Team Oregon Tuna Classic takes lead on day one of the 2019 Costa Offshore World Championship.
A total of 271 Pacific sailfish were caught on day one of the 2019 Costa Offshore World Championship.
Forty-five teams of champion saltwater anglers released 274 billfish on Monday, day one of the 2019 Costa Offshore World Championship. The waters off of Quepos, Costa Rica were hot and plentiful, a welcome sign on the first day of fishing.
In total, 271 Pacific sailfish, one striped marlin and two blue marlin were released by fishing teams on day one. In addition, seven dolphin were weighed at the docks at Marina Pez Vela, with the largest gamefish topping 50 pounds. Angler Alexandre Guedes Neto, of Team Torneio de Pesca Royal Charlotte (Brazil), caught the 52.8-pound dolphin, earning his team 52.8 points for the catch.
Team Oregon Tuna Classic (USA) completed the day in first place with 3,500 points from 15 sailfish (200 points) and one blue marlin (500 points) releases. Team anglers fishing on day one included Matti Olson (1,400 points), Matt Rowland (1,000 points), Dan Sullivan (900 points), Stan Brogdon (600 points) and Erik Jutila (200 points). The team fished aboard Dragin Fly, a 42-foot Maverick yacht, captained by James Smith.
The second-place spot went to Team Mississippi Gulf Coast Big Game Spring Tournament (USA) with 2,830.2 points from 14 sailfish releases, plus one dolphin weighing 30.2 pounds. Team anglers fishing on day one included Jimmy Taylor (1,630.20 points), Jere Jefcoat (400 points), James Rentrop (400 points), Anthony Harris (200 points) and James Odonnell (200 points). The team fished aboard Top Fly, a 36-foot Maverick yacht, captained by Rudy Arguedas.
Sitting in third place were two different teams, including Team Shimano Shootout (Australia) and Team Mauritius International Billfish Release Tournament (Mauritius). Both teams released 12 sailfish on day one of the event. Team Shimano Shootout fished aboard Raven, captained by Mardonio Ovando. Team Mauritius International Billfish Release Tournament fished aboard Straight Up With A Twist, captained by Guillermo Santamaria Reyes.
The top 26 teams on day one of the Costa Offshore World Championship all released at least six sailfish. Six sailfish releases (1,200 points) would have scored second-place finishes in two of the four days fishing in the 2018 Offshore World Championship.
The top three anglers after day one fishing were Jimmy Taylor (1,630.2 points, 8 sailfish, 1 dolphin) of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Big Game Spring Tournament (USA), Brandon Hopper (1,600 points, 1 blue marlin, 1 striped marlin, 3 sailfish) of the 2008 OWC Champions (USA), and Matti Olson (1,400 points, 7 sailfish) of the Oregon Tuna Classic (USA).
At the end of the day, the event's 216 anglers—representing 45 international tournaments and more than 24 countries—were in good spirits during the dockside social on the gorgeous waterfront lawn at Marina Pez Vela. The second day of the tournament starts Tuesday, April 30, with lines in at 7:30 a.m. Two more days of competition follow on Wednesday and Thursday. Final awards for top teams, anglers and boat captains—plus prizes for heaviest fish—will be presented during the awards gala on Friday, May 3, at Marina Pez Vela.
The Offshore World Championship is the world's premier saltwater fishing championship and has been held in Costa Rica since 2013. In 2019, the Offshore World Championship celebrates its 20th anniversary.