On our last and final day of fishing, I debated to try my hand at another Roosterfish or go back looking for sailfish. Pondering to myself, “Abby didn’t get her sail.” I decided that the best course of action was to hit back out in the deep blue sea for some pelagic action.
We gathered ourselves one more time early in the morning before the orangish-yellow sun rose over the jungle. Loaded in our small 4×4 rental car, we headed down from Manuel Antonio to Marina Pez Vela. The guards waved us through nonchalantly as he has seen us twice this week. We walked down to the docks and found our new captain for the day, Jerry.
He spoke softly and said, “heading 20 miles out today.” This was the furthest that we been out in Costa Rica. The ride was exceptionally smooth though. The water like glass with the occasional wind ripple made the taxi to our trolling grounds pleasurable. As we rode out, I was excited with the thought of Abby getting her first sailfish.
The mate hurriedly set the trolling spread. It was identical from the previous day with ballyhoos, teasers and skirts. He moved swiftly as this was his second nature on the water. Tying and spooling out line, the rods were ready and the troll began.
A little over an hour trolling, one of the lines screamed as it was being pulled. We acted quickly and the fish was off, but immediately the next line yelled like the previous and the fish was on. As soon as the fish felt the pressure on the hook, it broke the water. Colors of green and yellow danced in the air and my eyes saw the largest Mahi Mahi that I ever seen in person. The mate yelled, “Dorado!” I took the rod and began the fight.
The bruiser of Mahi took line that seemed forever, and I got a small amount back when it paused. The battle continued back and forth and back and forth until I started to gain on the massive fish. I slowly got it to the boat but as soon as the fish saw the boat it awakened in a fury and took more line out.
My back and arm yelling at me in pain. I shouldered through. Slowly gaining the line I lost, I reached the leader. Our mate, who spoke fishing english, waved at me to slow the fight. He began slowly hand reeling the line in very cautiously. Like threading a needle he ever so gently pulled the line to his reach. The fish sluggishly made its way to the pointed gaff and the mate with all his might pulled in the massive Mahi Mahi. The fish was caught and my personal best Mahi Mahi posed with me in the boat.
I felt joy and excitement but yet I wasn’t satisfied. Today was going to be Abby’s day, and the day wasn’t over. Her fish was not caught.
I reflected over my ice cold Imperial beer, “would Abby get her Sail?” The mate had the lines out and already began to clean the massive fish. We watched as he filleted and trimmed tossing the leftover remains over.
The troll continued for another 30 minutes, and I was watching the birds in the sky. They had become more numerous and began to dive. “Baitfish,” I said to myself. Within a second, the rod on the left corner bent over in pain and line stripped.
“Sail!” the mate exclaimed. “This is yours Abby,” I said. She eagerly went to the stern of the boat and began her fight.
The sailfish danced in the air and showing off its dorsal fin. Abby gritted her teeth as she battled the elegant but powerful fish.
“She never fought a fish this size before,” I thought. “Could she handle the endurance of the sea creature?”
The answer was clear once I saw the determination in her eyes. The fish had no chance. The tug of war of the fight continued. Her getting more frustrated yet more focused on the prize. Inch by inch, she gained on the fish until it decided to run again. Slightly deflated but still eager, she continued the fight slowly gaining on the colorful billfish. Eventually, her will won over the creature, who clearly had little chance against Abby’s determination.
She posed with her defeated foe at the edge of the boat with a victorious smile on her face. My Costa Rican trip was made because Abby didn’t just catch her first sail, she caught the biggest one of our trip. For more details on Sailfishing in Costa Rica, check out queposfishadventures.com.