When Jeff Perala and Sue Sutton invited my wife and me down to their new eco-lodge Toucan and Tarpon in Costa Rica, we jumped at the chance. I'd fished with Jeff before when he owned Lakers Unlimited on northern Saskatchewan's Lake Athabasca, so I knew he'd put me on the fish—in particular, the mighty tarpon, one of my bucket-list species. And both Jeff and Sue are totally dialed in with the local community of Tortuguero, across the broad river from their lodge, so there would be plenty of non-angling pursuits for Jackie to check out (click here to read about her ongoing adventures).

We arrived here on Saturday, and already we've toured the village and adjacent Tortuguero National Park, and I've been out on the ocean twice with Jeff and his crew. There's lots to share, but my laptop battery is running low and more activities await. But I can at least report that tarpon have now been scratched from my bucket list. Yesterday, I boated a 65-pound beast followed by its 80-pound big brother (pictured below). These were most definitely the toughest fish I've ever battled. My plan now, until we leave on Thursday? To catch a 100-pound-plus tarpon. Stay tuned!

Jumping tarpon My 80-pound tarpon makes one of two jumps. The earlier 65-pounder cleared the water four times!










Tarpon boated My 80-pounder, in the boat! It took both me and guide Denis Williams to pull into the boat for a quick few photos before releasing it. And don't worry, the gaff was in the cartilage, and the mark should be healed over in no time, I'm told.