1) Concerning Fishing
What kind of fish can I expect to catch?
- We have seen tarpon weighing from 80 lbs to 200 lbs plus, some monsters over 250 lbs. So far 95% of our guests have caught tarpon and released them. In the others, they had them online. Each fishing day, we have an average of nine tarpon hits per boat. All year long, there are large numbers of tarpon here. Since they are very sensitive to everything you put in the water, it is more difficult for them to attack if they are not hungry; however, we have found a way to make them nervous so they attack even if they are not hungry by changing tactics and lures.
- Mojara, Machaca, Rainbow bass and Bass.. Anglers can catch 50 to 100 different types of fish over a day fishing in Solentiname Archipelago using light spinning, fly fishing, or bait casting equipment. You will mostly catch 1 to 3-pound fish, and the rainbow bass fights up to 10 pounds.
How often do you practice "Catch and Release"?
- Our catch rate is 98%, and we release 98% of them. There were times when we had to deal with tarpons who were badly injured during the fight, such as bleeding or being hooked on the gut (sadly, even when using large lures, this can happen). If it is apparent that the fish is going to die, we will take it aboard and give it to the locals in San Carlos or Los Chiles. Exceptionally, I prefer to serve my guests snook or rainbow bass for dinner. In the end, we will not allow pictures to be released if we believe there may be a possible IGFA record or local record. Some of our guests are trophy hunters. Others are simply pleased to take an excellent picture.
According to IGFA rules, do you fish??
- We take great pride in being a part of a community that values the preservation of our precious natural resources. In the event that you catch a potential world record fish in our area, such as Tarpon, Snook, Machaca, Mojara, or Tilapia, we are here to assist you with the registration process. We have the necessary documents and knowledge to guide you through the process, and ensure that your potential world record is properly registered with the IGFA.
Do you have any experience catching world-record fish?
- Our fishing records include Tarpon up to 253 lb, Snook up to 42 lb, Machaca up to 11lb, Tropical Gar up to 90lb, and Rainbow Bass up to 12lb. We've also had many tarpon over 200lb, and even children have caught tarpon over 100lb, setting world records. We've caught exceptional fish even larger than 300lb, and while we've caught other world record fish, we did not register them. We are dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive fishing experience for all, and we look forward to fishing with you soon.
Do you have any experience catching world-record fish?
- We pride ourselves on providing top-of-the-line fishing equipment for our guests. However, we understand the joy of using your own gear, so feel free to bring it along! We'll even learn from you. Don't worry, we have 100 rods and 500 lures to choose from, but we may ask you to bring specific gear. For fly fishing, please bring your own strong equipment, minimum #12 for Tarpon and #6-8 for other fish. At the end of the trip, we'll buy any remaining gear from you.
Can you tell me more about fishing licenses and permits?
- We want you to have the best experience possible, so please ask your outfitter for important documents before fishing with us. It includes boat and crew registration, updated licenses, and security equipment. This ensures a safe and legal trip, avoiding any complications with authorities. Let's follow the rules and enjoy the trip!
Which season is best for coming...?
- Thank you for considering a fishing trip with us! We understand that many wonder about the best time to come, but rest assured, fish are present year-round. We can customize your trip based on your preferences and tackle. Our goal is for you to catch the San Juan River GRAN SLAM - Tarpon, Snook, and Rainbow - which is possible any time of the year. The only variations are the Calva season (Oct-Jan), and changes in water levels/lure use. Don't miss the incredible migrating Tarpon from June to August!
Nicaragua lake freshwater sharks: what do they look like?
- At our fishing spot, we have Bull sharks, which are common in many regions of the world. However, we've only had two confrontations in the last five years. In one instance, a shark took the bait while we were fishing for Tarpon, and in the other, a shark chased a Tarpon on a line for over 1.5 hours. It's important to note that we always prioritize safety and have measures in place to prevent any incidents.
Would you be willing to offer other fishing trips such as at sea, inshore, Offshore, etc?
- We offer fishing trips to San Juan del Sur, Corn Island, and Grey Town in Nicaragua, as well as Mal Pais and Quepos in Costa Rica. We can even customize mix-trips with Tarpon, Snook, Rainbow, Rooster, Marlin, Tuna, Jacks, and Sailfish depending on your preferences and the time of year. With 19 years of experience in Costa Rica and 12 years as a member of Club Amateur de Pesca, we have the necessary connections to provide the best captains in the country. We only need at least 9 days to make your mix-trip a success. If you're interested in sea fishing only, we can organize a special trip for your party.
2) Concerning our Organisation
Do you have some references?
- Our fishing and organization have been praised by many satisfied guests. We have also been featured in several international fishing magazines and TV shows, including Field&Stream, VOYAGES DE PECHE, SPORTFISHING MAGAZINE, Revista la pesca, Tico Times, National Geographic Monster Fish, Extreme Fishing of Lary Dahlberg CNN, Cyril Chauquet's Fishing Ambassadorship on Discovery Channel, Alberta TV, and Scott Rawling.
What kind of Accomodation do you offer ?
- My lodge, La Esquina del Lago, offers comfortable rooms with private tiled bathrooms, large decks, and wildlife observatories. We specialize in professionally organized adventure expeditions, moving aboard our boats to reach the best fishing spots up to 50 miles away. We stay at clean and simple lodges with private full bathrooms, and I will always provide clear and honest descriptions of the accommodations before your trip. Some places have air conditioning, some have fans, and some don't need either. For example, my lodge is built directly on the lake and always has nice cool air at night.
Can you tell me about the meals provided during the trip?We have meals at my Lodge, on the boats, at friends' houses, river banks, and restaurants in town. We offer prime cuisine, including local dishes like El Casado, El Bao, and Camarones de Rio. We also enjoy local fruits such as pineapple, passion fruit, and mango. We specialize in ceviche and carpaccio, and can also prepare our "catch of the day" for dinner. Rainbow bass and snook are both delicious options.
Is this trip suitable and enjoyable for women?
- Yes, women who like fishing will enjoy the trip and have fun catching big tarpon. Even those who are not fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the jungle scenery, bird watching, wildlife, and cultural activities. We can customize the trip to include less fishing and more exploration. Many couples have had a great experience with us.
Is it okay to bring children on the trip?
- Yes, children are welcome, and I encourage families to come on the trip. I have taken my own kids since they were six years old, and many fathers and sons have had a great time. It's a great learning experience for children to see new things and experience new cultures.
What is the maximum group size you can accommodate per party?
- We accept parties from 1 to 12 people, and can accommodate larger groups with special arrangements. Our boats generally have 2 anglers per boat, with 2 guides. We never add unknown individuals to a party of 2. For single anglers, fair deals are offered, but pricing may be higher due to operating costs.
What is the reservation and payment process for booking a trip?
- To reserve a trip, a 40% deposit is required and should be sent through wire transfer to the provided bank account. Payment can be settled in cash or travelers' checks on the day of arrival. It is advised to book early due to peak seasons. Credit card payment is not accepted, but the payment terms are safe and references are available upon request.
Is tipping the fishing guides and staff expected, and if so, what is the suggested amount?
- Tips for fishing guides and staff are not mandatory but greatly appreciated. The usual tip for guides is 5-10% of the trip price, given directly to the guides. The staff at the lodge typically receive around $10 per day as a tip. Tips for the driver who meets you at the airport and handles transfers are usually between $10 to $20.
3) CONCERNING SAFETY AND HEALTH
Could you provide some information on safety in Costa Rica and Nicaragua?
- Costa Rica is known for its tranquility and safety. However, even here, it's important to stay vigilant. Nicaragua, on the other hand, has an undeserved reputation for being unsafe due to its past conflicts, but it's now rated #2 in safety in the Americas. The country is opening up to tourism and the people are friendly. In my 8 years of organizing expeditions, we've never encountered any problems. Nicaragua has changed a lot in the last 17 years with four successful democratic elections and foreign investment.
What happens if I become ill or get into an accident?
- I highly recommend all guests to purchase standard health travel insurance prior to the trip. Rest assured, both Costa Rica and Nicaragua have excellent healthcare systems with qualified doctors available around the fishing grounds and in towns, even at odd hours. We have never faced any serious disease but have friendly relationships with several doctors across both countries. San Carlos and Los Chiles have well-equipped hospitals and clinics with over 20 doctors to handle any major emergency.
Could you provide information about the water and ice situation?
- Your health and safety are our top priorities. To ensure this, we provide sealed mineral water at no extra cost aboard boats, in hotel rooms, and restaurants. Our ice is also made with mineral water. So, enjoy your trip with peace of mind and stay hydrated!
4) OTHER QUESTIONS
What about Electicity?
- Electricity is available in all the places you'll stay, even in remote areas. Solar energy is used in some places. US standard electric plugs are used, and 110 Volts are available.
What about Internet, E mail..?.
- There is internet available at my Guest House, and also in nearby areas such as Los Chiles, San Carlos, and El Castillo. There are also internet cafes in these locations. Internet is also available in main cities such as San Jose, Granada, and Managua.
What about Telephones?
- We have signal for CLARO and MOVISTAR at the lodge. Buying a local chip or a cellular phone is a good trick and they are available for cheap prices. It only takes 2 minutes to buy one, and it is much cheaper than using a satellite phone. Roaming and international satellite service cellular phones work everywhere.
What about Liquors? Beer?
- Alcohol and beer are not included in my packages, but I have a private bar that is open for guests for free. Guests can purchase drinks at cost in town with the guides. This is for safety reasons and to ensure fairness. Local beers and rum are available and affordable, with Flor de Caña being the local brand.
How can I have my laundry done during my stay?
- Laundry service is available at our lodge and the hotels we use. We have a designated "cleaning day" during the middle of your stay to ensure your clothes are clean and fresh, so there's no need to pack a lot of clothes.
Is there a bug or mosquito problem?
- We rarely have mosquito problems in our fishing area, thanks to our location in the jungle and the San Juan River. Although there may be "Chayules" at certain times of the year, they are harmless and do not bite. We still suggest bringing insect repellent just in case.
What should I bring ?
- Essential items to bring include bug spray, sun tan lotion, solar lenses, a camera, a cap or hat, light clothes, light trousers, t-shirt, a light rain jacket, and a sweater. While insect repellent is not a must, it is still recommended.
Do I need a visa to enter Nicaragua or Costa Rica and what documents and fees are required?
- US citizens need a passport to enter both Nicaragua and Costa Rica, but no visa is required for US or European citizens. There is an entry tax of around $12 when entering Nicaragua from Costa Rica via Rio Frio Jungle River, and an international departure tax of around $20 when leaving either country from the international airport.
How much pocket money should I bring on my trip?
- Bring small USD notes (1-10) as they are widely accepted and easier to change. Avoid $50 or $100 notes except in big cities. Nicaragua requires notes to be in perfect condition. Exchange rates are 26.25 Cordoba to $1 USD. Nicaraguan Cordoba and Costa Rican Colones can only be changed in their respective countries.