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Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Tesoro offers rate discount before June 1

CABO TUNA JACKPOT PREVIEW: What’s new for 2019?
There’s a lot going on, and more to come. For now, we have three new sponsors in Nomad lures, Chevron’s Techron fuel additive, and Gamakatsu hooks. Plus we separated the wahoo and dorado jackpots into their own $1,000 optionals, there is a new 6 p.m. weigh-in deadline area, and most recently, we added a $20,000 Gray Fish Research Tag optional

THE CABO START is always exciting to be in the middle of, both days, off Lands End.

Western Outdoor News had a very successful tournament in the 20th year with 163 teams, up from 147 the previous year and a record payout of $840,600 in which two teams won more than $300,000, a first for the tourney. We are predicting the tourney will produce its first-ever $1 million-plus payout.

But for the 21st run there will be some great changes to the event in 2019 when Nov. 6-9 rolls around. To us, it seems like it’s just around the corner. Hopefully for you folks, it feels as though it can’t get here fast enough as we get into the Fish Hard, Party Harder mode as teams sign up and we make preparations for another Tuna Jackpot.

SPONSORS BACK, MORE WELCOMED ABOARD: This year we welcome back nearly all of our loyal sponsors, with three new companies climbing aboard. One is Nomad lures which is really fired up to be a big part of the event. They'll award $500 in product daily to the biggest tuna and dorado/wahoo, plus product for the grand raffle. They're also sponsoring our captains meeting and are planning some other great promotional giveaway for each angler. Stay tuned! Their owner Damon Olsen, who is also their chief designer and runs a mother ship operation in Australia will be coming down to attend.


GAMAKATSU IS PROVIDING a dry bag backpack to each angler.

Our new hook sponsor Gamakatsu is coming down, and they are coming into the tournament in a HUGE way. First off, they are providing the official team boat flags, nylon, banner style and in color. They are beautiful. One per team, and the few remaining will be available for purchase at the scales on Thursday with all proceeds going to Gray Fish Tag Research. That is not all. Gamakatsu is also providing the official tournament bags for all anglers. These are waterproof dry bag backpacks. They are a dry bag with a roll down top that seals, have sturdy backpack straps and will be adorned with their tuna logo and our tournament name imprinted. Super cool, quality gift for every angler. And, they are sponsoring the new Gamakatsu Karaoke Contest, to be held at the Friday Fiesta among the top five finalists. Details to follow on that one, but start practicing.

Of course, Costa sunglasses is major part of our event every year and the company has built its rep in Cabo on the boats of the Tuna Jackpot. Everywhere you look in Lands End – Cabo is the Sportfishing Capitol of the World -- has captains and anglers wearing Costa shirts, hats and wearing Costa’s top-grade classy sunglasses with their 580 lenses. There is nothing better for your eyes on land and water. Every angler will again receive at check-in a long sleeve Costa event performance fabric shirt with the champions of every Tuna Jackpot imprinted on the back. Maybe your team will get its name on the shirt in 2020? Just catch the biggest tuna in November.

Attending sponsors Dave and Amy Bulthuis also give away dozens of pairs of sunglasses and many many gifts in drawings, and support the Smiles International Foundation charity by sponsoring the Costa Cabo Escape Charters each morning of the shotgun start. Teams should also be ready with their “A game” for the daily “SHOW US YOUR COSTAS!” contest.

accuratepinkvaliantACCURATE’S PINK VALIANT 500 reels, four of which go to the top female team with biggest tuna over two days, with at least two lady members on the team and fishing each day.

Accurate reels is coming back down for a second year, and are bringing a dozen beautiful two-speed reels for drawings, and this year they are also adding four custom two-speed pink and silver Valiant 500 reels (BV2-500-SP) designed for the ladies and engraved 2019 WON Tuna Jackpot on the crossbar. The pink reels valued at $580 each are the only such Accurate Valiant reels in existence. The biggest tuna caught by a team that has at least two women officially on the team and on the water will win all four reels.

Before we get into the 2019 changes, all designed to make it a better and safer and more fun event, be sure to book your rooms at the Hotel Tesoro, especially before June 1 as the official host hotel situated in the middle of the Jackpot action is offering a special 10 percent off an already discounted rate for all rooms. See more on the web page at and click on the link ads or logo, or just call the Tesoro.

COMPETE AT ANY LEVEL: Among the changes for the tourney is that we are making it possible for teams to win at ANY level, high or low in the optionals. We are well aware that teams play at the level they feel comfortable at, and that is why they are called “optionals.”

THE NEW TUNA OPTIONAL: At the high end, while all optionals for tuna remain, a $20,000 optional at $10,000 daily has been added for this year. This optional is called the Gray Fish Tag Research Tuna Optional with 85 percent of the money going to the biggest tuna among teams that enter it (it will payout each day like the others), 10 percent to the tourney, and 5 percent to Gray Fish Tag Research to purchase satellite fish tags that run $5,000 each.

The only stipulation for entering that $20,000 tuna optional is that only teams that enter across the board can enter the new optional. There were 17 teams across the board last year, a record for the tourney that started in 1999. We are hoping the high roller teams will go for the big money and help Gray purchase satellite tags for research – and perhaps push the total payout over the $1 million mark for the first time.

WAHOO AND DORADO HAVE OWN OPTIONALS: For the teams that want to compete but not play at the high roller table and still go after the title of 2019 champion, the $1,000 wahoo/dorado optional is now replaced with separate $1,000 optionals. The 30-pound minimum on both wahoo and dorado is in effect the first day but if a qualifying dorado is not caught the first day the minimum will be lowered to 20 pounds. The 30-pound minimum for wahoo will remain in effect both days. The Optional separate optional allows more teams to compete for big money each day. And, teams looking for tuna are more apt to hook a big dorado than a wahoo because wahoo are more tackle specific (wire leader, etc). So when you are fishing tuna, you are also fishing for big dorado. You want to be in that optional as you look for tuna.

WEIGH-IN DEADLINE: Another change, asked for by anglers and the marina officials is a new spot for the 6 p.m. weigh-in deadline for boats. It will not be the usual inner harbor area just off the weigh-in docks, which is far too dangerous as boats speed in to make the deadline and marina patrols are ignored. Thus, the outer harbor will be the designated spot that will be videotaped and manned, at the outer jetty. 6 p.m. Don’t be late.

THE SCHEDULE: More details will be forthcoming as we work with sponsors and vendors and restaurants, but the Wednesday through Saturday schedule will remain the same, and the same sites will be used for parties, check-in, and weigh-in. The awards dinner catered by Solomon’s Landing at the cruise pier was a huge hit, and each year it gets better and better for the anglers. The weigh area in front of the Tesoro will again be held Thursday and Friday, there will be two shotgun starts, and two shotgun (flare) start charity parties 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on those days aboard Wild Tours’ beautiful party yacht Cabo Escape, with Smiles International benefitting from the $30 charter fee collected by the sponsor, Costa sunglasses. Catered by Capt. Tony’s, and the bubbly will be poured and be ready to cheer on the teams and then get ready for drawings for Costas and then dancing.

There will again be a 1 to 4 p.m., early check-in at the conference center on Tuesday at the Tesoro. Sign in, avoid the lines and come back the next day for the swag by sponsors. The regular check-in will be Wednesday on the malecon and a welcome party at the Marlin sculpture between Solomon’s Landing and Captain Tony’s, and a Friday Fiesta at Maria Corona’s Restaurant. All sites are subject to change.

For any questions about the event to sign up and reserve your current or new team number your signup contact is Note on any entry or check that you are requesting a specific number. All team numbers are up for grabs as the “reserve time” has passed. We will assign team numbers to open slots on the roster sequentially unless you request a number. The roster is published on the website and is updated every few weeks for now, and then weekly in the last few months.

See you all in November!

Pat McDonell,




THE SCHEDULE IS subject to change for event, but there are eight events to look forward to from Check-in to the Awards Dinner with two days of weigh-ins in front of the Hotel Tesoro, the Costa Start Boat Charter on the Cabo Escape, the Friday Fiesta at Maria Corona Restaurant, and more.


GET A GREAT deal at the Hotel Tesoro, and book by June 1 for special rates.


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