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...