The Costa Offshore World Championship, held April 11-16, 2021, once again gathered anglers from around the world who earned an invitation by winning one of the championship’s qualifying events. Teams spend four days on the water fishing out of Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica, aboard a different charter boat each day, following IGFA angling and tackle rules. It is a demanding format that requires preparation, skill and a bit of luck to be successful.
Emerging as the 2021 champions was a group of American anglers representing the Presidential Flamingo Fishing Rodeo Costa Rica. Scoring 3,500 points from 15 sailfish and one blue marlin release were anglers Dell Dembosky, Dwight Wolf and Michael Moretti. Dembosky was named Top Angler for the tournament, releasing eight sailfish and the blue marlin for the team. They took home a variety of trophies and prizes, among them the coveted VanMark Jewelry champion’s gold rings. As the 2021 winners, the team will have the opportunity to apply for future championship tournaments for many years to come.
A new group of anglers representing the Oregon Tuna Classic took advantage of the invitation to fish and ventured to Costa Rica for the first time. The team scored 3,433 points, releasing 14 sailfish and one blue marlin, and weighing a 54.44-pound tuna, a 47.90-pound dorado and a 30.98-pound dorado, earning second-place-team honors for Jason Ford, Josh Cloke, Troy Grasseth and Chris Mayeda.
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This year’s third-place team qualified by winning the San Carlos Hammer Down Tournament in Mexico. The team of US anglers included Pete Finocchiaro, Alex Hammer and Frank Kastl; they brought Capt. Gilberto Lachica from Mexico, who helped them earn the invitation, to round out the team. They scored 3,400 points from seven sailfish and four blue marlin releases. Kastl also earned fourth-place-angler honors, with Lachica taking second place in the angler division. Incredibly, just one billfish release separated the top three teams in one of the closest finishes in Offshore World Championship history.
This article was originally published in the August/September issue of Marlin.