The fleet of 51 international tournament fishing teams in the Lucas Oil Offshore World Championship totaled 71 billfish releases on Tuesday, Day Two of the world’s premier saltwater angling championship. Among the releases were 67 Pacific sailfish, three blue marlin and one black marlin in the waters off Quepos, Costa Rica.
Fishing hard into the afternoon, each team was in search of that last bite until lines out at 3:30 p.m. Angler Danny Fox, of Team 2003 Offshore World Champions, landed the first black marlin of the tournament. Calvin Du Plessis, of Team Malindi International Festival, landed a 29.7-pound yellowfin tuna, and Alex Sivitilli, of Team St. Lucia Int’l Billfish Tournament, landed a 38.4-pound dorado.
But the real story on Day Two was the sailfish bite. Whichever teams maximized their bites into hookups fared the best. Reviewing tournament videos in the evening, OWC committee members noticed that a majority of teams scoring fish used spinning gear, just as much as conventional gear, when dropping baits back to sailfish.
While Team 2017 OWC Champions was the top team of the day, releasing four sailfish and one blue marlin for 1,300 points, Team Torneio Marlin do Rio de Janeiro completed the second day in first place overall with a total of 2,000 points from five sailfish releases on both day one and day two. Teams XIV Billfish Challenge and 2011 Offshore World Champions sat in the second position with 1,500 points apiece — both teams have one blue marlin and five sailfish releases after two days of fishing.
Capt. Johnny Vanegas, of the boat Machusla, took over the lead as top captain after a strong Day Two performance that saw six Pacific sailfish releases from Team Quepos Billfish Cup.
The OWC fishing teams from around the world weren’t the only ones to hit the water Tuesday. A small fleet of boats carrying anglers’ guests and tournament partners joined the action during a half-day roosterfish competition.
Final awards for top teams, anglers and boat captains—plus prizes for heaviest game fish—will be presented during the awards gala on Friday, April 20 at Marina Pez Vela.