Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bisbee Offshore Won by a Tuna & 33 LB Dorado?

Bisbee Offshore - won by a tuna? Incredible but true....ninety nine boats competed over Saturday & Sunday in the tournament known as the "little Bisbee", what is attractive about this two day event is you can get in it for as little as $1,500 and across the board is only $10,500 - not small, but a fraction of what it costs in the Black & Blue ($71,000). Many of the captains put up the money themselves to be able to fish this and get valuable pre-fish knowledge. This year however, there were no big blue marlin in sight. Four underweight fish were brought to the scale, but not one of them could reach the 300 lb minimum weight limit. The rules state that if no eligible billfish are caught the monies roll over to the gamefish categories. So it ended up that a 201 lb tuna and a 33 lb dorado won $110,000.00 each - maybe the biggest payday every for a small dorado. We spoke with the team that caught the large tuna, Donald Whitter, owner of Wahoo Loco and the boat Estrella del Norte, which is not your typical Cabo sportfisher. Donald built the boat himself, a 32 ft Carolina design using a cold mold made out of wood, then wrapping it with fiberglass. The boat has two 300 Yamaha outboards & can reach a speed of 40 knots. The tuna was caught by team member Gonzalo Castillo, a local guy out of La Playita. Donald and Estrella del Norte are no strangers to success, they took first place last year in the WON Tuna Tournament with a massive 372 lb fish. Asked about his strategy Donald said "Our intention was never to catch a marlin, we were going strictly for tuna, that is what we are good at. We figured that most of the boats would enter the gamefish category so there would be a big pay out. We fished five days (three in the Los Cabos Billfish before this event) to catch a fish of that size. We caught it at the inner Gordo on live bait, we had it to the boat, stuck the gaff in it, but it broke it & straightened the hook , then dove down about 100 feet we went to work again". After an hour and fifteen minutes they had it at the boat again, this time they used a flying gaff as well as a second gaff. Good thinking and good work, that secured them a $110,000.00 pay day. Bisbee Black & Blue starts tomorrow and the absence of the big fish is a little worrying, however, with a massive storm down below us, it may push fish this way.
Estrella del Norte is not your typical Cabo sportfisher.

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