Update from the Osa:
Season 4 Episode 19 (the Wildlife Diversity edition).
This update features a
variety of photos from the past two weeks including a mountain biking trip
(across a long motorcycle extension bridge), an incredible inshore fishing day
(with Sailfish, Roosters and Jacks oh my), an amazing off-shore fishing day
(with Monster Mahi, Tuna and Marlin) and a bird outing (Scarlet McCaw and Great
The 36-mile cycling trip was
along the mountain road that extends from Rincon to Drake bay. To essentially
cross the Rincon River, there is a spectacular suspension bridge that has been
created for motorcycles and foot traffic. Cars can drive across the riverbed
when the water level is low enough but have to take the long road around for
most of the rainy season. The first shot is a panoramic photo (180 degrees that
captures the view upriver, downriver and the bridge itself in the center.
The second photo is the same
bridge but with a wide angle shot from the opposite direction. Note: if you
look closely, you will see red marks painted on the “planks/boards” that
represent parts of the bridge where the wood either has significant holes or
that are damaged enough to identify the areas you literally could fall through
if not going fast enough. For the record… I walked my bike across.
Next up are the photos that
represent the incredible inshore fishing day that I had with several trophy
roosterfish, a sailfish, multiple Jacks, a Longfin Trevally, hammerhead shark,
Yellowfin Tuna and Amberjack. BTW… With the Hammerhead, we are now up to 62
different species of gamefish caught here on the Osa.
Next up are the photos from
the Offshore expedition (with Dave Horn, Tony Reyman, Captain Cory and his
trusty mate Alias). We started out about 20 miles offshore fishing a
current/trash line and it didn’t take 15 minutes before Tony Reyman hooked up
with an athletic Mahi in the 40 pound class (a PR for Tony).
Next up was 3 more Mahi (to
make sure we could feed the hood for a week) before I tied into a spectacular
Marlin (about 180+ pounds), that technically wasn’t even hooked (the hook
actually wrapped around the bill and somehow didn’t come undone after a terrific
I handed off the rod to Dave
and he settled in for the battle with Alias providing an assist on the rod (to
make sure that Dave didn’t go for a swim).
The end result was that I
managed to capture the single best close-up photos of a Marlin that I’ve ever
taken. The close ups of the eye of the fish with the water spraying off
the head as Cory held on tight to the Bill don’t get any better.
When you are literally one
foot away from an enormous head, mouth and eye of such an amazing creature - that
is larger and a lot stronger than you, it leaves you with a lasting
impression. What’s even better is to release it “unharmed,” to continue its
lifelong pelagic journey for a thousand miles in the Pacific Ocean.
As an action sport
photographer, the photo op doesn’t get any better than this.
One more comment about
close-up photography of Game Fish…
When the fish is totally
exhausted, the eye actually “appears lifeless” and the fish is stressed to the
point where it may not survive. When the eye is looking down, at you and/or is
focused, the fish is fine and ready to be released unharmed.
It’s at this moment – looking
into the fish’s eye that you make a spiritual connection with the fish and you
almost seem to appreciate/respect each other. This is the ultimate shot for me
to capture as a photographer and one that I never forget – no matter how many
fish I catch. In fact, the quality of the photos I captured of this fish are so
good that the file size of each shot is over 50 Mbs.
Next up was what we set out
to accomplish when we left the dock… I wanted to catch a PR Mahi in the
50-pound class and I went public with that goal several times that
morning. Well, after another 30 minutes of trolling along a massive
current line offshore, MahiZilla hit my rod and the battle was on.
When it initially jumped and
cartwheeled when hooked, I knew it was a beast and after about a 30-minute fight,
it came into Cory Gaft as a new PR for Yours Truly. The head on this Male fish
was so massive that it actually extended from my waist to just below my chin –
which made it somewhat of a challenge for me to hold by hand so I ultimately
had to prop it up on my lap. The picture below says it all and it may have well
exceeded a 50 pound class fish.
Just after landing this Mahi,
Cory got a report over the radio that there was a huge school of Yellowfin Tuna
less than three miles away so we set off in pursuit of Tunazilla as Dave had a
score to settle (he lost a true trophy fish he hooked on his fly rod the last
time we were out - after an hour long fight).
As soon as we arrived at the
school, Tony hooked up with a 40 pounder (a new PR for him).
I then landed two 40 pounders
on my topwater popper and while reeling in my second fish, Dave finally
connected with the TunaZilla of the Day (a mid-70-pound class fish) that truly
tested him physically and mentally.
Dave’s fish seemed to fight
well above its weight class and it apparently was VERY PISSED OFF at something
(maybe it was the large hook impaled in its mouth). Either way, Alias once
again had to provide an assist on the rod to help keep Dave in the boat and
after about an hour, it came alongside for Cory to set the Gaft.
Birds etc: I also managed to
get some great photos of Scarlet McCaw as they gorge themselves on the Almond
Trees on the lower section of our property.
We also have a pair of Great
Kiskadee that have been staging at both our pool and our neighbor’s giant bird
bath (Dave and Jackie Horn). Whereas they have not been swimming in our pool
they have been doing “touch and go” landings in the Horn’s saltwater pool. I
was able to capture this action photo just as the bird bounced off the surface
on one of this practice landings.
Finally, we’ve had two Jesus
lizards that have moved into our pool area and they are the largest I’ve ever
seen (at least 2 Ft. long). They are famous for actually being able to
run/sprint across the surface of the water on their hind legs and somehow not
sink (hence the name they have earned). I’m still trying to get an action photo
of them on top of the water but they are really fast and somewhat skittish so
more camera time will be required to secure that shot.
That’s all for this week.
More to follow as I’m out on the water Saturday for a final outing before
traveling home to Bozeman next week.
Enjoy, share and plan your