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Thursday, June 14, 2018
Returning to my roots

Bob Bisbee Sr., a Baja Legend
Bob Bisbee Sr., patriarch of the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournaments phenomena, peacefully passed away June 14 in the north Dallas Metroplex, leaving behind a legacy, a loving family and a circle of friends from around the world.

Born March 6, 1933, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, his life’s journey led him to California in 1958, where he met and married Aina, the love of his life, in 1960; it was a marriage that bridged 58 years.

BOB BISBEE SR., patriarch of the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournaments phenomena, peacefully passed away June 14 in the north Dallas Metroplex, leaving behind a legacy, a loving family and a circle of friends from around the world.

Settling in Orange County, he founded the Marine Fuels & Sportfishing Headquarters on Balboa Island in Newport Harbor, a family-run business that slowly developed into a fundamental part of the fast-growing Southern California fishing and boating community. He provided tackle and fuel to the fishing vessels throughout Southern California and Baja, as well as becoming an excellent resource for the latest fish dope communicated via his shop’s VHF radio.

“I worked with Bob at his 76 Fuel Dock in Newport Beach for six summers in the early ’70s. I loved the job in large part because Bob was such a great boss and friend. I am still using his witty sayings to this day. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bisbee Family. All the best.” - Argyle Nelson

Boats became larger and eager owners and captains ventured farther down Baja’s coast to Cabo San Lucas to fish the fertile waters filled with exotic fish reputed to exceed 1,000 pounds. As the fleet grew, technology also improved and Bisbee added a SSB (single side band radio) to his operation to provide a much-needed communication link for crews and owners traveling from Cabo to the U.S. in their yacht sports fishers. Not only was he there to deliver messages to families, but he also was there for emergencies and much-needed parts.

Ultimately, Bisbee became active in many personal and business ventures throughout Baja, specifically in Cabo San Lucas, BCS, allowing him to develop numerous life-long friends.

The Bisbee Black & Blue Marlin Tournament series was just a whim he had in the 1980s, which became a reality that changed his life forever when he founded the first Black & Blue Marlin Tournament with six teams and a purse of $10,000.

By 1990, Bisbee's lease in Newport Beach for the store and fuel dock expired and with prize money from entry fees near $750,000, he decided to retire and only operate the tournament. The Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament in Cabo San Lucas grew to a series of three and is now in its 38th year!

Bisbee ran the tournament until 1995 when his son Wayne took over. His daughter, Patricia, joined as a minority stakeholder and vice president and was joined by other family members as both full and part-time staffers.

He and Aina moved to Lucas, Texas, and resided there since 2006.

He is survived by his wife Aina, children Debbie, Bob Jr., Wayne, Tricia, Erik and Destiney, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also leaves his sister June and brothers Larry, Gary, George, and Bruce. A private family gathering was held in Texas on June 23.

Since his influence and friendships are spread throughout the world, the family feels that the most appropriate way for everyone who would like to say good-bye would be at a celebration of life in Cabo in October.

“On behalf of sports fishermen of Seychelles, Seychelles Sports Fishing Club and all of Seychelles sends its sincere condolences to Wayne Bisbee and the Bisbee family. We recognize and admire the amazing lifelong achievements of Bob Bisbees Sr. in the development and promotion of sports fishing, especially the gold standard of sports fishing tournaments – the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament in Cabo San Lucas. SSFC is honored to share the Bisbee family name in one of our tournaments with the Bisbee's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund which will carry on for years to come. While we may be oceans away in the Indian Ocean, we will be in Cabo in spirit as Bob Bisbee is honored in October.” - Secretary Seychelles Sports Fishing ClubGrant Heyer · Victoria, Seychelles

“As Cabo is where so many of us all gather each year anyway, we will all be able to offer him a toast and spread his ashes in the waters he loved so dearly,” Wayne announced.

Details will be posted on their website as they are finalized at , where comments and pictures can be displayed. All are very much appreciated.

“Mr. Bob Bisbee, founder of the famous Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, radiated his passion through sports fishing and inspired the lives of so many Los Cabos locals and international fishermen. His commitment to such an amazing sport has sprung endless open opportunities for our local sports fishing community. On behalf of our TAG Cabo Sportfishing team, we would like to thank you, and your family for the legacy you have gifted us all with here in Cabo San Lucas, MX. Thank you for paving the way for so many of us anglers. RIP Mr. Bob Bisbee Sr.” - TAG Cabo Sportfishing team

There are far too many condolences to include for this Baja Legend. Be it known that he was well-loved and added greatly to a people and place that he considered his “home” and his remains will be returned to the waters that he was drawn to throughout his life.

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