especially this guy with the mischievous twinkle in his eye!

At about the same time these guys appeared, the howler monkeys cranked up. The males declared their dominance as their howls resonated across through the rainforest. It is amazing how loud they can be at 6 am.

The day ended as usual with a beautiful sunset and drinks in the pool. Now it is time for some grilled chuletas (pork chops), a glass of wine and time with family and friends.

Tomorrow we're back on the water as the FRENZY continues...


Monday, March 7, 2011

Scott Scott's Birthday

Yes we call him Scott Scott and frankly I am not sure why. But the one thing I do know is Scott ain't afraid to try something new. So on his birthday we convinced him to try catching a sailfish on fly. I gave him my tournament rod rigged with one of our tournament flies, gave him a bit of instruction and turned him over to Marco. That's as good as it can get here in Costa Rica. Scott didn't have to wait more than ten minutes for a bite as the hungry sail came screaming in behind the teaser and chomped on the fly.
I know this is not the best bite photo I have but hey it's the one I got today! Anyway Scott did a really superb job on the bite and stuck the fish hard. The resulting fight lasted about 15 minutes, during which time Scott put quite a bend in the rod.
In the end Scott Scott prevailed and landed this beautiful Pacific Sail on fly. As we say, "Pretty work Scott"!

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday as the Frenzy continues...


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda?

You know when you have those kind of days when you feel like you should have played it differently? Well that was my day today on the Frenzy II. I took my son James and his friend Scott. Rafa took us out about 35 miles and within 10 minutes of putting the baits in the water Scott caught his first sailfish. Scott's a pretty good angler so he made quick work of the sail.

Then comes the Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda part of the day. James wanted to fly fish so we changed up the teasers and began the wait for a sail to take a poke at them. Well we raised plenty but just couldn't get a bite out of them. We must have raised 10 without getting a bite on fly. James made some great casts. Well if we woulda been conventional fishing we coulda caught 12 today so I guess we shoulda. 
Eventually we switched back to conventional tackle and caught 3 more to end the day with 4 on conventional tackle. We saw lots of birds and spinner dolphin today. There is always something to entertain us in the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

We're back at it tomorrow on the Frenzy 43 as the Frenzy continues...


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Estamos aqui!

We have finally arrived at Casa Carolina!!! After a short hop from San Jose we arrived at Casa Carolina and were greeted by our wonderful staff and a special guest. The 3 toed sloth that we have been watching for months has had a baby and decided to show it off by hanging out by our pool. James and the sloths made friends instantly!

Tomorrow we're fishing with Rafa and Rudy on the Frenzy II. I'll file a report when we get back to the dock.

Pura Vida as the Frenzy continues...


Friday, March 4, 2011

Frenzy II releases an 800 lb marlin

Just got a report from Willy that Rafa released an 800 lb marlin. Willy says that he may have some photos. I'll post them and the story as soon as I receive it.

The Frenzy continues...


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Headed South!!!

Well after a month of being locked in a ferocious South Carolina winter we're headed south again. It has been painful sitting here and getting all the great daily catch reports from Willy as well as receiving e-mails from customers telling me what a wonderful time they have had. But now it's my turn to write home.

We're headed back down for a week of fishing on the Frenzy. I am taking my wife Jenny, seen above with a whopper of a fly caught yellowfin tuna. Our oldest son is bringing a college buddy and wants to do nothing but fish, and I'm guessing drink beer! No problem... They return to the US on the 12th but I am staying down and hosting a group of fly fishermen at Casa Carolina. I'll be teaching them the basics of fly fishing for billfish as well as some advanced tactics for sea monsters as I call the big ones.

The way the bite's been we could be in for a great two weeks of fishing. But fish have tails so we'll see. Check the blog, website and Facebook for regular updates.

The Frenzy continues...


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A letter from some happy customers!

As I have written a number of times before it is always great to hear from folks who have either stayed in Casa Carolina or fished with us on one of the FRENZY boats. In this case we have both. Below you will see a nice note I received from some folks who stayed in our house and fished a couple of days with us.

What a time we had in beautiful Quepos last week! Casa Carolina is an awesome place and we all enjoyed staying in this lovely, lovely home. Willy was always right on top of anything we wanted to do and also had great advice for activities and things to do in the area. We ate at some fabulous restaurants and loved our outings to the beach, Manuel Antonio, the National Park, etc. Ziplining was a favorite of everyone! We spent two days fishing, the first on the Frenzy (43) and the second day, on Frenzy II (35). These were such adventures for us. Both days we had perfect weather and the crews were incredible! The boys caught seven sailfish, four tunas, mahi---unbelievable!! The second day we got the girls to fish. We caught Spanish mackerel and the girls caught amberjack. Woody's already talking about "our next trip" on the The Frenzy. I'm enclosing some fishing pictures. Thank you! BETH"

Hey Beth thanks for the kind words. We're glad you and your family had such a good time in Costa Rica. Your pictures tell the story. 

We have a few open dates remaining this year. Contact us to Catch the Frenzy!

The Frenzy continues ...


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Catch the Frenzy!

Follow us on Twitter at "FrenzySportfish" and on Facebook at "Frenzy Sportfishing".

The Frenzy continues...

Jamie Walker
Frenzy Sportfishing

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Catch Report for Feb 12, 2011

Today's catch report:
  Frenzy 43 - 9 sailfish
  Frenzy 35 - 5 sailfish

The Frenzy continues ...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sushi time!

Nice work on the sushi folks!
Yesterday we had a party of 4 on the FRENZY for a day off offshore fishing. Looks like they had a pretty good day catching this nice fat yellowfin tuna! Can anyone say SUSHI? Oh yeah, they caught 5 sailfish also!

We have a few days open so come on down and enjoy a day on the water with our tournament winning crew. Contact Willy Jimenez to book a trip.

The Frenzy continues ...

Jamie Walker

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hey Jamie where is Willy?

Willy catches a sailfish on a 10 lb spinning rod!

That was the question I received this past Sunday from a fellow who was planning his trip for some billfishing in Costa Rica on the FRENZY and couldn't get in touch with Willy. So I started looking for Willy and couldn't find him either. Not by e-mail or by telephone. Sometimes the e-mail and phone service goes down and I can't get in touch with him for a day so I suspected that was the problem.

But then late that afternoon Willy called me from the dock. It appears that Willy had used his day off to go sailfishing on a boat we have taken under management, the 28' Bertram "Front Row". More on this boat in a later post but back to Willy. The boat owner, Rusty Cullum, was running the boat, Willy was fishing and our maintenance man from Casa Carolina, Saul, was the mate for the day.

They found pretty blue water about 20 miles from shore and began fishing. Willy, being the man that he is, decided that he would try to catch one on a spinning rod. Not just any spinning rod but one that we would normally use for fishing for bass in a pond or for jigging up bait. We're talking 10 pound test! Willy didn't have to wait long for a hungry sailfish to come screaming into the teasers Saul had set out. Willy pitched the ballyhoo to the sail who ate it immediately and commenced to doing the sailfish thing by jumping all over the ocean. After a 10 minute battle on the spinning rod, Willy and Saul had the fish boatside and gently pulled it in for a quick hero shot! I must say "Pretty Work Guys!"
Willy and Saul on their day off!
Obviously the FRENZY continues...

Jamie Walker

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 GIFT Tournament Experiences Part I

I have just returned from another wonderful time in Costa Rica and wanted to share part of my most recent Frenzy experience. Jamie has covered our tournament days in other posts. I wanted to add some of the other happenings during the 2011 GIFT.

During our first two practice days, I got to know more members of the Frenzy team. Dr. John Dean who is our scientific advisor, was joined be his lovely wife Robin. While Jamie, John and I spent hours in discussion of our upcoming sailfish tagging program, Robin and Jenny Walker enjoyed the on-shore activities in the area. I think the highlight for them was watching a family of three 3-toed sloths in a tree just out the front door of Casa Carolina. Also having the little Titi monkeys crawling all over Saule who works at the house was quite a thrill.

Dr. Dean is a remarkable person and a wealth of knowledge about the science of many species of fish. I had a great time talking with him especially since my undergraduate degree was in Biology and I actually participated in some research in my day. He caught me up with some of what has happened in the field since my minor involvement some 30 years ago.

The three of us are very excited about team Frenzy developing a tagging program for the Pacific Sailfish. Our plan is to place some satellite tags to gather information about the life cycle of this beautiful fish throughout the year. Then, working closely with colleagues of John both at home and at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, we will collect biological data on age and reproduction characteristics of this fish. Our ultimate goal will be to add knowledge about the life cycle of this remarkable fish so that the population can be managed and maintained for years to come. I’m looking forward to participating in the scientific aspect of this project and John will be sending me some prior research papers on work so I can get myself up to speed on the hard science.

We also had some fun during our days together on the water. Jamie got to jump in and snorkel in water that was 7000 feet deep! It was a new record for him and he got some great underwater pictures of one of my sailfish. I look forward to when he shares the pictures on the blog. Here is a short film clip of him in the water and I particularly enjoy where he swam down to touch the tail of the fish as it swam off. I can’t wait for my turn to do the same.

We finished off our visit with the Deans when they treated us all to a gourmet dinner at Kapi Kapi, another of the great restaurants in the Manuel Antonio area. I want to thank the Deans for the wonderful time we spent together and for all the great things to come as we work together.

The Frenzy continues….

Saturday, January 29, 2011

GIFT Tournament 2011 – Day 4 Team FRENZY wins again!!!

New mate Mako's skills really made a difference this year.

It’s the final day of the tournament and we are all a bit beat up from yesterday. We have 1500 points, the Stalker is in 2nd place with 800 points and everyone else is tied for 3rd. We once again head towards the Furuno as everyone else takes off for The Corner. Today there is no north wind. We drop the teasers in at 8:00 with the anticipation of seeing another marlin and maybe catching a few sails to keep us in the lead. We are too far from anyone else to hear their catch call-ins so I spend the day worrying about what the Stalker is doing as those guys can catch fish.

Kerwin and I take two-hour shifts that prove uneventful. We go out to some really deep water but see nothing, no baits, no birds, no fish, no nothing. I feel that we have made the wrong decision. I worry that the Stalker is racking up points like no tomorrow. There is no tomorrow because this is the last day. Even Kerwin seems a bit uneasy. Despite Jose’s searching and the mates putting every teaser we had in the water, the day ends at 4:00 with a big goose egg. Totally out of character for our team. We head back to Quepos concerned about the results of the Stalker’s day as well as the other teams.

We arrive at Marina Pez Vela and learn that Harold has caught a sailfish. We congratulate him and then learn that Stanley on our other boat, FRENZY II (35) has caught a black marlin, which puts him solidly in 3rd place. We wait around for the Stalker to call in and head to the house not knowing the out come of their day. Finally Willy calls with the news that they have caught only 1 sailfish.

Our team has won the GIFT Tournament for the third year in a row! All the preparation, all the practice, focus and teamwork have paid off again. Marsha and her staff at El Gran Escape ( really did a great job organizing the tournament and keeping everyone well fed and watered! A special thanks goes to Team FRENZY operations manager Willy Jimenez for his work during the tournament.

There is no doubt that I have the finest fishing partner anyone could ask for. Kerwin is always well prepared, has all our tackle and flies sorted out every day and is one of the best fly anglers in the world. Well done my friend!

Jenny and I have guests coming to Casa Carolina tomorrow for a week of fishing and enjoying Costa Rica. Now for a couple of days of rest before the Frenzy continues…

Jamie Walker

GIFT Tournament 2011 – Day 3

Kerwin puts the finishing touches on a billfish.

No more time spent at The Corner as we head towards the Furuno today. And we’re all alone. Nice! Today is uncharacteristically “rough” with a moderately strong wind from the north. I comment to Kerwin as we’re dropping the teasers in the water that I really like what I see in this chop because we usually get strong bites on days like this.

I was up first and had a crack at a sailfish that teased in but faded off at the third wave. I am surprised and Kerwin is as well because all our fish have teased in so well this tournament. It is now Kerwin’s time to be up and an hour or so later we’re on the board with our first sailfish of the day.

Now I am back up again and notice that the sea is starting to lay down a bit. It still has a good chop on it. With only a short time to go until I relinquish my position to Kerwin, there is a hole in the water behind the short teaser as a blue marlin tries to eat it. We all spring into action. Marco takes the short teaser line by hand and I prepare to cast.  When Marco yells “cast the fly” with the experience of 17 years of casting flies at billfish I smack the side of the boat on my back cast but fortunately the wind does not totally prevent me from laying the fly down in the sweat spot of clear water I am aiming for. Marco pulls the teaser forward to bring the marlin to my fly and yanks it out of the water. All of this happens as in an instant as the boat is sliding forward in neutral. Instead of immediately eating the fly the marlin heads for the transom. He makes a turn literally at our feet, lights up electric blue from the tips of his pectoral fins to his tail and in a millisecond engulfs my fly. It was the most exciting billfish bite I have ever seen on fly. 
Kerwin's practice day Black Marlin. Nuff said...

I barely have a moment to set the hook before the enraged marlin is screaming away from the boat taking line at a pace that I have rarely witnessed. My drag is backed off to nothing. On a fish like this I always let Jose see my reel so that he sees how fast I am loosing line. Teamwork catches fish. Jose puts the FRENZY in reverse and I begin to crank like a maniac. Mako has completely cleared all the other teasers and we’re ready to go after the marlin. Marco stands beside me to relay my requests of speed to Jose.

Of course the marlin heads up seas which means we’re backing into it. As we get closer to the marlin and can see the fly line after cranking in seemingly hundreds of yards of 50 lb Spectra backing we begin to focus on the last part of the fight. This is when it is most important to make sure that everyone is in synch about catching the fish. It always requires intense concentration on the part of the angler, mates and captain. It’s never easy but particularly difficult today as we have 6 feet of water crashing down on Marco and me as Jose guns the boat after the fish. As we get closer to the marlin and get fly line back on the reel we have so much water in the cockpit that my Crocs are starting to float off my feet! The fish makes a left and is now off the left side of the boat with the leader barely 6 feet from the rod tip. I am screaming, “Go to the fish” but we can’t get there from our relative positions. Fortunately the fish kicks it a bit and gets back in behind the boat. With water crashing over us on the stern, the diesel turbos kicking in and me yelling to go to the fish we finally get the leader in the rod tip for a legal release. It was the most intense 5 minutes of fly fishing I have ever had. I look up at Jose and ask “How big?” Jose says “350”. As we high-five around the cockpit we start to realize how much water we had in the back of the boat. It went all the way back to the door to the cabin! It was definitely a “Frenzy”! I am soaked to the bone but excited for the team as we put another 500 points on the board.

The FRENZY continues…

Jamie Walker

GIFT Tournament 2011 – Day 2

Marco enjoys the results of the watermelon slicer!

Day 2 finds us back at “The Corner” since that is where the action was yesterday. Everyone else is there as well. I have to say that today was pretty uneventful. We anticipated seeing and catching marlin but instead we caught the only two sailfish that rose to the teasers. We did eat well, as usual on the FRENZY. We also are making good use of the watermelon slicer that my wife Jenny brought down with her. It cuts the melon into slices and leaves a nice seedless core. Remarkable for such a simple instrument. The fact that it costs $20 chaps me a bit but hey it’s a boat part now and everything on the boat is more expensive. We are still in first place but things can change tomorrow.

The FRENZY continues…

Jamie Walker

GIFT Tournament 2011 – Day 1

The first sail of the GIFT Tournament dances across the water
After almost a year of anticipation and preparation the 2011 GIFT Tournament has kicked off. Though there are only seven boats in this year’s tournament the competition for us is certainly stiff. It is good to see our fishing friends from previous tournaments and make some new ones. We have a new 2nd mate this year, Maxwell, aka Mako. From what I have witnessed of him during the practice days I believe that Jose and Marco have chosen well. After two practice days we feel we are ready. I can say this because during those two practice days we caught two marlin on fly. Kerwin caught his first black marlin on fly and I caught my 2nd blue on fly. We estimated the two marlin to be 250 and 300 lbs respectively. Kerwin caught his marlin in about 17 minutes and I caught mine in about 27 minutes. Even after catching literally hundreds of billfish on a fly I remain amazed that it is possible to catch such a strong fish on a fly rod. We even had a small striped marlin take a crack at eating the fly.

So it was with anticipation of another shot at a marlin that we put the teasers in the water at the 8:00 am start time. Kerwin was up first, which means that I will have some time to relax and take a read of the water before my turn comes. We see nothing until along about 10:30 when a black marlin of about 300 lbs takes a swipe at the left short teaser. Seeing this, Marco, Mako and Kerwin leap into action. After making the cast the marlin eats the fly and takes off for the horizon. While Kerwin prepares himself for a long battle with the marlin the mates clear the other teasers from the water and organize the cockpit. Everything happens in split seconds. Jose sees that we are all ready to chase the fish and begins backing down the FRENZY. At about 100 yards out the fish takes an abrupt left turn, clears the surface of the water with several amazing leaps then begins to greyhound across the surface with just his tail in the water. Spectacular, until the tippet breaks. Unfortunately we didn’t catch that marlin and earn the 500 points towards the tournament but the day was still young.

A short while later a hot sailfish comes screaming into the teasers, Marco works his magic by teasing the fish into position for me to make the cast. On Marco’s cue I cast the fly, the fish eats it like I eat ice cream and 3 minutes later we release our first fish of the tournament. High fives around the cockpit and thumbs up to Jose because we’re “on the board” with 100 points.

Kerwin’s back up now and we experience nothing in the teasers for a couple of hours. We decide to trade off and put me back up so that we always have a fresh angler on the ready. Marco and I are sitting on the drink boxes talking about things when we see a huge boil behind the left short teaser. In an instant Marco is teasing the marlin in by hand, when Marco calls for the cast I manage to lay the fly right down beside the teaser in perfect position for a bite. The lit up black marlin eats the fly and takes off. Knowing that it is a marlin I back off the drag to almost nothing. Fortunately for us all the marlin stays on top and allows us to get on him quickly. In less than 5 minutes we have him beside the boat. Seeing that I can get the leader in the rod tip for a legal release I yell to Jose to “go for him”. Jose puts the throttles down, I crank like mad while pushing the rod at the fish and at the instant that the leader enters the top guide Marco, Kerwin and I each yell “caught”. It’s a good thing that we caught him at that moment because the hooks pulled out of the fish immediately after that!

As if that was not enough excitement, less than two minutes later a sailfish is swatting his bill at the long right teaser. After another well executed cast and a short fight of 2 and a half minutes the team has another 100 points on the board.

Before lines out at 4:00 we hear that our good friend Marsha that owns El Gran Escape restaurant is hooked up to a marlin. Unfortunately she does not release the fish and earn the 500 points.

The FRENZY II has shots at 4 marlin, but no releases. What a day! I bet Rafa, Rudy and Rafita were speaking some rapid fire Spanish!

At sunset we arrive back at Marina Pez Vela and learn that we are in first place. With all the marlin swimming around out there tomorrow will truly be another day. Tonight we have all the anglers up to Casa Carolina for cheeseburgers and fishing stories.

The FRENZY continues…

Jamie Walker

Friday, January 28, 2011

A message from the Keillor's

As I have said many times before there is nothing more meaningful in this business than hearing from folks who have come down to fish with us and take the time to write and say what a wonderful trip they have had. I just received the following from the Keillor's who were just here:

Jan 9-16 “The Keillor’s”

            From January 9-16 the Keillor family stayed at the Costa Verde resort. There were 3 fishing days total, and other days to explore the lovely town Quepos. Let’s begin the experience!!
            The first snag happened even before any of us got to the airport. One of our travelers (my sister) forgot her passport. Willie Jimenez was a blessing in this situation! Even though it was such a sad moment to leave half of our group at home, we knew they would join us in Costa Rica soon. Willie was great at providing travel arrangements for our whole family.  I loved talking to Misael about things to do in Quepos.
            We had one day of exploring before we started fishing on the Frenzy 2.  We walked around the vendors at the beach and also went Zip lining, what a rush, we loved it!  On the days we weren’t fishing we also took a Mangrove tour, horse back riding and waterfall rappelling. All were great and would recommend! But don’t forget how nice it is to just lay by the pool and watch the sun rise and set. There are things to do for the active vacationer and the more relaxed type.
            Fishing was SUPERB! The water wasn’t rough or choppy at all, very calm and glassy. There were birds around us all the time. We saw some great wildlife like sea turtles and Devil Rays. The first day we landed 3 sailfish to the boat. There were others that were going after the teasers but didn’t get them in time, we also saw a Marlin go for the baits as well. The second day we also landed 3 sailfish, seems like that was par for the course for us. Captain Rafa was extra nice to our group and let us swim with the sailfish I caught. YES! We actually swam with a sailfish! It was such an experience; they are such docile creatures when they are in the water with people. We have some great pictures, that was a moment we never will forget! Finally when the rest of our group arrived we had one more day to fish with the whole family. We caught 1 Marlin and 5 Sailfish! My sister and I hooked up on a double; I can’t wait to see the video we took of it. It was very special because the 2 mates on the boat helping us were brothers too. It was just a family affair! The one marlin we landed was a striped marlin, very beautiful in coloration, and so different than a sailfish, both beautiful in their own ways.  We also got to swim with one of the sailfish I caught again, so my sister could experience it. It was even better than the first time! We are very happy that the billfish that the Frenzy fleet catches are all released. Of course, if there were Dorado or Tuna on our rods we would have taken that home, but the billfish are too precious to sacrifice.
            Captain Rafa was a great captain, very talkative and patient with the newer fisherman. He would back down on the fish for us to conserve our energy and the fish as well. His 2 sons who were our mates were very kind too. They both spoke good English and if ever we were curious about knots they tied to bait, or anything for that matter, the would answer our questions and let us practice. It was very easy to be a beginner fisherman on this boat with such experienced marineros.
            We all hated to leave Quepos. It was such a great experience for everyone in our family. We have decided that we will most definitely return next year and fish with the Frenzy fleet. Let’s hope we all bring our passports next time!  

It was really good to hear that the Keillor family had such a fine time fishing with us. And many thanks for the great photos!

Now I have to go write up my blog entry for the GIFT Tournament. You bet it was a FRENZY!!!

The FRENZY continues.

Jamie Walker
Frenzy Sportfishing

Friday, January 21, 2011

The 2011 GIFT Tournament

It’s a travel day for me. I’m sitting in the airport in Houston waiting to make the second leg of my journey back to Costa Rica for the 2011 Gray Invitational Fly Tournament.

Jamie called me a couple of nights ago concerned about if we had the proper flies and just what we needed to do to be ready for this years contest. I guess I wasn’t exactly polite when I asked him “Are you just starting to think about this? I’ve been working on this for the past 360 days!!!.” Just joking!

I’ve been working for the past few months with several of our friends whose expertise in different aspects of fly-fishing that has proven to be invaluable to the past success of the FRENZY team.

I’ll be trying out a new reel from our friends at Waterworks-Lamson in Ketchum Idaho. We have been sold on the Waterworks reels for several years now. The new Vanquish is supposed to be even better so I’m excited to give it a good test.

Brian Thielke (our own personal world class fly tying master), knew the tournament would be coming up and he called us last month just to make sure we had what we needed. Since there have been so many marlin being caught this year, we have had Brian prepare some special marlin flies in addition to our usual sailfish fly order.

Garry Sandstrom, our equipment and tackle expert, has provided me with three new fly lines that he wants tested. One of the lines is experimental and Garry feels it will be a definite improvement over what we have used in the past. Garry is one of the best fly-casters I have ever seen. Because of his reputation, he is constantly testing new lines for the various manufacturers. Overall the lines coming out are stronger, and yet much thinner than what we have used previously and should cut down on the dreaded drag created by the weight and size of the line. This is important when a big fish takes out several hundred yards of line or when we intentionally let one fish run when we hook up a double and then have to work each fish individually.

Garry and I spent a good deal of time preparing equipment and lines at Puget Sound Fly Co. It’s owner, Anil Srivastava, is constantly on the phone to make sure that we get everything we need from the various companies in a timely manner and he is gracious enough to allow us to use his shop equipment as we load reels and build fly-lines. Anil also provided me with some flies that he developed over 10 years ago, the Shock and Awe. I hope to soon cast these to Mahi, sailfish, and tuna. It is a great fly that is used a lot in the Northwest for sea-run cutthroat and salmon although in a smaller size.

All these friends, Brian, Garry, and Anil, are world class fly-fisherman in their own right and we are grateful for the information and assistance that they provide as part of Team FRENZY.

Well it's time to catch that plane. The Tournament Starts Monday!!!