A reported 163 sancochos—a missed bite costing participating anglers $20 for each one—were tallied in Casa Vieja Lodge’s annual No Sancocho Sailfish Shootout, which helped raise $7,390 for the local schools of Guatemala’s Puerto San Jose.
This tournament is designed to, according to the lodge, “make you put your money where your mouth is.” In three days of tournament fishing, 10 teams raised 686 billfish, had 560 bites, and released a total of 397 in one of Guatemala’s most revered events. The lodge cites camaraderie and charity as the main premises of this fundraising event, and the donations prove it’s working—sancochos or not.
Watch: Guatemala Sailfish Action.
Participating teams have the option to fish with conventional trolling gear loaded with 20- or 30-pound-test, or to target their fish on fly, which would gain them even more points—100 points were awarded for a marlin released on fly as opposed to a marlin on 20-pound-test, which would be worth 75 points; or one released on 30-pound-test, which was worth 50 points. A team releasing a sailfish on fly would net themselves 25 points, instead of one caught on conventional tackle, which was worth just 10 points in the tournament.
The all-ladies team fishing on the 37-foot Rybovich Makaira connected with three fish on fly on the last day for a stellar showing, but were unable to stop the team on Capt. Nicho Alvarenga’s 40-foot Whiticar, Finest Kind, which released 28 billfish for a respectable third-place finish.
Get to know Decisive’s Capt. Brad Philipps in our interview.
Capt. Terry Brennan’s Rum Line remained consistent throughout the tournament, crossing the finish line with a total of 20 releases for second place. Capt. Brad Philipps took home the win for Team Bamboo fishing aboard the 40-foot Gamefisherman Decisive, securing the win with eight blue marlin releases.
Connie O’Day was named the event’s Top Lady Angler, Kenny Kowell landed the largest dorado at 66 inches, and Capt. Rick Thomas was crowned the Sancocho King for 2019.