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“42 YEARS IN THE COCKPIT…… AND ON THE BRIDGE” with Captain Dean Jacobs

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“42 YEARS IN THE COCKPIT…… AND ON THE BRIDGE” with Captain Dean Jacobs

By Dave Embry – Managing Partner, Costa Rica Dreams Sportfishing



Captain Dean Jacobs


In December, 2010 we purchased Costa Rica Dreams Sportfishing at the Los Sueños Resort & Marina. As with any purchase, we bought a lot of “stuff” …….. from office supplies and spare parts …….to 5 great “Dreams” boats ranging from our 35’ Cabos - “Dream Maker” and “Sweet Dreams”……. all the way up to our 50’ Hatteras, “HattaDreams”. We all knew what we were getting with the “stuff” we bought….but what we didn’t know was that one of the most valuable assets we were to acquire was one of the most experienced Captains in the world……Captain Dean Jacobs.

“Deano”, as he is warmly referred to around the Los Sueños Marina, was born in 1948 in Atlanta, Georgia. As a kid he always loved the ocean and loved to read about the famous anglers who traveled the world in search of big fish. At the age of 21 he took his first professional job in the “cockpit” with a mating job aboard the “Buddy II” in Hilton Head, SC……..and thus his adventures began.

By 1973 he had his first Captains job on the bridge of the “Sandpiper II” in Buford, SC fishing the rough Atlantic waters for the smaller Atlantic species…..but he longed for more.

883 lb. Marlin. Cabo San Lucas 1976
So in 1976, he took the “Stinger” by trailer from Texas to the then, small fishing village of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In those days, there wasn’t even a dock built yet, so when they caught big fish like this 883 lb. marlin, they had to float him ashore…… load him on a trailer and haul him to a place where they could weigh it. This monster would have been a world record caught on 50 lb test line but the Mexican authorities refused to let them take the fish to Rancho Bueno Vista where “official” scales were located!

BUT….he wanted more …….so in 1977 he was off to Australian………..land of the famous “granders”……..1,000 lb or larger black marlin along the famous Great Barrier Reef.

True to legend, he not only caught 1,000 lb or larger marlin but even went so far as to catch TWO IN ONE DAY ! And, as coincidence would have it, the fishermen were from Costa Rica! Little did he know that in the not too distant future……this would be the place he called home.

During one 12 day charter near the “Ribbons #9” off the Great Barrier Reef, 37 marlin were landed…….all averaging over 700 lbs with the smallest being 2- “half granders”……500 lbs!

While fishing with an angler from San Diego, CA aboard the “Kalimar”, Dean landed this huge 1298 lb marlin. The giant took only 20 minutes to land using 130 lb tackle with 28 lb drag. His experience had taught him that if you used a relatively light drag and kept the monster on the surface, he would tire and give up the fight earlier. Experience counts!

During the same period, this 1258 lb. “grander” was also boated!



1,298 Black Marlin Dean is on the front left.


1258 lb. Black Marlin with Captain Jacobs.

Back in the “old days”, it was common to “boat” the big fish and take them back to be weighed and of course to have the meat split up and eaten. “Conservation” of both fish and wildlife in those days was just not something that was considered. No one would have ever thought we would run out of “all the fish in the ocean” or “herds” of American Bison. It was much like looking into a big barrel of jellybeans and thinking…… “There is no way we could ever eat all those jellybeans!”.......but we did! Good “sportsmen” across the world realized this and launched “conservatism” to preserve our resources.

Now, Costa Rica requires the use of “circle hooks” and most boats will release the fish by cutting the leader close to the hook.

Costa Rica has always been on the forefront of billfish conservation with voluntary “catch & release” and has led the world in things such as the use of “circle hooks”, which allows the fish to be hooked only in the mouth without internal trauma. As far back as 1986 on my first trip to Costa Rica, we caught and released 42 sails in one day……and no one ever had a thought of keeping a single one of those fish and to my knowledge, not a one died.

“Deano” has seen the whole evolution of conservatism and fought hard to promote it after he moved to Costa Rica in 1990. He fished Flamingo’s Puerto Carrillo in 1992 catching 1,287 billfish that year…..93 being marlin. He’s fished 23 days straight aboard the “Permit” and its mother ship “Madame” off Isla de Coco (the “Coco Islands”) where he raised 150 marlin, hooked 87 and landed 17…..on fly fishing gear …..and released all the fish to give pleasure to another angler and crew……..another day.

So when you are walking the docks at the famous “Los Sueños Resort & Marina”…..stop by “HattaDreams”….just outside the Costa Rica sport fishing office on the Charter Dock….and you’re likely to run into the famous “Deano”. After 21 years fishing here ……I’m sure he has a story or 2 he’d love to tell you!
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