Harvester WINS Ship of Fools Tournament!

For the fifteenth straight year the Ship of Fools Tournament attracted Costa Rica’s top anglers to Playa Garza; for the second time in three years the FishingNosara team took home the hardware.

Captain Alex Moreno on the 32-foot mega panga Harvester topped the leaderboard with 1700 points (11 Sailfish releases, one Black Marlin release, and one Blue Marlin release) during the two day event.

“Alex is the dude,” exclaimed Captain Patrick Humphrey of Ft. Lauderdale. “He has the best eyes I’ve ever seen and fishes as aggressively as we do in South Florida.”

Captain Humphrey runs trips for Lady Pamela II Sportfishing in Hollywood, FL. He was joined by wife Jennifer, daughter Amelia, and angling legend Patrick Irwin.

The Ship of Fools Tournament is one of the last true billfish release tournaments in Costa Rica. Each scoring fish must be billed and photographed by hand (no snatch-leader releases) which increases the difficultly tremendously.

On the first day of the tournament, eleven boats set out from Playa Garza and set up shop twelve miles offshore in 2100 feet of water.

Captain Alex was first boat to the spot and put three Sailfish releases on the board in the opening hours of the first day. As the rest of the field lagged behind, the mega panga hooked up a Blue Marlin for a two hour fight.

After the photograph and safe release a second Marlin entered the spread, this time a big bad Black. Captain Patrick belted up for the battle of a lifetime, conquering the fish in two-plus hour fight that saw eight leader grabs before the successful release.

“I had a trip planned for Hawaii in the winter to cross Black Marlin off my list,” said Patrick, smiling. “I guess that’s off”

Their total of 1000 points is a single day record for the event, and lost in the shuffle is that they scored the ultra-difficult Billfish Grand Slam.

The second day was just like the first, with the Harvester scoring early and often. They snagged seven more Sailfish release including one at 3:59pm, one minute before lines-out.

The Harvester’s haul is an all-time best for this tournament, eclipsing the winning score of 1200 posted two years ago by FishingNosara teammate the Explorer.

For Captain Alex it is the culmination of perseverance through years of adversity in this event. In 2011 as mate on the Wanderer he recorded 14 Sailfish releases during prefishing only to get zero during the actual event. In 2016 he had the thing won until the camera with all the proof-photos fell overboard late on the second day.

“I’m incredibly proud of what Captain Alex has done with the Harvester,” beamed Craig Sutton, founder of FishingNosara and architect of the mega panga design. “He pushed himself and his boat to the edge during months before this event.” (ed. note: The Harvester ran 47 trips in February and March)

“He has honed his instincts and advanced his craft,” Sutton continued. “Captain Alex has paid the price to reach to top of the mountain.

The FishingNosara team looks forwarded to challenging the Harvester in the 2020 Ship of Fools Tournament next April and to competing with Alex in the 1st Annual FishingNosara Invitational in early August 2019.

If you and your best anglers are ready to compete, the FishingNosara US office can be reached at 9045912161 USA or FishingNosara.com

Harvester Highlights:

Wanderer Highlights:

Explorer Highlights:

March 5, 2019

Charley Smith and his boys scored lots of Sailfish releases with Captain Alex on March 5.

These monsters were fired-up for the fight and put the crew of the mega panga to the test.

Eight Sailfish releases peppered the scorecard for the Harvester.

Great work by the Harvester!

January 18, 2019

FishingNosara Hall of Famer and Northeast FishingNosara Representative Mark Cooney pulled off an amazing fishing feat with Captain David on January 18th…what, you’ve never battled a Sailfish on a 23-foot panga with a tiller-steered motor?

Then he grabbed a second Sailfish!

Backed up by lots of great Dorado, this is a picture-perfect day for the Adventurer!

November 6, 2018

Captain Alex kicked off his season with John Purdy,  John Van Diver, Mike Pickelsimer and Dale McElroy reporting eleven sweet Dorados on ice.

The Harvester has been itching for action, and found what they were looking for as these monsters topped out at 60lbs.

They caught so many that Captain Alex chose to release this big one so as not to hurt the fish stock.

Great work by Captain Alex and the Harvester!

October 8, 2018

Our rainy season fishing campaign concluded with a trio of trips in early October with angler Troy Davis enlisting the Explorer for blue water action.

Several Sailfish releases were backed up with a literal boat load of medium-sized Dorados.

Mr. Smith and his crew got out of town just in time to avoid some historic flooding. Some areas of Nosara endured 30 feet of flooding.

The flooding in Nosara has been challenging, but the Ticos are working together and helping each other out.

Here is the 23-foot Adventurer with Capitan Alex, Antonio, and NPR staff Jeni and others getting some local kids to high ground.

The waters have since receded and things are getting back to normal.