WE'RE GOING, GOING BACK, BACK TO QUEPOS, QUEPOS!!! THAT'S RIGHT! WE'RE MAKING THE RETURN TRIP TO THE IGFA OFFSHORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN QUEPOS, COSTA RICA! The short of it: We battled POSEIDON'S WRATH to put on a show for the WTC, hitting the podium with four teams representing Defiance, Raymarine, and All Rivers and Saltwater Charters (ARSC). Collectively, we took the top 3 spots in the main event, all of the (double down) cash side pots, big fish, and most fish. My squad put a shellacking on the TUNA, amassing 79 fish (a tournament record) by 2pm at which time Mark (Coleman) pulled out the anemometer and measured the wind speed at 26.8 knots.... Now let's go for a little RIDE.... I think everyone knows by now that I sold my ride (Defiance Admiral 250EX) 2.5 wks before the WTC. What's a PLAYER to do??? Luckily, we have the DEFIANCE NATION and one hell of a tight knit group. One of our great customers offered his brand spanking new Defiance 290 Guadalupe up for the task. My USUAL SUSPECTS crew ended up disintegrating just one week before the tournament for a variety of reasons (death in the family, injury, surgery, etc). I had to scramble to put a crew together and was able to secure 5 guys to make the event possible for us. I had only fished with one of the 5 prior to the WTC! To say that I was concerned was an understatement. However, I have placed with brand new crews before (2012 - 2nd place) so we committed to the challenge. THEE RIDE: With the circumstances, I would need all the luck we could get and brought along the USUAL SUSPECTS good luck charm: the IRON WOOD DODO! We prefished a few untouched areas to see what was out there and were able to come up with 45 fairly easy (by 11AM) on Friday. SLAUGHTER HOUSE: IGNORE THE HAT, PAT'S CONFUSED AS TO WHAT TEAM HE IS ON. Mark running in on Friday: We hit the Captain's mtg friday night and discussed our game plan, considering that there were three of these FATTY BFTs caught that day! The forecast was calling for a bad trend so we knew we would have to go out and get it done early. And yes, NOAA was right. Swellwatch was WAY OFF! We got bait, waited for our roll call release, and headed offshore. When we got out there, it was starting to blow and I could tell it was going to be ONE OF THOSE DAYS... We pulled up on a couple birds looking suspicious, threw bait, and got the CHAOS going right away. We had our first five within 10 minutes of fishing and continued the MAYHEM. We pounded the fish steadily all day with live bait, jigs, and swimbaits.... THE AFTERMATH (and these were brand new at the beginning of the day!!!): Even with the wind growing, chumming was not required. The fish stuck to us like WHITE on RICE. GAME OVER!!! The next three pics give you a really good idea of what the weather was doing by 10AM... The south wind, natural current from the north and west swell made some for some tight stuff and few waves that crashed into the cockpit. Not once did I feel unsafe in the Defiance Guadalupe and that is the honest to God truth. We drifted beam-to all day and never considered a different attitude for our drifts. She rode home like a champ with bow held high, making 14-15 knots at first, then 18-20 knots, then 28-30knots by the time we were approaching the bar around 4PM. We knew that we had put about 60 fish on the boat but had no clue on our exact numbers. We started to pull all the fish out of the holds, the 3 kill bags, and cooler to begin the weighing process. As we pulled them out, we separated the contenders from the rest. At that point, I realized that we were somewhere north of 60 fish. With most of the sorting done, we tied up to float 6 to finish off. We took our top five up for weigh in and then began the rest of the offload process, putting 10 fish in a cart at a time.... WELL.....9 CARTS LATER THE TALLY LOOKED LIKE THIS!!! COUNT EM! 79 FISH ALL DONATED TO THE WTC and a NEW TOURNAMENT RECORD! We got our receipt and headed off to our slip to get ready for the awards ceremony. I got up and gave a quick talk about the IGFA OFFSHORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in Quepos, CR....offering my services to whoever won the WTC. For me, its all about representation on the world stage and I will gladly support whoever goes! We got settled in for dinner, auction, raffle, and the final results! Double downs were called out with 3 Team Defiance/Raymarine teams taking those, then Big Fish going to Herb and Team ARSC II/Defiance/Raymarine. Most fish going to Mark and ARSC I/Defiance/Raymarine (we didn't enter side pots this time around to make it fair ) When Kevin announced the third place weight and I saw Mark standup, I put 2 and 2 together and IMMEDIATELY KNEW WE WERE GOING BACK TO THE IGFA OFFSHORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! Mark pointed at me and I pointed back at him as he made his way to the podium to accept his check! I knew what was next as they called our weight and TEAM DEFIANCE - USUAL SUSPECTS up to the podium! And then they called up Herb and his squad of killers (Team ARSC II/DEFIANCE/RAYMARINE) for BACK TO BACK 1ST PLACE FINISHES!!! GREAT JOB BY THEIR CREW: HERB GUTTLER, CHRISTIE WILHELMY, CURT JORGENSEN, JEFF STULC, MERRY COLEMAN, COLIN DICKERSON. CHRISTIE: CURT: COLIN: MERRY: SPECIAL THANKS TO JEFF STULC. HE TOOK A SUBSET OF THE PICTURES IN THIS REPORT. THEY ARE THE HIGH QUALITY, HIGH DEF. PICS THAT HELP YOU FEEL AS IF YOU WERE THERE. MY STORY IS NOTHING WITHOUT HIS PICTURES. YOU CAN FEEL THE WIND, THE BITE, AND THE BEND OF THE ROD THANKS TO HIS DEDICATION TO HIGH QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY. I HAVE WATCHED HIM GET BETTER AND BETTER. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HE HAS IN STORE FOR US IN COSTA RICA!!! ANOTHER SPECIAL THANKS TO MY CREW: ROB HYATT, PAT MAINS, BILL GRAHAM, DUSTY GRAHAM, AND CHRIS SENNERT! We absolutely WAXED those TUNA! Most guys won't see that many tuna if they headed to COSTCO AND WALKED DOWN THE STARKIST AISLE! JIGGA WHAT! We worked hard to get this point and got there with suboptimal weather and new crews. FIRE and DESIRE drove us to get the job done and make it back to the world stage. We were hoping for one of our four teams to take first place. But to have 3 teams go 1, 2, 3 AND set a record for the most fish ever caught in a WTC (79), AND set a record for the highest weight ever recorded at a WTC (152.52 lbs) AND have the same team for the 2016 IGFA OWC....that's the best BDAY present I could ask for. Tomorrow, I turn 32 and will be enjoying our WIN for quite some time. And there's a BEAST in GESTATION at the DEFIANCE FACTORY for deployment in 2016! People have been asking me how we did it..... WIND IN YOUR FACE AND FOLLOW YOUR FISH!!! TIGHT LINES! TOMMY AND THE REST OF TEAM ARSC/DEFIANCE/RAYMARINE!