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Tarpon fishing in Costa Rica in late April


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#1 Kilsong

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:26 AM

I visited Silver King Lodge at New England Fishing Show and booked a trip on April 27 - 30 for tarpon. 
I heard great tarpon fishing near the mouth of Rio Colorado over three decades and I wanted to fish there for long. Finally it becomes reality.
They say average size of tarpon there is around 120 lb  and it is not uncommon to see 200 plus lb tarpon. 
 
I am thinking about bringing Black Hole Magic Eye rods for them. 
I am very excited to go where I wanted to go for a long time. :)
 
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#2 Kilsong

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:00 AM

I leave for Costa Rica tomorrow.

I am packing Black Hole rods to be tested now.  

I hope I have chances to test Black Hole rods for 100 - 200 lb tarpon.

 

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#3 Kilsong

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:37 AM

April 26

 

The nonstop flight from Newark Airport, NJ to San Jose Airport, Costa Rica took 4 1/2 hours. Tour guide Jose wast waiting for me and drove me to Sleepy Hotel in the downtown of San Jose.
 
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The highway to San Jose is very similar to Panana's.
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downtown of San Jose
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The Spleepy Inn has steel gates.
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After resting a few hours at the hotel, I took a walk nearby.
There were lots of fast food restaurants.
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The best dinner with the food I brought from NJ with Tecante beer. :)
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Tour guide will pick me up   at 5:30 am today for a flight to the lodge.


#4 Kilsong

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 06:56 PM

More pictures will follow.

 

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#5 Kilsong

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:23 PM

We had a dream trip today. 

After releasing  7 - 8 tarpon in 100 - 120 lb range, we returned to the dock by 1:00 pm. 

We must lost about a dozen tarpon and 7 - 8 darpon were hooked with jigs. 

 

I brought several Black Hole rods for testing and I fought 5 tarpon with 5 different Black Hole Rods. 

Mission is accomplished. :)

 

New Black Hole Pioneer inshore slow pitch rods were great. I used BH Pioneer conventional rod and spinning rod today.

I asked two Capt on my boat to take videos and pictures. I have plenty of them now. 

 

After reviewing videos/pictures taken, I will decide which Black Hole rods to be used tomorrow. 

If tarpon fishing tomorrow is as good as today, I will fish tarpon half day and go up to the river for snook in the afternoon tomorrow. 



#6 Kilsong

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 04:19 PM

Finally three days tarpon fishing is over. I thought it would be very hard to duplicate fishing day like yesterday, but it happened today.
It is unbelievable that I could test all 9 different models of Black Hole rods in three days. 

I am leaving for San Jose tomorrow morning and stay one night in San Jose. But it will take time to sort out 840 pictures. :)

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#7 Kilsong

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:05 PM

light tackle in action for 80 - 110 lb tarpon today.
 
Black Hole Cape Cod Special 150g jigging  rod/JM PE4 reel
Black Hole Hurricane B7/H2MF slow pitch jigging rod/JM PE2 reel
The Hurricane slow pitch jigging rod's line rating is only 1.5 - 3 PE.
 
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#8 Kilsong

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:54 AM

Seeing is believing.

 

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#9 Kilsong

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 08:34 PM

When you have overseas fishing trips, you are easily get disappointed because you have great expectation. However this tarpon trip at Silver King Lodge in Costa Rica is beyond my expectation.  I expected to catch a few decent tarpon in 60 - 150 lb tarpon a day at most before the trip as I know I have to be at the right place at the right time based on my past experience. 
 
 
April 27
 
They picked me up along with two other fishermen from Sleepy Inn at 5:30 am and went to a small airport nearby. the flight took about 30 minutes. Lodge staff waited us at the airport. It was only 5 minutes boat ride from the airport to the Silver King Lodge.
We could leave the dock for fishing at 8:00 am after breakfast. My regular guide is Marvin, but I hired another Capt named Guinder for taking pictures and videos.
 
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7'5" Black Hole Magic Eye 753S
 
I got the first tarpon on the trip with Yozuri X-rap. The reason I used the lure first is 
I got the confidence with the lure because I landed 100 lb tarpon with the lure in Florida last Dec. I was curious whether the light 8.3 oz popping rod could handle a big tarpon. 
The light rod is designed for seabass (suzuki) or small yellowtail. 
To my surprise the rod with Shimano Stella 5000 handled 80 lb tarpon beautifully.
I am not a guy who use very light drag and fight forever. :)  I fought with 15 - 18 lb drag.
 
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8' Black Hole Magic Eye 804 conventional rod
 
We put baits on 9' Black Hole Magic Eye 804 spinning rod and conventional rod to test heavier rods first and the line of Magic Eye 804 conventional rod/JM PE5 took off. 
I knew this fish is a nice tarpon immediately. But I gave good pressure using heavier drag as I know the rod can handle any size tarpon. Most fish gave up after they come up to the surface, but tarpon seems different.  They look to regain power after they breathe. :)
This tarpon turned out to be the biggest tarpon I caught on this trip.  The estimated weight is around 140 lb. 
 
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#10 Kilsong

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 09:26 AM

April 28/29

I had an incredible fishing for two days. It started slow for both days, but it didn't take long to see boiling/jumping tarpon.
It was hard to make a decision whether to hold a rod or a camera in my hands. :)One
I could test all 9 different Black Hole rods for tarpon in three days. My mission is accomplished. :)

As the main purpose of this trip is to test Black Hole rods, I am going to post action pictures of each rod one by one.

A. Black Hole Hurricane 70/H2MF Slow Pitch Jigging rod.

This rod is very light jigging rod suitable to small fish in 5 - 20 lb range as the line rating is only 1.5 PE - 3 PE.
I brought this rod for snook fishing, but I decided to test this rod for big tarpon as I gained my confidence after two days fishing with light Black Hole rod for tarpon. Machine lifting test for this rod is great, but actually fishing is different from a machine test. You got to test rods in real fishing
situation. You got to be impressed with the rod.

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#11 Kilsong

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 10:06 PM

Slow pitch jigging is very popular in Japan and Korea nowadays.
Black Hole Pioneer rod and some Hurricane rods are designed for slow pitch jigging rods and I had an opportunity to feel the Pioneer rods while fighting tarpon.

The Pioneer 635 rods I tested is good for line rating upto PE4 or PE5.
It is heavier action rod than Magic Eye 632 jigging rod, but I felt the mid section of
the rod has more flex than Magic Eye 632 or 571 jigging rods though tip section is stiffer.

The Pioneer Spinning rods can be a good candidate for light jigging and popping as the length is about 6'5".

action of Pioneer spinning
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action of Pioneer conventional (spiral ) rod

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#12 Kilsong

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:59 AM

They mostly catch tarpon with bait. You catch bait on sabiki rig. 
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However, jigging is working great.  We must hooked up at least 10 tarpon on jigs a day on last two days.  We even gave up bait fishing and used jigs and surface plugs in the afternoon  on last day. 
These are jig local guides use. They are extremely effective.
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I tried Black Hole Taifun jig and Calypso Monster Pencil and they worked great too.
Guide Marvin liked Calypso Monster Pencil as you can use it for casting as well as jigging. 
I observed that we lost many tarpon because of small treble hooks.  I suggest to use strong single hooks for tarpon jigging. 
 
We had 5 - 6 hookups with this jig. But you have to replace the small hooks with a big hook.
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I had a few hookups with surface plugs and I feel tarpon would hit surface plug very well when condition is right. I had at least three hit on Calypso Monster Pencil while casting.
Not many fishermen use plugs here, but I strongly believe plugs including poppers should work. 
 
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There are tons of yellowfin jack. We teased them with poppers without hooks and it was a blast to see they attack our poppers continuously. It is fun to play with light tackle and poppers.  And you always have  opportunities that 100 pIus lb tarpon hit your popper.
 
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#13 Kilsong

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:46 AM

I have a fabulous trip with fine guide like Marvin and Guilder.  They asked me what I want and they tried to do their best to accommodate me. Thanks Marvin and Guilder.
I hope I have another chance to fish with you again. 
 
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I heard there were four fishing lodges there and only Silver King Lodge and Rio Colorado Lodge are operating now.  Marvin who has been a guide since 25 years ago said fishing is as good as in the past.  I've visited many different fishing lodges around the world and I found Silver Star Lodge is big and very nice and staff are very friendly. Everything was there when you need.
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bar
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It is time to go home. I will find time to visit here again with other fishermen in the future.
 
 
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#14 acvnaa

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 06:29 AM

Do Tarpon have a relative fish family?






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