Bahia del Sol, El Salvador: They are two of the most prestigious awards in light-tackle billfishing: the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler and the Costa Grand Champion Team awards. This year teams fished hard in two separate seas”the Pacific and the Caribbean”in three events in order to determine the winners. And it should come as no surprise that it would come down to just 400 points separating first from third, indicating incredibly close competition among the anglers who participated. This year circuit included the Presidential Papagayo Cup in northern Costa Rica, the Varadero Aruba Caribbean Cup and the Presidential Challenge of El Salvador. Anglers were restricted to relatively light line classes (20 and 30 pound class) and were also required to use non-offset circle hooks. In the Eagle Claw Grand Champion Angler Division, Ken Cofer was the winner with 2,800 points followed by J Godwin in second at 2,700 points. Bill Pino was third with 2,400 points. Both Ken and Bill fished the season on the Tranquilo, while J was part of Team USA, chartering several boats in the fishing areas. The Tranquilo was the Costa Grand Champion team this year, scoring 10,100 points. Team USA was second at 7,000 points and Team Priority was third at 3,800 points. Tranquilo also won the Billfish Tournament Series of Central America perpetual trophy with a total score of 30,200 from their Central American tournament series this year. Continuing their red-hot winning streak from their Mexican tournament swing that saw them winning nearly $3 million this season, Ken and Amanda Cofer elected to fish the Presidential Challenge of El Salvador aboard the Tranquilo en route home to their slip at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica. Despite a hard-fought battle their team emerged victorious in this event, which was run concurrently with the El Salvador International Billfish Tournament. As in previous years the Bahia Del Sol was the host resort for the tournament, offering comfortable accommodations and a couple great restaurants that were located just steps from the waiting boats in the marina. The event kicked off with a gala welcome party as the El Salvadorans got the party started in grand style. The boats departed the marina at 5 a.m. each morning for the run to the fishing grounds and it wasnt long before the teams found the fish. Tranquilo got off to a fast start with plenty of sailfish and a bonus blue marlin on Day One but it was neck and neck with Team USA on the Costa Rican charterboat Bushwacker on Day Two. However, there was little that anyone could do to slow the inevitable as Tranquilo continued to pull away from the fleet. In the end they would win the PCCA El Salvador tournament with a score of 8,400 points. In second was Team USA on the Bushwacker with 4,700 points. The Monique scored third with 3,800 points and the Sails Tactic was fourth with 3,300 points. In the Top Angler standings, Tranquilo owner Ken Cofer was first with 2,000 points, followed by his teammate Bill Pino in second with 1,900 points. J Godwin from Team USA was third with 1,600 points. For more information on the Presidential Challenge Conservation Series, please visit www.preschallenge.com.
Season-Long Champions Crowned at PCCA El SalvadorTranquilo Team Continues Winning Streak En Route to Victory in the Presidential Challenge