|Sportfishing tournaments are as important to Los Cabos as the Indy 500 is to Indianapolis. They have been an integral part of Los Cabos history and development for longer than three decades; today they draw competitors from around the world to participate in these challenges.
For the next several weeks, four important events will dominate the sportfishing scene in Cabo San Lucas, targeting dorado, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and four types of billfish including black, blue and striped marlin plus sailfish. All these tourneys encourage the release of non-qualifying fish and all limit the number of fish that are actually brought to the scales.
This year, timing for the events couldn't be better as the larger blue marlin, black marlin and cow-sized tuna have been arriving and caught in impressive numbers.
The first event is the three-day 14th Annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, Oct. 16-19. According to Linda Wilson, Assistant Tournament Director, "Interest is similar to last year, with the addition of several boats coming up from Los Sueños."
A team event with top honors going to the team that scores the most billfish points per pound – paying down to third place (first, second and third) – the tournament will also award cash and prizes to the team(s) that catch the largest fish (by weight) in three eligible billfish species. In addition, release trophies and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams scoring the most billfish release points, as well as optional jackpots of cash and prizes for marlin, tuna, wahoo and dorado jackpots. The winning team qualifies to compete in the Offshore World Championship in Quepos, Costa Rica April 14-19, 2013.
Then, there is this lineup of marlin and tuna event:
The Los Cabos Offshore Tournament, Oct. 19-21
The Los Cabos Offshore Tournament is basically a warm-up for the granddaddy of them all — the Black and Blue. It’s commonly referred to as the “Little Bisbee’s." More of a social gathering, this laid-back event allows teams to renew friendships and make new ones while comparing notes and swapping stories while at the same time allowing teams to spend two days on the water, fine-tuning for the big event while competing.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams based on the single heaviest qualifying black or blue marlin as well as the single heaviest qualifying tuna and dorado plus daily jackpots. Trophies will also be awarded to the top three teams scoring the most billfish release points. Julia Brakhage, Tournament Control, noted that, "Sign-ups have been great – most teams going across the board."
The 34th Bisbee's Black and Blue Tournament, Oct. 23-27
In 1981, when Bob Bisbee brought six teams with a purse of $10,000 to Cabo San Lucas, the Bisbee's Black and Blue Tournaments began. Since then, the event has grown to the largest of its kind, holding the record for the largest overall cash payout in sportfishing history, 2006’s $4,165,960.
This year, according to R. Wayne Bisbee, Bisbee's Offshore Tournaments, "There are many new teams that have entered across the board; both events will be headquartered at Wyndham Cabo San Lucas Resort, one of our newest sponsors."
The Crown Jewel in the Bisbee's Offshore Tournaments for 2012, this unique event attracts skilled hard-core angling teams eager to compete with their peers from around the world. It is held in the largest and most famous tourist destinations in Baja Sur, where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific meet … an ideal sportfishing venue for catching trophy-sized fish.
Each day's weigh-in draws large crowds of spectators who find the excitement and festive atmosphere enticing as huge fish are brought to the two-story-high scales in front of the world-famous Puerto Paraiso Entertainment Plaza. Anglers and visitors alike return year after year to take part in the excitement.
14th WON/Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot, Nov. 7-10
THE SHOTGUN START for the Cabo Tuna Jackpot is always exciting.
The final big event of the fall series is one of the most popular and least expensive to enter at the lower end of $800 a team, but several optional jackpots increase your odds of big money. With enough daily optional tuna jackpots plus jackpots for the largest dorado and wahoo, if you are a newcomer to tournament fishing, this may just be the one to give it a try.
"We are on target for 100 to 110 teams and people are pretty excited about the event coming up,” said tourney director Pat McDonell. “This is a fun, competitive event for anyone, with the three nightly parties, two days of fishing and free sponsors gifts over four days.”
The event marks an addition of several new sponsors, improvements in venues and the parties. There are plenty of ways to win and at all levels: from pangas to 60 footers. But it’s not the size of the boat that determines who wins, it’s the talent of the fishermen from around the world that come to compete.
All the recent reports of exciting catches of cow-sized tuna thus far in October are promising. Teams are anticipating a banner tuna year filled with plenty of excitement. Add to that the "party never stops" attitude that makes this event a must-attend for many teams year after year.