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Zancudo lodge Costa Rica trip?

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Old 11-18-2018, 03:19 PM
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Default Zancudo lodge Costa Rica trip?

Staying at Zancudo Lodge from 12/26-1/2/2019 this year. It’s my first trip down there does anyone have any tips, things to make sure we see, or do or for that matter not do? We’re fishing 3 days out of the 6 on one of the contenders. Anyone been that time of year? What can we expect for fishing conditions and catches? Thanks!

Last edited by Jesse4023; 11-19-2018 at 01:23 PM. Reason: Adding info
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:44 AM
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There should be some mahi , sails and YFt around . Probably get a shot or 2 at a blue as well . I haven't fished with them , but have fished the FAD's out of Golfito . Might be too far of a run for them ( 40 and 60 miles IIRC ) , it's a bit of a run just to get out of the bay . I heard it's really nice there , only complaint I have heard was that boats are back at dock around 3 or something like that . Considering the long runs out of the bay to the fishing , you are fishing half days . I would ask about extending the hours if it was me .
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:35 PM
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not sure about zancudo, but crocodile bay(other side of the bay) has a be back to the dock at 3-3:30 policy- in my opinion you are getting a little more than a half day of fishing-most lodges I have fished at it is lines up at 3:30 or 4:00
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by marlinlane View Post
not sure about zancudo, but crocodile bay(other side of the bay) has a be back to the dock at 3-3:30 policy- in my opinion you are getting a little more than a half day of fishing-most lodges I have fished at it is lines up at 3:30 or 4:00
I might have mistaken the 2 when I said that , let me find out
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by pje View Post
There should be some mahi , sails and YFt around . Probably get a shot or 2 at a blue as well . I haven't fished with them , but have fished the FAD's out of Golfito . Might be too far of a run for them ( 40 and 60 miles IIRC ) , it's a bit of a run just to get out of the bay . I heard it's really nice there , only complaint I have heard was that boats are back at dock around 3 or something like that . Considering the long runs out of the bay to the fishing , you are fishing half days . I would ask about extending the hours if it was me .
I heard about the 3 o'clock rule, but when I heard about that it was in tropic star because they are in the Darrien Pass and it is dangerous on the water after dark. Like very dangerous. The darrien gap is the jungle between colombia and panama that the panama government left there to keep the war and drug trade out of panama. It used to be the most dangerous place on earth, but I think it calmed down a bit (or guatamala and mexico have gotten crazier! I just looked it up, El Salavador actually holds the title now of most murders per capita followed by Honduras, it was Guatamala a few years back though I believe). In Costa Rica, even at the high dollar lodges down south, it's very safe, even after dark and I don't see them having to get back in early. Usually the crews here fish until 3 or 3:30 and then run home, it would be hard for me to believe that 30 foot boats that are double the day rate you pay in Los Suenos for a nice 42 foot Maverick would be back at the dock by 3. But I've never been, so anything is possible.

Right now we are seeing lots of schools of YellowFin Tuna and Dorado. I'd imagine it's simliar there. And then anywhere you get dorado and tuna you'll see billfish. This is the most fish I've seen here in 11 years, so you guys should do pretty good. You picked the best year to come for sure!
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by SailFishQuepos View Post
I heard about the 3 o'clock rule, but when I heard about that it was in tropic star because they are in the Darrien Pass and it is dangerous on the water after dark. Like very dangerous. The darrien gap is the jungle between colombia and panama that the panama government left there to keep the war and drug trade out of panama. It used to be the most dangerous place on earth, but I think it calmed down a bit (or guatamala and mexico have gotten crazier! I just looked it up, El Salavador actually holds the title now of most murders per capita followed by Honduras, it was Guatamala a few years back though I believe). In Costa Rica, even at the high dollar lodges down south, it's very safe, even after dark and I don't see them having to get back in early. Usually the crews here fish until 3 or 3:30 and then run home, it would be hard for me to believe that 30 foot boats that are double the day rate you pay in Los Suenos for a nice 42 foot Maverick would be back at the dock by 3. But I've never been, so anything is possible.

Right now we are seeing lots of schools of YellowFin Tuna and Dorado. I'd imagine it's simliar there. And then anywhere you get dorado and tuna you'll see billfish. This is the most fish I've seen here in 11 years, so you guys should do pretty good. You picked the best year to come for sure!
There are a lot of trees floating in the bay/gulf there , but I don't think that's the reason for the early return . We were just talking about it the other day ,will find out tomorrow which place it was . I think it might have been Crocodile Bay .

OP email the lodge and ask them what time the boats are back at dock .
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:06 AM
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definitely crocodile bay-i confirmed it about a month ago and experienced it about 3 years ago. have fished tropic star numerous times and, unless a recent change (due to new ownership), has no such policy
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:02 AM
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Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by marlinlane View Post
definitely crocodile bay-i confirmed it about a month ago and experienced it about 3 years ago. have fished tropic star numerous times and, unless a recent change (due to new ownership), has no such policy
That's silly. Why would they want to come in early, trolling is free, it's the run out that uses all the fuel?? It might cost them 30 or 40 bucks a trip to stay until dark and you would have a full 2 hours more of fishing....

Huh, I just hear rumors anyways. It made more since the one that was by Panama so i believed that one!

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Old 11-23-2018, 04:20 PM
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when at crocodile bay I questioned the policy and was told it was their desire to insure that no boats would be stranded in the dark because of a lack of available rescue vessels in the area-i was recently asked to return and questioned the policy and was told that it is still in place- don't always believe rumors-please note I have enjoyed fishing at both lodges on multiple occasions
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by marlinlane View Post
when at crocodile bay I questioned the policy and was told it was their desire to insure that no boats would be stranded in the dark because of a lack of available rescue vessels in the area-i was recently asked to return and questioned the policy and was told that it is still in place- don't always believe rumors-please note I have enjoyed fishing at both lodges on multiple occasions
I'm not trying to get too invested in bad mouthing anybody, but they are the only charter company in Costa Rica that comes in that early. I mean if you have more than one boat, and they both have GPS and radio, you have rescue boats...
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:14 PM
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John, I am not bad mouthing anyone or accusing you of bad mouthing. pje made a comment and I clarified it based on first hand experience -not rumor. not too invested in this discussion at all. requiring boats to be at the dock at 3:00 or 3:30 can make for a short day of fishing no matter where you fish. would love to fish with you in quepos sometime.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by marlinlane View Post
John, I am not bad mouthing anyone or accusing you of bad mouthing. pje made a comment and I clarified it based on first hand experience -not rumor. not too invested in this discussion at all. requiring boats to be at the dock at 3:00 or 3:30 can make for a short day of fishing no matter where you fish. would love to fish with you in quepos sometime.
I meant me bad mouthing, you didn't at all. And I totally missed the mark with the Tropic Star comment. I do get frustrated seeing people rent 30 foot boats for 2000+ a day (or $1300 bucks a day for a 24 footer ) and then not even getting to fish all day, but I should stay quiet
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:12 AM
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all good-keep your comments/opinions coming-you give much good advice and I have seen too many posts on tht and 2cool from your happy/satisfied charter clients
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:58 PM
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I fished Zancudo when Roy Ventura owned the place -- he wanted to sell it to me -- and to every other fisherman who came down. The fishing is quite good for sails offshore. Inshore you can find some nice roosters up in the rocks. It's a long long run out to the fishing grounds -- about 30 to 40 miles out to deep blue water. You'll be fishing just after the rainy season so the green water may go further out. But there are often trees and logs and other flotsam that leads to good mahi fishing. I've run across some nice big schools of yellowifin too. If you can get out to the FADs, that's a relatively new development and I hear the fishing is really good around them.

Zancudo Beach has an excellent surf break. The river behind the lodge has some decent snook fishing in it -- beware the saltwater crocs. Across the Bay is the fantastic Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. It's a miraculous lowland tropical rainforest, filled with scarlet macaws, three species of monkeys, saltwater crocs, incredibly poisonous fer de lance vipers, sloths, anteaters, and even the elusive and rarely seen jaguar. It's quite a trek from Zancudo but well worth a day or two.

From what I've seen, the "new" owners of Zancudo -- it's been more than a decade now I think -- have improved what had already been a great operation. Roy, however, was a real character -- his dad was the chief entomologist for the U.S. fruit company headquartered in Golfito. Roy grew up there and had many an interesting tale to tell.
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Old 11-27-2018, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jillybird View Post
I fished Zancudo when Roy Ventura owned the place -- he wanted to sell it to me -- and to every other fisherman who came down. The fishing is quite good for sails offshore. Inshore you can find some nice roosters up in the rocks. It's a long long run out to the fishing grounds -- about 30 to 40 miles out to deep blue water. You'll be fishing just after the rainy season so the green water may go further out. But there are often trees and logs and other flotsam that leads to good mahi fishing. I've run across some nice big schools of yellowifin too. If you can get out to the FADs, that's a relatively new development and I hear the fishing is really good around them.

Zancudo Beach has an excellent surf break. The river behind the lodge has some decent snook fishing in it -- beware the saltwater crocs. Across the Bay is the fantastic Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. It's a miraculous lowland tropical rainforest, filled with scarlet macaws, three species of monkeys, saltwater crocs, incredibly poisonous fer de lance vipers, sloths, anteaters, and even the elusive and rarely seen jaguar. It's quite a trek from Zancudo but well worth a day or two.

From what I've seen, the "new" owners of Zancudo -- it's been more than a decade now I think -- have improved what had already been a great operation. Roy, however, was a real character -- his dad was the chief entomologist for the U.S. fruit company headquartered in Golfito. Roy grew up there and had many an interesting tale to tell.

Great information thank you!
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:22 PM
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Oh, and the back before sunset rule applies to Tropic Star. That's because it's so close to the Colombian border and the drug traffickers run up the coast at night. The Tropic Star owners don't want their crews and clients running into any undesirables at the wrong time. I don't believe Zancudo has any such rule. We were always back well before dark, mostly because we started very early in the morning. One thing I will warn you about -- which won't be an issue on the Contenders -- the afternoon chop on the Golfo Dulce builds up and the 30-40 mile ride back in on those smaller Costa Rican hulls was truly back breaking every day. I assume the new fleet is more sea kindly.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:53 PM
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Fished out of Croc Bay the last 4 years in a row at the end of July. Staff are all good people and fishing has been good. Their bigger boats are 31-33' Strikes which are nice for families because you get some shade but the trade off is the boats are slow and it is a long way from from the docks to even get to water blue enough for the pelagics. They also run 24' Whalers with 150 Suzukis which I think are underpowered as the captain will run them wide open to hit 30MPH and if there water is a little rough forget it. On the 24' its you and and the captain so plan on getting involved which for some is great.

Not super familiar with Golfito where Zancudo is but across the bay Puerto Jimenez where you can take a number of excursions. Easiest way to get there is to cross the bay and Zancudo can probably make that happen for you. We are headed there in March so post your experience!
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