Puesta del Sol, Nicaragua hosted the 15th annual Flor de Caña international Tournament, and the expectations were off the chart for another great season of fishing. The event hosted 25 boats in two categories: Centenario for the larger yachts and Gran Reserva for the smaller craft. The tournament was scheduled for mid-August, during the height of the Nicaraguan billfish season from May to October.
With 147 sailfish released in the first hour of fishing, the organizers knew it would be a special event. By the end of fishing three days later, the fleet had released a whopping 1,371 billfish, including five blue marlin. During the tournament, there were 170 doubles, 83 triples, 18 quadruples, three quintuplets (Tranquilo, Fish Tank and Rum Runner) and one sextuple on Rum Runner. While I was taking pictures, I counted 11 boats in reverse with multiples fish on and, at the same time, sailfish eating sardines on the surface.
The Tranquilo team won first place, with Amanda Cofer being honored as the tournament’s top angler with 35 sailfish. The team released 127 sails in three days. Fish Tank was second with 123 sailfish and Sea Angel third with 113 sails released. In the Gran Reserva category, Showtime and Hugo Holmann were first with 54 releases and La Carreta was second with 42. The event used certified observers and on the last day, IGFA president Rob Kramer joined the tournament and the closing ceremony. The numbers clearly confirmed Nicaragua as one of the new hot spots for billfishing in the Pacific Ocean.