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.