The Tico Times –
Since man began taking fish from the ocean, they have used natural occurrences and eventually man-made technology to help them find fish.
Before modern fish-finder sonar, grouper fishermen would pack a heavy brass bell with soap and drop it to the bottom on a line. They would bounce it a couple of times on the bottom and retrieve it. If sand was stuck to the soap, they would move on. If pieces of rock or fragments of coral were embedded in the soap, they knew they were over good grouper habitat and fish there.
There’s a place in the Golfo Dulce near Pavones that, most of the time, the fishing isn’t very good. But if you’re there in a certain moon phase, on a certain tide, you will catch nice 10-pound-plus corvina one right after another.
In the Pacific, off the coast of Costa Rica, if you find a large pod of dolphins, there will almost always be yellowfin tuna swimming below them. Fishermen have been using dolphins to find tuna for years.
Probably one of the most impressive fish-finding methods I witnessed was the first time I fished for tarpon out of Barra del Colorado on the Caribbean coast. The boat had no electronics, and the captain cruised about a mile off the beach and would suddenly stop and say, “fish here.” In a few minutes, we were hooked up. After repeating this several times, I asked how he knew where to stop. “I can smell them,” he said. I thought he was joking until at one stop, I could smell the fish myself.