Fishing Report (12-19 February 2017)

We are in the height of our high season at The Zancudo Lodge and with the club running at full capacity its all hands on deck. The weather has been absolutely perfect with flat calm seas and lots of sunshine and our guests are happy to be out of the cold winter. The HIGHLIGHT of the week would definitely be that the inshore fishing has been excellent all week with lots of trophy size Cubera Snapper and Roosterfish that  kept our guests busy with bent rods and tight lines.  Every week we record some spectacular catches and this one was no different. Alec Shultz set the bar pretty high,releasing a MONSTER 65+ lb.Roosterfish while fishing with Capt. Javier.

It’s been a really challenging week offshore for billfish and although we have seen some improvement, the Sailfish and Marlin bite has been tough going here and mostly all thorough Costa Rica.

The water temperature has been a bit high lately but as I write this report the conditions have been steadily improving and we did manage to find a few Sailfish offshore. The bite will turn on soon we are sure of that! 

Last week Seth Frankel returned to his favorite fishing spot with his sons Zachary and Jacob. This is the Frankel’s 8th fishing trip to Zancudo Lodge and most of the staff here regard them as extended family.  The boys had an awesome time chasing sailfish and Yellowfin Tuna offshore and they absolutely crushed the inshore fishing. Seth loves to catch tuna and on their second day out Cap’t Rafa found them. He caught a really solid fish in the high 70’s and Zack also scored a good one on the popper. Both Jacob and Zack also released a few Sails and had a great time inshore catching some really hefty trophy-sized Cubera Snapper.

Alec Shultz also returned to Zancudo Lodge and he also brought his two sons, Carter and Preston along for a short  but eventful fishing vacation. Alec released a couple of nice Sailfish offshore, one of them in the 120 lb. range and also scored  an absolute monster Roosterfish “Pez Gallo” while fishing inshore (See Above).His boys Carter and Preston also had loads of fun inshore with roosters and a few Snappers.

Returning guests, John and Flo Alonzo were also here at the lodge last week and had a great time fishing with us. Despite the tough offshore conditions, John released a few Sailfish. Like I mentioned earlier, the conditions offshore seem to be steadily improving and we are certain that the billfish bite will turn on again very soon. The great part about fishing the waters of Costa Rica is that you always have options and our guests were more than happy to take the opportunity and fish for what’s biting.

Tight Lines!

Albert Battoo
The Zancudo Lodge

Fishing Report (4-12 February 2017)

We are  into the full swing of things here at Zancudo Lodge and our crews are working hard to get our guests on as much action as possible. The last week of fishing has been really tough going, which is pretty uncommon especially when the bite has been so good all December-January. We have been experiencing some abnormal sea conditions lately with higher than normal water temperatures both offshore and inshore.

Pelagic species such as Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna and dorado are very sensitive to sudden changes in currents and sea-temps so the action has slowed to a crawl. The Sailfish bite has definitely been off all throughout the Pacific coast of Costa Rica but thats the way it goes sometimes. 

Some lucky guests did get into the action offshore and for that we are thankful. James and Jen Vorsteg were here with their good friends Kevin and Lisa Holder and really had some amazing luck despite the tough conditions. Kevin had never caught a billfish before so he was eager to get this off the bucket list. On the first day out, he joked into an estimated  225 lb. Blue Marlin and got the release. Congratulations Kevin, you can scratch that one off the list. Jim also managed a Sailfish release that day.On day three it was Jim’s turn on the rod and just after lines down he got his shot at his Blue Marlin estimated at 200 lbs. Jen did not fair too bad either; Captain Tito put her on her first Sailfish ever so it was all smiles back at the dock that evening. It was truly a trip of a lifetime for these two couples.

Oswald Smith and his wife Joan were also here with their daughter Cameron and her husband Mark Hardee, and despite the tough fishing conditions they scored a few Sails offshore and Oswald managed to finally get his big Roosterfish that went around 40 lbs. Overall, the group had a wonderful time and are already planning their return trip to Zancudo Lodge. Conditions change overnight here and we are confident that the fishing will improve  over the next few days. Pleases stay tuned to our weekly reports.  

Tight Lines,

Albert Battoo
Zancudo Lodge

Fishing Report (19-26 Jan 2017)

For decades, Costa Rica has been well known for the epic billfish bite that usually occurs every year from around January thru May and this year is no different. We are very happy to report that the annual ‘Pez Vela’ run has begun at Zancudo Lodge. We have been experiencing great Sailfish action just 5-8 miles offshore with some captains reporting up to 15 sails per day. The conditions are absolutely perfect along the Pacific coast with lots of free jumpers so our expert crews are having little trouble keeping our eager guests on the action.There has been a few days when the bite has been really crazy, with multiple hookups especially during the morning periods. Inshore action has also been outstanding and both Roosterfish and Cubera Snapper have been willing to tug on the lines.  Several guests had some amazing action with some pretty hefty ‘pez gallos‘ in the 40-50 lb range.
Yellowfin Tuna have also been showing up offshore on a few days, but it seems like getting a hook in them has been difficult lately. We did however manage to get on a few nice fish in the 40-70 lb. range. Out on the seamounts, the action has slowed to a crawl, but there are a few blues around and  some guests did manage to score a few.

Jim Brannon and Scott Baird had an epic fishing experience at Zancudo Lodge. It was a bucket list trip for these guys and they had an absolute blast. Both Jim and Scott caught lots of fish including many sails, roosterfish, including Scott’s 50 lb. monster,  a few snapper and several other inshore species. Jim had his GoPro handy and shot some really cool footage. Here’s a short video of their trip.

Tom and Julie Magardino from Naples, Florida were also here at Zancudo Lodge last week. It was their second time to the lodge and they also had a fantastic experience, releasing 7 Sailfish from 9 bites.
Tom hooked into a nice Blue Marlin but unfortunately it threw the hook during the fight. Better luck next time Tom; you’ll get them next time. The Kleva Family also fished with us last week and besides from the great fishing, Steven Kelva celebrated his 80th Birthday at the lodge, and no better way to celebrate it than by catching a Blue Marlin. Congratulations Steven, we look forward to seeing you guys again next season and will be sure to have another cake ready for you.  Tony and Tawnya Reid also joined us at the lodge last week and it was quite a first experience, especially for Tawnya who released both her first Blue Marlin estimated at 300 lbs. and first Pacific Sailfish. Tony also released a Blue Marlin that went 280 lbs. There’s always so many fish tales to tell but as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.  I hope you enjoy them and remember to keep checking us out from time to time for more reports. I’m sure we’ll have lots to write about in the next few months.

Tight Lines,

Albert Battoo
The Zancudo Lodge


Fishing Report – 2017 Whitewater Costa Rican Shootout

Fishing Report – 2017 Whitewater Costa Rican Shootout

January is usually the time when things get really heated up down here in the land of ‘pura vida’ and we are happy to report that the conditions are perfect for offshore and inshore game-fishing. The seas have been flat calm lately with stunning sunny blue skies. The bite is definitely on at Zancudo Lodge in 2017.

2017 Whitewater Costa Rican Shootout
Last weekend we hosted the 4th annual Whitewater Tournament at Zancudo Lodge. Eight teams, consisting of twenty-four anglers had an absolute blast competing in the 3 day event, and the fishing was nothing short of world-class. There were several qualifying species including Black Marlin, Blue marlin, Striped Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna, Roosterfish and Cubera Snapper, and bonus points were also awarded for various other inshore species like Bluefin Trevally, Jack Crevalle, Almaco Jack and Red Snapper. This year, each team had an opportunity to fish one day at the offshore seamount and we are thrilled to report that every angler scored at least 1 Blue Marlin release. 27 Blue Marlin were released over 3 days!

Robert Mulchinski, Joe Mastrantoni, Jacque Steffen, Bob Baschnagel, Greg Maher, John Scheone, Teddy Prager, Brian Brown, John Delatore, Mike Desimone, James Hughes, Carlo Valenzisi, John Saia, Anthony Vaccaro, Doug Cibuls, Mike Raymond, Pete Litvinoff, Ronald Cianciulli, Bryce Poyer, Jeff Lamanaco, Jake Gray, John Bauman, Bobby Lee

Day 1 Highlights
13 Blue Marlin, 1 Striped Marlin, 5 Sailfish, 13 Roosterfish, 7 bonus fish releasedTeam Zancocho scored big on Day 1 with 6 Blue Marlin releases from 10 bites. (2,400 pts.) Team Brown Dog and The Good Die Young tied for 2nd place with 3 Blue Marlin releases (1,200 pts.) and team Flying Fish released 7 Roosterfish and 4 bonus fish.

Day 2 Highlights
5 Blue Marlin, 1 Sailfish, 37 Roosterfish, 2 Yellowfin Tuna, 9 bonus fish released.
Team Brown Dog slammed the inshore with 14 Roosterfish and 5 Bonus fish to finish in 1st place on day two (1,650 pts.) Team Teramisu released 4 Blue Marlin, finishing up in 2nd place and  Team Dorado finished 3rd with 10 Roostarfish and 1 Bonus fish (1,050 pts.

Day 3 Highlights
9 Blue Marlin, 1 Striped Marlin, 4 Sailfish, 20 Roosterfish,  8 bonus fish.
Team Dorado released 5 Blue Marlin (2,000 pts.) Team Imperial released 4 Blue Marlin and  1 Striped Marlin (1,700 pts) and Team Brown Dog released 10 Roosterfish and 5 Bonus fish (1,250 pts.)

Tournament Results

1st Place – Team Brown Dog (4,100 pts.)
2nd Place – Team Zancocho (3,550 pts.)
3rd Place – Team Dorado (3,400 pts)
4th Place – Team Teramisu (3,900 pts)

 27 Blue Marlin, 2 Striped Marlin 10 Sailfish, 70 Roosterfish, 2 Yellowfin Tuna and 24 bonus fish caught and released in 3 days fishing.

On behalf of the the Zancudo Lodge Team, we would like to thank all the anglers for making the event such a fantastic experience and we hope to see you all again next January 2018. We surely look forward to having you back at Costa Rica’s premier Sport-fishing destination.

Tight Lines!

Albert Battoo
The Zancudo Lodge



Fishing Report (29 Dec – 4 Jan 2017)

HAPPY NEW YEAR…… It’s another red hot week of fishing at Zancudo Lodge, Costa Rica and there are lots more amazing fish stories to be told. The seamounts have been on fire lately and our expert crews have been getting up to 12 shots at Blue Marlin on most of the days offshore. There are very few places on the planet where this kind of marlin action is even possible and we are very fortunate to be able to enjoy such a fantastic fishery. We are getting bites closer in too but the blue water has been a bit far offshore lately which is very uncommon for this time of the year. The sailfish bite has been a bit slow offshore, but it’s still early. We’re spotting many free jumpers and I suspect that any time now they will be here in big numbers. There’s a few Dorado prowling in the current lines and schools of Yellowfin Tuna are also keeping the rods bent.

The Bayne Family

Last week we hosted the Bayne Family who returned from the UK after a very successful trip last season. Julian and his wife Deborah along with their son and daughter, James and Alexandra had an amazing trip, releasing 10 Blue Marlin, 1 Black Marlin,  a few Dorado and several school size Yellowfin Tuna. The great part was that it was the first time any of them had ever caught a marlin. James even caught a Blue on fly by accident. He hooked into a small tuna with a 10wt. outfit and just as he was about to get the fish to the boat, a blue marlin grabbed the tuna within a few feet from the motors. It was a grueling fight but luckily for James, the marlin stayed on the surface most of the time. We had an amazing time hosting the Baynes and it’s really true what they say about good karma and good fishing going hand in hand!

Deborah Bayne on a HOT Blue

Richard Katsma and his wife Chris also brought in the new year with us at Zancudo Lodge. They also got into some serious marlin action offshore releasing 2 Blue Marlin on the second day out and an amazing 6 Marlin from 8 bites, including a Black Marlin on their second trip to the seamount. Richard and Chris also had some good action inshore on some pretty good size Roosterfish and a few Dorado offshore. Our returning guests, Wesley Jess and Chad Somerlot also had a wonderful trip to the lodge. It’s Wes’ eighth visit to Zancudo for obvious reasons; the fishing here is just spectacular.

Wes and Chad-Double Mahi Mahi

They spent the first few days catching Dorado and Snapper with Capt. Rafa and on their third day, Wes and Chad took a trip to the seamount where Chad had an opportunity to catch his first Black Marlin estimated at 500 lbs. Chad also released a Blue while Wes scored 2 Blues that day and Tristan, our resident watersport instructor & photographer also released his first Blue Marlin. We simply could not have had a better week of fishing to begin our 2017 year.

Tight Lines

Albert Battoo
The Zancudo Lodge

Fishing Report 18-28 December 2016

Our 2017 Season is off to a great start and we are having very little trouble keeping our guests busy with great fishing opportunities both offshore and inshore. The Marlin bite has been spectacular this month and it seems like everyday schools of Yellowfin Tuna are showing up out on the edge. The sails have yet to arrive in big numbers but it’s still a bit early, however we expect the annual migration to occur in early January, and we’re ready for them. Inshore fishing has been very consistent with loads of Roosterfish, a few Snappers, Golden and Spotted Trevally, with several boats reporting as many to 25 shots per day.

Frank Legaki and Alicia Torres had an incredible first experience fishing at Zancudo Lodge and this couple had some amazing luck. On the first day, fishing with Capt. Tito, Alicia released her first ever Blue Marlin estimated at around 280 lbs. The next day they headed inshore and both Frank and Alicia scored huge on Roosterfish and also released a few Cubera Snappers, Jacks and Pompanos. On the final day of the trip, Capt. Tito took the couple offshore and; they released 3 Blue Marlin and a Striped Marlin. What a way to end an already fantastic fishing trip. Congrats on all the great fish and photos. We’ll be sure to see these folks again soon. Our friend Jack Hart was back to favorite fishing spot this Christmas and is always a welcome sight at the Zancudo Lodge. Its Jack 6th trip and in his words, his most successful trip to date. Jack caught just about species that live in the bountiful Costa Rican waters. Let’s start off with an amazing 5 Blue Marlin releases, Sailfish and a boat load of Yellowfin Tuna, one weighing in at 110 lbs. Inshore he crushed the Roosterfish, releasing 15 in just one day, several Snapper and a few other inshore critters to round off the trip. It was nonstop action all the way! We certainly look forward to seeing you again next year. Lorenzo and his son Archie Le Flanchec flew in from France to spend the Christmas holidays at Zancudo Lodge. These guys had a great time and focused mainly on popping the coastline in search of Costa Rica’s coveted Roosterfish and Cubera Snapper, and offshore to test their spinning tackle on feisty Yellowfin Tu
a. They had great success on Roosterfish, releasing several up to 40 lbs. and also got into some pretty amazing Yellowfin Tuna action. They scored several in the 50-60 lb. range.  Archie also released a beautiful Sailfish offshore.

Check out this rare UNDERWATER footage ofJack Hart’s Blue Marlin charging a live bait. Video footage caught on a GoPro at Zancudo Lodge, Costa Rica.

On behalf of the Zancudo Lodge team, we would like to wish all our guests a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year. We ’re looking forward to seeing you all in 2017 for some of Costa Rica finest fishing action, so be sure to check out the fishing reports. See you soon!

Tight Lines

Albert Battoo
The Zancudo Lodge


Fishing Report 11-17 December 2016

Our season is off to a great start and with the Christmas holidays right around the corner we are pleased to report that the fishing has has been nothing short of spectacular. Sailfish are showing up in good numbers offshore and the Yellowfin Tuna bite has been crazy!

Our captains are busy chasing birds huge schools of porpoise out on the edge, in search of these brutes. Pound for pound, tuna are perhaps considered one of the strongest fish that swim in the ocean. Ask Keith Brossard, who caught one in the 90 lb. range on stand-up tackle while fishing with Capt. Raphael Lopez.
What about Cosmo Goss’s double Yellowfin Tuna caught on a single popper while casting into a school of feeding tuna. Check out the video!

Zancudo Lodge also hosted  Bruce Bochy, Manager of the San Francisco Giants came to experience some of Costa Rica’s fantastic game-fishing. Randy and Deborah Houston founders of the Purple Heart Foundation were also at the lodge. The foundation is a fundraising engine of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, who raises money to support The Order’s programs and services.

This group had an awesome time; Bruce, Randy, Jay Johnson and Gary Rufa also fished out at the seamount and released 3 Blue Marlin. Joel and Wanda Davis also accompanied the group and Joel had a great day catching Roosterfish inshore.

There was certainly no shortage of great fish stories at the dinner table; and the good news is that we just getting warmed up. Things are going to get really heated up after the Christmas holidays so stay tuned for more great fishing at Zancudo Lodge.

Tight Lines!

Albert Battoo
Zancudo Lodge


Zancudo Lodge is headed to Dallas, TX – Safari Club International (SCI)

THE ZANCUDO LODGE, is located in Costa Rica and is surrounded by the beauty of Costa Rican wildlife, idyllic jungle foliage and our private beach. The Zancudo Lodge offers our guests the ultimate adventurous getaway and is regarded as one of the top fishing lodges worldwide with 80% of our clients returning every year.

In January, 2017, we will be attending the Dallas Safari Club Adventure Convention & Sporting Expo scheduled for the 5th-8th January 2017.  The event will be hosted at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center and is considered to be the Greatest Hunters Convention on the Planet!

Dreaming about testing your angling skills against some of the most formidable ocean predators like Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna and Roosterfish…Come and check us out at  Booth# 1159. Be sure to ask about our Show Special! If you’ve already been to our little slice of fishing paradise, come by and say hello, we will love to hear from you again.

Join us and join a way of life for sportsmen and sportswomen from across the globe.

Since 1972, Dallas Safari Club has been the gathering point for hunters, conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts. An international organization, we offer members a world of options: Annual conventions and expositions, Annual sporting clay events, Monthly meetings and other member activities, World class publications and a Grant in aid program that contributes millions of dollars each year to programs and projects promoting our mission to conserve wildlife and wilderness lands, to educate youth and the general public and to promote and protect the rights and interests of hunters worldwide.


2016 Triple Crown Tournament – Results

Yesterday was the 3rd and final day of the 2016 Triple Crown Tournament, hosted at Zancudo Lodge, Costa Rica. On the final day, the fishing was red hot with eight teams (20 anglers)  in close contention for top spots in the billfish, roosterfish and gamefish divisions.

Ascent – Dave Hawrys/Trent Lemke
Dos Gringos Guapos – Pat Kenney/Keith Brossard
Miller Time – Will Miller/Kipp Felice
Missing Man – Dennis Dahle/Bryan Daniels
Tennessee 2 – Brent Mournanhan/Jeff Ingram
The Crew – Jose, Berto
The Stick – Joseph Brown/Al Mann Jr. Al Mann
Quick Draw – Lee Roberts/Brad Wood
Team “The Crew” was one of the first boats to return to the dock after lines up and you could tell from the smiles that they had an epic day. The team scored an incredible 28 Roosterfish releases shooting them up into 1st place in the Roosterfish devision. Team “Missing Man” scored a second triple crown daily bonus with 1 Sailfish release, 5 Roosters and a 22.4 lb Dorado. Team “Quick Draw” scored 12 Roosterfish releases on the final day while “The Stick” scored a Sailfish and an amazing 9 Dorado caught, the heaviest being 24.4 lbs.
Team “Dos Gringos Guapos”, who scored consistently on their first and second day returned to the dock with 1 Striped Marlin release and a hefty 61.6 lb Yellowfin Tuna. Team Ascent returned with 2 Roosterfish releases, and 2 small Tunas, while team “Miller Time” scored a 16 lb Dorado an 1 Roosterfish release and “Tennessee 2” finished on Day 3 with 4 Roosterfish releases and a 22.4 lb Yellowfin Tuna.

1 Blue Marlin, 2 Striped Marlin, 10 Sailfish, 78 Roosterfish, 15 Dorado and 12 Yellowfin Tuna were caught over the 3 days. Our guests had a fantastic time and all are looking forward to returning next year for the annual event. Check out our website for more information on Costa Rica’s premiere fishing destination, The Zancudo Lodge.

Below are the official results for the 2016 Triple Crown tournament.

Billfish Division – 1st Place – Dos Gringos Guapos (700 pts.), 2nd Place – Missing Man (300 pts.), 3rd Place – The Stick (200 pts.)

Roosterfish Division – 1st Place – The Crew (3,700 pts.), 2nd Place – Quick Draw (2,000 pts.), 3rd Place – Ascent  (700 pts.)

Gamefish Division – 1st Place – The Stick (79.4 pts.), 2nd Place – Miller Time (74.4 pts.), 3rd Place –  Dos Gringos Guapos (61.6 pts.)

Overall Tournament Standings
1st Place –
Missing Man  (1,300 pts.)
2nd Place – Dos Gringos Guapos (1,200 pts.)
3rd Place – The Stick (1,200 pts.)

Tight lines,

Albert Battoo
Zancudo Lodge




Triple Crown Tournament **UPDATE**

It’s day three of the Triple Crown Tournament at Zancudo Lodge. All eight teams are fired up on the last day and there’s been really stiff competition. It’s so close, anyone can pull off a win on the last day so stay tuned for final day results!

Tight Lines!


Team “Los Dos Gringos Guapos”

Yesterday, team “Los Dos Gringos Guapos” scored a Blue Marlin release. Team “Quick Draw” crushed the Roosterfish, scoring 8 releases.

Team “Quick Draw”

Team “The Crew” also scored well on Roosters, releasing 7 fish.

Team “The Crew”

Team “The Stick” scored the biggest Tuna for the day weighing in at 55 lbs.

Team “The Stick”