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.