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Marlin Magazine Highlights Captain Tony Carrizosa: Sportfishing Legend

Marlin Magazine Highlights Captain Tony Carrizosa: Sportfishing Legend

Marlin Magazine, the foremost publication in the world of sportfishing, recently showcased an exclusive article highlighting the remarkable achievements of Captain Tony Carrizosa. Regarded as a true icon in the industry, Carrizosa’s unwavering dedication and tireless efforts have propelled him to the forefront of the sportfishing community. Read a recap of the article below, or dive into the full story in Marlin Magazine.
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The Rise of a Legend: Captain Tony Carrizosa

The article shines a spotlight on Carrizosa’s impressive track record, particularly his exceptional performance in the 2023 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown tournament. Guiding his team, the 64-foot Viking TEAM GALATI, to victory in the third and final leg of the competition, Carrizosa clinched his third overall series championship title. With an impressive tally of nine first-place victories, four runner-up finishes, two third-place positions, and four overall series titles, he has firmly established himself as the most successful captain in the tournament’s 20-year history.


The Beginning

Tony’s journey in the world of fishing began in the suburbs of Miami, where his love for fishing blossomed while exploring the local ponds. As a teenager, he took to chartering his own boat and working as a mate during his summer breaks from high school. This passion for fishing eventually propelled him towards a career as a captain, earning his license at the young age of 19.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Carrizosa embarked on an exhilarating adventure as a traveling mate, exploring some of sportfishing’s premier destinations, including Mexico, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands. It was during this time that he was presented with the opportunity to join the team on the 63-foot American Custom Yacht, STEPHANIE LEE, owned by David Trombley. This marked the beginning of his journey towards Costa Rica.


The Bountiful Opportunities in Costa Rica

Arriving in Costa Rica in 2001, Tony was captivated by the region’s natural beauty and serene waters. The fishing opportunities presented were unlike anything he had ever experienced before, with sailfish weighing between 90 and 100 pounds eagerly biting on teasers and pitch baits. This revolutionized Carrizosa’s approach to fishing, as he and his team swiftly adapted their techniques to capitalize on the abundant sailfish population.


The Los Sueños Resort and Marina

The emergence of Los Sueños Resort and Marina, where Carrizosa is now based, played a pivotal role in the development of sportfishing in Costa Rica. The visionary founder, Bill Royster, recognized the area’s potential and transformed what was once an 1,100-acre cattle ranch into a world-class fishing destination. With the establishment of the marina, an increasing number of boats from the United States began flocking to Costa Rica, enticed by the incredible fishing opportunities and the warm hospitality of the local people.


From Adversity to Opportunity

Carrizosa’s journey became intertwined with the growth of Los Sueños Resort and Marina. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which disrupted their planned departure to Mexico, Carrizosa and his team made the decision to stay in Costa Rica. Seizing the opportunity granted by their boss to continue fishing and explore innovative techniques such as dredge-fishing and teaser-fishing with hook baits, their success caught the attention of Royster, who recognized the potential to showcase the remarkable fishing in a tournament series.


Inception of the Signature Triple Crown Series

Thus, the Los Sueños Signature Series was born in 2004, with Carrizosa and his team on STEPHANIE LEE claiming victory in the inaugural leg and being crowned the Series Champion Team in 2007. The tournament series rapidly gained popularity, attracting over 50 boats and witnessing more than 1,100 billfish releases. Fishing in Costa Rica continued to evolve, with captains like Tony and his contemporaries pushing the boundaries and discovering novel techniques to enhance their catch.


Fishing Tactics

In 2008, Carrizosa’s team achieved considerable success by utilizing dredge-fishing tactics to catch numerous striped marlin in a tournament in Cabo San Lucas. The following day, skippers from Southern California utilized gyro binoculars to regain the advantage as the wind picked up and the fish began tailing. Carrizosa learned the art of sonar-fishing from Galati Yacht Broker Steve Lassley and later led the GAME ON team to victory in 2011.

Lassley, the dedicated sonar operator for the TEAM GALATI tournament operation, contributed to their string of wins, including back-to-back series championships in 2020 and 2021. The presence of skilled anglers is paramount to a team’s success, and TEAM GALATI boasts an impressive success rate of approximately 80%.


The Key to TEAM GALATI’s Success

Team Galati’s success is not simply a matter of luck. They understand the importance of having the right equipment, which is why Galati has a new Viking Yacht built and rigged each year before the start of the season. This commitment to constantly fishing with new boats presents its own challenges, as it requires the crew to adapt and perform at a consistently high level. Fortunately, Viking does an exceptional job of providing the team with the tools they need to compete at such a demanding level, according to Carrizosa.


Captain Tony Carrizosa’s Winning Formula

During his time running the TEAM GALATI tournament operation, Captain Tony Carrizosa also became a professional broker, thanks to the guidance of Carmine Galati. This allowed him the freedom to fish competitively while handling sales on the side. Carrizosa credits his team members, such as Arturo Moreno, Fernando Peralta, and Johnny LaGrone, for their support in preparing the tournament boat and managing other tasks throughout the year.


Balancing Work and Family

Although Captain Tony Carrizosa acknowledges that being a professional captain is typically a job for younger individuals, he is not quite ready to slow down. As he approaches 50, he recognizes the limitations of his aging body. However, his competitive spirit remains strong. With this in mind, he no longer desires to fish full-time. Nowadays, he prefers deer hunting in Pennsylvania or spending quality time with his fiancée and daughter.

“When someone else comes along who can do it as well or better than I can, I’ll be happy to turn it over to them and be the sonar guy or an angler. But for now, I’m just ­fortunate to get to do what I love, and to do it with ­people who I consider to be my family.” – Captain Tony Carrizosa


Passion and Hard Work

Carrizosa’s journey in sportfishing is a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and seizing opportunities. From his humble beginnings fishing in local ponds to becoming the winningest captain in the history of the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown, Carrizosa’s dedication and skill have propelled him to the top of his field. His story serves as an inspiration to all those who have experienced the exhilaration of watching a billfish strike, reminding us that success, both in fishing and in life, comes to those who are willing to put in the effort.


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2021 InTheBite Captain of the Year: Tony Carrizosa
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Cited: Marlin Magazine

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