Forty-seven anglers from Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the United States and Costa Rica competed last month in the 38th International Sailfish and Marlin tournament that this year was hosted by the Club Amateur de Pesca and Los Sueños Marina.
The 75-year-old club — whose headquarters are in San José — is made up of a group of anglers from around the country who participate in various tournaments and family events throughout the year.
In three days of tournament fishing, the group landed and released 738 sailfish, eight striped marlin and three blue marlin for an average of 25 fish per boat.
With that much action, the lead changed many times during the tournament, but when it was all said and done, Carlos Paez from Costa Rica stood on top of the group with 44 fish. Ernesto Vazquez from Puerto Rico finished 2nd with 40, and Javier Montealegre was 3rd with 33.
Luis Liberman, ex-Vice President of Costa Rica, also had 33, but Montealegre’s last fish came to the boat 10 minutes earlier, earning him the 3rd spot.
The tournament score for teams was like a Nascar photo finish after a 500-mile race when only four minutes separated the top four teams. The Dominican Republic took top honors, followed by team Amejaye from Costa Rica — who, led by Liberman, caught the same number of fish but was beat out by only two minutes by the end of the three-day event. Puerto Rico took 3rd place. Boat awards went to Fish Tank, Amejaye, and Bolita respectively.
The Club Amateur de Pesca meets regularly near the National stadium. Many of its members are bilingual. For more information contact Grace Mora in the mornings at +506 2232-3430.
Todd Staley has run sport fishing operations in Costa Rica for nearly 30 years and works in marine conservation. He currently is Communications Director at FECOP, the Costa Rican Fishing Federation (www.fecop.org), serves on the International Game Fish Association’s Central America Council, and oversees the fishing operation at Crocodile Bay Resort. Contact him at [email protected]