Hotel Coral / WON Championship

Click here for Hotel Coral / WON Championship

Friday, June 22, 2012
Sign up now to avoid late fee

2102 dates are July 27-28
Ensenada’s offshore season shaping up!


Yellowtail show up in solid numbers, sizes at Todos Santos Island

ENSENADA -— The yellowtail are in, the weather cooperated for the most part and anglers headed out to Todos Santos to get their share. It looks like a great season is getting underway in Ensenada; all we are waiting for now are the albacore.

“Just north of Isla Todos Santos and only five miles out from the Marina Coral was where they were getting them,” Mariana Hammann from the Coral Marina Store said. Hammann said trolling with Rapala lures and jigs were both working. Although the water temperatures are still low and we had 8- to 11-knot winds, it was a sunny day.”

“Saturday, the No Limitz 1 headed out to the south side of the island and at 35 feet they caught 5 yellowtail over 20 pounds, a whitefish and a medium-sized sheepshead,” Hammann said. “Now all we need are the albacore.”

Sammy Susarrey of Lily’s Sportfishing also got in on the bite. “We’re fishing for yellows at Erendira, the San Jose Reef, Todos Santos and also the San Miguel Reef,” Susarrey said. “Most of the yellows were 25 pounders and they been hit Tady 45s in any color.”

“The ocean has been calm and the temperature has been 62 degrees,” Susarrey said. “Also, there is a lot bait fish around and the color of the water has been good. All the fish we had have been breezing in nice schools.”

Needing a break from remodeling his Tequilas Sports Bar, Louie Prieto from Its 4 Reels Sportfishing decided to cash in on the local bite for yellows that started this past week. “Angel, Andy May, Wade Nichols and I headed out early to the north end of Todos Santos Island,” Prieto said. “The water was really sloppy, with a very tight mixed swell and maybe 10 mph of wind but we spotted terns dipping and diving midway to our destination so we tossed iron but found nothing.”

“We decided that the conditions were going to make it tough to spot breezing fish so we put a purple/black MirrOLure and an X-Rap in the blue mackerel pattern out,” Prieto said. “Twenty minutes of trolling produced a nice yellow on the MirrOLure. We continued trolling closer to the north end of the island than we have been in the past and ended the day with 4 yellows between 15 and 22 pounds.”

“All fish were caught on the troll using the MirrOLures, with three coming on black/purple and one in the blue mackerel pattern,” Prieto said. “The yellows did come up a few times but were hard to get to due to the pretty severe wind and waves. Water temperatures at the island were 60.4 and 62.8 further inside. We also metered lots of fish as well.”

PLAN NOW: July 27-28 Ensenada Saltwater Championship

Two divisions for yellowtail and tuna and a great venue, the Hotel Coral and Marina

ENSENADA — Summer is coming and planning for it is critical, especially the WON/YAMAHA Hotel Coraland Marina Saltwater Championship.

The tourney is slated for July 27-28, a week later than last year when it was reintroduced to the West Coast tournament calendar and drew 41 teams and 150 anglers despite bad press concerning the border, poor fishing and high gas costs.

Said Director Pat McDonell, “We were thrilled, the teams who came felt it was a great event, and the hotel simply hit a home run in hosting the tournament in an effort to get it back on the map. The hotel and marina as a venue was first class, and best of all, it is now scheduled in the heart of tuna and yellowtail season.”

This year, the event will focus on tuna and yellowtail in two divisions. Cost to enter either by credit card, bank check or cash will be the early bird fee of $100 per angler (the fee is $120 after July 25 which must be paid on-site in cash), which includes cost of entry, a hat, t-shirt, a carne asada dinner, tickets to drawings at both the captains meeting and awards, and paydowns to third place in both divisions will come from that entry fee and Yamaha.

Teams are encouraged to book the Coral Hotel soon as 35 rooms are blocked out. There are no other rooms available on a busy summer weekend, with two other events slated. The hotel is offering special rates that include launching and a discounted price for slip rental, plus breakfast coupons.

When calling the hotel, you don’t say you are with the tournament, you will be told the hotel is booked, so mention it. For hotel reservations, call the Hotel Coral1 800 862 9020. The marina and harbormaster Fito Espinosa can be reached from the U.S. at 1 (866) 302 0066; from Mexico, call 01-800-026-3100. The hotel website is

Changes from last year include:

***Elimination of the bass division due to lack of teams last year. “I couldn’t keep giving a third of the money collected from 5 percent of the teams.The money will go to the yellowtail and tuna divisions in higher payouts

 *** The event will be held on the newly refurbished covered patio above the fuel dock next to the launch ramp and the marina office. The venue can include the captains meeting, the weigh-in, awards, local band, bar, and vendors tents. “It’s a perfect all-in-one venue for us,” said McDonell. “The tent was fine, but there was limited space and layout on the grass. There will be more room, and far more convenient, and the crowd at the weigh-in can have a place to sit up above, order drinks and relax in the shade.”

 ***The optionals, three for yellowtail and three for tuna for a total of six will be decidednot by the single biggest fish, but by the three-fish total of a team. Teams can enter both divisions. That was at several team’s request after last year.

*** Casting contest: With the new check-in and awards venue, WON will host a Costa/AvetCasting contest during check-in, the winner receiving a rod, Avet reel and a pair of Costas.

*** The entry fee: $100 for early birds, $120 onsite after July 25, cash only. “We had to institute a dual fee schedule after most teams signed up on site. We can’t plan a tourney like that without incurring big costs,” said director Pat McDonell.

*** There will be no overall champion now that there are just two divisions.The $1,000 Yamaha bonus will be for single biggest fish (tuna or yellowtail). 

Paperwork: Trailer down or run by water 

Paperwork: Teams from the U.S. by trailerboat via land will need passports and fishing licenses. You also need tourist permits, free at the border, from the office on the far right as you cross. Be sure to cross the border in the far right lane and park in the lot. If you choose to not stop for the free tourist permit, you can get them in Ensenada at the immigration office in Ensenada, but there is a $23 fee. That is for land travel and you must have it with you on your boat to confirm you came by land and not vessel. The new FMM sea travel permit for those who come by boat must be obtained if you plan to fish on the way down ( or buy at Dana (Mission Bay) or Fisherman’s landings (SD Bay) or at MXTourist Assistance office at Kona Kai, K-Dock, in SD Bay. Look at for details. If you plan on coming directly to the Hotel by water, you can obtain your permits in town. If you plan of fishing on the way down, have your FMM sea permit for each angler before you leave.


Date: Friday and Saturday, July 27-28

Schedule: Check-in Friday, July 27, noon to 5:30 p.m., Seaguar Captains’ Meeting 5 to 7 p.m., teams released at end of captains meeting, weigh-in Saturday from 3-6, p.m., Yamaha awards Party and casual carne asada taco buffet, prizes, drawings at 7 p.m. or as soon as results are tabulated.

Format: Two divisions (yellowtail, tuna). Top weight of three fish. Paydowns to third in each division. Optionals are $100, $200 and $300, cash only. Six optionals total. 80 percent payback.

Entry fee: $100-120 a person, two-man teams and larger. Fee includes hat, shirt, carne buffet at awards and payback monies. All boat passengers must be a team member. No exceptions. Early bird deadline is noon, July 25.

Contacts: Pat McDonell, Director (949) 366-0030, ext 33 or Download entry forms at and mail in, or sign up online via credit card. Optional pay-ins are cash only, at check-in. There are 35 rooms at the Coral reserved for the event. If you don’t say you are with the tournament, you will be told the hotel is booked, so mention it.

For hotel reservations, call the Hotel Coral1 800 862 9020, the marina at 1 866-302 0066; from Mexico, call 01-800-026-3100. Website is

THE HOTEL CORAL AND MARINA is the official host of the event, and even during the downturn in business, has been refurbishing its rooms and common areas, and of course the marina is first class through the efforts of the new ownership and the longtime marina manager Fito Espinosa.The tournament will again be held under a huge event tent on the grass right above the marina. The hotel is offering fantastic room rates (starting at $210 for 2 nights, and includes launch fee andcontinental breakfasts each day (4 total). There are several hotel room options. You can also bring your boat by water and pay for a slip at $1.20 a foot per night and use the hotel facility.

A letter from the Davis team about the 2011 event

Baja Bound.....

We, the Davis family,six in our group, started our adventure at Shelter Island with our boat in tow. We met with Gary &Yvonne and Bob and Chris to caravan to our destination. We got on the road precisely at the scheduled time and headed for the border. Once we went through inspection the "Green Angels" were there waiting to escort us to our hotel. It truly gave of a sense of security being it was our first time.We arrived at our hotel safe and sound. Within 15 minutes the boat was launched and we were checking in. It was a breeze. Shortly thereafter we registered for the tournament and after signing up we were given gift bags full of cool things.

Saturday morning bright and early...Team Reelfishy, Robert Sr, son Robert Jr, son Andrew and good friend John, headed out for some fishing! Couldn't ask for better weather. After a full day of fishing we headed to the awards banquet where lots of prizes were given out and delicious food.

Sunday morning, once again we were escorted back to the border. Thank you Green Angels! A Big Kudos to the staff of WON! Everything was organized very well. Everyone involved were so kind and lots of fun. Without a doubt we will be doing it again next year and letting everyone know that it was an awesome time. Thanks again WON staff!


Lori Walker

Our group

Robert Sr. & Gail, Robert Jr. & Lori,, Andrew, John

2012 WON Coral Saltwater Championship Rules


1. Participation & Eligibility — There are no restrictions as to race, creed or color. Those entered and under the age of 18 years must have written consent from parent or legal guardian. Further, a waiver of liability must be signed by parent or legal guardian and be on file with WON prior to the tourney. All forms will be signed at check-in.

2. Cooperation with Media/Promotion — Within the framework of reasonable requests, all Tournament participants will cooperate with media representatives covering said event. Likewise, participation in the tourney grants WON the use of any pictures of participants, accounts, or interviews with contestants it gathers for the lawful promotion of the event.

3. Sportsmanship — The laws of good judgment and sportsmanship as well as courtesy toward others on and off the water will be adhered to at all times. Specifically, the use of obscene language or gestures is strictly forbidden at any time before, during, or after the event. Any verbal or physical abuse or threats from entrants toward thestaff is cause for a team’s disqualification.

4. Alcoholic Beverages/ Narcotics — Misconduct from drug or alcohol abuse will result in disqualification.

5. Safety — All boats must have Coast Guard approved life jackets/vests and safety equipment. Anyone found operating a boat in an unsafe manner (in the opinion of the Tournament Director) is subject to immediate disqualification.

6. Insurance & Liability — It is the sole responsibility of the boat owner to carry and have proof of public liability insurance covering himself and passengers. All Tournament participants are required to sign a waiver absolving the tournament sponsors, co-sponsors and their employees from any responsibility for any damage or personal injury sustained as a result of their participation in the tournament or related activities.

7. Licenses — Each participant must have in his possession a valid and current fishing license. Anglers checked at weigh-in by the Mexican authorities who do not have a valid Mexican fishing license will cause their ENTIRE team to be disqualified from the tournament. They will likely be checking at the dock. Licenses are be available for sale online at, at local shops and at the Coral Marina shop.

8. Fishable Waters — Fishable waters in the event include any water reachable by boat that is open to all participants and which is not otherwise restricted by local restrictions. All fishing and landing of fish must be done from the boat. No participants are permitted to leave their boat.

9. Weigh-In — Teams cannot continue to fish after they weigh in their catch.

10. Practice/Pre-Fishing —There is no restriction on pre-fishing.

11. Polygraph Testing — All participants, by virtue of their entry into the Tournament, are subject to testing by polygraph (lie-detector) by authority of the Tournament Director.

12. Late Rule — Any participant/team that returns to the check-in point past theweigh-in time will not be allowed to weigh their catch .

13. Tackle/Techniques — Live bait and artificial lures are permitted. Fish attractants and chum buckets are also permitted.

14. Qualifying Fish — Any combination of any type of tuna or yellowtail. Up to three fish can be weighed in for an aggregate weight competition, first through third place wins money. Jackpots are also decided by aggregate weight of up to three fish (it’s a rule change for 2012) so that it parallels the overall competition rules.

15. Standings/Ties — The top three (3) teams win cash and prizes.

In the event of a tie in fish weight, a coin toss will determine the winning team.

16. Protests — Protests regarding violation of these rules must be announced immediately to the Tournament Director and then submitted to him in writing within 30 minutes of the verbal protest.

17. The tournament VHF Channel is 72.

18. All anglers must operate their vessels in a safe manner.

19.The winners of all drawings MUST be PRESENT to win.

20. Each participant is responsible for having his or her own Coast Guard approved life jacket or vest.

21: All people on a boat must have paid the $100(early) - $120 (late) entry fee, including any charter captains.Optionals are just that, optional.

22: The director’s decision, after consultation with other staffers, is final.

22: All boats/teams are released at the end of the captains meeting, but they can choose to begin fishing at any time.


Reader Comments
Be the first to comment!
Leave a Comment
* Name:
* Email:
Website (optional):
* Comment:

The Longfin Tackle Shop
The Longfin Tackle Shop