The winning fish was one of a double on the last day


The team also received a coveted invitation to compete in the 2020 Costa Offshore World Championsh­ip held in Quepos, Costa Rica.

The Sneak Attack team—Capt. Vicente Bojorquez, mate Rene Moreno, Chip Wagner, Shawn Guttersen, Guillermo Bojorquez, David and Daniel Rosenthal, and Christophe­r Chay—placed second overall for releasing two blue marlin, one black marlin and three striped marlin, receiving a total of 975 points and a check for $72,790. And with 950 points, Buenaventu­ra snagged third place for overall releases and were awarded $44,610 for their three blues and two striped marlin.

The largest yellowfin tuna, courtesy of angler Mike Darden on Tejas, weighed in at 158.6 pounds on Day One, and the largest wahoo, a 35.5-pounder, was captured by angler Ken Eberle and his Auriga team and weighed on Day Two. Day Three turned out to be a charm for Ken Cofer’s 57-foot Spencer Yacht,

Tranquilo. After Day One, the team was on the board with one black and two blue marlin releases—a far cry from the daily winner’s jackpot sweep to the tune of $1.75 million by Paul Beaullieu and his 466-pound black marlin landed aboard Wild Hooker.

Day Two would have seemed almost as grim, with the Tranquilo team managing only one blue marlin release for the day, while True Grit’s Jim Putnam boated a black marlin at the end of the day that weighed in at 498 pounds, worth almost $1.3 million. Putnam beat out Stella June’s 466-pounder weighed earlier in the day by angler Jazz Morehead after a fight time of 121 minutes aboard the 45-foot SeaHunter.

With all eyes on Wild Hooker, which was currently leading the tournament from Day One, the Tranquilo team, led by Capt. Victor Julio Pizarro, ventured back to the exact spot where they

missed a potential contender the day before in hopes of crossing paths with her again. Then, at around 10 a.m., Bill Pino hooked into a decent fish that turned into a doublehead­er for angler Amanda Cofer, who made quick work of her rat blue marlin. With Pino sitting comfortabl­y in the chair, the 44-minute fight time resulted in a $1.4 million, 577pound blue marlin that landed the team the tournament win.

Time would be on El Suertudo’s side as the team placed first in the Costa release division with a total of 1,500 points, taking home an estimated $70,000. Chupacabra came in second, and Quiteña finished third, with both teams also scoring 1,500 points.

A total of 176 billfish—15 black marlin, 118 blue marlin, 42 striped marlin and one sailfish—were scored by 862 anglers aboard a fleet of 126 boats.

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