Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Los Suenos Press Release

The first leg of the 2013 Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series, presented jointly by Smith Merritt Insurance, Travelers Insurance and International Special Risks, held from January 16‐19 at Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Costa Rica, welcomed 38 participating teams and 147 individual anglers. It was a record breaking tournament.

The tournament radio never went silent with boats reporting an incredible average of one billfish per minute. Over the course of the three fishing days 1,406 sailfish and 6 marlin were released, breaking the standing record, set during the first leg ofthe 2006 Series, of 1,282 billfish releases by 46 boats.

Rumor had it that the fishing was fantastic leading up to the tournament. Eight sailfish releases by 8:10 am was apromising sign of things to come. By 9:45 am, Rebel had taken an early lead with 800 points, followed by Boo Loo and Tijereta with 700 points each. Two hours after lines in a whopping 97 sailfish had already been released. The bitecontinued to heat up and just past noon the tally was up to 206 releases. By the end of Day 1, 415 sailfish were released and HT Hook had won first place, on time, over Dragin Fly, each with 2,200 points. Family & Friends placed third for the day with 1,900 points. With no marlin yet in play and the incredible bite, teams were anxious to get out again and see what Day 2 would bring.

Day 2 started where Day 1 left off. The radio was running hot, as teams called in doubles and triples galore, with some even reporting quadruples. Within the first 120 minutes of the day, 120 billfish were called in to Tournament Control. The first marlin of the tournament was released by Da Bait at 9:29 am. By 10:00 am Dragin Fly already had 7 sailfish releases for the day and had moved into the lead with 2,900 points. A second marlin was released by Tijereta at 12:52 pm. Fishing was off the charts with boats seeing 40 fish or more! Dragin Fly was able to maintain their lead with 4,400 points by day’s end, followed by HT Hook in second and High Hook in third. The total fish tally for Day 2 added up to an incredible 523 sailfish and 2 marlin, bringing the two‐day total to 940 billfish. Seafix took the day though, after releasing 27 sailfish, the most out of all the boats in Day 2. Seventy percent of the participating boats reported catches in the double digits on day 2.

Going into Day 3, everyone was wondering if the bite would cooperate for yet another day. Conditions could not have been better. The skies were gorgeous, temperature warm (not too hot), seas were calm and clear. Shortly after lines in was called out over the tournament radio, it was clear that the third and final day would be a busy one indeed. Just after 9:00 am the 1,000th fish was released by Miss Behavin. By 2:05 pm it was official! A new tournament record was set with a double by Uno Mas. What a way to celebrate the first leg of the 10th Anniversary Series! At 3:03 pm Dragin Fly released the third of the four marlin reported during Day 3, giving them a very comfortable lead. They secured their first place finish with 1,000 points more than their closest runner up‐ Rebel. Rebel quietly worked their way into second place overall with an astounding 27 sailfish releases on Day 3, ending the tournament with a total of  5,700 points. HT Hook followed in third place and showed amazing stamina over the three fishing days, ending with 5,200 points.
All told, a total of 1,412 billfish were reported, including 6 marlin.

Art Mc Donald, one of the IGFTO certified observes, made a quick calculation; 1,412 fish released, divided by 1,440 minutes of fishing equals a fish a minute.

Congratulations to all of the participating teams on an outstanding job well done!
The awards ceremony was held under the stars on the white sand in front of the Los Sueños Beach Club. The weather was perfect, and about 500 anglers, captains, observers and sponsors were treated to a delicious buffet dinner, a marvelous fire show by Cirko Vivo and incredible fireworks. Tournament winners took to the stage to receive a total of $95,000 in cash, as well as other prizes provided by tournament sponsors.
1st $47,500‐ Dragin Fly, 6,700 points: 62 sails, 1 marlin
2nd $28,500‐ Rebel, 5,700 points: 57 sails
3rd $19,000‐ HT Hook, 5,200 points: 52 sails