Carmine Galati Wins the 2017 Masters Angling Tournament

Los Sueños, Costa Rica hosts this unique event

2017 Masters Angling Tournament carmine galati first place angler
Carmine Galati (center) is the winner of the 2017 Masters Angling Tournament.Austin Coit

The Masters Angling Tournament dates back to 1963 and features a unique angler-centered format designed by John Rybovich, where individuals score points on their ability to hook and release billfish unassisted by the boat or crew. Once the fish is hooked, the boat is brought to a stop and the fight continues without the boat backing down on the billfish. Points are accrued based on the fastest time of release, and deducted for broken lines. Anglers also rotate among boats each day, where they are paired with other competitors, each using tournament-supplied line, leader and hooks. It’s a true test of angling ability.

In this year’s Masters, held in Los Sueños, Costa Rica, Carmine Galati emerged victorious. Galati scored zero points on the first of three fishing days but went on to have the high-point day of anyone in the field on Day Three to win the prestigious event with a total of 395 points. Last year’s winner, Chase Offield, finished in second place with 380 points, while Dale Creamer was third with 310 points. Sam Peters narrowly missed a top-three finish, placing fourth with 310 points. Frank Bongiorno rounded out the top five with 295 points. This year, the Masters hosted 36 anglers.

In the boat standings, Uno Mas was first with 14 sailfish releases, followed High Hook with 12 sails and Dealer's Choice third with 10 releases.

In addition to the fishing, the Masters also forges lasting friendships on the social side of things, shaping an angling fraternity that’s unlike anything else in the world of sport fishing. Enjoy a photo gallery from this year’s event.

2017 Masters Angling Tournament carmine galati
Galati accepts the Rybovich trophy at the awards presentation. He scored the highest point total of all anglers on the third day of fishing.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament
A toast to the winners during the awards.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament chase offield second place
Chase Offield (center) finished in second place.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament champagne shower
The winning angler is showered with champagne.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament boats departing
Macushla and Sea Fly depart from the charter docks in Los Sueños.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament mullet dredge
A natural mullet dredge is readied for deployment.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament lines in
Almost time for lines in.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament dealers choice
Dealer's Choice on the troll in the fleet.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament
All billfish are fought from a dead boat.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament fire fly
Fire Fly trolls past.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament
The angler on Reel Doc fights a sailfish.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament sailfish
A leaping sailfish tears up the calm Pacific Ocean off Los Sueños.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament sailfish jumping
This one's almost ready for release.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament tarheel
Tarheel is hooked up.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament tijereta
Tijereta joins the fleet.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament fleet returns
The fleet returns to Los Sueños in the afternoon.Austin Coit
2017 Masters Angling Tournament dinner
The Masters also has a social component, with participants getting to know each other over dinner and drinks in the evenings after fishing.Austin Coit