The 2017 Lucas Oil Offshore World Championship billfish tournament got underway Monday with 50 teams from 29 countries competing for the honor of top angling team in the world.
Fishing takes place out of Marina Pez Vela in Quepos and is co-sponsored by Bonnier Corp, which among many ventures publishes one of the most popular magazines among people who chase pointy-nosed fish. To qualify for the tournament, you must have won another major tournament in the past year.
Video: A (very) quick look at the start of the tournament (Courtesy of Marina Pez Vela)
The first day of the competition echoed this year’s fishing season in Costa Rica. The numbers of fish caught the first day of the four-day tournament were down from the record number of fish seen the last few years. Even though the numbers of sailfish were noticeably absent, the numbers of marlin caught were much better.
A total of 58 billfish were caught and released, with 21 of them being marlin, eclipsing total marlin caught each year of previous tournaments the first day of fishing.
The leaders after the first day were teams called Oregon Tuna Classic and 2016 OWC Champions. Five teams are just one fish behind, so it is far from over. The tournament ends Friday, with awards presented at Marina Pez Vela that evening.
To keep track of the tournament live, click on http://owc17.catchstat.com/?dom=owc&loc=mainnav&lnk=live-scoring.