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Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018
348 pounder starts March toward November

Minerva donation ups donation total

 $20,000 the final tally for Smiles after $4,100 donation by Minerva’s Tackle

Plan now for No. 7-10, 2018  event, our 20th year!

By Pat McDonell

Director, Cabo Tuna Jackpot

The 20th annual Cabo Tuna Jackpot is Nov. 7-10 in 2018 and while it is not a “charity” event, since its inception in 1999 there has always been some element of giving back to those in need in Cabo.  This past year at the 19th annual Jackpot, $677,000 was won by NINE of the 147 participating teams over two days of fishing.

The final pieces of the last year's 19th annual 2017 Cabo Tuna Jackpot event are falling into place, including the announcement of the final tally of the fundraising for

The Foundation is the designated charity of the CTJ and performs cranial and facial surgeries to correct cleft palette deformities on poor Baja children at two Cabo clinics (see 2018 schedule below). The Foundation is run by Dr. Jeff Moses and directed by his wife Maribel Moses. Every cent raised goes to surgical supplies. No funds are used for admin costs.

MINERVA SMITH and her staff at Minerva’s Tackle in Cabo, the premier shop in Cabo for sportfishing needs. She also charters three Minerva sportfishers in high demand. 

A FAMILY return after the healing from the first surgery on their daughter. The results are amazing, but it is just the first step in corrective measures the clinic follow up on twice a year.

The help of many sponsors at the 19th annual tournament we raised $20,000. The final donation came this week when Minerva’s Tackle wrote a check for $4,100, the amount she and her staff collected in t-shirt sales at the tournament check-in. Many thanks go out to Minerva Smith Saenz and her husband Bob Smith for donating 100 percent of the proceeds of the shirt sales to Smiles for the third straight year.

So many people gave their time and donations. Dave and Amy Bulthuis of Costa sunglasses raised well over $10,000 at the event in various ways over four days, and with Western Outdoor News hosted two Costa start boat charters on a Cabo Escape at $30 each, as well as those anglers who provided direct donations and who bid and won silent and live auctions at the awards dinner. Bonnie and Scott Womack fished in the tourney again, and were driving forces this year in the fundraising, which will continue to be directed to Smiles for 2018, at the 20th annual event slated Nov. 7-10.

As I mentioned before, all collected money, 100 percent of it, goes to the surgical instruments used by the many volunteer doctors and medical personnel at the two clinics.

If interested more in the this foundation and their work, see this video commissioned by Western Outdoor News/Cabo Tuna Jackpot, and a feature story by director Pat McDonell on the incredible work done by the volunteers, all coordinated by Dr. Jeff Moses and Maribel Moses with the help of the Cabo Rotary Club which arranges for lodging and meals for the families in Cabo. It is amazing work and effort to help these children and families. It is hard to put a price tag on the effect these surgeries have on the lives of these children who have no other medical options.

The video:

The story:

The two clinics this year will take place

April 2018: Saturday April 21 -- Saturday April 28, 2018

October 2018: Saturday Oct. 20, 2018 -- Saturday Oct. 27. 2018

THE 2017 SURGICAL CREW from the U.S. and Mexico at the clinic.

DR. JEFF MOSES AND Maribel Moses who direct the Foundation and coordinate the medical personnel volunteers.

TWO MOTHERS with their children await processing and scheduling at the clinic. The clinics in 2018 are in April and October, in Cabo.

BLAST OFF - Boats take off past the Costa Start Boat Cabo Escape on Day 1. Day 2 would see more boats head towards the Gordo Banks. PHOTO RICH HOLLAND

PARTY CENTRAL - There was a great turnout for the Costa Start Boat Party each day, with Costa's Dave Bulthuis giving away all kinds of swag to raise money for Smiles International. PHOTO RICH HOLLAND

THE CABO ESCAPE donated the use of its party yacht again for the two start days and fundraisers hosted by Costa. $4,000 WAS RAISED on the Cabo Escape and it was a great fun two on both days. Guests paid $30 to attend the catered charters to send off the teams.

For more details on the tourney, go to

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