Wire We Here Wins Leg One of 2018 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown

Strong marlin bite kicks off the popular Costa Rica tournament series

2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
JR Fleming's team on the 61-foot Garlington Wire We Here earned first place.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor

As with the 2017 kickoff to the ultra-popular Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown, the marlin took center stage once again in 2018. Worth 500 points, an extra marlin or two could meant the difference between a spot on the podium and a middle of the pack finish in this highly competitive tournament series, held out of Los Sueños Resort and Marina on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Capt. Scotty Jones led the Wire We Here team to victory with 17 sailfish and six marlin releases, worth 4,700 points and a total of $85,000 in cash. The team, fishing aboard JR Fleming's beautiful 61-foot Garlington, won second place in the second leg of the 2015 series and now lead the race for the overall top boat prize for the series in 2018.

Finishing in second place was On Location team, fishing aboard a 57-foot Capps captained by Drake Sawyer. They tallied 23 sailfish and four marlin for 4,300 points, worth $51,000 in prize money. A strong third day rally moved them from seventh place into second.

The team on Tag Team II, a new 55-foot Viking captained by Los Sueños veteran skipper Victor Julio Lopez, landed in third place with 4,100 points. They released 11 sailfish and six marlin in the team's first year participating in the tournament series. They won $34,000 for their efforts.

The kickoff leg of the three-tournament Signature Triple Crown hosted 49 teams, who collectively released a total of 598 billfish: 457 sailfish and 141 marlin.

Enjoy this photo gallery from the event, as seen through the lens of photographer Pepper Ailor.

2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
On Location's support crew starts the celebration at the docks as the team returns.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
Tag Team II finished in third place in their first year competing in the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
The unparalleled beauty of Los Sueños Resort and Marina serves as an incomparable backdrop for the Signature Triple Crown.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
Gray Ingram's Big Oh heads out for a day offshore.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
The Vikings circle the fleet on the rip offshore.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
Jaruco's Capt. Tyler Andresen scans for fish with gyro-stabilized binoculars.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
"Left teaser, blue marlin!"© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
A blue marlin makes a dash across the surface of the calm Pacific Ocean.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
The moment of truth: the observer calls "Release!" as the knot to the leader passes through the rod tip.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
A blue marlin shows up beneath a Flippy Floppy teaser.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
A hot blue marlin heads for the boat.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
Tournament coordinator Tina Mueller (left) and tournament director Ashley Bretecher keep the radio and live scoring running smoothly.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor
2018 los suenos signature triple crown leg one
The covergirl from Marlin's February issue, the 74-foot Spencer Smooth Move, made her way to Los Sueños for the tournament.© Los Sueños Resort and Marina / Pepper Ailor