Pelagic Rockstar Goes to Fish Tank/Galati

The largest tournament in Costa Rica continues to grow
Team Fish Tank/Galati celebrating their win at the awards ceremony.
Team Fish Tank/Galati with a back-to-back win. Courtesy Pelagic Rockstar

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There’s no doubt that Costa Rica is one of the most sought-after fishing destinations in the world, and this year’s Pelagic Rockstar tournament only served to cement that already stellar reputation. More than 90 teams descended on the event’s host facility at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, where a record 483 anglers released 1,098 billfish during the seventh-annual event.

The ability to repeat as the winner of a highly competitive tournament is one of the rarest of qualities in any sport. Teams must have not only the confidence in their abilities but also the humility to understand the difficulty that lies ahead, while also remaining positive in their outlook. And a pinch of good fortune never hurts. Those elements and more combined for Chris and Laura Jessen. The team on the brand-new 64-foot Viking known as Fish Tank/Galati, led by Capt. Ben Horning, amassed 40 sailfish releases to once again summit the awards podium at the end of the tournament in first place. The feat netted the team more than $321,000 in cash.

In second place is another hard-charging team, Brooks Smith’s Uno Mas. With 28 sails and a blue marlin, they fell just short of the mark set by Fish Tank/Galati but had a very respectable showing nevertheless. Third place went to the team on Mama Seata, led by Capt. Ronnie Fields. They scored 24 sailfish and two blue marlin. With 23 ­sailfish releases, Jonah Smith on Southern Pride was the event’s top angler, while Kristina Warshauer on Vaquero was the top lady and A Team’s Carson Moser was the top junior. In the gamefish division, Paul Vartanian boated a 133.8-pound yellowfin tuna on La Otra Vida to take home a nice paycheck, while the team on Good Day weighed a pair of big dorados to win that category.

“We’re thrilled to once again host a major sport-fishing event as the Pelagic Rockstar tournament, which is one of the biggest events at Marina Pez Vela,” says Jeff Duchesneau, general manager for Marina Pez Vela. “We were pleased to welcome the fishing community, our visitors and locals back to our marina once again this year.” For the tournament, there were 1,081 sailfish, 14 blue marlin, two black marlin and one striped marlin released by the fleet.

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