When I first moved to Costa Rica in 2011, I enjoyed watching my neighbor Fran fish in the waves of our beach town. I was amazed by the size of fish he would reel in so close to shore! My interest in ocean fishing peaked right then and there. So, when a part of the fishing team opened at work, I knew I needed to be on it.
The Fishing Team
Fishing team members “inspect” the boats, aka fish and drink beer. What could be better? My first boat to inspect was a longtime partner of ours, Tamarindo Sport Fishing, up in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
My First Sailfish
It was the perfect Costa Rica fishing day, the water was like glass, the sun was out, and the sky was blue. We started off early, cracked our first beer and were ready to go! I had never reeled in anything bigger than a trout. So, the Captain and Mates decided to train me in the chair to know what to expect if a marlin came on the line.
After a peaceful hour or so, a fish came on the line and chaos ensued. Everyone yelled, I freaked out, threw everything I was holding down and ran to the chair and sat down. The next thing I know there is a rod in my hand, a belt around my waist and I am reeling as hard as I can. For you true anglers, you know it isn’t about how hard you reel but about letting the rod do the work. I did not know this yet and instead started sweating. I was thinking I will never be able to keep this up for hours like I’d heard people do when they were fighting marlins. If you have ever fished with Captain Randy on the Talking Fish, you know he is a serious angler. On this trip, he stood directly above me barking down orders as I yelled back, “I don’t know what I am doing Randy go easy on me!”
Before I knew it, we were backing the boat up and the fish was smoothly coming in. By this time, I’m feeling pretty proud. I was thinking “I must look like a true professional reeling that beautiful sailfish in.” We take our obligatory picture and we release the sailfish back into the water to live another day.
As I am congratulating myself and feeling very accomplished, Captain Randy says to me: “Rebecca, we don’t sit down for sailfish.”
Well there went my ego boost! I sat down to reel in a small sailfish knowing I would be sore for days. From then on, my love for the ocean grew. I was so excited to be part of the fishing team, even more so after that first day on the water. Little did I know the many adventures that were still to come.