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4 Dec 2023
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Sport Fishing

Planning a getaway to the enchanting Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Jaco, Costa Rica? If your trip is scheduled for January, February, or March, you're in for a treat! The Signature Los Sueños Triple Crown - a prestigious annual billfish tournament series - should be a highlight on your itinerary.

Los Sueños Resort and Marina, on Playa Herradura, is a coastal community celebrated for its 5-star resort, exotic La Iguana Golf Course, and stunning vistas of both water and mountains. The palm tree lined beach is accompanied by a harbor that provides ample opportunities for deep-sea fishing. In fact, it’s known as being the Billfish Capital of the World.

It's not just about the thrill of the competition; it's about the camaraderie, the breathtaking scenery, and the unforgettable experiences that make the Signature Los Sueños Triple Crown a must-attend event for both fishing enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

About the Signature Triple Crown

The world-class Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown tournament series (originally the Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series) is held annually at the Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Costa Rica and is the top draw to Costa Rica for anglers and spectators.

Founded in 2004, Los Sueños founder Bill Royster fused the event with the Marlin Invitational in 2014 to create the Signature Triple Crown. They now see an average of 40 to 50 boats participating a year.

Because of the series’ instant success, Bill knew it was important to preserve the fishery instead of destroying it, so he commissioned the ­country to make circle hooks and to make the release of all billfish mandatory. Since its inception, 49,912 total billfish have been released.

Today, the Los Sueños Resort and Marina still fund conservation initiatives, including game fish tagging programs, which have led to being named the winner of the 2018 IAGTO Sustainability Award in the Nature Protection category for its reforestation and naturalization project.

Three Legs Of The Signature Triple Crown

Each tournament consists of three days (consecutive fishing days) with no lay days (time off the boat, not necessarily an entire day).

The triple crown consists of three legs, with three consecutive fishing days in each tournament. They take place in consecutive months in the first part of the year, in January, February, and March.

Earning Points

Today, the tournament awards points for Sailfish or Marlin. Sailfish are worth 100 points, and any species of marlin is worth 500 points, placing a premium on converting those marlin bites to releases. The fish must be released to earn points.

A 50-mile fishing boundary from Herradura Bay helps maintain a level ­playing field as the boats become faster yearly. At the end of the three legs, a series champion is announced. Cash prizes are distributed to the top three boats (based on an overall number of billfish release points) as follows: 50% first place, 30% second place, and 20% third place.

Trophies are awarded to the top three boats based on overall billfish release points for each leg of the Triple Crown. The total cash prize is based on the number of entries.

Ladies Only Tournament

The Ladies Only Tournament began in 2019, as the tournament runners saw an increase in female anglers over the years. When it began, it was a one-day tournament, but because of its popularity, they modified the format to a one-day contest held before each of the three legs.

About the Signature Triple Crown 2024

  • Leg I Dates: Ladies Only 16th, January 17 - 20, 2024
  • Leg II Dates: Ladies Only 20th, February 21 - 24, 2024
  • Leg III Dates: Ladies Only 12th, March 13 - 16, 2024.

The maximum number of anglers allowed per boat is 5. Each team can register a sixth angler, but only five are permitted to fish on the boat each fishing day. The cost of registering a sixth angler is $500 per tournament.

Registrations are due by 5:00 PM the day before the event. The 2024 entry fees are $15,000 per leg or $30,000 for all three legs and includes:

  • Boat entry
  • Registration for five anglers
  • Eligibility for trophies, cash, and prizes
  • Eight social tickets
  • One captain bag
  • Five angler bags (6 if additional angler registered)
  • Six AFTCO Performance Shirt
  • Six AFTCO Athletic Caps
  • Welcome dinner and entertainment
  • Awards dinner, ceremony, and entertainment
  • Tournament shows
  • Event photos

Billfish Tournaments For A Novice

Photo Credit: lunamarina

What is the billfish tournament like?

A billfish tournament is an artful catch and release sport fishing competition for big fish characterized by prominent pointed bills. Marlin, sailfish, swordfish, and spearfish are the four main types of billfish. In a tournament, anglers are judged by video for how they lure, catch, and release the fish.

Because there’s so much technique involved in the catch and release of billfish, the competition favors the most experienced anglers.

What does billfish release mean?

The term “billfish release” literally means the release of the fish that has been caught. Blue marlin generally recover anywhere from 3 to 16 hours after they are released, with an average of 9 hours, and sailfish recover usually 2 to 8 hours, with an average of 5 hours.

Anglers are cautioned not to remove the billfish from the water. Removing the fish from the water causes additional stress and reduces survival, which is against the law in Costa Rica.

What is Jaco like during the event?

Photo Credit: Dynamoland

The town of Jaco is a safe place to visit for solo travelers and families alike. It offers several family-friendly activities, including wildlife encounters, beach and surf fun, and easy access to national parks. Your family can safely explore the natural wonders of Costa Rica together. And certainly, if you’re planning to explore the town, learning some Spanish is recommended and polite.

Things To Do Near Los Sueños Resort And Marina

While we highly recommend enjoying or even participating in the Signature Triple Crown, there are plenty of other things to do in and around Los Sueños while here on vacation or if you’ve decided to move to Costa Rica.

Surfing At Los Sueños

Photo Credit: Dudarev Mikhail

The surf’s up in Costa Rica. Any surfer will tell you that the waves are exceptional along the Central Pacific Coast year-round. Jaco Beach is known around the world as a surfing Mecca. At Los Sueños Resort, you’ll find a beach club, surf lessons, board rentals, and even a gear shop.

Golfing Near Los Sueños

The La Iguana Golf Course is nearby and features a 6,698-yard Ted Robinson-designed course with 18 championship holes. The Club also offers a great Casa del Café and golf cart menu for snacking on the green.

Massage & Spa

Photo Credit: - Yuri A

If you need some R&R, add a massage to your vacation booking, or visit the Sïbo Spa nearby. With some of the best massage therapists, your vacation concierge can easily help set up an in-room massage, pedicure, body scrub, or wrap.

ATV Waterfall Tour

Jungle waterfall adventures in Jaco, Costa Rica, are famous for a reason. Take a thrilling ride through rugged mountain terrain and stop at a vista overlooking waterfalls. You can even try to jump if you’re brave enough. Book through the resort for an all-inclusive good time.

Enjoy Your Vacation During The Signature Triple Crown

Vacationing at Los Sueños Resort And Marina during the Signature Triple Crown Tournament is a bucket list event for any angler. The tournament will not only offer you a good time with fellow anglers, but you’ll be guaranteed to learn more about the town and rub shoulders with the locals who call this surf and fishing paradise home.

Now that you’ve spent the most memorable vacation in Jaco, Costa Rica, you may just decide to move to Playa Herradura. Maybe you’ve discovered that the slower pace and lower cost of living are for you. That’s how it all started for us!