Pat McDonell's Blog

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Central CA albies, Monterey white seabass

Another Jackpot in the books
A lucky Jackpot in 13th year


This one is in the books and as director of the Cabo Tuna Jackpot I could not have asked for a better tournament, because I was damn nervous about it being the 13TH ANNUAL Jackpot. Scary stuff during Halloween week.


There was such a great vibe all week. There was the great Cabo Magic team story with Cindy and Orville Henseler who won the event with a 213 pounder after deciding to come down on a bucket list decision after an industrial accident a little over a year ago claimed Orville's leg. They just said, things can really change in a moment, and let's go to the Tuna Tournament! Amazing story too of a 4 hour, 55-minute battle by Oroville, and he wanted to gaff the fish, too. They weren't in the optionals, just the overall with the $800 entry, so they didn't win a lot of money, but so what! They were thrilled, and so was everyone else.

Then there was the $17,000 raised for charity with the help of Costa and Seaguar reps in Cabo and all the anglers. The money, every dime, is divided between two Cabo children's charities. And...and the weather and fishing was  superb all week. Even I got to fish a few days before the event got busy for me. I fished with friends. Nothing big, but all good fun on small tuna and dorado on the light tackle.

But oh brother did the fishing for tuna ever go off on 100- to 200-pound fish the second day when 23 tuna over 100 and three over 200 came to the scales before a crowd that had grown larger each hour. The tournament had 28 tuna over 100 pounds come to the scales. It was a busy two days at the scale with 17 teams weighing in Day 1 and 26 teams weighing in the second day.   


Was it the most dramatic one-day weigh-in the event’s 13-year history? Yes. There must have been 500 people watching and yelling (and holding their breaths) as team True VII brought their fish to the scale at the 11th hour. It was because True VII was across the board in the  tuna optionals. The fish, a pound heavier than Bottomline’s 205 pounder, was a crushing blow for four teams that were clinging to cash on the leader board.


Teams from Bottomline ($1,000 optional), Bill Collector ($500/$2,000 optionals ), Wild Hooker ($3,000 and $5,000), and Maybe Manana ($10,000 optional) had to watch as the scale read 206 pounds, and in a  mere  second the $158,520 in all those optionals was swept away from four teams and into the True VII team’s pockets. That left only the wahoo/dorado optional money of $36,000 for Reina de Wahoo and the overall money for the champions on Cabo Magic to lay claim to.


All told, eight teams won money this year. The record for the event is nine money winning teams, from last year. Consider this: Had True VII  not  come in with that 206 pounder, there would have been 11 teams in the money this year.


Enjoy the stories and photos in WON, on this site and on Facebook (see the link at and just take a lesson from our 2011 champions Orville and Cindy Henseler on Cabo Magic who decided life is fragile and capricious, and there’s no better time to than the present to make every second count.

 Here's some more info on the event, and the 2012 tournament...




Stay tuned, but Cabo Tuna Jackpot video from our official videographer Ervin Witt of Gringo Gazette TV will be up on You Tube within a few weeks of the end of the event, or by Turkey Day. All facets of the event were filmed and the video will be, like all You Tube video —  free to link to and watch. Enjoy!  As time goes on, more videos will be posted by teams.  


Next Year’s Event: Nov. 7-11, 2012


Plan now for the 14th annual Cabo Tuna Jackpot. It’s planned, as always, for the first Wednesday through Saturday of November, so this year the tourney will be staged AFTER Halloween and after the elections, Nov. 7-11. There will be NO major schedule changes, although check-in may be held at the new Wyndham Hotel pool now under construction, if  feasible.


Also, a salsa party may be added, as well as a special charity champagne charter on the start boat Oceanus the second day for ladies who are not fishing. We’re always looking for ways to have more fun.


The cost to enter will not change, $800 for a team of up to four anglers, plus jackpots. A new entry form will be created soon, so watch for it in the coming weeks.


If your company is interested in sponsoring the tournament next year and even attend the tourney, please contact WON’s Chuck Buhagiar at


Pat McDonell is director of the Cabo Tuna Jackpot. He can be contacted at 




Whether it was charity or for helping build welcome bags for anglers, donating prizes, sponsoring parties or bringing down prizes for drawings, TUNA JACKPOT SPONSORS make it happen for the tuna tourney.


Attending sponsors were John, Cindy and Evelyn  Boyer of Eat Me Lures, Pam Lorenz of WIN-Team investments, Steve Tagami and Tom Kurtz of Mustad products, John Devries and Jerry Benedicto of Seaguar fluro and super braid lines, George Large of Yo-Zuri lures and monofilament, Jeff Gammons of Terrafin satellite imaging maps, Scott and Tracy Lipsett of Reactor watches, and  Ed Teschernoscha of Baja Fish Gear.


Supporting companies unable to attend were  Yamaha, Global fish mounts, Kingfisher Lodge in Alaska, Plano tackle boxes,  Avet reels, Calstar rods, Lowrance, and Let’s Talk Hookup.


Assisting on-site at the event were Tracy and Marco Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet and their staff,  Jose Luis Cruz and Rafael Sanchez Navarro of the Wyndham Hotel, the entire staff of the Marina Cabo San Lucas, National Rental Car, Brian and Dawn Solomon of Solmon’s Landing Restaurent,  Dorrane Pacheco and Salvador Rico of the Puerto Paraiso Mall, Dale and Grace Cote of  Dreammaker Charters, and Hector Ojeda of Ruth’s Cris Steakhouse.


WEBSITES: Get the details


This supplement has all the information on the event with most of the photos, but if you’d like to download photos, see more of them, sign up for next year, link up to video taken during the event and even sign up for next year’s event to get that special number (7 is taken), there are three ways to go online.


   The official website of the Tuna Jackpot at has video links, sponsors links, a schedule for next year, archived stories and results, and downloadable gallery photos to see and pull off.

   The WON website is the place to sign-up for 2012 via credit card by going to “events” and scrolling down. At this point, you can sign up for the team portion at $800 to secure your team number. And, on the home page, you can check the Cabo Tuna Jackpot blog (click on see all blogs if it’s not showing at the top) for any breaking information.


   Facebook: The Cabo Tuna Jackpot Facebook site ( is a great spot to read about the event and comment. You can go to the site and click on the link/logo on the right side.


Reader Comments
Gracias Pat, was a great tuna time,I met new people and had fun!!
Gastón Montaño
Can you help me? a dying friend went fishing oct 28th out of santa barbara sea landing on the Stardust. he caught a jackpot ling cod the skipper said would be in western outdoor news magazine. His name is donald dean. he asked me to find out if it was pictured in whopper of the week out of sea landing. could you give me contact info or see if his picture was entered in magazine? thank you brian moulton 805 452-7234 or
Brian moulton
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