Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER

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Thursday, September 06, 2018
Old school…

Pisces Sportfishing’s 40th Anniversary… a true busman’s holiday
Earlier this month, I was invited to attend Pisces Sportfishing’s 40th Anniversary Celebration honoring their captains, mates, office staff, reservation agents, dock masters and others who had helped to create the largest sportfishing operation in Cabo San Lucas.

The celebration was to be an in-house sportfishing competition among the crews – a true busman’s holiday. Each crew member was encouraged to invite family, friends or even boat owners to spend the day observing what they do for clients, all day, every day. At the end of the day there was to be a huge fiesta celebrating the winners and honoring the Pisces Sportfishing family.

This allowed the teams to share the passion that had led them to their careers in sportfishing, which, by the way, was contagious, and every one of them enjoyed the fun of competing for the honor of being named The Best in the Pisces Fleet!

The Captain’s Meeting was held on the second floor of the Pisces Building in the recently opened Galati Yacht Sales Office. Captains and crews of 23 of the 25 sportfishers in the Pisces Fleet attended the informal affair. Friendly bantering echoed throughout the office before Rebecca and Tracy Ehrenberg began the meeting by outlining the schedule and simple rules for the first-ever Crew Tournament ( probably the first of its kind, worldwide). Only dorado, yellowfin tuna and wahoo, along with billfish (release only), would count.

A full day of competitive fishing on Sunday, complete with a “flare-gun start” and a weigh-in would conclude with a huge dock party at Cabo’s Marina Del Rey Dock, where the first Pisces trips had begun.

Long before dawn, light rain greeted the teams as they slowly motored out to the start line. Many stopped to load up on live bait and by the start time, the light rain had become a torrent, adding another degree of difficulty for the competing teams.

The 85-foot Contessa, with more than 20 office staff, former employees and other guests marked the starting line. Marco and Tracy huddled together on the bow in the pouring rain to fire the flare, signaling the start as fleet boats, ranging from 28- to 72-feet, roared past in search of the winning fish. A handful of the fleet decided to make the long run up to the Finger Bank, where there had been rumors of WFO billfish action while most of the fleet stayed closer to the tip or ventured up into the Sea of Cortez.

Meanwhile, banners were strung, the digital scale was tested and other last-minute details were completed before the weigh-station opened at 3 p.m. Then, the festivities began: music played, fresh fish was served and the crowd grew and grew to more than 200 people. With hugs, laughter and tears, people greeted one another and many reminisced about how Pisces and the Ehrenberg family had influenced their lives. Regardless of the size of the crowd, it felt like an intimate family affair.

The parade of boats then began arriving with their catches. Caliente was the first boat with their dorado — the largest of which weighed 14.35 pounds.

The parade continued, and more and more friends and families gathered to observe the weigh-ins, which included several notable dorado catches; unfortunately, wahoo and tuna were missing from the count.

However, in the billfish category:

Those boats that headed 50 miles up to the Finger Bank had to deal with a cranky ocean full of whitecaps.

Just before closing time, Hot Rod, the first of three boats that had made the long journey north, slid up to the dock with 16 billfish flags fluttering in the breeze, signifying that many releases.

Tracy Ann followed soon after the weigh-station closed with 17 flags flying. Tracy Annwould have been the winner, but was DQed due to their late arrival at the scale.

The Yahoo with 6 releases also arrived late and was DQed.

While at the dock, Captain Ricardo of Yahoo introduced his two guests, Alberto Nava from Savannah, Georgia, and Edgar Pedroza, of Colima, Mexico, visiting Cabo San Lucas for the first time and caught their first-ever billfish. “It was great to have my ‘primo’ and my friend of many years come all the way to fish with me here in this tournament,” Ricardo marveled excitedly.

Fish stories, memories and anecdotes ricocheted throughout the crowd before the trophies and cash prizes were passed out by the Ehrenberg’s and friends.

“Of course, they are all the best! They are all winners in our eyes!” Tracy Ehrenberg noted as she and Marco passed out the awards and prizes.

Winners included:

1st Place Billfish Release, Captain Eriberto Orozco Hot Rod; 42’ Cabo 16 striped marlin released.

2nd Place Billfish, Captain Enrique Winkler, Tag Team III; 37’ Viking Billfish 1 striped marlin, 2 sailfish released.

3rd Place Billfish, Captain Oscar Ivan Gomez Zenteno, Listo; 48’ Viking 1 blue marlin released.

1st Place Dorado, Captain Rosendo Gomez, 30’ Bertram Moppie Rapala for Team Tiburon 45.10-pounds.

2nd Place Dorado, Captain Alberto Lira, 31’ Bertram Ruthless 25.45-pounds.

3rd Place Dorado, Captain Jamie Gonzalez, 40’ Cabo Caliente 14.35-pounds.

Hard Luck Award #1 31’ Bertram Tracy Ann which released 17 striped marlin which would have been the winner, but was late returning.

Hard Luck Award #2 to 42’ Bertram Yahoo, which made it back about 10 minutes after Hot Rod with 6 striped marlin released.

FIRST-PLACE DORADO, Captain Rosendo Gomez, 30-foot Bertram Moppie Rapala for Team Tiburon 45.10-pounds.

regardlessoftheREGARDLESS OF THE size of the crowd, it felt like an intimate family affair.

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