Waterman's Journal

Jan 28, 2020


A Day Two Sweep of All Billfish Jackpot Categories Garnished the Team a $158,400 Cash Prize in ‘Central America’s Largest & Richest Fishing Tournament’.


January 10-12, 2020 – Marina Pez Vela [Quepos, Costa Rica] – Welcomed by a rich sunrise over mountainous rainforests to the east, with a vibrant full moon setting over the shimmering Pacific horizon to the west, there was a stir amidst a picturesque, Costa Rican paradise as sixty-seven teams, anglers, and crews assembled in anticipation of impending offshore competition. Metallic soundwaves with powerful distortion emanated throughout Marina Pez Vela as a procession of immaculate sport fishing vessels exited port, greeted by the electric riffs and synchronized percussion of a heavy-metal guitarist and drummer duo.

The calm before the storm as teams anxiously await the traditional shotgun start /  Live heavy-metal tunes greet the Rockstar fleet each morning.

At promptly 0700, twin diesels hummed as captains throttled their waterborne steeds in a race to richer, bluewater pastures with one thing on their minds: catching fish and cashing checks in ‘Central America’s Largest & Richest Fishing Tournament’. The 4th Annual Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament had begun…

 Here we go! It wouldn't be the Rockstar Tournament without a shotgun start as 67 teams race off for the horizon.

The Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament is a team event held annually each January which focuses on the diverse variety of species available in the waters of Pacific Costa Rica. Featuring multiple marina-side bashes, live rock ‘n roll concerts, and an offshore tournament extravaganza, the Rockstar is an event that both veteran and rookie fishing teams look forward to every year.

The 2020 Rockstar Offshore Tournament saw 67 teams with 350 anglers travel from all over the globe to participate in 'Central America's Largest & Richest Fishing Tournament'. This year, teams joined us in Costa Rica from Australia, Slovenia, Sweden, The United Kingdom, Hawaii, Alaska, and all over the United States, Mexico, & Central America.

 Team PELAGIC ready to roll in the custom 60' Garlington!

Nestled at the foot of where lush rainforests and the rugged Pacific coast meet, host Marina Pez Vela is a must-visit sport fishing venue in Costa Rica.  Dividing the town of Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park, Marina Pez Vela is an angler’s paradise offering over 200 wet slips, 8 restaurants/bars, luxury condos, a charter and tour center, and full-service yacht-yard with a 200-ton Marine Travelift.

 Marina Pez Vela - what an incredible backdrop for the Pelagic Rockstar OffshoreTournament

This tournament hosted both large (35’ and over) and small (34’ and under) boat categories, with general divisions of: Billfish Release, Tuna, and Dorado. Over $700,000 in cash prizes were up for grabs to be won by teams for their performance in releasing the most aggregate billfish points (sailfish, blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin) and/or weighing the heaviest two-fish total of each gamefish species (tuna & dorado) during the two-day tournament.

Pacific Sailfish: one of the target species of Costa Rica & the Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament / High-voltage rock-n-roll concerts nightly on the main stage!

The 2020 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament kicked off on January 10 as 67-teams with 350-anglers finalized their registration and jackpot entries to the sounds of local favorites, The Kin Rivera Band, playing a live rock-n-roll concert on the main amphitheater stage of Marina Pez Vela. 

Rockstar Tournament Village was alive as event participants cooled down with refreshing cocktails & cervezas from premier tournament sponsors, Flor de Caña Rum & Heineken Beer, while food service was provided by Double Hook Bar & Grill. At the photo station, teams were encouraged to embody the true Rockstar spirit where they could don props and wigs reminiscent of iconic 80’s hair metal bands.

That's the Rockstar spirit! Teams joined the PelagicGIRLs for photos during the check-in process.

Tournament apparel and event merchandise was available in Pelagic’s Costa Rica Flagship Superstore – located ground level in Marina Pez Vela’s waterfront retail landscape. Here, patrons can shop the largest selection of PELAGIC products found anywhere in Central America.

The Pelagic Store in Marina Pez Vela offered custom tournament apparel along with all your favorite Pelagic clothing, gear, & accessory products.

The kick-off extravaganza included a super raffle hosted by the PelagicGIRLS, where some incredible prizes were awarded to lucky ticket winners. Some highlight prizes were Pelagic Polarized Sunglasses, Pelagic Aquapak Dry-Bag Backpacks & Duffels, as well is limited edition 18-year Flor de Caña Rum. The evening concluded with a blistering encore by The Kin Rivera Band that set the stage for what would be a thrilling two-day tournament ahead.

The 67-team fleet experienced red-hot fishing on day-one of the tournament, with a total of 348 marlin and sailfish released, and a non-stop weigh station hoisting a constant stream of quality dorado and large yellowfin tuna.

Pacific Sailfish and Blue Marlin put on a good showing for the tournament fleet where many teams were able to score double-digit releases each day.

In the Billfish Release Division, Team RUM RUNNER topped the fleet by accruing 2200-points for 19 Pacific Sailfish and 1 Blue Marlin, earning them jackpots payouts in the 5K, 2K, & 1K levels. Combined with their 2nd place performance overall in the Billfish Release Division, RUM RUNNER took home a check for $132,000.

Team RUM RUNNER all-smiles with their big payday.

TOP FLY earned the day one 3K-level billfish jackpot with 1900-release-points. Combined with their two-day billfish release total of 3600-points (30 sailfish & 2 blue marlin), TOP FLY took 1st place overall in the Billfish Division to earn a payout of $86,880.

TOP FLY takes home first place overall in the Billfish Division. 

Team LA OTRA VIDA weighed in a 128.6-lb. Yellowfin Tuna to sweep both the tuna daily jackpots. Their two-day total of 188.0-lbs. was good enough for a 2nd place finish in the Tuna Division for an overall winnings of $31,800.

LA OTRA VIDA secures the Tuna Division win with this XXL yellowfin on day one.

SIMPATICA brought a 31.0-lb. dorado to the scales – the largest of day one – earning them the dorado daily 1K jackpot of $19,200. Team I’m Just Saying aboard PACIFIC FLY won the Dorado 500-level jackpot with a weight of 28.4-lbs. to earn $8,200.

Team SIMPATICA with the largest dorado of day one.

In the Small Boat Category, Team KELLY DAWN earned the daily billfish jackpot of $1,800 by releasing 6 sailfish and 1 blue marlin (900-points).  A 29.6-lb. dorado won GAMEFISHER 2 the dorado jackpot and $1,800.

Team KELLY DAWN secures a small boat Billfish Jackpot.

The highlight of the day came when BIG EYE 2, traveling all the way from Cairns, Australia to compete, weighed in what would end up being the largest fish scored in the two-day tournament. Their 164.8-lb. yellowfin tuna garnished them both daily tuna jackpots plus the overall tuna division win in the small boat category to earn $5,800.

Flying in from Cairns, Australia - Team BIG EYE 2 weighed the largest fish of the 2020 Rockstar Tournament!

Fishing continued to fire on day-two of the tournament as 394 combined billfish were released with a good showing at the scales for weighed tuna and dorado. Team Nigerian Navigator fishing aboard VAQUERO bested the fleet with 2100-release-points (18 sailfish & 1 blue marlin) sweeping all levels of daily billfish jackpots. Fatherz & Sonz aboard SEA HAG scored the largest tuna of the day (70.6-lbs) to take both tuna daily jackpots, while FULL NELSON swept the dorado dailies with a solid 32.6-lb. fish.

Team FATHERZ & SONZ and FULL NELSON weighed the largest tuna and dorado of day two.

In the Small Boat Category, Team Mermaid Magic Fishing weighed-in the tournament’s largest dorado – a brute 46.2-lb. bull – to earn their division’s Dorado victory with a two-day combined weight of 73.8-lbs. as well as the day-two jackpot, good for $4,800.

Team MERMAID MAGIC from Miami, FL weighed in the largest dorado of the 2020 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament!

After two-days of offshore competition, 350 anglers combined to release a staggering 742 billfish (704 sailfish, 37 blue marlin, & 1 black marlin) for an incredible average of 11.24 billfish per team.

 As the sun set on the final hours of the 2020 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament, the marina was amplified by the electric sounds of The Kin Rivera Band as teams and onlookers alike filled the amphitheater and stage-front, anxious to hear the final results. Flor de Caña, Heineken, & Double Hook Bar & Grill once again provided a great party atmosphere in tournament village, while a giant inflatable TV screen was assembled just before the awards ceremony to show an exhilarating Rockstar Tournament recap video.

The weigh station was the hub of activity in Marina Pez Vela after each tournament day with a steady stream of tuna & dorado hoisted on the scales

Tournament Director, Colin Sarfeh, and the beautiful PelagicGIRLs soon took the main stage, welcomed by an explosive pyrotechnic display as a large crowd roared with excitement.  Awards were announced, and ceremonial checks & trophies were presented to each winning team.

A pyrotechnic display kicked off the awards ceremony as the PelagicGIRLs took center stage to welcome all winning teams

And the results are in…

When all was said and done, the 2020 Pelagic Rockstar Tournament ‘Grand Champion’ Award was presented to Team Nigerian Navigator aboard VAQUERO, who secured the largest payout in Rockstar Tournament history by sweeping all five levels of billfish jackpots on day two to take home a check for $158,400. This year, the tournament Grand Champion award – going to the team earning the largest cash prize – was presented with a limited-edition Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar that was custom-decorated with Pelagic Rockstar insignia! Congrats to the VAQUERO Team!

Tournament Grand Champions VAQUERO going home with some serious hardware and the largest cash winnings in Pelagic Rockstar Tournament history!

FULL NELSON earned 1st place in the Dorado Division with a two-day weight total of 59.0-lbs. Along with their day-two sweep of the dorado jackpots, the team walked away with a total winnings of $49,240.

FULL NELSON was celebrated for their 1st Place Dorado Division victory.

Weighing respective 118.8-lb. and 70.6-lb. yellowfin tunas on days one & two of the tournament was Team Fatherz & Sonz aboard SEA HAG. Their combined weight of 189.4-lbs. won them 1st Place Tuna Division and a check for of $45,240.

Fishing aboard SEA HAG, Team Fatherz & Sonz took home the win in the Tuna Division.

For the second year in a row, Team Desert Plastering aboard AMY’S DREAM was the top overall team in the Small Boat Category.  They took home the 1st Place trophy in the Small Boat Billfish Division with a combined total of 2100-release-points, as well as secured the day-two billfish jackpot to win $7,800.

Team Desert Plastering celebrates their 1st Place Billfish Division win in the small boat category for the second year in a row.

17 of 67 Teams Earned Cash Prizes:

Top Overall Angler – Kurt Forsberg – TOP FLY – 1700-pts. (14 sailfish & 1 blue marlin releases)

Top Female Angler – Joni Smith – SOUTHERN PRIDE – 1400-pts. (14 sailfish releases)

Top Junior Angler – Chloe Cofer – TRANQUILO – 400-pts. (4 sailfish releases & a 31.0-lb. dorado)

The post-tournament celebration continued as Queen’s hit single “We are the Champions” resonated throughout Marina Pez Vela while stadium-style fireworks filled the skies above Marina Pez Vela as thousands of onlookers and tournament participants honored the captains, anglers, and crews of the 2020 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament.  The partied continued well into the night as The Kin Rivera Band once again rocked the stage with an eclectic mix new and old rock hits, while tasty cocktails and beers were provided by Flor de Caña & Heineken.

Fireworks lit up the sky above Marina Pez Vela signaling the conclusion of the 4th Annual Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament.

PELAGIC would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Marina Pez Vela and their fine staff for hosting this incredible event each and every year, as well as to our fine sponsors and friends at Flor De Caña, Heineken, iFish Quepos, Double Hook Bar & Grill, and Runaway Bar & Grill for always stepping up to help make this such a fun and successful event.

Thank you to all tournament participants, captains, & crews and be sure mark your calendars as the 5th Annual Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament is scheduled to return to Marina Pez Vela next January 15-17, 2021!

Scroll through the photo gallery below to view all team photos, shotgun start, weigh-ins, awards ceremony images and much more.