Monique Team Victorious in El Salvador

Central American billfishing is red-hot this year

Monique accepts their first-place prizes and trophy during the awards.Chris Balogh

The Central American nation of El Salvador produced some outstanding billfish action and memorable head-to-head competition for the teams gathered to fish the 2017 El Salvador International Billfish Tournament. Held out of Bahia del Sol on the country’s Pacific coast, the event has become a favorite of anglers in the region and attracted teams from Guatemala, Costa Rica and the United States.

After three days of incredible action in the near flat-calm seas, the team aboard Monique, led by Nasry Arguedas, emerged victorious with a whopping 88 sailfish releases. The team on Spanish Fly placed second with 63 sails plus a blue marlin, while King and I was third with 66 sailfish releases. Don Juan won the marlin division with three blue marlin, each tagged with a TBF tag. For the tournament, there were 504 sailfish and 14 blue marlin released in the three days of fishing.

Bill Pino from Monique lifts the first-place trophy overhead.Chris Balogh
The Don Juan team tagged and released three blue marlin to win that division.Chris Balogh
Spanish Fly brought home second place, proudly representing Costa Rica and Maverick Yachts.Chris Balogh
Capt. Eddie Bairez and Capt. Hook finished in fourth place overall with 63 sailfish releases.Chris Balogh
Monique departs from Bahia del Sol before sunrise.Chris Balogh
Heading to the inlet in the shadow of the volcanoes.Chris Balogh
Sandy-ita heads out for a day of tournament fishing.Chris Balogh
The fleet awaits the shotgun start on Day One.Chris Balogh
Capt. Daniel Espinosa keeps a watchful eye on the spread behind Spanish Fly.Chris Balogh
Sailfish release! There were 504 sails let go in the tournament.Chris Balogh
Marco Zablah puts the brakes on a speeding sailfish on Capt. Hook.Chris Balogh
These acrobatic game fish really put on an incredible display when hooked.Chris Balogh
The trophy table at the awards.Chris Balogh
The ladies from Zacapa Rum kept everyone in good spirits.Chris Balogh
Tournament director Paco Saca addresses the audience during the awards.Chris Balogh