By Rick Ruhlow • Kingfisher Sportfishing

One of my very good friends was just here visiting when the last edition came out, and after he read my column, I was saying that it was basically the same article that was written the year before, as probably would be the next with just a few small differences. Honestly fishing can be very good in our area, and for this current issue,  I love being able  to tell anglers the predictions are coming true, water looks great, the currents are strong and we are still finding FADS. We are starting to see a bit of bait  (flying fish and sardines), the  mahi, tuna, sails and marlin are still around, but staying on theme can become a bit mundane.

To stay in tune with the gist of these columns and to give a general overview,  I will say the fishing has remained steady this season with dozens of anglers going home with great stories, good catches, and new experiences.  At my friends suggestion I thought I would share one of those experiences.

It was Leo Harris’s  40th birthday celebration,  and it was the third day of fishing for him and his group of buddies.  During the  first two days we had already released a  pair of blue marlin, a stripe and a few sails, seen countless dolphin, watched  humpback whales and had a very unusual encounter with a rare beaked whale.

It was the second day that we got the slam. Needless to say the trip was going well. On our last day the water was inky blue with a slight ripple, and we were over 20 miles offshore. I really can’t remember if we had seen much at this point ( but I’m sure we had a few sails up), when off in the distance we spotted a large black object apparently bobbing in the water. First rule of fishing, check everything and anything unusual out. Hoping we had a spotted a FAD, or a log, we headed in that direction. As we got nearer it suddenly disappeared and then popped up a few minutes later. I soon realized that we were following a large male orca whale. As we got closer he remained on the surface to the point that we were only 20 feet abeam of him. He was almost as long as the boat. His dorsal stood 4 feet above the water, his black and white coloring shimmering below the surface of the water.

Everyone was on the bow of the boat totally entranced when we noticed a lone turtle dead ahead. Jokingly I commented that “here comes lunch” and sure enough, slowly and gently as though just savoring the taste and “crunch”, the killer whale took the turtle in its mouth and disappeared into the deep blue to enjoy his “snack”

While fishing is the key component to any trip and our primary focus, moments like can be what makes a trip stand out in your mind, it certainly did with me.

If anyone besides my family and friends read this column and has any suggestions on what you would like to hear or read about, you can find us on FB at  Kingfisher Sportfishing in Playa Carrillo.


Originally from California, Rick Ruhlow moved to Costa Rica over 33 years ago. While exploring the country he fished Playa Naranjo (gulf of Nicoya), Quepos, Drakes Bay and Flamingo, before discovering Playa Carrillo almost 28 years ago. He was the Fishing Manager/Captain  for the newly re-opened Hotel Guanamar for three years, before venturing off on his own. He has been owner/operator of Kingfisher Sportfishing since 1995. Contact Rick at