After a week of fishing inside the bay of Nicoya we had yet to see any big fish, something we usually do. There are several hotspots in the area, but the regular schools of big jack crevalles and other predators were just not there. We did see some baitfish, but not in any great numbers. We also looked for bird action, but none was to be seen inside the bay. One day we decided to head out offshore to see if we could find any action. It did not take long before we saw some bird action in the distance. When we got out there we saw both birds and fish hunt aggressively on the surface. But it was not sardines or baitfish they were after. After a while we realized they were feeding on red pelagic swimming crabs! We did not have any red crab flies with us, but tied some up some that same evening. Our guide Thomas also did some research and found out that this could be a rare phenomenon that occurs only every 8 years or so. These red crabs would hatch in great numbers far out in the Pacific Ocean and would start their swim towards land to spawn. Fortunately for us they were heading to the Costa Rican shores in great numbers and it would surely attract lots of predatory fish as well.
Equipped with our newly tied red crab flies we would have a blast sight casting to various trevally’s feeding in the surface. I caught a really nice one by sight casting as it cruised on the surface eating red crabs.
Towards the end of our stay both crabs and fish would move closer to land and the fishing there started to improve. We would end our stay catching decent sized jacks, needlefish and also some nice roosterfish aka Pez Gallo. Not all fish would cooperate when taking pictures. Beware of the flip-flop toothy sierra mackerel!