Team Caliente took home first place in the 2018 Quepos Billfish Cup.
Costa Rica se convirtió en el paraíso mundial para quienes practican la pesca deportiva.
La infraestructura de las marinas, vida acuática, montes submarinos y domo térmico de sus aguas, entre otras cosas, atraen una considerable cantidad de especies marinas para generar un ecosistema balanceado lleno de vida.
“Podemos decir que el país tiene una riqueza impresionante, es considerado de los lugares más importantes en Latinoamérica”, aseguró Henry Marín, coordinador de estrategia y proyectos de la Federación Costarricense de Pesca (Fecop).
Nuestro país ofrece a los participantes especies como pez vela, aguja azul, aguja negra, atún rayado, atún aleta amarilla y dorado, entre otros.
“Costa Rica ya casi es la capital mundial de pesca deportiva, ha consolidado su fama y su marca en los diferentes destinos del mundo. Por sexto año hemos sido anfitriones del Mundial de Pesca Deportiva y en coordinación con el Instituto Costarricense de Turismo hemos colaborado para sacarlo adelante”, aseguró Jeff Duchesneau, gerente de Marina Pez Vela.
El deporte y el turismo se conjugan para aprovechar los recursos naturales sin dañar el ecosistema. La pesca tipo “catch and release” tiene como propósito liberar a los peces sin dañarlos.
Además, el impacto económico en la zona es significativo, generando empleo e ingresos por el comercio.
“En promedio, el turista que viene a hacer pesca deportiva gasta diez veces más que el visitante promedio. Un pescador desembolsa entre $1 mil y $1.500 a diferencia del resto que por día gasta entre $100 y $125. El deporte es caro pero las personas que vienen buscan un estilo de vida elevado: querrán comer en los mejores restaurantes y hospedarse en los mejores hoteles”, añadió el gerente de la marina ubicada en Quepos, Puntarenas.
En el ámbito meramente deportivo, Fecop inició el proceso para que el Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y la Recreación reconozca la pesca como una disciplina meramente deportiva.
Por su parte, la Confederación Internacional de Pesca Deportiva, fundada en 1952 en Italia, con más de 50 millones de miembros de 77 países representantes ya inició con la solicitud con el Comité Olímpico Internacional para la introducción de este deporte.
“Nuestra meta es tener pesca deportiva colocada en los Juegos Panamericanos y hacerlo un deporte olímpico tal y como lo es el surf, tenis de mesa o balonmano, que lograron introducirse para 2020. Es hora de que esta disciplina ingrese a los eventos deportivos más destacados”, comentó Carlos Cavero, director de Fecop.
Sin embargo, el país deberá trabajar en varios factores para convertirse en potencia mundial.
Los intereses de los barcos comerciales de pesca siguen invadiendo la trayectoria de los peces en aguas donde se practica la disciplina y esto afecta la cantidad de animales.
La promoción en el extranjero también es un factor que considerar para aumentar la afluencia de extranjeros en el país.
Marina Pez Vela hosted the annual Marina Pez Vela Open with a record setting field for this warm up tournament for the Offshore World Championships, which are being held this week at the marina. The MPV open is a two day tournament, open to both participating teams in the OWC as a warm up event and to general entry from local or other international anglers looking to compete against some the international visiting anglers. This year, a total of 19 teams participated in the angling action which featured some intense competition between the top teams with the leaderboard changing every hour in a tight two day race.
During the two day event, there were a total of 89 Pacific Sailfish released, 8 Blue Marlin, 18 Yellowfin Tuna and 10 Dorados. The Tuna and Dorado required a minimum size of 15 pounds to be validated and all were weighed at the docks at the end of each day of fishing. Pacific Sailfish were worth 200 points and Blue Marlin for 500 points. The results came down to the absolute last minutes of the tournament with an epic battle which had the first six positions all separated by just one fish.
- First Place: Miss Judy with 2300 points
- Second Place: Fatherz and Sonz team on the Double Nickel boat with 2200 points
- Third Place: Whardafukarwee on the Billfish Boat with 2100 points
- Fourth Place: Caliente (winners of the Quepos billfish cup) with 2100 points
- Top Captain went to Orlando Jimenez
- Largest fish weighed went to a Brazilian Angler Flavio Oliva with a 61 pound Dorado
The Marina Pez Vela Open is a qualifying event for the Offshore World Championship so in addition to the prize money, trophy and awards, the team from Miss Judy has qualified for the 2019 Offshore World Championship with their last minute heroics.
Team Caliente takes home first place in the 2018 Quepos Billfish Cup.
In total, 12 teams competed in 2018’s 3-day Quepos Billfish Cup, with daily prizes for total billfish releases, as well as largest mahi-mahi and tuna caught during each competitive day of fishing. Top professional and amateur anglers, on some of the most iconic fishing vessels in the country, competed in the world’s richest fishing grounds to crown the winning team. Huge prize money and the coveted invitation to the 2019 Offshore World Championship were on the line.
Special guests at this year’s Quepos Billfish Cup were Team Hatteras, led by the CEO of the Hatteras Yachts, Kelly Grindle. Grindle was accompanied by COO Wade Watson and the sales director for the Americas, Troy Hogan. Team Hatteras fished on Sante, Marina Pez Vela’s own Hatteras GT60, and closely missed the final leaderboard. Marina Pez Vela is a dealer for Hatteras Yachts in Costa Rica.
The final results after three intense days of fishing, with teams jumping in and out of the leaderboard, included 149 releases — 9 blue marlin, 1 black marlin and 138 Pacific sailfish. Team Caliente, led by Captain Keith Banks, took home first place with a total of 19 sailfish releases and 1 marlin during the tournament. Second place went to the team Fish Tank with 20 sailfish releases. Game Plan, an early leader, came in third place with 17 sailfish releases and one marlin.
The Quepos Billfish Cup has two divisions: one for large boats and another for small boats.
The final results:
Large Boat Division
- Fish Tank
- Game Plan
Small Boat Division
- Shake n Bake
- Good Day
- Queen Bee
The Quepos Billfish Cup also recognizes individual excellence. The following individual prizes were awarded:
- Top Captain: Keith Banks
- Top Angler Big Boat Division: Topher Wightman
- Top Angler Small Boat Division: James Brown
- Top Lady Angler: Samantha Mumford
How do you aim to differentiate your tourism service supply?
JEFF DUCHESNEAU Our amenities and infrastructure distinguish Marina Pez Vela from others. It is a world-class marina including the docks themselves, which are all floating concrete docks and the sign of a high-quality marina. They are more expensive to build, but are safe, secure, and more resistant to wear and tear. The buildings were built by Portafolio Inmobiliario. We have six restaurants on site, an Italian ice-cream shop, and 30 tour operators. We have a yacht yard and the only 200-ton travel lift in all of Central America. It is designed to haul out boats safely so we can take these beautiful private vessels out of the water to be repaired and undergo maintenance. There are very few places in Central America that can do that.
ISABEL VARGAS One differentiator we are trying to develop is wellness tourism. The wellness tourism we want to promote in Costa Rica is not the conventional spa concept. We are not looking at hotels with massage offerings, but a comprehensive service to offer a better quality life experience in contact with nature. We want to include not only the medical component but also activities like mountain hiking, yoga in the forest, picking strawberries, and visiting orchards. This lifestyle experience could be a better healing therapy than traditional pharmaceuticals. We want to offer an authentic experience, where visitors can interact with the people of Costa Rica and nature. This approach is related with a third market niche, which is cultural tourism, the one the chamber wants to work on and promote. Cultural tourism is focused not only on rural tourism but also offering the experience of how we live. Wellness tourism is related to cultural tourism since it is people in contact with other people. It is learning how to live, expand your horizons, and more. We want visitors to open their minds to see and feel differently. We want to sell transformative life experiences.
Why should tourists visit and consider becoming tenants at Marina Pez Vela?
JD 25% of Costa Rica’s economy is driven by tourism, and nautical tourism is an extension of that. Coming to Marina Pez Vela is to experience the 31 different available activities—onshore or offshore fishing, catamaran cruises, snorkeling, scuba diving, or parasailing to name a few. There is an almost endless amount of tours on offer. Few places in the world have such variety. Number two is the authenticity of the marina and the experience of the town of Quepos, which includes its food, people, and culture. We are also just 8km from Costa Rica’s most visited national park, Manuel Antonio. We have different events like the national volleyball tournament, and a boat parade in December in which 6,000 people from all over Costa Rica participate. It has become an amazing water tourism event and, in the span of three years, has been classified as a national cultural event.
Are you more interested in quality or quantity in terms of visitor statistics?
IV Bringing in more tourists to our country means more economic activity is generated, leading to more employment opportunities and greater investment due to larger demand. As we get more visitors, the country will boost its tourism income, economic situation, and social economy. If a new minister changes our development model, this distribution will not happen, and I hope the new minister will maintain the current aspects of the model. We want to have a sustainable tourism model that generates economic and social distribution of wealth. That said, we are not seeking mass tourism. We have more to offer, which is why we have focused our marketing on attracting visitors who stay longer and want to know more about the country. Mobility is relatively easy in Costa Rica.
Gray FishTag Research is proud to acknowledge the hard, consistent and productive work that is being done by our Research Centers and their crews. The continued efforts are truly helping our initiative in being able to analyze the data coming in from the tagged fish and providing relevant information.
In Costa Rica alone, the four research centers: Marina Pez Vela, Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Crocodile Bay Eco Lodge and Zancudo Lodge have tagged over 1300 fish.
That is an incredible number given the short time period that we have been up and running. Out of the 1300 tags, Marina Pez Vela hasreached a milestone of 500 tags deployed. The crews on Double Nickel and Good Day have relentlessly been contributing to the program. They have helped perfect the way to interact and inform the charter customers on how to get involved in fisheries science. In return they have gained an engaged and satisfied customer who is more likely to remember their fishing trip and becoming a repeat customer.
The owner, General Manager and entire staff at Marina Pez Vela have all rallied behind this effort. They are providing an office (iFish) for customers and crews to come and log their catch data. Mr. Jeff Duchesneau has led the effort in conjunction with Mr. Alcides Alfaro and Mr. Carter Takacs to spearhead the model with a record number of tags deployed which has resulted in MPV being the top Research Center worldwide at this time.
We are equally humbled and excited about the work being completed by all the crews from AquaWorld (Cancun, MX) and the Pisces Group (Cabo, MX), as well as our research centers Grande Alaska Lodge, and Sunset Marina (Ocean City, Maryland.) There are so many other people to thank as well. We have boats and crews in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the Florida Keys who all contribute on a daily basis.
The number of fish tagged within a research center is also relevant to when the facility joined Gray FishTag; but, some friendly competition is, of course, always welcomed as it adds an element of additional fun to the activity. We are continuing to give our tags and applicators for free, so we do value diversity of species over quantity when it comes to fish that we tag. However, getting as many tags in the water will also produce the most accurate and informed data.
We are also glad to see the crews being so involved and taking pride in educating their angling customer while deploying our tags. Please visit GrayFishTag.org and the Live Tag Feed to see the incredible work being put in by all the charter fishing professionals helping us.
·Double Nickel has tagged and released over 150 fish in 2 years!
·Each boat in the Therapy IV fleet recently tagged and recaptured a Greater Amberjack in one weekend.
Gray FishTag Research (GFR) is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization. This is an international and fully interactive fish tagging program powered by the world’s largest network of fishing professionals consisting of approximately 10,000 charter boat captains and mates. The program is collecting information in real-time to produce valuable scientific data directly from anglers in every part of the world. We are now able to connect professional fishermen with the scientific community who are desperate for relevant data. Results are providing biologists and scientists with valuable information on migration patterns, fish stocks, growth rates, habitat depths and much more.
Our mission is to support the charter sport fishing industry and overall fishing community while producing valuable data to marine science research. Gray FishTag Research is bridging the gap between professional charter fishermen and the science community in an effort to sustain our fisheries for our future generations.
By: Marie Cullen | Photos: Marina Pez Vela
Saunders Yachtworks (below), a family-operated yard for nearly 60 years, performs routine upkeep to complex refits. Featuring a 165-ton hauler, it handles boats and megayachts to 130 feet (39.6 meters). For example, the Westport 112 Kassablanca arrived in May for some work. Meanwhile, most people likely know Marina Pez Vela for its slips for megayachts to 200 feet (61 meters). It also has several restaurants, shops, and rental villas. What you may not know, though, is that it’s further home to the Yacht Yard at Marina Pez Vela (above). This service yard, with a bilingual staff, has a 200-ton lift. It can therefore haul megayachts to 150 feet (nearly 46 meters) for bottom painting and other tasks. The Yacht Yard at Marina Pez Vela is reportedly the only Costa Rican facility with a 200-ton lift. In addition, Costa Rica has no other sites combining traditional dockage and service.
The reason the two companies have aligned comes down to practical facts. “It is important for us to acknowledge the fluidity of the sportfishing and cruising communities in the Gulf of Mexico and Central America,” explains John Fitzgerald, Saunders Yachtworks’ CEO. In fact, “The amount of our customers who travel regularly to Costa Rica continues to grow,” he adds. It’s worth noting that Marina Pez Vela hosts four billfish tournaments each year, from January to April. Therefore, Saunders Yachtworks’ staff can continue supporting customers who participate, or cruising megayacht customers, as they head south.
Those same staff will assist Marina Pez Vela’s craftspeople in expanding their skills, and vice versa. Jeff Duchesneau, the marina’s general manager, says, “We’re thrilled to be affiliated with a yard in the States that has this level of expertise.”
Expect Saunders Yachtworks and Marina Pez Vela to display together at boat shows, along with other events.
By Elizabeth Lang | Photos: Marina Pez Vela
QUEPOS, Puntarenas – The fate of this small coastal town has often been determined by external influences: the Standard Fruit Company, Palma Tica and, more recently, a huge boom in tourism based on the popularity of the nearby Manuel Antonio National Park.
QUEPOS, Puntarenas – The fate of this small coastal town has often been determined by external influences: the Standard Fruit Company, Palma Tica and, more recently, a huge boom in tourism based on the popularity of the nearby Manuel Antonio National Park.
The leadership of the Marina Pez Vela in the heart of the town seeks to break the community’s historical duality between the locals and the gringos by working with the Municipality and other actors to create collaboration for the general improvement of Quepos. The Marina has been making an effort to invite all quepeños in to make use of its facilities as a public space.
“For me to be a part of a project that starts to… show people that development isn’t intrinsically bad and can create great public space for future generations of local people and better job opportunities – that’s a fun thing,” Cutter told The Tico Times.
Cutter’s love of the town and its history has led him to create free public events such as family movie nights, school graduations, support for the Independence Day faroles parade, a Día de las Mascaradas with trick-or-treat included, and the Christmas Bright Lights boat parade. These events are done with the sole purpose of creating a safer and more fun Quepos.
“We try to do all these public events so that the community of Quepos takes ownership and feels that the Marina isn’t just some other gringos,” Cutter said.
“We did all the architectural work for the malecón: the paving stones, we put the material in, and then the Municipality put it together. All of the new benches and flowerpots on the malecón, the Marina donated them to the Municipality and we’ve given them a full design plan on how to redesign the whole malecón,” Cutter said.
This help on behalf of the Marina contributes to the Municipality’s project of beautifying the town.
“The malecón has been appropriated so that the people and tourists who come here feel safe,” Emily Fernández, from the Quepos Municipal Office of Tourism Management, told The Tico Times.
“We don’t want to be the people who change Quepos. We want to be the people that helped Quepos change itself,” Cutter said.
The Marina has been carrying out the Bright Lights Boat Parade for four years now with the goal of creating an enjoyable family event to start off the holiday season.
He says he plans to keep building on past successes.
“It just takes time. I think that’s one of the things the Marina’s good at. They understand that none of the things that we’re going to do here are about doing an event and tomorrow it’ll end. They know that if you really want to change it, it is about doing 50 events. If you want to change it, it’s two to five years of this,” he said.
The Bright Lights Boat Parade will be held on Dec. 9 at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Puntarenas with more than 15 illuminated boats. For more information visit the Bright Lights webpage.
By PELAGIC GEAR | Words: Colin Sarfeh | Photos: PELAGIC, Zac Yarbrough, JJ Slater
MARINA PEZ VELA [Quepos, Costa Rica] – Rockstar! lives up to it’s name as Costa Rica’s Funnest Big Game Fishing Tournament – 3 bands, 3 parties, 6 PelagicGIRLs, 27 teams, 236 billfish, and $110,000 in prize money!
The sound of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” radiated from a stack of high voltage amplifiers as a shaggy, Costa Rican guitarist serenated a procession of tournament vessels through the port of Marina Pez Vela. The twenty-seven-team fleet lined up in the warm, Pacific waters off the coastal town of Quepos, Costa Rica with heavy anticipation of red-hot fishing ahead. Directly at 7:00am, twin flares fired to the sky signaled all captains to push their throttles to full as varying sportfishers – large and small – galloped towards the horizon. The Inaugural Rockstar! Offshore Tournament presented by PELAGIC had begun…
Below: The customary shotgun start in front of picturesque Marina Pez Vela was a “blast”
The Rockstar! Offshore Tournament is a team event focusing on the wide variety of species available in the fertile offshore waters of Pacific Costa Rica. Labeled as the country’s “Funnest Big Game Fishing Event”, The Rockstar! featured multiple marina-side bashes, three knock-your-socks-off rock ‘n roll bands, a PelagicGIRL Fashion Show, and offshore tournament extravaganza.
Below: PelagicGIRL Marissa Everhart embodies the true Rockstar! spirit
Host Marina Pez Vela is a true gem of Costa Rica… Tucked along the rugged Pacific coast and dividing the towns of Quepos and Manuel Antonio, Marina Pez Vela is an angler’s paradise offering over 200 wet slips, 8 restaurants/bars, luxury condos, charter and tour center, and full service yacht-yard with 200-ton Marine Travelift.
Below: Marina Pez Vela was the perfect venue for the Inaugural Rockstar! Offshore Tournament presented by PELAGIC
This tournament hosted both a large (35’ and over) and small (34’ and under) boat category, with general divisions of: Billfish Release, Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo. $110,000 in cash prizes were presented to 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, wahoo, dorado) during the two-day tournament.
Below: Plenty of dorado and sailfish joined the Rockstar! party
The event kicked off in fine fashion on January 12th as twenty-seven teams committed their entries and jackpot bets to the tunes of Ben Jammin & The Howlers playing live on the main amphitheater stage of Marina Pez Vela – the center piece of Rockstar! Tournament Village. In between sets, the beautiful PelagicGIRLs hosted a super raffle that featured some incredible prizes from Seeker Rods, Orca Coolers, Cutwater Spirits, and Pelagic Gear. The atmosphere was electric, the beverages were flowing, and everyone was geared up for day one of tournament fishing the next morning…
Below: PelagicGIRLs Skylar, Heidi, Heather, Marissa, Michelle, and Christina hosted the super raffle // Standing room only at the Captain’s Meeting
The first day saw 111 combined billfish tallied for our fleet highlighted by a 1200-point release total (9 sailfish & 1 blue marlin) and largest dorado of the day (23 lbs.) for Team Tranquilo. This performance sealed the deal on a triple header of daily jackpots, including levels of High Rollers $5K, $1K Billfish Release, and Dorado. In the small boat category, it was Team Good Day who held the lead for Billfish Release with a combined 800-points (5 sailfish & 1 blue marlin), while Swordfish weighed-in the heaviest dorado (28 lbs.). The evening culminated as the sun sank into the Pacific and Los Mojados played a high-energy mix of reggae-fusion-rock to cap off a great day on the water.
Below: Team Tranquilo wrangles one of their 10 billfish released during day one of the tournament // Los Mojados put on an incredible show // NFL Hall of Famer, Warren Sapp, all-smiles with a Costa Rican mahi
Day two saw a total of 125 billfish released, capped by a tournament-best, single-day score of 1600-points (13 sailfish & 1 blue marlin) and the largest dorado of the day (30 lbs.) by Team Miss Judy, earning them two daily jackpot cash prizes. In the small boat category, both Swordfish and Un Toque ended the day with 500 release points (5 sailfish), a daily jackpot prize that would be split by the two teams. Team Reel Deal took home the daily jackpot for their 28 lb. dorado.
Team Miss Judy weighs-in the heaviest dorado of the two-day tournament
When the dust had settled and all points had been gathered, the tournament fleet released a staggering total 236 billfish, 23 of which were either blue or striped marlin! And, furthermore, of twenty-seven teams entered into the inaugural tournament, ten were awarded cash prizes for their performance.
Earning the largest check of the tournament was Team Tranquilo, featuring an eclectic group consisting of NFL Hall of Famer, Warren Sapp; PelagicGIRLs Skylar Vallancourt and Heidi Hill; and PELAGIC Pro Team Captain Victor Julio with Ken & Amanda Cofer. Capt. Julio is arguably the most-consistent tournament captain on the planet today, having won or placed in the Pacific’s most-prestigious fishing events including the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Jackpot. This team earned a cash prize of $35,583.33 by winning three day one jackpots (High Rollers $5K, $1K Billfish Release, Dorado) and 2nd Place Overall Billfish. Congrats to Team Tranquilo!
Below: Tranquilo takes center stage with the biggest check of the tournament
Winning 1st Place in the Billfish Release Division was Team Pescadora with a combined release total of 2000-points (14 sailfish & 2 marlin) earning them a check for $12,413.33. They beat out Team Tranquilo (also 2000-points) by scoring their last billfish release 6-minutes earlier. Team Sea Angel took 1st Place Dorado by scoring a fish on each day for an aggregate weight of 45-lbs (17 & 28-lbs). Combined with a $5K High Rollers Day 2 Jackpot, Sea Angel took home a check for $20,690.00. Scoring the only tuna of the tournament was Team Sea Hawk; their 17-lb. yellowfin earned them a check for $7,600.00. Congrats to all our First Place winners!
Below: Pescadora took home the billfish crown // Ben White and Austin Angel of Sea Angel rockin’ out with their solid bull // Great things come in small packages, like this 17-lb. yellowfin that earned Sea Hawk a nice check
In the tournament’s small boat category, it was Team Good Day that walked away with the Billfish Release championship by scoring 1,000-points (7 sailfish & 1 blue marlin) during the two-day event; they cashed in a check of $6,225.00. Team Reel Deal stole the dorado show by winning the division with a two-fish tally of 45-lbs (21 & 24-lbs). Congrats to our Small Boat Category winners!
Below: Team Good Day and Reel Deal victorious in the small boat category
10 of 27 Teams won CASH PRIZES:
Below: Team Frenzy took home the award for most-fun-had during the tournament
On the event’s final night, all winners were welcomed to the concert stage in tournament village and presented with large ceremonial checks and trophies by Gray Taxidermy. The night was an evening of celebration in Marina Pez Vela, capped with an awesome rock-n-roll concert by Mustang65 that included a fireworks extravaganza and send-off of Queen’s hit track “We are the Champions”.
Below: Mustang65 rocked the stage on the final night of the tournament
We’d like to give a huge THANK YOU to Marina Pez Vela for hosting this great event; to our fine sponsors and friends Seeker Fishing Rods, Orca Coolers, Gray Taxidermy, and Cutwater Spirits for going above and beyond as always to provide some incredible prizes and donations; and to everyone who attended this inaugural event to make it one we’ll soon never forget.
Mark your calendars…. The Rockstar! Offshore Tournament presented by PELAGIC will be returning to Marina Pez Vela next January 11-13, 2018!
Contrary to a recent news report, Marina Pez Vela Quepos meets and complies with ARESEP dispensing and pricing regulation. Our station was most recently certified on July 5, 2016. See certificate of compliance here.
Printed copies of our certification are available at our Marina offices and Fuel Dock store. For more information, please contact email@example.com