Frantic Pace teammates millionaires twice over with $2.396 million
TEAMS WERE EVENLY split with half going toward the Pacific and the others up into the Sea of Cortez.
CABO SAN LUCAS — Hurricane Paul may be the most memorable hurricane ever in the lives of the 106 teams in the 2012 Bisbee Black and Blue. In fact, 105 of the teams can blame their bad luck on the weird conditions left in its wake several weeks ago, while Frantic Pace angler Dave Sanchez may consider Paul the perfect storm, one that swept the field clean, opening the door for his single blue marlin to win the competition.
The stakes are high in the richest sportfishing tournament in the world. It takes $63,100 to enter in all jackpot levels, including the $10,000 daily, and the potential million-dollar prizes attract top anglers and crews from more than a dozen countries to Baja’s tip.
Before Sanchez arrived in Los Cabos for the 2012 Bisbee Black and Blue, the largest fish he had ever caught was a largemouth bass near his home in Kansas City, Missouri.
After weighing in the respectable, but not huge, 465-pound blue marlin, Sanchez joined his teammates in a Don Julio tequila toast, celebrating his catch. As he walked back to his boat, he commented, "Man, I have fished all my life and never caught anything like this. Lots of luck! I guess you could call it…beginner’s luck."
Talk about an understatement!
He and his first-time teammates, Andrea McQuade, Brooks Pierce, Charles Free and Charles Guastello and Dennis Milks aboard Frantic Pace were entered in all the major cash awards, including the Top Tournament and Top Jackpot, and all Daily Jackpot levels.
And the Team’s blue marlin turned out to be the only qualifying marlin weighed during the 32nd annual tournament; their award was a remarkable $2,396,800 out of the total of $2.475 million awarded. The second largest for a single team in Bisbee’s tournament history!
THEIR AWARD WAS a remarkable $2,396,800 out of the total of $2.475 million awarded, the second largest for a single team in Bisbee’s tournament history!
“I’m really starting to like this offshore fishing,” Sanchez said with a laugh. “We had a lot of fun. It was a great team effort and I’m just glad we ran across that fish. We found one, caught it and as luck would have it, that was all it took.”
The Release Division payout came down to minutes this year, as all the top teams released a single blue marlin. Sea Angel, a 63 F&S with Capt. Billy Angel at the wheel, won first place based on time of release. That catch earned a check for $50,830. Sneak Attack, a 65 American Custom Yacht skippered by Capt. Sammy Talbert, came in second to win $17,595, while Hammertime, a 68 Hatteras run by Capt. Jeff Richardson, won $9,775 for third place.
“You know me, I always like to spread the money around,” Tournament Director Wayne Bisbee told the crowd assembled for the lavish awards banquet provided by Ruth’s Chris Saturday night, “But part of the appeal of the Black and Blue is the chance to win a really big check and tonight that honor goes to the Frantic Pace team.”
“I’M REALLY STARTING to like this offshore fishing,” Sanchez said with a laugh. He and his first-time teammates, Andrea McQuade, Brooks Pierce, Charles Free and Charles Guastello and Dennis Milks aboard Frantic Pace were entered in all the major cash awards, including the Top Tournament and Top Jackpot, and all Daily Jackpot levels. PHOTOS BY GARY GRAHAM
Frantic Pace had real luck, and beginner’s luck
The time in the chair went by really fast,” a tired but excited Dave Sanchez said at the scales the second day at the Bisbee’s that saw his teammates clear the table and win the 2013 title “That’s my biggest fish ever. But right now I think I’m ready for a nap.” This is the first time the Kansas City, Missouri angler has fished the Black & Blue. “I’ll definitely be back again next year, though,” he promised.
So, the team had some beginner’s luck, making it two kinds of luck.
Veteran skippers Josh Temple and Tony Berkowitz were working the cockpit of Frantic Pace when the marlin pounced on the Hi-5 black-and-purple Cabo Shaker lure. As the fish got closer to the bright-orange 52-foot Pacemaker boat, they realized the heavy snap swivel holding the leader and lure had opened. Temple gingerly leadered the fish and Berkowitz sank the gaff point home. When the fish was finally in the cockpit, they discovered the only thing connecting the line to more than a million dollars worth of marlin was the ¼-inch bend in the tip of the swivel. The rest of the stout metal wire in the leader was almost straight.
“I’d rather be lucky than good any day,” a grinning Temple said afterwards. “But that was just a little too close.”
AFTER WEIGHING IN the respectable, but not huge, 465-pound blue marlin, Sanchez joined his teammates in a Don Julio tequila toast, celebrating his catch.