This year was set to be a historical year for the Bisbees Black and Blue Tournament, as it marked their 40th anniversary, and despite all odds, continued on amidst a global pandemic. Not only this, but they managed to have a great turnout, breaking participation records in the Bisbees Offshore Tournament a few days prior (usually called the “little Bisbees”, but not for long it seems) with 129 boats!
Add to this a record breaking opportunity at a $4.65 Million Dollar payout for those landing the largest Black or Blue Marlin and there it was, history in the making. And history was made, just not in the way we had hoped for. As 2020 would have it, not one qualifying fish was brought to the scales and no daily jackpots won. There was one very close to winning it all, but after a 5 hour fight with the fish, they lost it! Story on that HERE. The only tournament prize awarded was for the Billfish Release Division.
And although some might be quick to see this Bisbee’s tournament year as a flop, that’s not what was felt by most it seems. Where many fishing tournaments were cancelled this year around the world, think Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican and even USA, and even some in Cabo, The Bisbees was able to still put on the tournament and do it safely. Most people participating were happy to be able to do so, and get out fishing again, competing amongst some of the best in the business. Charter Captains and Fleets had the opportunity to make things happen and were happy to receive a nice bump in the amount of tourism in town. We definitely saw more activity than we have seen in months prior, with the Coronavirus shutdown, and were happy to see restaurants buzzing and still following Covid guidelines. The panga boats, bringing bait to all the participants, were once again busy and happy. Cabo as a whole felt grateful to have a feeling of normality, and to have all our fishermen back oin town, as this is what Cabo is built on.
I crossed paths with the owner and anglers aboard Pisces 58’ Tag Team on the final day of the tourney as they walked into Captain Tony’s Restaurant for lunch. They were in “All in” in the tournament, and could have taken home a $4.6 Million dollar check if they would have caught a Marlin of 300 lbs or more.
I asked them how they were feeling, were they frustrated or disappointed? Owner John Sercu didn’t hesitate, “We had the perfect setup, a good plan, and an awesome team. I’m happy with what we did out there, and it was some great days with great company”. Carmine Galati, Owner of Galati Yacht Sales and Pat Healey, Owner of Viking Yachts, fished the tournament aboard the 46′ Viking Billfish “La Chingona” soon available for charter with the fleet, had walked in by then. They too were all smiles, with a great attitude and just happy to be here. Maybe it’s because the biggest part of fishing is the teamwork, the camaraderie, and definitely the fishing stories with good friends, food and drinks afterwards. The group jokingly cheered, “To the 1st Place Winners!” as all 127 boats were all winners in the end, the “upside” of all this… of course, this was all just for fun, there were actually winners named, in the Release Division that is; here are the standings:
First Place Team SHOE with 3 Blue Marlin Released taking $68,000 USD
Second Place Team Overtime with 2 Blue Marlin Released taking $21,000 USD
Third Place Team Carpe Diem with 1 Blue Marlin Released taking $12,000 USD
Some may ask… Will this deter anglers participating next year? We think, on the contrary! The overall feel is that next year they will be back even more prepared and ready to win it, for real this time.
We still have one more tournament left to go in this Cabo Tourney Season, The Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot is up next, November 4th thru 7th. And we’re thinking this one will not be one to disappoint! So far, 101 Boats entered, and counting…