In terms of starts, this wasn’t how we drew it up. We picked up right where we left off yesterday – at 7:30 AM we were 30 miles off-shore, it was hot, sunny, and the sea was flat like a lake. Sailfish were abound, sunning themselves lazily at the surface just like Friday. All of it seemed too familiar.
At 0800 hrs we put our lines in the water, and shortly before 9 AM we had another shot at a double sailfish hookup. Justin’s side of the boat started to scream and he locked into a sailfish, then Chris grabbed the long line and hooked the second one following it. Both fish were jumping and the entire boat was excited to put yesterday’s goose egg behind us, then the unthinkable happened. Justin’s sailfish got bill wrapped and ripped through the leader, then Chris’s sailfish swam under the long teaser line and the pull of two lines popped the hook from it’s mouth and sent it flying 15 ft in the air. O for 2, not a good start for a day that seemed to be a carbon copy of Friday and had us wondering which fish god we offended to deserve this…
It was then that Team CRFP decided to get back to fundamentals. It had been over 40 hrs since we landed a sailfish, and we’d only seen 4 in the past 24 hrs, so we cracked a pair of cold beers at 10 AM believing in the direct correlation between beer flow and fish bites. Within 10 minutes of opening our Bavaria Gold’s we had a dorado boated, but still too small to be weighed. Close but no cigar. Just a few minutes later Chris thought his bait was acting funny so he grabbed the right teaser rod, and sure enough there was a sailfish swatting at it. Three minutes later we completed another successful release and were back on the board, the curse was broken.
From that moment on we lit it up in true CRFP fashion, hooking 5 out of the last 6 sailfish we saw and 7 out of the 8 fish overall. We also landed another dorado, this one big enough to be weighed and eligible for points, so we put it on ice until we were ready to bring it to the weight station at the end of the day. The only downside to the afternoon was hooking a good sized wahoo, fighting it close enough to the boat to see it’s stripes and have a leader touch, then at that moment decide it wants to use it’s razor sharp teeth to cut our monofilament line. For those of you keeping score at home, that is Wahoo: 3, Team CRFP rods: 0.
In retrospect, it was a perfect end to our first tournament experience. We hooked all but two fish we saw today, and although some got away after being hooked, we feel confident that not many boats had the hook up ratio we did today. We finished the day with another 6 sailfish and two dorado for 622 points, giving us 1,222 for the three day total. Certainly the sweet isn’t as sweet without the bitter, and after Day Two’s goose egg for Team CRFP nothing was sweeter than ending the day, and the tournament, at long last with our first officially completed double sailfish release 15 minutes before lines had to be out of the water. Our final tally for three days was 12 sailfish and 4 dorados, which put us firmly in 10th place for the 2013 Quepos Billfish Cup. We’d like to thank everyone involved for making this happen, and we hope to be competing as Team CRFP again soon enough!