Spring in the Pacific means tournaments, most notably the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown series in Los Sueños, Costa Rica. With a fleet of approximately 40 boats expected to fish each of the three series legs, the event has become the most hotly contested tournament series in the eastern Pacific. Here is a rundown of the top 10 teams (in alphabetical order) to watch as the season progresses down in Los Sueños.
Big Oh/Trophy Box
Always a dangerous competitor anywhere he fishes, owner Gray Ingram returns to the Pacific looking for another stellar performance this year. Veteran skipper Capt. Mike King has taken over the duties at the helm but any way you look at it, the winner’s slip is never out of reach for this team.
Capt. Andy Helms and the Reel Joy/En-Joy team had a great season in 2014, winning the overall series championship along with two top-three finishes. Time will tell if they can bring their brand of consistent fishing back in 2016, but don’t be surprised to see them at the top of the leader board.
Having fished the Los Suenos tournament series nearly every year since its inception, the Reel Screamer team is poised to have a breakthrough season in 2016. They’ve added Capt. Tony Carrizosa—the winningest captain in the history of the series—to their lineup this year, and they’re campaigning a brand new Viking so that doesn’t hurt their chances either.
It’s a family affair for this team, with Greg Angel in the cockpit along with his oldest and youngest sons Chance and Austin; middle son Capt. BC Angel handles the helm and Greg’s wife Luanne is the team coordinator and cheerleader. But don’t let the easygoing Texas accents fool you—this team means business, whether they’re winning a million dollars in the Bisbee’s Black and Blue or catching triples and quads of sailfish off Los Suenos.
Capt. Daniel Espinosa took some time off from charter fishing to set up and run the Maverick boatbuilding side of the business, but he returns to the helm of the Spanish Fly once again for this year’s tournament circuit. Decades of local knowledge and a network of fellow Maverick captains give him the edge when conditions change on the water.
Capt. John Bayliss relocated his own rig to Los Sueños Resort a few seasons ago and is having a blast fishing in the Pacific. His team won the Triple Crown in 2015 and is looking to defend their title this year. A bonus: the single-engine Tarheel has one of the cleanest trolling wakes of any boat currently fishing in the region.
Viking Yachts Executive Vice President Pat Healey, Galati Yacht Sales’ Carmine Galati and Bob Hixson lead one of the hardest-fishing teams in the Pacific. These guys may be all smiles on the dock but they don’t leave anything in the tank once the lines go in. Capt. Ronnie Fields has joined the team this season, so expect another top performance from them this year.
Capt. Bubba Carter will be fishing the Signature Series with a vengeance once again in 2016. He’s been a top captain for Marlin University for many years and has high hopes for his new team of very talented young anglers. Don’t be surprised if they pull off a big win this year.
They’re arguably the hottest team in sport fishing right now after coming off an amazing season in Mexico at the end of 2015 where they won nearly $3 million in prize money. Tranquilo is home-ported just down the coast in Quepos too, so local knowledge could pay off handsomely.
Brooks Smith is one of the most competitive owners fishing anywhere in the world and so when the Uno Mas heads to sea for a tournament, good things usually happen. With a string of second- and third-place finishes, a win has to be right around the corner for longtime skipper Capt. Tommy Lynsky.
With an incredibly competitive tournament structure and some of the world’s best anglers, captains and crews, the Los Suenos Signature Triple Crown is truly anyone’s series to win. Consistency is key: The teams that can convert the most strikes into releases will emerge victorious.