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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.

Charter boats: Need a ride for Nov. 7-8?
In an effort to try to link teams in need of a boat with charter companies, we list boats and fleets and try to update as often as we get new information. If you have a quality charter boat and would like it to be listed here, send basic boat and contact information to director Pat McDonell at

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Stimulator, 46-foot Bertam, owner/operator Jay Bush. A former winner of Cabo Tuna Jackpot and the Bisbee’s Black & Blue. A contender in any tourney. $2,700 a day for the tourney. Call for pre-fishing rates. or call Jay Bush toll-free at (866) 624-4820. Or, in Mexico at 011-52-1-424-14-16831.


Finatic, 36-foot Bertram with twin 435 diesels. Based at East Cape, $1,200 a day at East Cape. Call Owner Werner Hradecky for tourney day and pre-fishing rates. Cell: (619) 316-9815. 



Rising Sun 31 Cabo Express. Based in Cabo. Capt. Javier. Recommended by Renegade Mike Tumbiero of Renegademikesportfishing in Cabo. “Javier can fly the kite and he gets his share of big tuna every year,” said Tumbiero. Javier’s cell is (624) 122 2968. Call Kris Anderson, owner, at (504) 233-0717 for tourney availability and tourney and pre-fishing rates.

Rising Sun

Charterboat listing: Note that all charter companies will charge more for tournament fishing due to longer fishing time, wear and tear in boats with faster runs to the grounds and higher fuel costs and pay to crews. Also, some boats will ask how far into the optionals you will go, a factor as the charter captain or owner/operator will get 10 percent of the winnings.

While we are friends with many of the operations, we cannot endorse or guarantee the operations or the quality of boats and crews. Always ask about what is included in the final, FINAL cost. Good luck... The crews in Cabo are among the best in the world.

— Pat McDonell, director

ABY Sportfishing Charters 22-foot Baja pangas to 52-foot cruisers.

Baja Raiders Baja Raiders Sport fishing. has been serving Cabo San Lucas since 1998.

Beto's Sportfishing Offers fishing options from 25-foot pangas to 32-foot cruisers.

Catch Fish Cabo Sportfishing charters, US and Canada phone number: (778) 382 8688.

Cabo Fishing Deep Sea Fishing and fly fishing charters. Half-day, six (6)-hour, and full-day trips available. 26-foot to 44-foot fishing vessels starting at $180.

Cabo Sport Fishing Fleet, Jorge Garrido director, Cel 011-52-1-(624)-1416030; or contact Jorge at 

Cabo Fishing Pros Charters, fully equipped 38 ft Pearson flybridge, and 35 ft, Cabo Express convertible. $900-$1200. US and Canada phone number 1-833-387-7377.

Cabo Magic Sportfishing Over 25 boats, top quality tournament-rigged charters.

Dreammaker Sportfishing, Contact Grace Cote at

El Budster Sportfishing.

Finatic: 36-foot Bertram based at East Cape with twin 435 diesels. Call Owner Werner Hradecky for tourney day and pre-fishing rates. Cell: (619) 316-9815. Website:

Gordo Banks Pangas, Got Caught (31' Bertram) and Caught Again (32' Luhrs Express).

Jen Wren Sportfishing, trio of top-grade sportfishers based at East Cape always charterer for the Tuna Jackpot. See their website at or call Mark Rayor at:; (310) 308-5841

Minerva's Baja Tackle & Sportfishing Charter Fleet Fully equipped 31-foot, 33-foot, and 40-foot Bertram sportfishers.

Paradise Sportfishing.

Picante Sportfishing. Puerto Paraiso Marina.

Pisces Fleet Cruisers from 28-foot bare boat $445, plus tax or $560 all-inclusive; to 110-foot $7,000 all-inclusive.

RedRum Sportfishing (760) 481-7667 or from Mexico (624) 172-0085.

Silverados Sportfishing 23-foot to 50-foot boats.

Solmar Sportfishing Fleet 22-foot to 42-foot cruisers $175-$950.

Stimulator Sportfishing.

Ursula's Sportfishing Fleet 28 to 33 foot.

Wahoo Loco Sportfishing Winners 2012 Tuna Jackpot Champions and 2013 Bisbee's Offshore Contact: (in Cabo) 624 132 28 378.

For details on the tourney, go to the official website

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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We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Tourney director on radio Sunday morning
Let’s Talk Hookup! this Sunday, the 18th

Director Pat McDonell will be on two-hour show on 97.3 FM The Fan

7 to 9 a.m.

 Let's Talk Hookup  has been a sponsor for all 21 years of the tourney! 

Countdown to Cabo Begins!

Pat McDonell, director of the 21stannual Western Outdoor News Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament slated for Nov. 6-9, 2019 will be the guest on the Let’s Talk Hookup! radio show this Sunday, Aug. 18 from 7 to 9 a.m. on 97.3 FM, The Fan.

Joining the former WON editor and current tourney director will be radio hosts Rick Maxa and Cory Sanders, and listeners are welcome to call in any questions about the tournament or Baja fishing in general. Pete Gray, producer, will not be in studio as he is hosting an Alaskan trip for the show. Pete and his show have been sponsors of the Cabo Tourney for all 21 years of the event. 

Discussed will the be the tourney and some of its changes in the event, and the involvement of new and current sponsors like Costa, Nomad, Gamkatsu Accurate, Seaguar and many more. Also, fishing has been outstanding in recent weeks for big tuna, and McDonell will have the latest on that information, plus will answer any questions from callers about the tourney and how to enter it, its costs and parties and payouts that this year could reach $1 million to teams. 

The call-in line is (833) 288-0973. The Fan station at 97.3, home of the Aztecs and Padres, can be heard in San Diego County on any radio, but outside the county, the best method is to download the Let’s Talk Hookup app for easy listening access.

You can access all of this at the popular show’s website

THE WONCABO TUNA JACKPOT is coming up Nov. 6-9, and there’s plenty to talk about with the annual tourney, plus information on Baja fishing in general, which is on fire. WON created the tourney in 1999 and McDonell has served as co-director or director of the event very year.

Rules changes and links to Nov. 6-9 tourney
Video of fish being landed now requested


The champs last year, Cloud Nine, with the richest payout in the history for the event. A 272 pounder did the trick.

The WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Countdown begins, with the Nov. 6-9 tournament just around the corner for its 21st year.

Last year 163 teams competed for $840,800 with two teams Cloud Nine and Hooraywinning more that $300,000, a first for two teams, and this year with Wahoo and Dorado optionals separate, and a $20,000 Gray Research Tuna Optional added for teams that go across the board, we could see a first-ever $1 million payout.

There’s a lot of big news about the tournament, all the prizes, all the parties and sponsors coming back and new sponsors coming down to Lands End. Here are links to news and sponsors, prizes, entry form, the fun promo video and the Cabo Tuna Jackpot Preview digital edition. Among the rules changes is a request for teams to videotape their contending catches. See more below in 2019 rule.

See you in Cabo!

Pat McDonell

Tournament Director

2019 WON - Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot

Some useful and fun links for the tourney news and information.

15 seconds of Cabo Fun, a video by Beduino Productions (click here)

2019 entry form, editable on your computer (click here)

2019 Preview with a rundown of all the excitement and changes (click here)

Get special Hotel Tesoro room rates with special discounts until Sept. 30 (click here)

Official Cabo Tuna Jackpot website, your instant and easy portal to all information

about the tourney, past and present (click here)

Current Team Roster as they sign up, updated weekly (click here)

The 24-page all-color Cabo Tuna Jackpot Preview, the digital edition with

great features and information, fully updated! (click here)

Cabo Tuna Jackpot Facebook Page (click here)

Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot official blog at (click here),%20Preview%20supp%20is%20WON


2019 Tournament Schedule (click here)

2019 Rules, updated with changes in bold (click here)

Countdown begins, Preview supp is WON this week
Great features, six new sponsors for  the biggest tuna tournament in the world and all you need to know about event is in next issue of WON and


Check out our video 15 Seconds Of Cabo Fun!!

The special Tuna Jackpot Preview is coming in WON next week on, the latter in a four-color digital format. Director Pat McDonell and former editor of WON Pat McDonell details all the elements of the tourney, what is new in rules and format, contests, charity efforts for Baja children. Plus there will be special features by Rich Holland’s on proven techniques that have brought champions success over the years, and there is Gary Graham’s story on the Gray Fish Research Tagging program that this year is benefitted by a new $20,000 Tuna Optional.

HERE COMES the 21st edition of the WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament, slated for Nov. 6-9 and detailed next week in the special tourney Cabo Tuna Jackpot Preview supplement. The tournament feature options for Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado and payout that may reach the $1 million mark.

The 21st edition of the tourney Nov. 6-9 will also feature separate $1,000 Wahoo and Dorado optionals for the first time, which may push the payout over the $1 million mark. Last year a record 17 of the 163 teams were across the board at $23,000 entry, and another record was set when 22 teams were in the $10,000 Tuna Optional. The preview will also details longtime sponsors involvement like Costa and Seaguar, and we welcome several new sponsors, among them Gamakatsu, Nomad, Siren Marine, Chevron Techron and Cinco Perros tequila. More are being added.

Watch for the special 24-page CTJ Preview section (a digital version will be uploaded soon for viewing) and if you are looking for a great time, all you need to know about the tourney is also on the official website is where you can find links to special tourney room rates (which include breakfast) at the Hotel Tesoro for the tourney until Sept. 30.



We welcome several new sponsors this year:

Siren Marine is the leader in self-contained monitoring, tracking and security systems, which are designed for boats ranging from a Bass Cat to a Viking. Siren will be awarding three MTC systems in Cabo teams with the largest Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado.

Siren Marine is spearheading the Connected Boat revolution with its MTC Boat Monitoring and Tracking system, making it even easier for boat owners to create their own Connected Boat system and access critical onboard information from a phone, tablet or computer.

Using a range of available wired and wireless sensors, this affordable and easy-to-install system keeps boaters on top of everything they need to know including bilge water level and bilge pump activity, battery voltage, temperature, shore power connection and more. Entry and motion sensors help protect against unauthorized boarding and theft of expensive MFDs and other electronics and gear. MTC even lets boaters remotely control onboard systems such as spreader lights, air conditioning, bait pumps and more. Offshore anglers can even begin the spool-up process on their gyro stabilization systems on their way down to the boat, so they are ready to go when they step aboard.

The basic MTC system retails for $599 and can be connected to literally dozens of available wireless or wired sensors, making it easy to tailor the ideal Connected Boat for every type and size vessel. A range of available subscription plans is offered beginning as low as $15/month.

-- Nomad lures is a new sponsor,  and will provide  4) $500 certificates. These will go to the largest tuna daily as well as the largest overall dorado and wahoo.

-- Chevron’s Techron will be awarding two $1,000 entries to the 2020 tournament to the teams that are entered in the Wahoo and Dorado optionals and catch the biggest fish over two days. Techron marine fuel additive cleans, restores, protects the entire fuel system (fuel injectors, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chambers); Reduces: rough idle, engine surge, hesitation, and spark plus fouling; and Improves: cold start performance, and fuel stability for up to one year.

--- Cinco Perros tequila, the highest triple distilled tequila on the market, is new to the Cabo Tuna Jackpot, and representatives will be brining down plenty to provide shots at the Captains Welcome Party Wednesday night, and will provide bottles for drawings at the nightly party, will be served on the Cabo Escape start boat charity charters both days of fishing, and will exhibit at the check-in to kick off the event.

Go to for all the links, news of the event, rules and entry form, schedule, video and more!

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