2023 Pescadora | Quepos, Costa Rica

February 16-18, 2023
Story by: Karen Behnke

We spend a couple of months each year in Quepos, and in 2022, I met someone who was an Observer for the Pescadora Tournament.  My husband said, “that’s something you should do”. So in 2023 when we found out the training was in Quepos, I signed up. 

It was one of the best decisions I have made.  What a wonderful experience.  Training was on Valentine’s Day and that was appropriate because I fell in love observing and with the Pescadora Tournament. 

I must admit I was a little unsure I was capable.  I love fishing, but did I have what it takes to identify fish and make decisions that could impact teams?  After the training class with Steve Hargett and talking with the other observers, my apprehension subsided.  The training was organized and well run.  Steve was knowledgeable, approachable and passionate about the IGFTO. 

On Thursday night at the captains meeting I met the organizer of the tournament.  She has an amazing mission for this tournament.  A fun but professional women’s tournament.   I realized sitting there that it was important to have me, a woman, observing a women’s tournament. 

The marina is quiet at 5 a.m., and as I sat there waiting to be assigned my boat, I wasn’t sure what the day would bring.  It was magic.  The captain, mates, and especially the women were so welcoming.  The excitement of the first fish on was exhilarating.  I was no longer nervous and was able to call the fish and release.  I was thrilled and confident and ready for the next hook up.   The second day was just as amazing.   I am in awe of these amazing women and their talent and love of fishing.

Sitting at Saturday night’s  Awards Banquet and listening to the accomplishments of these 52 teams of women, I was very proud to have been involved, and I can’t wait until 2024 to do it again.