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7/31/03 10:11 PM
GIANTS TARPON IN FRESWATER [Post#: 1259 ] Reply to this post

Fishing report # 45: San Juan River Nicaragua

For an easier reading Full report , Newsletter and Pictures at :

Long time since I wrote a fishing report and I am getting E mail asking what’s hapening ...

We are well and alive still fishing sucessfully with Guests our San Juan River .

Sorry for the missing reports but I have reallly been super busy with the improvement of the internet site at and building of the new Guests house on my land in front of San Carlos...on shore of Lake Nicaragua... a lot of work for all of us...on No Fishing days everybody fishing guides included become carpenter... and I move from my computer to the wood workshop...

Obviously the international events: war in Irak and SAR Virus had negative effect on my booking in all spring 2003 but even in such situation we did have many guests coming and “as usual” all of them had tarpon : Terry from Mineapolis.. , Julie and Fabien from France, Etienne and Bertrand from France Bill , Randy, Irvine, from Seattle and Alaska., Mike and lindy from Florida., Janos, Camilla from Sweden Bob and Family from New Mexico , Jeff and Kelly from Seattle..
For most of these guests this trip with us was not the first one some where at trip #4 on San Juan river... there is always something new to discover in our Fishing Adventures...

As predicted ( see Report #44 ) from June we observe in San Juan River a tremendous quantity of fish ( Tarpon size 20lb to more than 250lb ) all around, going up and down river. Remarcable also , some changes concerning the feeding area... “Activity Zone”

I like to talk a bit of this idea of “ feeding area or Activity Zone” as I consider it is very important for the quality of our fishing . I do not want to say than this is true for all tarpon fishing all over the world.. but what I know is than at least this is true concerning the 120 miles of our San Juan river river and also in Cano Negro and Rio Frio in Costa Rica than I also know very well...

Since 4 years we are Sport Fishing there..., we observe than there are diferent behaviour of fish according to where they are.. Exist places where you can see thousand of tarpon “Rolling” “breathing” slowly generally by two or three very close from each other in a behaviour we figure related to reproduction ...

There we are ... When you see this DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME...unless you want to enjoy super frustration... it is almost impossible to have these fish bite... trust me we tried... whatever the hour, the moon , the lure, the fly , the live bait etc etc this is what we called a DON’T LOSE YOUR TIME AREA it can be on a mile of river or 20 there may be 1000 tarpon or ten thousands... in variable sizes..( Note , In such a zone your only chance ..’’ very very small” is to have one of the tarpon being Upset by a lure..he will then not grab it but Push it then you may have a chance...and a fin hooking!! ) For me and my guides there is no doubt than this ballet is related to reproduction.. and in our San Juan River this may happen at any months in the year.. in these area tarpon do not feed do not bite even if baita are abundant.. .. but then at the same time 10 miles ahead or down river they will ... a totally diferent behaviour it will not take long before they take this same fly or lure you could have cast unsuccessfully for a half day in other place..

Since 4 years we almost daily fish the river and we have been lucky inoff to locate the Activity area ( Bitting in a specifiv one will be good for a month or three , location of these place also vary according to Water level and time of the year...)

Remark On writing that ( Specifically what concern reproduction ) I may give a problem at Marine Biologist... as it is said write and known than tarpon do not reproduce in Fresh water..??? Our Fishing grounds are Fresh water at 120 miles from sea ...So?

Well I invite all scientifics interested to be in touch with me, as I would like to start a tagging program etc etc... Please All opinion, comments from Fellow Fishermen are welcome... I forgot.. I have report of Local professional Fishermen who said they caught very small tarpon...and what about this baby tarpon 15 cm. ( 6 inches ) . caught acidentally by the back in Solentiname by one of our Guest from Texas in January 2002?
Back to Sport Fishing.. In my opinion success in Tarpon fishing in San Juan River is of course made of using the right type of Lures , ( or flies ) with the good colour according to light and water is also a matter of moon or hours and x Factors known from my guides.( they are all Born here are for example fascinate by behaviour of Aigrets on river bank one of their indicators..etc etc..) all these are the basics for a sucessfull fishing .but In my opinion there is something more: being able to corectly clasified the Zones of the river according to signal given by tarpon behaviour..

Size of fish we catch and release in San Juan River is generally between 80lb to 150 lb ( We also observed the presence of much smaller fish ..20, 30lb but not in big quantities.. ) then we have the big one from 150lb till 200lb and then the monsters as this 105 kg fish caught in June 2003 by Irvine from Seatle..... Exceptionaly (and unfortunately.) . we weighed this fish as it did swallow the lures , and was hold inside by the Gills and bleading dramatic circumstances.. ..This mean no chance to survive reason why we know the Exact weight ...

I know this will sound unbeliveable to many readers but we already had bigger fish on in several ocasion but could not take them to the boat.. Remark ( For the real “Tarpon Aficinados” ) these Giants do not jump. only shake with extreme violence , a third or half of the body out of the water ..

Anyway Concerning this Irvine’s Tarpon I have been told than this is the bigest tarpon ever caught in Central America.. and may be in all americas excepting this monster of 283 lb caught in Venezuela.. ( March 1956 this is the actual IGFA all tackle world record duce with another fish caught in then peacefull Sierra Leone. 1991. )

Another event I like to mention concerning this spring is than we have 5 new kids entering our Junior tarpon club... Open to boys and girl under 12 years old.. each of them caught at least one tarpon between 100lb and 150lb, congratulation to Alex 9 years old , Alain 8 years old ( These two are my sons.. in begining of July they caught several tarpon each...) then a very special mention for Sarah 10 years old from new Mexico who caught a 150lb ...( these weight are estimation as all these fish has been released..) . ...

Fishing will be great in the coming months as we have a year with Chayul... ( small insects, flies who do not bite but are many so many..) . baits feed on them....then tarpon feed on bait...Well you know.. ) when we have such a year we know than fishing is going to be great til ar least the end of February next year.. Matter of Activity Zone
Will start soon to work on my planning it’s time to be in touch with me for the coming months but also for the High season from October till March..
Philippe Tisseaux. E mail
PS, On the 13th and 14th of September of 2003 will be organised the edition # 45 of the SAN CARLOS local Fishing tournament,,, as a member of the comity I am glad to help and Provide information concerning this fun event...

E mail Philippe Tisseaux

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