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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER

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Thursday, August 08, 2019
Baja whines and whispers
Thursday, September 05, 2019
Bye Bye RoadTrek


“We are the Champions!”*
The “Gran Final Copa Calisureños” is the annual gathering of all winners of the Baja Sur Government Sepada, and Fonmar-sponsored sportfishing tournaments held throughout the state of Baja Sur, BCS.

Many teams arrive with their well-equipped trailer boats in tow stuffed with state-of-the-art tackle; others have chartered their favorite local boats and captains. Almost all choose to pre-fish at least one day before the Sunday tournament.


with165children
WITH 165 CHILDREN from the five municipalities from Baja Sur, BCS, participating, the first Shore Fishing Children's Tournament was held on the jetty of the Loreto Marina.


The town was abuzz the week before the tournament, as teams and anglers along with their families and friends, descended on Loreto. By Friday evening, children had already registered for the Kids’ Tournament on Saturday morning.


Meanwhile, the final chance to qualify for “Gran Final Copa Calisureños” was holding registration up the beach (also in Loreto) for the Torneo de Pesca Tiro Caza y Pesca 2019, for their Saturday competition.


With 165 children from the five municipalities from Baja Sur, BCS participating, the first Shore Fishing Children's Tournament was held on the jetty of the Loreto Marina. It was the result of the efforts of IGFA, SAC, and Stars & Stripes, which sponsored Children's Clinics conducted by Gonzalo Camacho. More than 500 youths had participated in their introduction to the finer points of sportfishing.


Midday on Saturday, the registration for the Gran Final Copa Calisureños opened and the teams trickled in. A first for the event was a “Sashimi Contest” complete with sushi chefs from around the state preparing their specialties to be judged and sampled by spectators.


Throughout the afternoon, the line grew as anglers waited to register. Onlookers enjoyed watching the teams with their matching shirts and hats that added style and swagger while they did their best to exude confidence as they mingled with other anglers. Sizing up their competition, the teams explored their options and prospects as to which species they would target: dorado or billfish (blue, black and striped marlin that must weigh a minimum of 100 pounds).


The anglers enjoyed the afternoon that seemed to be wrapped in remarkable familiarity and camaraderie that had been earned over time.


asthesmoke
AS THE SMOKE from the flare traveled across the sky, it was augmented by a spectacular fireworks display which sent the fleet of boats ranging from pangas to tricked-out sportfishers racing out to sea toward the Baja sun that had begun peeking over the eastern horizon.


By the time registration was at last completed and the captains’ meeting was called to order, there were a record number of 148 teams with 550 anglers competing in the tournament, including the first-time-ever group of 37 anglers in kayaks.


Sunday morning a crowd of locals joined visiting spectators on the end of the jetty at the Marina, mingling with government officials – local, municipal and state officials – waiting for the flare gun start. As the smoke from the flare traveled across the sky, it was augmented by a spectacular fireworks display, which sent the fleet of boats ranging from pangas to tricked-out sportfishers racing out to sea toward the Baja sun that had begun peeking over the eastern horizon. Moments later, they were followed by a second start for the flotilla of kayaks at a noticeably slower pace headed along the shoreline.


By all accounts, the fishing was good, but the catching was slow. The weigh-station opened from noon until 2 p.m. for the kayak division and a mix of triggerfish, barrilete, puffer fish, as well as a dorado that failed to be weighed before the scale closed at 2.


Throughout the afternoon, teams brought a parade of small dorado (with a few larger ones mixed in), barrilete, grouper and marlin to the scale. The rumored larger dorado from the preceding week failed to materialize as losers congratulated winners, who in turn consoled those returning without anything to weigh.


Later that evening, at an elaborate outdoor dinner on the Malecon along the shore of the Sea of Cortez, specialties of the chefs were served by local restaurants, and entertainment by "California brass" and Chucho Montaño.


Dinner was followed by the awards, raffling of a Toyota Truck and Suzuki Outboard motor.


Winners included:


“4 Amigos”, 1st billfish, Jose, Andres, Rodriguez, Villalejo $139,500
Plus a Yamaha 115hp 4 stroke motor


Portegas, 2nd billfish Felix, Enrique, Ortega, Garcia $93,000


Torito Rosa Del Mar 1, 3rd billfish, Carlos, Peralta, Zumaya $46,500


Las Winnas, Roberto, Carlos, Contreras, Rojas dorado 23.20 pounds $139,500 and a Suzuki 140 hp 4 stroke motor.


Coca Cola, Jorge, Angulo Cota, dorado 22.80 pounds $93,000 


Luis Francisco Cota Ulloa, team member of the coca cola team was also the winner of the Toyota hilux 2019 raffle.


Karlita, Antonio Valdivia Almaraz dorado 22.80 pounds $46,500


A unique aspect of this event was that in spite of the poor fishing, there wasn’t the usual grumbling. At the awards ceremony — and even the following day at the airport, anglers were happy — with grins on their faces, they understood that sometimes the catching can be slow. Accepting that fact and still having a good time seems to be a “given” for these winning anglers who made up the “Champions.”


As an observation, I can attest that this group is on to something that we all should consider.


*"We Are the Champions" written by Freddie Mercury, lead singer in the British rock band Queen , and it was first released in 1977 on their album News of the World .


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