The High Hook team, based out of Los Suenos and led by owner Larry Allison and Capt. Mike Parr, ventured up to Carrillo, Costa Rica for the Presidential Challenge of Central America, Presented by the I.C.T. Despite the slow fishing leading up to the tournament, they would not leave disappointed (or empty-handed).
The team had a stellar second day of fishing, releasing three blue marlin and a pair of sailfish to move into the lead among the 12 participating teams; it was a lead they would not relinquish. Although several other teams threatened, the distance was just a bit too much to overcome. “All three marlin were really fired up,” said owner Larry Allison. “One must have jumped 20 feet in the air. It was just an incredible show.” Allison finished the event as the Top Angler as well with a pair of blue marlin and a sailfish (the PCCA uses an angler rotation system to ensure a balanced field for all participants). For the tournament the High Hook amassed 1,500 points.
In second place was one of the most consistent fishing teams in the Pacific: the Sea Angel. Owner Greg Angel fished with his son Capt. BC at the helm and Austin Angel beside him in the cockpit along with Arturo Moreno. They had a great event and although the sailfishing had been especially slow, they found a way to make it happen, releasing 13 over the course of the three day event to finish with 1,300 points. Moreno finished as the tournament’s third place angler with seven sailfish to his credit. The Sea Angel won the Papagayo Cup Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the team gathering the most points between the PCCA Costa Rica and the Presidential Papagayo Cup tournaments.
Rounding out the top three was Gary Carter’s Las Ventanas del Mar team fishing aboard the Silver-Rod-O. They also finished the tournament with 1,300 points but fell just short of the Sea Angel based on time. However, Carter’s Day Two performance of a striped marlin and a sailfish, combined with his Day One sailfish, was enough to earn him the second place trophy in the angler standings.
As with all Presidential Challenge tournaments, the real winners were the billfish, all of which were released alive using 20-pound test Berkley Big Game line and non-offset circle hooks (the Eagle Claw 2004EL is the preferred hook of the PCCA Series). The proceeds from the tournament will go to fund billfish conservation in Central America and around the world through The Billfish Foundation. Attending this year’s tournament were TBF president Ellen Peel, chief scientific advisor Dr. Russell Nelson, TBF board members Gary Carter, John Richardson and Joan Vernon and TBF Central American coordinator Herbert Nanne.
A special thanks to the I.C.T, Costa Rica’s national tourism board, for their continued support of the Presidential Challenge series. PCCA anglers have a tremendous financial impact through their sportfishing tourism in Costa Rica and we’re grateful for the support of the I.C.T. in helping the event through their Presenting Sponsorship.
Final Results, Presidential Challenge of Central America
First Place Team: High Hook, 1,500 points
Second Place Team: Sea Angel, 1,300 points
Third Place Team: Las Ventanas del Mar, 1,300 points
Top Angler: Larry Allison, 700 points
Second Place Angler: Gary Carter, 700 points
Third Place Angler: Arturo Moreno, 700 points
Papagayo Cup Perpetual Trophy Standings
High Hook: 1,500 points
Sea Angel: 1,300 points
Las Ventanas del Mar/Silver-Rod-O: 1,300 points
Let It Ride: 1,000 points
Voice of the Wild: 900 points
Team OBX/Gamefisher II: 600 points
TBF Presidential/Permit III: 600 points
Nitro Guys/Tijereta: 500 points
Top Notch: 400 points
TBF II/Wetass II: 400 points
Priority/Capullo: 400 points
TBF I/Bushwacker: 400 points