Captain Victor Julio said to us that Dream Time was hooked up to a Blue Marlin in the last hour of fishing the 2015 Presidential Challenge of Papagayo. That fish would give the Dream Time a slim lead over Team USA fishing on the Bushwacker with Capt Skeet Warren. A few minutes later I asked Victor had Dream Time released their fish. Victor said not that one. They lost that Blue but they were hooked up again.
The fishing in the last hour of the Challenge was hot and Blue Marlin had been released or raised in the small area by Tranquilo, El Jefe and local charter boat Gamefisher II (not fishing the tournament). The celebration for Dream Time would have to wait because Capt Tucker Colquhoun and crew raised yet another Blue Marlin as they were setting the spread seconds after they released the 11th hour winning Blue Marlin.
With 7 minutes left in the Tournament Tranquilo got a bite out of their 2nd Blue Marlin raise of the day. Owner Ken Cofer suggested to our Mate Daniel that we should just put our pitch bait in since there are only 5 minutes left. We pulled the left flat out of the water and put out the skipping yellowfin pitch bait. A minute later an explosion occurred on the Purple and White Squidnation Flippy Floppy Teaser. The fish followed the Flippy Teaser all the way to the boat. Then the fish circled back and cartwheeled on my pitch bait. The Blue missed the pitch but tracked back and crushed it a second time. Minutes after lines out were called Tranquilo scored a 2nd Blue Marlin release which along with a sail earned the traveling team a 3rd place finish.
The excitement of Costa Rica Tournament fishing did not disappoint the participants of the 2015 Presidential Challenge of Papagayo. The teams of Dream Time and Bushwaker traded leads each day. Dream Time’s impressive 4 Blue Marlin first day set the benchmark for the rest of the field. Team USA would tally 3 blues on the first day staying a close 2nd place. Team USA member Scott Kozak said they caught all they saw on that day and was obviously exciting with the results of day 1. Little did he know that a day later they would jump into 1st place with 4 Blue Marlin release day on day 2.
Tournament Director Joan Vernon said the outstanding fishing in the Papagayo region is no fluke. Blue Marlin typically outnumber sails in the northern part of the country and the relatively low fishing pressure usually offers fishing teams multiple shots at marlin per day. She thanked the crews for participating in the tournament and invited all the teams to fish the 2nd and 3rd legs of the Presidential Challenge Series. The Series next stop is Aruba in October and El Salvador in November.
Here are a few more shots from the winning team. Congrats to all the winners.