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Female Anglers Are Entering the Tournament Fishing Scene in Costa Rica

Female Anglers Are Entering the Tournament Fishing Scene in Costa Rica

By Katie Flanagan   March 5, 2021

Since the beginning of fishing tournaments, we’ve seen that the fishing scene has been primarily male-dominated. However, female anglers are starting to make their way into the tournament fishing world – and it’s about time.

For three years the Triple Crown Fishing Tournament in Los Suenos hosted a lady angler tournament, a one-day event held on the Tuesday before each leg of the Signature Triple Crown. The dates for the Ladies-only tournament in 2021 are January 19, February 23, and March 16. Our team sat with HMY Yacht Sales Professional, Pat Kelly, who enlightened us on this Ladies Only Tournament in Costa Rica.

Not only is Pat Kelly a top broker at HMY, but he has also spent a great deal of his time traveling to some of the most sought-after fishing destinations in the world to tournament fish. One destination in particular, being Costa Rica. Pat Kelly found himself back in Cost Rica this year to fish the first leg of the Signature Triple Crown Fishing Tournament, which is a three-leg series. He has been fortunate enough to have fished this tournament with a close colleague for nearly 15 years.

Pat took the time to explain how the tournament started incorporating a lady’s portion the day before the Signature Triple Crown tournament.

Being a father of four daughters, Pat was a big supporter of this new lady’s tournament. His daughters have grown up traveling to various tournaments with him, but for his children to have the opportunity to get involved in a future billfish tournament like this was different.

“The Ladies-Only tournament allows women to have a first-hand experience in the tournament scene,” says Kelly.

Pat Kelly explained, “The women are really in charge.” This is a tournament where the lady anglers must not just fight the fish, but also hook their own fish.” There is no “hook and hand.” There is no assistance. The ladies truly take full control in the cockpit.

The ladies evolved over the course of a few practice fishing days and the actual tournament day to truly experience what tournament fishing is all about. Pat Kelly was fortunate to see this firsthand. The women’s mindset transitioned into a competitive drive and they all wanted to win on tournament day. 

The first leg of the Ladies Only Fishing Tournament in Costa Rica had about 20 boats competing this year. Pat Kelly believes the growing number of female tournaments will only benefit the industry and relationships in the fishing community.

More women are becoming educated on tournament fishing and this will only help build the female presence in the fishing community.

Many new female anglers are finding themselves enjoying their time in the cockpit fishing when they never thought this would be something that they would enjoy. Just like that, these ladies are becoming, “hooked!”

Pat Kelly is looking forward to having his daughters participate in a ladies-only fishing tournament in the future. He is looking forward to assisting and coaching his daughters one day.


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