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Hook ’em while they’re young!

If you asked our guides, Pablo, Martin, and Alex, whether they remember their first fishing experience, they’d probably think for a minute and say “no.”  Not because it wasn’t memorable, but because they began so young, most memories include a fishing rod in hand. It’s only natural that they get excited to see the next generation getting hooked on a hobby that really turns into a lifelong passion.  Chances are that not every kid we take out on the kayak is going find the same fascination with fishing that we have, but we know that the odds are good. So we jumped at the opportunity to take out a great group of kids here in Mal Pais, students of the Nomadic Democratic School of Awesome! (Just take a minute to enjoy that name.)

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Classroom for the School of Awesome

Created and led by Ashley Fraser Keir, who has taken her educational background and experience to create a learning environment in which kids want to participate, this is the second adventure with Sea Kayak Adventures that Ashley has arranged for the students of Awesome. Last year, a large group of students ranging from six to 14 years took a paddle up the Rio Manzanillo. We were impressed with these kids from the beginning, and they didn’t disappoint for Round Two.

Over the span of a few hours last Monday afternoon, Pablo and Martin made several trips in and out of Mal Pais’ natural harbor, future fish-nut in the front seat of the kayak.  These kids were eager and the fish showed up for them. By the end of the afternoon, the kids had reeled in a mancha snapper, four moon fish (released), and several barracuda (some released, some enjoyed for dinner) — and at least one fell asleep before making it back to the beach (perfect guide material). The kids helped and watched as their dinner was filleted, a great opportunity for them to get to know their food.

Thanks to Ashley, and all the kiddos and parents at the School of Awesome! We can’t wait to have you guys out on the water again!

Gratitude

Today we are grateful for the protection of a mountain range from a hurricane, for our families, and for a short paddle out to some fishy waters.

The only news it appears right now is Hurricane Otto making it’s landfall on Costa Rica’s and Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.  We are fortunate to be on the Pacific side with a formidable mountain range between us and the Caribbean. While we’re likely to receive a little more rain than usual, our thoughts are with those whose homes cannot withstand this once in a lifetime storm (the last one was in 1851). Click here for information on  donating to the Cruz Roja in Costa Rica.

For our parents, and those concerned, as of posting this on Thanksgiving afternoon, we are fine, only light rain to report.

Here on the west coast we have been blessed with the calm before the storm.  Often fishermen will recount days of endless fish just before a big storm, and here it’s been no different.  Cloudy skies means for cool mornings, and the fish have been biting just offshore. Less paddling means more fishing.

Yesterday was a successful morning with Mark from England in a kayak with Martin, and Pablo paddling support. The fish were biting —  barracuda, jacks, sea bass, and a catfish.

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Jonathan and Juergen from California had good luck this morning trolling, catching a beautiful cubera snapper, as well as a small mackerel and a jack (released). They will definitely be eating well tonight.

And finally, David from Oregon tried his luck with a fly rod, and found his reward in a lovely barracuda. Sounds like ceviche!

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  He also had luck with a jack (released) and Martin caught a … well, he caught something. Anyone have any idea?

All in all, can’t complain about the fishiness that has settled in near the shore of our little beach town.  Catching fish to eat off of for a few days while the storm passes doesn’t sound too bad.

 

And he can cook, too!

A lot seems to be changing around here in the Mal Pais/Santa Teresa area.  There’s a lot of construction going on, new hotels and restaurants popping up left and right, work on the roads and water lines.

Sea Kayak Adventures has seen plenty of changes this year, too! We closed our brick and mortar office and moved to Mal Pais. Pablo invested in a panga to offer support on those long paddles for those who don’t want to paddle so long. More energy to reel in those dorado and tuna, right? Martin’s family is working on the hospitality side of things and has created the perfect spot for you to rest between trips out in the yellow office. Check out more about the Isla Red Snapper and Apartamento El Pescador here.

So we’ve taken care of SLEEPING and FISHING, and now we’ve got EATING covered too.

Most days on the kayak follow the same rhythm, more or less, for Martin. Up before dawn, kayaks on the beach with the sunrise, chasing birds, bait balls, gut feelings to catch lunch, back on the beach mid-morning and fish in the frying pan by lunch.  No one eats fish as fresh as Martin and his family. Oh, and did we mention in his past life, Martin was a chef?

We want to invite you to join us for the full fisherman experience.

Joel and Alysha from Alberta, Canada were our first guinea pigs, and it happened to be Joel’s birthday.  The fish showed up in force. Despite top water action, they didn’t seem to be biting up top, but live bait proved very successful with several large jacks (released) and a few moonfish caught on live sardines. That’s not including the mancha snapper, barracuda, mackerel, and of course those poor little sardines that took a lure. Very fishy, indeed.

While Martin and Pablo finished up in the fishing village, Joel and Alysha returned to Martin’s home, and the new Sea Kayak Adventures headquarters for lunch. They took advantage of our outdoor banana shower and sipped on limeade made from our own lime tree in the cool shade of 50 year old trees as Martin prepared a homemade casado of rice, beans, salad, and freshly caught barracuda and whole snapper.

We ate until we couldn’t anymore, relaxed and shared fishing stories until it was time for everyone to lay down for an afternoon nap, just as Martin does as often as he can after a tour, and as he recommends to our guests.

For a first stab at it, we’d all consider this lunch a successful launch to many more fresh fish dishes shared at our family table. Ask about joining us for lunch and sharing the full fisherman’s experience when you book your tour.

Happy Birthday, Joel! And thanks again for being our test subjects. It was fun breaking bread with you guys!

Early to bed, early to rise – Pt. 2

After a fresh coat of paint, new curtains, new linens, new towels, and a few homey little touches, Apartamento El Pescador is ready for you to call it home while in Mal Pais…between fishing tours, of course.

Located a short walk (or shorter bike ride) from the fishing village, and right next to the new Sea Kayak Adventures headquarters, this cozy little studio apartment is perfect for the fishing nut.  You know, the one with the fever.

We are also offering the full Pescador B&B experience.  Just like the early bird gets the worm, the early worm gets the fish, but a full breakfast in the wee hours of the morning can be a bit much. Fear not, we’ll send you out with a light breakfast and snacks to eat on the kayak. And when you return with a huge snapper or some yummy barracuda, get yourself cleaned up and re-tell the tale in our garden while Martin prepares the day’s catch for lunch. Did we mention that Martin was a chef in his past life?

Contact us here for more details, availability, and reservations!

The IRS is here to help

We’ve been working hard this rainy season getting ready to create the best fishing experience we can offer.

On dry land, we’ve found our headquarters and are working to create a comfortable B&B to accommodate a fisherman’s early schedule. Read about that here.

And on sea, Pablo and Martin, along with a little help from our friends, have been testing out the latest addition to the SKA fleet, the Isla Red Snapper (IRS).

Testing is definitely the right word.  In our attempts to test out the new equipment, we found ourselves tested with nearly a week’s worth of pre-dawn rainy mornings and aborted attempts to launch.

Day 6 we took a break from the bells and whistles, got back into the yellow office, and had some luck with Allison and Bryan from Philadelphia. It’s good to catch fish, eh?

Day 7. Day 7 we were rewarded for our patience and determination. Yellow fin tuna for dinner, with a fresh sashimi appetizer in the fishing village only a few hours after they’d been caught. We’d like to to say it was thanks to Neill’s getting skunked the night before; must’ve smelled delicious to the fish.

This first successful trip was a week ago and it’s been pretty fishy since. Mackerel tuna, yellow fin tuna, mancha snapper, pampano.

Check out this video of Pablo reeling in a yellow fin tuna.  Can’t get any fresher than this.

While we’ve had fun stretching her legs, our goal is to provide support to kayaks while they’re out trolling, jigging, popping and live-bait fishing — another service we can offer to make your fishing vacation one to remember.

Early to bed, early to rise…

It’s been a busy rainy season here in Mal Pais. The Municipality and AyA (city water) have come through town widening the road for walking paths and bringing in new water infrastructure.  It’s time, for sure. They keep saying that they’ll be paving the road in January, but fail to mention which year.  We’ve been hearing this one for a while. Things seem to be moving along, in any event. And things at Sea Kayak Adventures are moving along as well.

We’ve been rigging and cleaning up equipment, testing out new set-ups and perhaps the most exciting new addition to our arsenal of fishing gear, the “Isla Red Snapper.”  But more on that later…

Since closing our brick and mortar shop in April, we’ve been wanderers, a business’ worth of fishing equipment stashed in our homes and various bodegas (storage spaces), competing with animals and a one year old tornado for territory. But in the last month, we’ve found our new home in the heart of Mal Pais, the old fishing village we launch from for nearly every fishing tour.

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Future SKA headquarters

We’re in construction mode, outfitting an old horse stable into our new headquarters, and working with BLUEwater Fish Camps to create a fully local fishing experience, room and board included.

 

Take the hassle out of planning your vacation. Let BLUEwater Fish Camp arrange your lodging at a local boutique hotel, or better yet, in our studio apartment right next to our new office. We’re in the middle of a remodeling this space to help you get comfortable. We want to make sure you’re ready to fulfill our fisherman’s creed: early to bed, early to rise, fish all day, make up lies.

Here are some photos of our first steps in creating your fishing sanctuary:

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July/August Fishing Forecast

Summer may be going strong in the northern hemisphere, but here in Costa Rica it’s rainy season. Trees turn lush green and rivers pump rainwater into the oceans. And things get fishy.  Click on the image below to read Pablo’s full write-up on what to expect in the water when the temperature in paradise drops.

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And now a word from our sponsors:

This past year, Alex did some leg work and was able to secure sponsorship from “B LURES”, distributors of Cotton Cordell, Wally Divers, and other lures.  We are stoked to have their lures in our arsenal. It’s much easier to focus on fishing when you’ve got the best gear.

Take a look at some of our recent catches with our new equipment.

We’re also looking for sponsorship from PENN reels, so we’ll keep posting pictures of the monsters we’re catching with their gear, and hope we catch their attention: