Local anglers reel in trip of a lifetime

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    On the second and third days of their recent Costa Rica fishing adventure, Pat Brobst, left, and Josh Fisher worked the waters closer to shore and landed yellowfin tuna, giant snapper, amberjack, and dorado, also called mahi mahi.


  • QUEPOS, COSTA RICA — After a marathon day of flying that started after a 4 a.m. ride to the Detroit airport, Josh Fisher and Pat Brobst arrived in the capital city of San Jose. A two-hour van ride through the mountains, jungle and farming areas brought them here, to this small, bustling fishing harbor on the Pacific coast.

    At Marina Pez Vela they met up with Toledoan Scott Kozak, who operates a sportfishing business here. Soon they were off on an all-night journey in Kozak’s 42-foot boat, with the captain and the two mates taking turns at the helm. They ventured 130 miles out in the Pacific Ocean where they would pursue that powerful prize of the open waters – the blue marlin.

    After a breakfast at sea of bacon and eggs and coffee, the baits were attached and the lines went into the water, which was around 10,000 feet deep at this site. Very quickly, Fisher got his baptism into fishing for blue marlin.

    “At first I tried to muscle it, but you learn real fast that’s not the best thing to do. And when you first see that fish come out of the water hundreds of yards away, you realize the monumental task you have just to get this thing up to the boat,” he said. “It’s a battle. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.”

    He had dabbled in the salt water a bit off the Carolinas, but the 41-year-old Fisher, a plumbing contractor in the Toledo area, was new to this game. His fishing partner for this trip was Pat Brobst, a veteran of many deep sea ventures, and it was Pat’s longtime friendship with Kozak the brought the trio together earlier this summer.

    “It seemed like within minutes we were hooked up with our first marlin,” said the 51-year-old Brobst, a native of Michigan who has made Toledo his home for the past three decades.

    Brobst, who makes two or three deep sea fishing trips a year and has served as an IGFA observer during billfish tournaments, said he was thrilled to see Fisher battling that first marlin.

    “I’ve caught my share of marlin, but it never gets old, and so to see Josh experience it for the first time was incredible,” said Brobst, a commercial/industrial real estate manager for Toledo-based IBC, Inc.

    “Scott and his guys put us right on the fish. In those few hours we raised 23 blue marlin, hooked up 18, and landed 11, plus one sailfish. That was the No. 1 trip of my life, by far. It was amazing.”

    The pair spent the next two days fishing with Kozak in the nearshore waters off Quepos, where they tangled with dorado, amberjack, giant red snapper, and yellowfin tuna. A cooler of frozen fillets accompanied the two anglers for the trip back to Toledo.

    “With those tuna, it was like electricity with how hard and how fast they hit,” Fisher said. “We caught a lot of fish, and it was thrilling because out in the ocean, you just never know what is going to be on the other end of your line. And as for Costa Rica, I had heard that this was a beautiful country, sort of like paradise, and now I believe everything I was told.”