BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

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BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby castronova » May 4th, 2017, 5:43 am

I should have wrote this a long time ago but have just been really busy. I have to make it short but ask questions if you want and I'll try and answer.

Back at the beginning of February I went with 3 other guys to dive in Costa Rica. We booked the trip through Sean Hascup who is a Florida native and runs trips in Costa Rica full time now in Jaco. The trip was planned with the specific dive days about 4 months in advance. He partnered with a Cuban guy that has a boat there, Armel, about a year ago and started running trips. They both try to book trips and supposedly take a bigger cut on the trip dependent on who booked it.

Sean was awesome, as was Armel the first few days there. They helped us with getting around and we had 2 pretty good days diving with them and shot some nice fish.

On Monday we talked all day on the boat cruising around looking for dolphins and tuna. We discussed the whole week in detail at length. Armel had us set up for Mon., Tues. and Thursday. After Monday's dive we left all of our gear, guns, fins, everything on the boat and they paid someone to sleep on the boat for us. We showed up Tuesday and dove again. Talked all day Tuesday about them having some girl charter the boat Wed. who wanted to break the Cubera world record.

At the end of the day on Tuesday we got back to the cove where the boat stays moored just offshore. We started to unload all of our guns, shafts, fins, bags, etc. and Armel said its no problem to just leave them on the boat. They were only taking one girl out and for one day. She wouldn't touch any of it. Perfect, thank you, sounds great. The gear will be here for Thursday... Or else why would we leave it on the boat?!?!?

We take the next day off and just relax. Grab a few beers and chill in the pool at our rental house. We get a call in the afternoon from Sean... not good.

He said our trip for Thursday was cancelled. Huh? We just discussed this for 2 days, what happened? Sean said he had all of our gear at his house. What? Armel took all of our gear, 8 guns, all of our fins and bags, and put them on the beach. Sean was nice enough to take them to the house for us. Armel booked another trip with different guys and threw our gear off to accommodate booking a new trip. The new trip was booked by him so he can make more money than our trip which was booked by Sean.

Armel did this without calling us, without setting us up for our last dive day. Did not let us know he was unloading our gear. He would not answer voicecalls, facebook messages, texts, nothing. Fucking coward is what that guy is. All for a couple dollars.

This is not how you treat people who come to another country and trust you with their lives, their gear, their free time, or their money. Sean has since that trip split with Armel for good as far as I know. We ended up booking a local fishing guide and having probably the best dive day I've ever had in my life. Beware of people like this guy from Soul Spearfishing. I have to run but if you want more details post below.
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Re: BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby dam » May 4th, 2017, 11:37 am

Damn, JP. Glad you were able to salvage that and thanks for sharing. I've had boat guy cancel without telling and book higher paying customers as well. To them, we may be a dime a dozen but they don't realize how much effort it takes just to get there. Some people work a whole year just to be able to plan a little vacation only to have it ruined by one greedy idiot. Such short-sightedness, karma will get them, I'm sure.
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Re: BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby phil herranen » May 4th, 2017, 3:06 pm

That sucks , at least your guy saved your gear .
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Re: BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby chris oak » May 4th, 2017, 9:26 pm

Man I thought for sure I was going to read at the end that the girl jacked your gear, thank god someone looked out for it. Burn that mofo on social media, yelp reviews etc.
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Re: BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby John Hughes » May 5th, 2017, 4:32 am

I thought for sure you were going to end the story with getting your gear jacked. Thank God that didn't happen. Thanks for the heads up. Curious to know how far offshore you were running to dive? Were you diving inshore for reef fish as well?

I've got a friend that has a house down there in Jaco. My wife and I went years ago and it was probably the best vacation we've ever taken but I was just surfing at the time. I have access to the house anytime and can hook people up for the rental. It's across the street from town, just out of the mayhem and is clean and safe. We had so much fun down there, I may look into a spearing trip some time.

got any pics from your trip to entice me??? :)
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Re: BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby Munro » May 5th, 2017, 9:46 am

I am planning a trip to Costa Rica in July and will be staying in the Los Suenos/Jaco area for a few days. I was actually looking at Soul Spearfishing and just happened to stop by here to see if anyone had any recommendations for a charter.

I know who I will not be booking with.

Who was the local guide you ended up using for Thursday?
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Re: BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby castronova » May 10th, 2017, 11:09 am

John Hughes wrote:I thought for sure you were going to end the story with getting your gear jacked. Thank God that didn't happen. Thanks for the heads up. Curious to know how far offshore you were running to dive? Were you diving inshore for reef fish as well?

I've got a friend that has a house down there in Jaco. My wife and I went years ago and it was probably the best vacation we've ever taken but I was just surfing at the time. I have access to the house anytime and can hook people up for the rental. It's across the street from town, just out of the mayhem and is clean and safe. We had so much fun down there, I may look into a spearing trip some time.

got any pics from your trip to entice me??? :)


The pinnacles were 26 miles out, pretty easy to get to. The tuna were outside of that off the canyon and you had to run quite a bit to find dolphins. I'm sure you can get them close when the time is right though. I took some awesome photos but haven't posted them. I will try and get to them here soon and make a new thread and let you know.

Munro wrote:I am planning a trip to Costa Rica in July and will be staying in the Los Suenos/Jaco area for a few days. I was actually looking at Soul Spearfishing and just happened to stop by here to see if anyone had any recommendations for a charter.

I know who I will not be booking with.

Who was the local guide you ended up using for Thursday?


Sean David Hascup, started his own gig called Hascup hunts. He has a new place, compound, where he has a house and a house for rent that can hold a lot of guys. It was almost finished when I was there. It was really nice with a pool and covered porch with bar and couches. You can find him on instagram and facebook. Not sure if he has a site yet. If you need help getting to him let me know but I'm sure you can locate him pretty quickly. I have complete confidence in Sean. He also took us on an ATV tour into the jungle, waterfalls, restaurants, etc. Incredible.
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Re: BEWARE: Soul Spearfishing, Costa Rica

Postby John Hughes » May 11th, 2017, 4:33 am

That all sounds really great JP, thanks for the info. Look forward to seeing some pics!
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