Quepos Pescadora February 2020

February 20-22, 2020
Story by: Evan A. Hipsley, Jr.

22 February 2020

Location: Pez Vela Marina

Quepos | Costa Rica

GeoLoc: 9.25.35° N | 084.10.22° W 

This was my first trip to Quepos, Costa Rica and the first time IGFTO Observers were invited to participate in the Second Annual Pescadora Ladies Tournament.

Expectations were very high coming off of Leg 1 of the Signature Triple Crown in Los Sueños and 34 IGFTO Observers answered the call to observe for two beautiful days encompassing February 20-22.

Departing Pensacola, FL outbound for Juan Santamaría {Costa Rica} International Airport was relatively easy and very similar to my most-recent trip of January 2020. The only difference this time was routing westward through Houston which was a short hop of 1.5 hours with less than an hour on deck which was followed by wheels up transitioning to feet wet encompassing just over three and a half hours flight time to wheels down and feet dry at what is commonly referred to as "San Jose."

Immigration and Customs lines can be long here as several other airlines also land around the same time, so be patient because once you leave the baggage claim area and find your transportation, Paraíso (Spanish for paradise) is “full-on!”

The transit from the airport to Quepos was just shy of three hours; all traffic and weather contingent of course. I try to “bookend” each trip by a few days pre and post tournament to catch the sights etc., and in this case our first-ever Observer Training Course in Quepos hosted by Marina Pez Vela.

Accommodations: A great majority that traveled from the continental U.S. resided at the Best Western Kamuk.  From there it was an approximate 10-minute walk to the Marina.

The Rules, Observer, Captain/Team/Angler Meetings and Kickoff party were held on Thursday evening to set the stage for the fishing that was on tap for both Friday and Saturday. Three divisions were offered: Billfish release, Tuna, and Dorado.

The Observers met dock-side each morning at approximately 0500 below the Runaway Grill checking in with IGFTO President Steve Hargett and myself for paperwork, boat assignments, any day admin that needed to be disseminated, and then reported to their assigned boat with teams departing the marina at 0600.

The maximum range for fishing from Quepos was 50 nautical miles; lines in was called each day at 0800, and lines out at 1530.

Scoring for this tournament was 300 points for Marlins, Pacific Sailfish were awarded 100 points each, and Tuna and Dorado were by individual weights.

Following two days on the water, the top team standings were: BIG OH 2700 points; VAQUERO 1900 points; and GRAND SLAM 1700 points. Congratulations to ALL teams and Lady Anglers for participation in this event showcasing Women and Fishing.

The 34 teams released a total of 339 Billfish and 45 Gray FishTag Research tags were deployed (330 Pacific Sailfish and 9 Marlins).

Up next: Legs 2 and 3 of the Los Sueños Triple Crown and our third Observer Training Course for 2020 to be held in Delray Beach Florida on Saturday April 25th 2020 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can read more about the course offering and register here: https://www.igfto.org/news/2/Observer-Training-Courses-Schedule-Updated-2.19.2020 

Best, Evan.