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Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament

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Thursday, August 15, 2019
Tourney director on radio Sunday morning
Friday, October 11, 2019
Charter boats: Need a ride for Nov. 7-8?

Crazy bite for tuna, wahoo, dorado
New optional at WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot increases payout and supports fish tagging


WON Staff Writer

LOS CABOS — Gray Taxidermy is a major supporter of the WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot as well as a handful of other Western Outdoor News events, and their involvement in the sportfishing industry extends well beyond standing as the elite provider in top-notch trophy mounts.


Gray Taxidermy is also very involved in fish-tagging efforts on a global scale, and a lot of that goes on in the waters around Cabo San Lucas. One such tagging mission will head out of Cabo with Pisces Sportfishing, and this year, Captain Dave Marciano from the TV show, Wicked Tuna on Nat Geo. Marciano will actually be around for the entire event, but he’ll be a pretty cool addition to the tagging trip.

The thing about these satellite tags is, they’re pretty dang expensive, $5,000 each to be specific. The 2019 Tuna Jackpot optionals are all available, but this year, a $20,000 optional ($10,000 per day) has been added this year. This new Gray Fish Tag Research Tuna Optional pays out 85 percent to the biggest tuna caught by teams involved in that optional each day, 10 percent goes back to the tourney itself, and 5 percent will go to Gray Taxidermy Fish Tag Research to buy those tags.

The only stipulation for entering that $20,000 tuna optional is 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, and the hope is high-roller teams will go for the big money and help Gray purchase fish tags for research, and perhaps push the total payout over the $1 million mark for the first time ever.

Gray Taxidermy is the largest marine taxidermy company in the world, and they pride themselves on handcrafting the finest quality and most realistic trophy mounts in the industry. Boasting over 50 years in the industry, the skilled artists at Gray capture the rich beauty and natural feel specific to each species recreated to look precisely as it did that day on the water. For more information and to check out the endless array of options available, visit


RICH AND TIM from West Palm Beach Florida with their 225-pound yellowfin caught on a Yummy Flyer on the 24-foot Pisces charterboat No Borders on Oct. 3. Juan Gonzales and Ryan Caughren crewed the trip.

THIS BEAST was recently caught off the Gordo Bank. The big tuna have arrived and being caught on the kite over porpoise schools, a few on the banks like this one, and the dorado are also on fire and bigger, plus 30 to 50-pound wahoo. The wahoo and dorado optionals, both $1,000, are separate this year.

Tournament season fever is here in Cabo San Lucas, as this is prime time for big game fishing off the Cape.

Anglers are banking on big tuna, billfish, dorado and wahoo as much as big paydays for catching them. This is the time to get a team together for the WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament coming Nov. 6-9, and if you have, please book a room at the Tesoro, the official hotel of the Cabo Tuna Jackpot each year, and fire off an entry and the optionals to

For wiring instructions, just email Lori at the address above and she will forward them to you.

This is a great tourney, a four-day celebration of sportfishing in Cabo, and this year you can enter optionals for dorado and wahoo so you have even better opportunities for winning serious money. You do not need a monster sportfisher to win money in the tourney. A huge tuna being caught early means only — at the worst — that all second day tuna optionals are open, and if you are in the individual wahoo and dorado optionals, you are still in the game for money, especially this year. Most teams are entering some (or all!) tuna optionals and both wahoo and dorado optionals.

SCOTT SCHADE FROM Anaheim caught this 286-pound yellowfin on the Pisces’ 35-foot Bill Collector 2. After fishing for dorado and marlin successfully the first day, he decided to give tuna a shot. It took him two hours to get this cow-sized tuna to the boat.

How’s the fishing? Incredible! Cabo fleets are reporting simply wide-open striped marlin fishing, with some bigger blue marlin mixed in if you want to fish extra days before or after the event. For our tourney, tuna are coming in big these past three weeks, and bigger dorado are showing, too. It’s going off on dorado, says Grace Cote of Dreammaker Charters and Gricelda’s Smokehouse, as well as wahoo and, of course, as we said, the cow tuna have arrived on the porpoise and around the various high spots off Cabo, although not in any real numbers, so far. The cows will be the target of nearly every offshore jackpot tournament and especially the 21st annual Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament coming up Nov. 6-9, produced by Western Outdoor News.

This past week, several big tuna over the 100-, 150- and 200-pound mark were recorded, many of them on the porpoise schools, hooking the tuna on heavy tackle with kite/bait rigs. A 266-pound yellowfin was the biggest officially recorded on a scale, by Scott Schade of Anaheim on the Pisces 35-foot Bill Collector 2.

Another such 200-plus fish was a cow caught by the Cabo-based Red Rum Sportfishing Fleet’s Oh So Rojo, a 46-foot Bertram, the crew using a kite.

Said Ryan Donovan of Redrum, “We’ve been waiting patiently for the big yellowfin to arrive, and with some cooler water that moved in on the Pacific side, here they are!” Ryan and his father John Donovan won the Cabo Tuna Jackpot back in 2008 with a 244.8 pounder, and he’s eager to get back on the victory stand. Last year, the WON-produced tourney boasted 163 teams and $840,800 in prize money on its 21st running out of Cabo — and remains the biggest team tourney in Mexico, as well as the largest tuna tourney in the world. There is a website devoted to the event at .

THE PISCES 24-footer No Borders scored this monster a few weeks ago. The one below aboard the Bill Collector was caught this week.

ON OCT. 3 The Bill Collector connected on this 153 pounder for Ronnie Hittesdorf, with Juan Carlos Lopez and Esteban Balderas the Pisces crew.

• • • • •

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