The first day of The Quepos Billfish Cup had it’s ups and downs for team CRFP, but it was riveting from start to finish. At 6:00 AM all the boats paraded out of the Marina Pez Vela as a helicopter flew overhead to snap photos. With a large swath of very warm water in the area, many of the boats powered 30-50 miles out to get past it and out to where the bite was. Lines were put in the water at 8:00 AM sharp, and it didn’t take long to see our first action. By 8:14 AM CRFP’s very own Justin “Boomer” DeBoom had released the tournament’s very first sailfish!
As if it was a clever con planned weeks in advance, the sailfish decided to circle their wagons and let us know who’s territory we had just wandered into. Justin’s sailfish was actually just one of three that hit our spread at the same time, but unfortunately was the only one we released. Minutes after that chaos settled down we were bombarded by another pair of sails, both of which got away, making us tournament rookies look like, well, rookies. With the first-fish bravado now a distant memory, things went from bad to worse. Whilst still licking our wounds from the botched double, a wahoo decided to pile on the pain and blew out the reel of our back left bait in a scorching run that lasted just seconds. Next the same wahoo chomped on the back right bite, at which point Chris stuck the hook in him. Battle won, right? Not so fast. The wahoo decided to remind us how sharp their teeth are and effortlessly cut through the leader, leaving us with one burnt out reel and another rod that needed a new leader tied to it.
All was not lost for Team CRFP however. With seemingly endless confidence and constant advice from two great mates, we traded a rough morning for a red hot afternoon. We landed 4 sailfish in a row, and 5 out of our last 6, to finish the day with 6 sailfish and 600 points. That puts us in 10th place with two days to go, merely a few fish from the trophy stand. While we aren’t happy with 10th place, we take solace in the fact that the points we needed to place higher were in our spread today, so tomorrow we are going back out there with a vengeance.