How would John Harbord, Jon Ronloff, and Bruce Sabine fare after a seven billfish day yesterday? Would they have anything left in the tank after three excellent days of fishing both offshore and the inshore reefs? Would the billfish finally evade their crafty capture?
Striped Marlin, Black Marlin, and Sailfish released!
This is the classic Grand Slam and is by far the rarest feat in billfishing. Less than a dozen Grand Slams are reported worldwide in a given year and this performance will serve as the high water mark for years to come for Costa Rican sportfishing.
The Stripey was the first one to get snared by the mighty Wanderer‘s spread and John did great work to make this fight quick and efficient. Captain William kept the boat in perfect position for the contest and the angler kept tension like a pro.
Fantastic work by First Mate Alex who is always pumped up when big billfish come calling.
Next up was a very nice Pacific Sailfish which would be a highlight on any other day with any other anglers; for these hombres this Sailfish release was as routine as a free throw.
The final piece of the Grand Slam came in the form of this MASSIVE Black Marlin that came calling later in the day. This monster was huge and the look on Alex’s face tells the tale.
What a fantastic release photo…magazine cover anyone?
Once back in Garza Bay the Tampa-based fishing team was elated, and added this 145lbs. Brown Marlin release:
You know it’s a good trip when it starts with a Striped Marlin release. This was the second Stripey of the season and is a Hall of Fame fish all by itself.
Then the boys added six Sailfish releases to the scorecard including the unheard-of TRIPLE HEADER SAILFISH RELEASE!
Maybe it was the blue water moving close to shore. Maybe it was the years of fishing experience that John and Bruce bring to the water. Maybe it was First Mate Alex’ lucky white sunglasses. Whatever happened out there today, all the tumblers fell into place and unlocked the perfect day of fishing for these clients.
Of course all 7 billfish were released alive and well and ready to be caught again. Excellent teamwork by Captain William and First Mate Alex to maintain the safety of the billfish, anglers, and equipement.
Great work gentlemen…you have earned your enshrinement to the Hall of Fame!
The Tampa boys stayed inshore once again on January 15 and if you think that means they settled for small fish, then you have no clue about the kind of monsters that live on the reefs in Costa Rica.
This Broomtail Grouper appears to weigh over 50lbs. which would make it the largest Cabrilla caught since Matty’s monster back in November 2010. Sheesh, the lips on this fish probably weigh five pounds:
Joe followed up the largest Grouper we’ve seen this year with the smallest grouper we’ve ever seen. Ya might be able to get half a sandwich out of this little fella, but instead we threw this one back…maybe in another ten years he will resemble his departed big brother.
The blue water is beckoning these boys and they are planning to head offshore early tomorrow. Let’s keep an eye on these world-class anglers as they head out to challenge some top-notch billfish.
Bruce Sabine, Joe Ronnlof, and John Harbord are back! These excellent Tampa anglers narrowly missed getting inducted into the FishingNosara Hall of Fame back in November 2010 when they destroyed about 500lbs. of Yellowfin tuna on a single day.
On January 14 they kicked off their fishing trips with Captain William for an inshore fridge-filling fishing frenzy.
They caught a Yella fella and a white tuna, plus this nice Amberjack.
John Harbord, Bruce Sabine, and Joe Ronnlof represent some of the best anglers in Clearwater, FL and on Monday November 15th they went on their first of four full days of fishing on the Wanderer. While these fellas are used to pulling Snook and Tarpon out of the north side of Tampa Bay, they were more than ready to tackle the big Costa Rican meat fish.
On their first day Bruce was the hot rod catching two magnificent Cuberra Snappers. As with Matty’s Broomtail the day before, these fish were given to the villagers in Garza to make one heck of a sopa de pescado (fish soup).