Waterman's Journal

Jan 27, 2021


A Day One Sweep of All Billfish Jackpot Categories & First Place Finish in ‘Central America’s Largest & Richest Fishing Tournament’ Earns Team CABANA with Captain Eddie Wheeler a $296,440 Cash Prize; GAME PLAN Earns Second Place with a Day Two Billfish Sweep worth $268,600.

January 16-17, 2021 – Marina Pez Vela [Quepos, Costa Rica] – The unmistakable howls of heavy metal electric guitar filled the morning air of picturesque Marina Pez Vela, accompanied by the rhythmic beats and deep bass of synchronized percussion as sixty-seven teams, anglers, and crews departed by vessel eager to engage in battle amongst competitive angling comrades. A full moon backdropped above lush yet rugged rainforest terrain as the burning Costa Rican sun rose over the calm, Pacific Ocean beckoning teams to venture offshore in search of its billfish, tuna, & dorado bounty.

The fleet welcomed by an 'electrifying' surprise as teams exit Marina Pez Vela ahead of tournament competition.Pelagic Rockstar Tournament - Costa Rica - GuitarPelagic Rockstar Tournament _Boat Procession

And, with nearly $1 MILLION in cash prizes up for grabs and some of the planet’s most-accomplished tournament fishing teams focused on the task at hand, the stage was set for an incredible weekend of offshore competition during the 5th Annual Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament. Game on!

The customary shotgun start kicks-off each morning of the Rockstar Tournament.Shotgun Start_2021 Pelagic Rockstar TournamentShotgun Start_2021 Pelagic Rockstar Tournament

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. And while some elements of the event looked different from previous years to ensure a safe and healthy environment was enjoyed by all with protocols surrounding the coronavirus, great times were shared by all entrants in an electrifying marina atmosphere.

The 2021 Rockstar Offshore Tournament saw 67 teams with 364 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 Europe, The United Kingdom, Hawaii, Alaska, and all over the United States, Mexico, & Central America.

Team FIRE FLY fired up to fish The Rockstar.Fire Fly_Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament Costa Rica

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 - our incredible host venue for five years and counting.Marina Pez Vela Costa Rica_Pelagic Rockstar TournamentPelagic Rockstar Tournament_Marina Pez Vela Costa Rica

This tournament hosted both large (35’ and over) and small (34’ and under) boat categories, with general divisions of: Billfish Release, Tuna, and Dorado. Nearly $1,000,000 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.

Blue Marlin - the crown jewel of Costa Rica big game species || Team PELAGIC aboard their 58' Garlington displays a fine dorado weighed during the event. Blue Marlin_Pelagic Gear_Adrian GrayTeam Pelagic_Rockstar Offshore Tournament Costa Rica

The 2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament kicked off on January 14th & 15th as 67-teams with 364 anglers finalized their registration and jackpot entries to amass an astounding $971,500 in cash prizes – a new record for this fifth year tournament and further establishing itself as Central America’s Largest & Richest fishing tournament.

The ultimate prize... a custom Rockstar Tournament Fender Guitar, presented to the Tournament Grand Champions.Tournament Grand Champion Award_Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Costa Rica

Tournament apparel and event merchandise was available in Pelagic’s Costa Rica Flagship Superstore – located on main 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.Pelagic Store_Marina Pez Vela Costa Rica

The 67-team fleet experienced incredible fishing on day-one of the tournament, with a total of 417 combined blue marlin and pacific sailfish released, and a busy weigh station hoisting a constant stream of quality dorado and large yellowfin tuna.

One of hundreds of billfish released during a scorching hot bite on day one of tournament competition.Blue Marlin_Pelagic Rockstar Tournament_Jumping

In the Billfish Release Division, Team CABANA topped the fleet by accruing 2300-points for 23 Pacific Sailfish, sweeping all five billfish daily jackpots including the 10K, 5K, 3K, 2K, & 1K levels. They earned a daily jackpot payout of $251,200 for their top-notch performance on day one.

The 69' Spencer, CABANA, captained by Eddie Wheeler of Lighthouse Point, FL, cleaned up shop on billfish jackpots during day one of the tournament.2021 Pelagic Rockstar Tournament Champions_CABANA

Team Alaska fishing aboard DREAM RAISER weighed in a 89.6-lb. Yellowfin Tuna to sweep both the tuna daily jackpots for a daily payout of $20,400.

Traveling all the way from Alaska to Costa Rica, DREAM RAISER's day one sweep of all tuna jackpots made the trek that much more special.Yellowfin Tuna_Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_2021

I’m Just Saying aboard FIREFLY earned both dorado daily jackpots on day one with their fish weighing 36.22-lbs. Combined with their 2nd Place overall finish in the dorado category, the team won a $35,700 payout.

Team FIREFLY cashed in on dorado!Mahi Mahi Dorado_2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament Costa Rica

In the Small Boat Category, Team GAMEFISHER 2 earned the daily billfish jackpot of $1,800 by releasing 7 sailfish and 1 blue marlin (1,000-points).  Team Kenneth Knock Development aboard BUCKET LIST swept both of the gamefish jackpot categories with a 17.6-lb. dorado and a 27.18-lb. yellowfin tuna good for $3,400.

BUCKET LIST doubling down on daily tuna & dorado jackpots.Dorado Yellowfin Tuna_Pelagic Rockstar Tournament Costa Rica

Fishing continued to be scorching hot on day-two of the tournament as 505 combined billfish were released and a busy afternoon at the scales for tuna and dorado weighed. Former tournament champions, GAME PLAN, bested the fleet with 2,500-release-points (16 sailfish & 3 blue marlin) sweeping all levels of daily billfish jackpots. Combined with their day one performance, GAME PLAN earned 2nd Place overall in the Billfish Release category with 3,500-points (26 sailfish & 3 blue marlin) for a grand payout of $268,600.

No stranger to the winner's circle, GAME PLAN, captained by John Brennan, found themselves taking home the second-largest cash prize awarded in tournament history.2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Game Plan

Once again, it was Team Alaska aboard DREAM RAISER who weighed the largest tuna on day two – a beautiful 76.6-lb. Costa Rican yellowfin – earning them both daily jackpot payouts in that respective category good for another $20,400 payday, doubling up their day one payment.

In the Dorado Division, NSATIA BILL swept both levels of jackpots with their 34.4-lb. bull, which was also good enough to earn them a 3rd Place finish. They were awarded a payout of $30,480.

It pays to play! NSATIA BILL sweeps day two dorado jackpots with this Costa Rica bull.Dorado Champion_NSATIA BILL_Pelagic Rockstar Tournament Costa Rica

In the Small Boat Category, the 32’ Regulator Center Console ROCKSTAR best it’s respective fleet with a day two billfish tall of 1,700 release points (11 sailfish & 2 blue marlin). Their day two performance propelled them atop the small boat leaderboard with a total of 2,100-points to win 1st Place in the billfish division and a $7,200 payday.

Team ROCKSTAR aboard the flagship 32' Regulator Center Console came to play in the Small Boat Division, coming from behind on day two to win the billfish crown.Pelagic Rockstar Center Console_Costa Rica2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Rockstar Boat

AMY’S DREAM weighed the largest tuna in the small boat category – a solid 84.6-lb. yellowfin – to win the day two jackpot and 1st Place overall tuna. They were awarded $4,300 for their efforts. Kenneth Knock Development aboard BUCKET LIST earned 1st Place overall dorado small boat and a day 2 dorado jackpot with their 34.6-lb. bull. Combined with their day one jackpots and 1st Place honor, BUCKET LIST was awarded a check for $7,900.

Team AMY'S DREAM celebrates the largest tuna weighed in the Small Boat Division || BUCKET LIST was the top cash prize winner in its respective category.Marina Pez Vela_Amys Dream Boat_Pelagic Rockstar Tournament2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Bucket List

After two-days of offshore competition, 364 anglers combined to release a staggering 922 billfish (884 sailfish, 37 blue marlin, & 1 striped marlin) for an incredible average of 13.76 billfish per team.

The acrobatic Pacific Sailfish kept all teams busy during the 2021 Rockstar Tournament.Pacific Sailfish_Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Costa Rica

As the 2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament began winding down, the marina was amplified by the electric sounds of a local reggae-rock band as teams and onlookers anxiously waited to hear the final results.

Tournament Director, Colin Sarfeh, soon welcomed tournament top performers as awards were announced, and ceremonial checks & trophies were presented to each winning team.

Tunes & Trophies - it was a fun evening of celebration awarding all prize winning teams.Pelagic Rockstar Tournament Costa RicaTrophies_2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament

The results are in!

When all was said and done, the 2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament ‘Grand Champion’ Award was presented to Team CABANA, who secured the largest payout in Rockstar Tournament history by sweeping all five levels of billfish jackpots on day one and 1st Place overall in the Billfish Division. CABANA finished with 38 sailfish releases good for 3,800-points, 300 points greater than 2nd Place GAME PLAN. Along with a massive payout of $296,440, CABANA was awarded the coveted ‘Tournament Grand Champion’ prize – a limited-edition Fender Electric Guitar that was custom-decorated with Pelagic Rockstar insignia.

Congrats to Captain Eddie Wheeler & Team CABANA - 2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament Grand Champions!2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Cabana Champions

GOOD TIMES earned 1st place in the Dorado Division with a two-day weight total 50.34-lbs. A while they weren’t entered into any of the dorado daily jackpots, the team earned a generous payout of $22,620.

Team GOOD TIMES - 1st Place Dorado2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Good Times

As expected, Team Alaska fishing aboard DREAM RAISER earned 1st Place overall in the Tuna Division while sweeping all associated tuna jackpots for both tournament fishing days. Their tournament best combined total of 166.2-lbs gave the team a solid payday of $63,420.

Team Alaska aboard DREAM RAISER - 1st Place Tuna2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Dream Raiser Alaska

13 of 67 Teams Earned Cash Prizes:Team Payouts_2021 Pelagic Rockstar Tournament_Costa Rica

This year, we were honored to award our top overall angler of the tournament for the first time to a female angler. Congrats to Joni Smith of Team SOUTHERN PRIDE on taking home double hardware as Top Female & Top Overall Angler of the 2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament!

Top Overall & Top Female Angler – Joni Smith – SOUTHERN PRIDE – 1900-pts. (19 pacific sailfish releases)2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Top Overall Angler Joni Smith

Top Junior Angler – Harris Crumpton – MAMA SEATA – 500-pts. (5 pacific sailfish releases)2021 Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament_Top Junior Angler

The post-tournament celebration continued as Queen’s hit single “We are the Champions” resonated throughout Marina Pez Vela as our tournament participants honored the captain, anglers, and crew of CABANA on their tournament victory.

DJ Diego keeping the good vibes flowing throughout the tournament.Concert_Pelagic Rockstar 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.

Team bags were stuffed full of great prizes from sponsors & limited edition tournament merchandise.Flor de Cana_Pelagic Rockstar Tournament Costa Rica

Thank you to all tournament participants, captains, & crews and be sure mark your calendars as the 6th Annual Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament is scheduled to return to Marina Pez Vela next January 15-16, 2022!

Just another Costa Rican sunrise... we'll see you next year! Costa Rica Sunrise_Marina Pez Vela

Enjoy the boat, team, & weigh-in photo gallery below!