A fleet of 67 international teams from 28 countries headed out of Marina Pez Vela into the sailfish-rich Costa Rican waters yesterday for the start of the 16th Annual Offshore World Championship tournament. By lines out, anglers ended up releasing an impressive 814 sailfish, five blue marlin and one black marlin, setting a new opening day tournament record with 38 more billfish releases than last year’s opening day.
The incredible bite was on all day. Many teams scored double-digit releases. Team Lae Offshore Classic, Papua New Guinea, released 39 sailfish to take the lead with 7,800 points. The championship anglers mainly target sailfish, worth 200-points per release. A blue, black or striped marlin will earn 500-points per release. Tuna, wahoo and dorado, also score team points and count for individual prizes.
Standings After Day One
1st Place – 7,800 points, Lae Offshore Classic, Papua New Guinea
2nd Place – 5,600 points, Torneio de Pesca Open 25, Brazil
3rd Place – 5,600 points, 35th Annual Blue Marlin Classic, Australia
Tuna Bite – Captain: Howard Lynch, Mate: David Dobbins
1st Place Dorado leader with 45 pounds is Julio Magalhaes representing XV Grand Slam Sportfishing Tournament
Following each day of fishing, the anglers enjoy themselves at the daily Dockside Socials at Marina Pez Vela with complimentary Flor de Cana Rum, local Costa Rican beer, food provided by Runaway Grill Restaurant and live entertainment while the anglers check-in their release videos.
Follow all the action live on the official online scorekeeper site: http://owc15.catchstat.com/
The tournament fishing will continue throughout the week, ending on April 16. The Awards Gala at Marina Pez Vela will be April 17, which will honor the top teams, boats and anglers.
The tournament is sponsored by the Costa Rican Tourist Board (ICT) and Marina Pez Vela, along with Accurate, AFTCO, Arctic Ice, Costa del Mar, Down East Guide Service, Flor de Cana, Garmin, Geoffrey Smith Galleries, Guy Harvey, IWS Scales, King Sailfish Mounts, Marlin, Maverick Sport Fishing Charters, Maverick Yachts, Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, Parador Resort and Spa, Salt Water Sportsman, Shimano, Sport Fishing, Toyota Rent a Car, Tycoon Tackle and Vanmark Jewelry.