Los Sueños Signature Series Triple Crown

March 30 - April 2, 2016
Story by: Ron Teke

15 IGFTO Observers were present for the third leg of this Triple Crown Tournament. Held in the beautiful Los Suenos resort in Costa Rica, you will not find a better place to be an observer. I really appreciated the excellent planning and organization of tournament directors Ashley Bretecher and Tina Mueller. Our assignments and paperwork were excellent with boat locations, captains and anglers detailed each day.

Both Legs I and II had set records for numbers of billfish caught and this third leg was optimistic on shattering those records due to the previous days’ catches of 70-100 billfish per boat. Although that number was not outdone this leg, the fish were here, there and everywhere; they were just too full to take the bait. All told, there were 6,570 fish released by an average of 43 boats over the nine days of competition that made up this year's Signature Triple Crown. I had the pleasure of riding on the largest boat in the fleet, Numero Uno an 80’ Donzi owned by resort developer William Royster. Dock parties were held each night with great live music. Florde-Cana Rum was there as usual.

Day three started out slow but by afternoon many boats had moved and found the hot-spot. My boat for day three was the Sea Fix. They were short-handed with only 3 of the 5 anglers allowed on-board. By 11 am we only had three sailfish caught. We made the move and caught 20 more sailfish before the call of “lines out”. Yes, even with only three anglers we caught two quadruples. Here is a story you will not believe. On our first quad hook-up anglers were dancing back and forth, up and down trying to stay straight on their fish. Low-and-behold a rod is pulled out of an angler’s hand. Without a missed beat the angler throws off his hat and jumps over the transom for the rod/line. I say to myself “no way will he come back with anything. Well…the angler pops back up with the yellow line over his shoulder. He climbs in unassisted with no one else touching the line or rod and fights this fish successfully to a legal release. I say to myself “Did I really just witness this?”

In the end there were 10 quintuples and 15 quadruples, not to mention an uncounted number of doubles and triples, radioed in to Control between 1:01 pm and 4:11 pm. A total of 455 billfish were released in the same three hour period. Lines-out was called at 4pm but the fish were still biting. The crew handed me and the captain’s 11 year old son a rod and within 45 seconds we were both hooked up to our own sailfish. The young man landed his and then donned a pair of gloves to wire my fish boat side for a release. Too bad we were not here for the full day.

One could not have asked for a more exciting finish of the third leg of the 2016 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown tournament. With this amount of fish anything was possible until the very end of the competition. All set and done Agitator dominated winning First Place of the Third Leg and was crowned Series Champion, Pelese having an incredible come back after Day One took second place and Sea Angel took Third Place. A total of 1,855 billfish were released during the Third Leg of the Series. Overall during the 9 days of competition 6,570 billfish were released kicking it up 832 "notches" compared to 2015.