Ask any successful tournament team and they will say persistence is an important ingredient in the recipe for a big win. Phil Arklin’s Gunsmoke team has been fishing in the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown since he built the 43-foot Maverick in 2010, and he will be the first to say that they have had their ups and downs on the leaderboard. However, this year it all came together for the team. Anglers Arkin, Curtis White and Carlos Gonzalez caught nearly all their bites and Warner Porras kept them in the fish over the course of the three-day event, thanks in part to a strong Day Three finish. For the tournament, they released 18 sailfish and four marlin.
Geaux Fly, another 43-foot Maverick, finished in second place this year. Capt. David Mesen and the family team of Will Drost, his father Mitch, daughter Annaleigh Richardson and new son-in-law Cullen Richardson fought hard this year, topping the standings on the first day of the event and remaining in contention for the win throughout the three-day tournament. They slipped to second but were understandably ecstatic with the finish, especially given the intense level of competition. They released 17 sailfish and four marlin.
Proving that a 90-footer can be just as competitive as the smaller boats, Capt. Tyler Andresen put the Jaruco team in third place overall; his team of anglers released 18 sails and two marlin in the tournament on the big Jarrett Bay. This is their first top three finish since they started fishing this event in 2015.
Capt. John Bayliss and his Tarheel team were crowned the overall series champions this year, accumulating a total of 10,600 points. Fishing aboard the 44-foot Scarborough/Bayliss, the team of Smyth McKissick, Rob Shore, Carroll Brizendine, Jorge Carrillo and John Bayliss Jr. deflected a late-day charge by Geaux Fly and several others for the $100,000 bonus prize awarded to the top team of the three-tournament series.