Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament

Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament

Welcome to the official blog of the Western Outdoor News/Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot tournament.

We'll be using this site to offer the latest updates leading into the event and will also post daily results and highlights of the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot competition, parties and giveaways. More information and entry forms are available by clicking here or at the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Web site.

Tuna Jackpot Pays Out A Million Dollars
Overall Champions take biggest slice
of the record payout for Cabo event

The Awards Dinner for WON's Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot took place on a windless, humid Saturday night with places laid for 750 guests to witness the largest payout in the 21-year history of the event: a solid $1,016,700.00!

A major portion of that money went to John Domanic's team on the incredibly rigged center console Sirena, as they received a check for $420,235. That reflects the $63,835 they got for claiming the crown of Tuna Jackpot Champions with a 345-pound tuna combined with $356,400 in daily jackpot earnings. 

The Southern Comfort also won $356,400 in daily jackpots with the biggest tuna the second day of the event, a 248 pounder. Both boats were in the $500, $1000, $2000, $3000, $5,000 and $10,000. 

The next highest payout actually went to a 21.7-pound dorado. The minimum weight for the first day was 30 pounds, resulting in no qualifying fish. The minimum weight was reduced to 15 pounds for the second day. Dorado fishing has been excellent in Cabo for 15-20-pound dorado and when the pot rolled over to the last day there was no shortage of qualifying fish weighed. The Outcast got the biggest and the $80,000 check. 

A picture tells a thousand words, or thousands of dollars, so we've included pictures of all the winning teams with their checks.

The daily payout for wahoo was $40,400 and Job DeHorta's Pendejadas team took that pot the first day.

The Santana brought in a fat 291 pounder the first day and ended up with second place in the overall pot for $7,510.

A fat 47.1-pound wahoo on the Salsa for the TNT Texans& Tuna team ended all discussion about who would win the day two money in that jackpot.

Finally, the side story that kept everyone around the scales to the end of the day was the Gray Fish Tag $20,000 Daily Jackpot. Ivan VanOrtwick's Stella June nailed down the $34,000 the first day with a 260-pound yellowfin that also placed third in the overall jackpot for a total of $37,755 (bottom picture). Below, Sean Feeney's team celebrates its $34,000 check for the last day $20K payout. 

Awards Tonight As 2019 Tuna Jackpot Rocks On
The 2019 WON Tuna Jackpot winds
down with more parties and winners!

This time around the first big fish to hit the scales hung on to secure the bulk of the second day Tuna Jackpot daily cash, with the Southern Comfort team and crew hoisting up a 248-pound yellowfin tuna early on that was never really challenged the rest of the day.

The team and crew of the Southern Comfort, Team Captain James Fettig second from left. 

No doubt the girth of their tuna was a comforting sight as the 248-pound second day big money winner was offloaded to be put on the Tuna Jackpot scales.

Team Captain James Fettig and his compadres earned $356,400 thanks to money they plunked down in every pot except for the special Gray Fish Tag $20,000 daily.

The Gray Fish Tag pot once again wasn't decided until the end of the day again. With four teams deciding to take part in the inaugural high roller pot, pretty much any fish over 30 pounds was worth $36,000. Yet, as expected with the elite boats entered, another quality tuna scored the final jackpot when the Don Julio team brought a beautiful 190-pound yellowfin to the scales. 

The second day's drama took placed during the many times dorado and wahoo were brought to the scales. We'll have a lot more on both divisions, separate for the first time this 2019 Tuna Jackpot, but right now we'll just say Outcast scored $80,000 for a 21.7-pound dorado and Salsa gets a check tonight at the awards dinner for $40,400 after bringing in a late afternoon 47.1-pound wahoo. 

Meanwhile the parties keep rocking. As mentioned, the WON Tuna Jackpot 2019 will have its awards dinner tonight (Saturday, Nov. 9) on the cruise ship pier and the champion will be crowned and all the payouts made official. 

The second day run of the Costa Start Boat fundraising, arm raising party to benefit Smiles International was another great success, with Dave Bulthuis of Costa handing out incredible amounts of Costa product and everyone dancing all the way back to the dock. 

Last night many of the teams, especially those from Texas, headed to the Tuna Jackpot Fiesta sponsored by Gamakatsu Hooks and hosted by the Baja Cantina group and hosted by Marina Corona restaurant. 

Team NorCal shows off one of the outfits that earned them the Fishworks/Baja Cantina Best Dressed of the Tuna Jackpot 2019 Award. 

The food was fantastic, the Texas Tuna Eaters won the Gamakatsu karaoke contest with their rendition of Friends in Low Places and were presented serapes and sombreros by Ted Thibault of Gamakatsu, while some major awards were presented:

Team NorCal said they were tired of not winning anything and decided to go all out for the best dressed competition. That they did and Gustavo Trejo, Jamaal Miles, Jason Gonzales and Arturo Garcia (all of the Bay Area in California) took home $250 in Fishworks clothing certificates and $90 towards Baja Cantina meals. 

The TunaRitas, who hail from Ohio and Indiana, were awarded custom Accurate reels from the company's Justin Poe. Also pictured are Jeff Jones, who sponsored the gals, and WON's Billy Egan. 

The TunaRitas team on the Jen Wren dominated the Accurate Fishing Gals contest as the three gals (Brooke Spicer, Emily Harris, Emily Staff) pulled together on tuna over 100 pounds both days of the event! Justin Poe of Accurate awarded each of the team members custom pink highlighted and engraved Accurate Tern reels. 

On to the awards!

Sirena Triumphs With 345-pound Tuna Jackpot Catch
Third biggest yellowfin tuna in history
of Tuna Jackpot brings redemption

The 345-pound yellowfin John Domanic and his San Jose/La Playa teammates caught the first day of the 21st WON Tuna Jackpot was not only the third biggest in the history of the event, the fish also offered serious redemption to the Sirena fishermen.

"Last year we were in the lead the first day until the Cloud Nine came in with two minutes to go and won with a bigger tuna," Domanic told WON. "So we will be here until the end of the day and wait and see. I have to say I feel a lot better about this fish than last years!"

The first ever Gray Fish Tag $20,000 daily jackpot was claimed by Ivan VanOrtwick's Stella June with a 260-pound yellowfin caught by Jaime Garcia. They won $34,000 and are currently third in the Overall Jackpot

A 42.1-pound wahoo by veteran Tuna Jackpot competitor Job DeHorta topped the first day of wahoo action. There were a handful of wahoo in the high 30s up to the winning weight.

As for dorado, no dorado weighed came close to the 30-pound minimum, so that jackpot will rollover to Friday and offer $80,000 to the boat in that jackpot with the biggest dorado over 15 pounds. Not a typo, the weight shifts down tomorrow. 

We weighed 8 yellowfin over 200 pounds today, with second place in the overall going to the Santana for a 291-pound yellowfin.

Tomorrow should be just as amazing!

Richest WON Tuna Jackpot Underway
Incredible Cabo Yellowfin Tuna Bite
and New Jackpots Reap Record Cash

Wow! Only a couple times in the 21 year history of the WON Tuna Jackpot has the yellowfin tuna fishing in Cabo been this good when the tournament started, and never before has the cash purse exceeded a million bucks, $1,018,300 to be exact. The scenario is a bit daunting, what with 154 boats in the mix, the wahoo and dorado pots split into two separate categories and almost certainly a slew of tuna headed in.

With Pat McDonell and Billy Egan at the helm, our great staff backing them up, and the indispensable work done by the Gricelda's Smokehouse/Dreammaker Charter team, the confidence is high for the best WON Tuna Jackpot ever!

Local Cabo dignitaries aboard the Costa Start Bot Party about to shoot the flareguns to start the 21st W0N Tuna Jackpot as boats stack up at the Cape.

New paperwork requirements had our signup staff (Rhonda Buhagiar, Amy Bulthuis, Rene Oelinger and many more) working to late last night getting everyone checked in, while our top marketing and ad man Chuck Buhagiar sorted through all the wires and the jackpot entries. Buhagiar offered this rundown:

"We have almost as much money in each of the wahoo and dorado jackpots, $80,000, as was in the combo jackpot last year," Chuck noted. "We have as many teams in across the board (all the daily jackpots) as we did last year, if you don't count the new $20,000 daily. We had four teams sign up for the Gray Fish Tag $20,000 pot."

The morning was flat calm and clouds offered a beautiful sunrise as the 154 boats checked in, showed off their Costas and lined up inside Land's End generally pointed in the direction they wanted to go. When the local dignitaries assembled by Marco Ehrenberg of Pisces shot off the flare guns many of the boats turned the corner and headed out into the Pacific. Or took a straight shot. As always, a good number headed up towards the banks in the Sea of Cortez. 

The anticipated number of fish to be weighed --which will be pared down by a preliminary scale for wahoo and dorado at the dock -- will make it all but impossible to have a live blog on this site, but live reports and videos will be available on the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Facebook page. Should be exciting even if you don't have a horse in the race! Best of luck to all the teams! 

On the Verge of Tuna Jackpot Glory
WON Tuna Jackpot Poised For Epic Fishing


Sure looks like there is going to be some Wicked Tuna fishing here in Cabo for the 21st running of the WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot tournament! After early checkin it appears we will be well over 150 boats (estimated). Every day has brought several 200-pound-plus to the docks. The weighin could get crazy, especially with the new separate jackpots for both wahoo and dorado.

An annual tradition has been the pre-tourney tagging expedition put on by Bill and Pamela Dobbelear of Gray's Fish Tag and Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing. 

Along for the ride (there were four boats total) were Dave and Nancy Marciano of Wicked Tuna, who both caught their first striped marlin fishing with the Dobbelears and Tracy on the Tag Me. They were just around the corner of the Cape and the spot was loaded with boats that cooperated with each other to get out of the way of hookups. In fact, during this double they handed off Nancy's rod to another boat which then took the line around its bow and handed the fish back!

They managed to tag nine stripers, including two with the $5000 satellite tags that the new $20,000 High Roller Daily Jackpot will help to fund for future efforts for multiple species, including tuna. Bill brought some great watermen with him from Costa Rica and they actually jumped in the water to revive the marlin tagged with the expensive satellite beacons. 

Afterwards Tracy and Marco Ehrenberg hosted a reception for the many great sponsors who make the WON Tuna Jackpot possible. Those same folks are busy right now setting up their booths with plenty of swag for the checkin that takes places in just a few hours. 

Look for more information and updates here and on the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot and WON Facebook pages. 

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