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Tarpon Paradise - part 2

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In this second installment covering Guy Elson's trip to Costa Rica while filming for his new Rod and a Rucksack film project, he tells us how his trip ends on days 4 and 5 spent chasing tarpon and other tropical species. Read how he gets towed for 2 hours by a 7 foot giant herring!!!

EXTRA - Also check inside for an exclusive first look at the video trailer for Rod and a Rucksack and find out how you could be joining Guy on a return trip to Tarpon Paradise in 2009!

by Guy Elson

Costa Rican tarpon Day Four Following my defeat on the fly rod I decided to return to my spinning outfit. It seemed everyone was in agreement that one ounce 7/0 white bucktails where the lure of choice for tarpon here, however the previous day I had been using essentially black colored flies with success. I decided to throw caution to the wind and try a bright red bucktail. At about ten o'clock that morning I struck into a freight train of a tarpon, over seven foot in length and intent on pulling me overboard. After the initial acrobatic routine (apparently common to all tarpon), I was then subjected to two hours of being towed kilometer after kilometer around the river mouth. We did get it boat-side briefly but just shy of reach from the gaff. Its strength was phenomenal and showed no signs of tiring at any stage during the fight. Estimated at 190lb - 200lb in weight my 30lb line was barely able to contain this fish and as he dragged us into open water I lost the advantage of being in shallows of the river mouth. Five minutes later he sounded deep and that was the last we saw of him...bugger!

We caught a few more catfish and jumped another four tarpon with the hook predictably being spat out like a mustard seed by each fish. I limped back to the lodge, tail between my legs and with a sore arm and wounded pride. The next day was our last day and I had to regain some face amongst my fellow fishermen.

Day Five With fresh determination we headed out for our fifth and final day. Plenty of tarpon where rolling as we reached the river mouth which installed a childish confidence in me. We baited our jigs and began drifting. The first pass produced a missed hit but halfway through our second drift I connected with a very large angry tarpon. He jumped one way and ran the other but my determination was resolute. After a brutal hour long bare knuckle fight the 110lb silver submarine circame and I collapsed in a happy sweaty mess on the deck of the boat.

Casting into the sunsetI needed a rest so we decided to head out offshore again to try our luck. Rapalas in position I began to sit down only to find myself recoiling back up to strike one of the two rods being attacked. Cap got his one in first to unveil a sturdy 15lb blackfin tuna. Mine however was still full of beans and took another ten minutes before I landed a 20lb neon colored blackfin. Returning inland for lunch we gave the bar two drifts. I missed another tarpon on the fly and Andrew our camera man was snapped off by a large jack. Following lunch I asked Cap about fishing the lagoons for gapote and snook. He was keen so we motored slightly inland to a series of several idyllic forested lagoons. We trolled a small x-rap Rapala and cast to overhanging bushes.

A troop of monkeys followed us inquisitively and toucans called from the forest canopy. Out of the blue the small trolled Rapala tore off but Cap, who was facing the wrong way only managed a tentative strike. At last a snook was clearly visible through the glassy tannin stained water thirty yards to your stern before diving out of view leaving our lure hanging 3ft under the waters surface, well you can't catch them all!

As the sun began its decent we silently snaked through several more lagoons soaking up the peaceful solitude of the oasis. That night we made a fire on the beach and pan fried the tuna whilst recounting our experiences from the week over a few beers. There must only be a few places in the world where you can realistically jump in excess of 800lb of tarpon per day and we had just experienced it.... this really was tarpon paradise!

Please click PLAY below to view the trailer

To find out more about Rod & a Rucksack - click here!

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