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“Not for the sports fisherman.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Wahoo Fishing & Tours

Wahoo Fishing & Tours
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
50686015294
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Type: Boat Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: Get your Pura Vida... wet! Join us for near and/or offshore fishing, dolphin and snorkeling trips, a sunset tour, or a booze cruise. Whether you're a hard core fisherman/woman, or just want to get on the water, we will work with you to design the best trip possible. All trips include fresh tropical fruits, cold drinks (water and something harder) and the exclusive Wahoo cookies. Tours over 4 hours include sandwiches and vegies. Our captain, Pino, was born and raised in Puerto Viejo. He knows the southern Caribe like you know your living room... it is his living room. He will delight you with his humor as he coaches you in the ways of traditional line fishing. If the water's right, he'll dive and find you a langosta for dinner. Rods, reels, bait and tackle included, as well as snorkeling equipment. Boat equipped with GPS, fishfinder, bimini top, fresh water shower, and PFD's. Find us on the beach across from The Parquecito and Tex Mex in Puerto Viejo. Put the Wahoo in your Costa Rica vacation!
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Not for the sports fisherman.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012 via mobile

The boat is nice and safe, the captain did a nice job. The owner of the boat brought enough food to feed a small army.
The best part of the trip was free diving for lobster.
It's not for real sportsmen. What little equipment they have is in bad shape. The main fishing equipment they use is traditional hand lining, which is string tied to a small chunk of wood.
They did a nice job, but the fishing is very rudimentary. You need to bring your own equipment. They don't know how to target fish. It's more like hanging out with the owner and captain of the boat and they allow you to fish with them. It is not a charter, but the only option in the area.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janick2010, Owner at Wahoo Fishing & Tours, responded to this review, February 28, 2012
We appreciate it when guests take the time to review their experience with us; we use the feedback to improve where necessary. With this particular review we are a bit surprised at the evaluation of equipment, method, and services.

We provide quality rods, reels, lures and other tackle for our guest's use; and we do encourage willing guests to try the local method known as hand lining. For bait, our captain, Pino, will cast a net to catch sardines we'll use for trawling, or create a facsimile of a squid using a belly strip of a fresh fish, or in the case of bottom fishing, we use bait fish. On this day, our guest chose to bring his own equipment. With limited space on the boat, we left the majority of ours off to accommodate our guest. Pino's preferred method is a hand line, even with access to a dozen canes; he will always choose his balsa spool with simple monofilament line. In the old days, local fishermen used sewing thread, an interesting piece of nostalgia we shared with our guest. Though hand lining appears primitive, there's nothing quite like watching Pino bring in a 100 pound Tarpon on a light line.

When a guest indicates he/she wants a particular catch, we will do our best to provide the optimum opportunity. This guest wanted Dorado, a fish we informed him is only occasionally found here, and in much smaller numbers than on the Pacific. Pino knows this sea, every shoal, rock head, deep hole, and reef system from Cahuita to Gandoca. He can read currents, tides and wind patterns to know when to fish where and which bait, method or equipment to use. For this to be called rudimentary and without target is quite uninformed. At the end of the tour, we had filled a cooler with more than a dozen fish including red snapper, butterfish, king, spanish mackerel, jack and trigger, as well as 3 spiny lobster, demonstrating a diverse effort.

We strive to provide a safe, comfortable and pleasant experience for a broad continuum of guests. An ample cooler, friendly conversation, and discussion of the local culture and traditions are an effort to treat our guests to an experience they will not have elsewhere. For future guests, we encourage you to contact us directly to discuss your interests and expectations. We will be happy to help you plan a fishing (or snorkel or sight-seeing) trip that fits your experience level and interests. We are confident that we can satisfy the fisherman/woman who sets reasonable expectations for a fishing experience in the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica.
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35 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Awesome trip, even in rough seas!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

My girlfriend, her father, and I went out with Nick, Janet, and Pino in late December and had a blast. We called Nick the night before and he warned us seas were high and we might not have much luck but said he was willing to go out if we still wanted to. We really apprecaited his honesty and are so glad we went out for the half day fishing trip. It was a little rough but we stayed pretty close to shore and were able to catch a couple small sharks and a few Jacks (I think thats what they called them). Really enjoyed trying hand line fishing for the first time too. After we got back (some great driving by Pino in a tricky harbor) Nick and Janet cleaned and cut the fish then made arrangments with a local restaurant owner to cook our catch for us for dinner! Nothing like cracking your first beer at 10am and fishing with some great people in Costa Rica! Thanks again guys!
-David, Mallory, and Rob

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janick2010, Owner at Wahoo Fishing & Tours, responded to this review, March 26, 2012
David, thanks for taking the time to review your experience with us. We really enjoyed meeting you, your GF and The Dad. I thought of you today because the seas have calmed down to near glassy surface. I wish you were here to enjoy it. But, hey, that E-ticket ride was part of the adventure, wasn't it?! Hope you're all doing well, come see if us again!!
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McMinnville, Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Outstanding fun on the beautiful Caribbean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

From exotically beautiful Puerto Viejo, our hosts were fun, professional and knowledgeable. What made this trip so special was that Wahoo folks were willing to create a custom experience. The mid-tour surprise included fresh-baked cookies and sandwiches. We caught a slew of fish, saw dolphins, manta ray, and sea turtles! These folks really knew what they were doing! Be sure to bring sunscreen.

Visited January 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janick2010, Owner at Wahoo Fishing & Tours, responded to this review, March 26, 2012
Thank you for the nice review, and thank you especially for recognizing our efforts at creating a unique experience for you. When opening our business we decided early on that we did not move to a foreign land to get on a boat and drive in circles. We pride ourselves in sharing the culture of the people, the exotic beauty, and the diverse environment with our guests... oh yeah, we'll help you catch a whole lot of fish and try to make you happy too! We LOVE it when our guests open up, tell us what they'd like to do (be flexible if need be) and trust us to deliver a unique and personal experience. Pura Vida!
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Brilliant trip - best day out we could have wished for!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2011

After several days of choppy seas, we thought we may not get our chance to get out to sea with Pino and Nick - but things improved, and we were off! We had an excellent day of fishing (caught a good sized yellow fin jack) and saw lots of dolphins, who seemed to enjoy the reggae music! Our main interest was to go freediving with Pino, to watch him catching octopus and lobster - it was incredible to see his skillful hunting, he ended up with at least 5 octopus, and a HUGE lobster! After a beer, snacks and more fishing, we headed home, and Nick invited us over for dinner that night, to enjoy our catch. We had a great evening at Nick and Janet's lovely home, and Pino cooked an incredible lobster and octopus pasta dish, which fed 12 guests! An unforgettable day with fabulous hosts - we'll remember it forever.

Visited October 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helena, Montana, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Not for real fishermen”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2011

The overall impression we got was that we were paying to allow the owners to spend a day on their boat. They don't know a thing about boating, the sea, or fishing. The equipment is poor, the fishing techniques are unsophisticated, and a lot of time is wasted due to lack of experience. While the owners are a very nice couple who are laid back and easy going, if you are looking for a professional outfit to take you fishing, look elsewhere.

We took 2 hours to find bait fish for the "captain" to net. While that was going on, we snorkeled a bit. The snorkel equipment was poorly maintained so we had to switch several times to get working equipment.

After that we went to see some dolphins which was fun. Then finally did some fishing. The equipment was not in good shape. One rod had a broken tip, hooks were not sharp, and the other equipment appeared to be disorganized. It is very apparent that these folks just bought this "business" as a boat and some fishing/snorkeling equipment and have no experience. In fact they are only a few months into this venture and it shows. They seem not to be sportsmen of any kind so the fishing is pretty basic, trolling with small bait over the reefs using hand lines and rod/reel.

Seamanship is another concern. While I am sure the "captain" is well able to safely maneuver the boat along the coast within a few hundred meters of shore, the owner was at the controls on our trip and he cannot skipper a small craft competently. We hit a reef at one point and his poorly timed throttle jogging was making the ride on calmest seas seem 10x worse than it should have been. He also didn't seem to know much about where to fish, how to use his fish finder, how to rig lines or much of anything to do with fishing.

On the plus side, the boat did not sink, the sandwiches were good, the owners and captain are nice folks, and the view of the coast from the boat is gorgeous. Since they can't go out on their boat without the local "captain", they are in no rush to get back so there really was no time pressure on the trip at all. 1/2 day trip seemed like it could last all day if the seas are calm and everyone is having a good enough time to stay out.

Overall, I cannot recommend this outfit to anyone who is a fisherman. If you just have to go out on a boat, I guess you might have an OK time with these folks but you might want to look into other options first.

Visited October 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janick2010, Owner at Wahoo Fishing & Tours, responded to this review, November 24, 2011
We sincerely regret your disappointment and appreciate the clear, concise criticism. Indeed, it was one of those days where nearly everything goes wrong--but as you point out, at least the boat didn't sink!

Pino, who's mentioned in nearly every review, was unable to attend to your tour due to illness. We asked another fisherman to join us, as it has been our committment to employ with the local fishermen and promote our tours as an opportunity to educate the visitors to the culture and traditions of this part of Costa Rica. The Caribe Sur was setled by Afro-Caribbean fishermen who depended on the sea for fishing, turtle hunting and transportation of local crops. It is not true we are unable to operate the boat, we choose to employ the local population and provide an experience unique to this area. While our substitute captain had the necessary experience, the three of us lacked the practice and team work that we share with Pino. In Captain Pino's unexpected absence, the usual competence to catch bait, organize the day's fishing equipment, and select the best spots for that day were missing. We did try to make up for it by providing extra hours and a long trip out to see the dolphins in Gandoca, not typical in the "fishing with the captain" tour purchased.

Now it is true that we are new to this venture. Having spent our previous lives in the Northwest US fishing lakes, rivers and streams in a drift boat, guiding a 19' center console fiberglass boat through crashing waves and narrow channels has presented its share of challenges, and like nearly all the other boats in the harbor, we've now met the reef up close.

Pino, on the other hand, has been running this boat for 4 years and fishing this area for over 30 years. Pino is the show here, not us. We are very sorry that he was not available that day and if we have learned anything from this review, it is that we will very carefully review conducting paid tours without him in the future.



Another point about being new owners of the business, and one which we have already rectified, is the condition and function of the equipment. We have spent many many hours with the GPS, depth/fish finder and have now mastered the many features it provides. In late October all the snorkels, masks and fins were replaced with new professional quality equipment. Fishing gear is replaced as quickly as we can acquire it, not always an easy task in the remote Caribbean. We have four sets of quality Shimano rods with companion TDK25 reels, in addition to lighter spinner rod/reel sets. We also have a full range of handlines, and typically we encourage guests to at least try the local method. Again, we hope to provide a fishing experience you may not get anywhere else. We've spent additional time working with Marvin, and have thrice co-captained with him and Pino in two boats training and working together.



Thank you for taking the time to review your experience, as it has been valuable information. I would like to invite you to visit again, on us, we would delight in a second chance to put the pura vida back in your Caribbean fishing adventure.
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