Saturday, October 17, 2009

One Angler Two Large Fish, Some Controversy at Los Cabos Billfish Tournament

Pisces Fish Report
October 8th to 14th, 2009
Overall Catch Success Rate 96%
BILLFISH: We had an exciting week in Cabo with the first tournament of the season taking place, the Los Cabos Billfish…despite a slow economy 42 boats entered this well organized event in its’ eleventh year. First day of fishing was a wash due to Tropical Storm Patricia with the Port being closed, so the event was shortened to a two day schedule, with fishing on Thursday and Friday only. First day of the competition saw a local captain and one with an impressive tournament record, take top honors with a 486 lb black marlin aboard “Choyero”. Captain Tony Nungaray is a Cabo legend with wins in every type of tournament and at least two Bisbee first places. Not long after Team Choyeros´ fish was weighed we heard that another fish, a black marlin had been boated and would be brought to the scale…in other words it was over 300 lbs or it would have been released. This team was aboard “Bandit” and consisted of Corey Myer, Captain Tommy Neikirk, Kevin Nakamaru, Rich Hamilton, Eric Grenin and previous Bad Company angler Anthony Hsieh , who was part of the team that took the highest ever tournament win of four million dollars in Bisbee a few years ago. In fact we would go as far to say that Anthony is considered a professional angler, who has come up in the ranks in the last ten years, with win after win leading to the respect of the other competitors. Team Bandits' fish came to the dock and was weighed in at 451 lbs, a black marlin that took him just thirteen minutes to land. So this looked like a battle of the giants, Captain Tony Nungaray, with the 486 lb fish caught by Greg Grosut and the 451 lb’er by Anthony Hsieh. We were all pleased that Tony did well with his team, as it’s been awhile since we’ve seen him on the winner’s podium, so we were shocked in the evening when rumors started to circulate that the fish had been disqualified. However, after asking around it seems that the tournament director made the call after watching video of the fight. In this tournament IGFA rules are adhered to with one exception, if during the fight an angler gets tired and cannot continue he can hand the rod off to a fellow team member. This is what happened, but instead of a clean hand off, directly into the hands of the other angler, the rod was rested on the gunnel of the boat and also set in the rod holder, causing the disqualification… expensive lesson in learning to read the rules correctly. No other qualifying blue or black marlin were weighed this day, but our very own “Get Over It” did the best in striped marlin released and also weighed a couple of tuna at 113.90 lbs for Alyson Eberle and a 127.50 lb’er for Dan Wheeler, who also released a blue marlin. Second day of the competition saw something unheard of happen, team “Bandit” again with angler Anthony Hsieh called in another black marlin, which back at the scale weighed 550 lbs, which took twenty three minutes to boat making them the clear winners. We cannot remember when an angler took two fish so large in a tournament. Anthony is obviously doing something right and bears watching. A notable catch in the tournament was a huge yellowfin tuna for team Karma and angler Steve Spina from Malibu, California taking him just 38 minutes to boat the monster 336 lb’er. Awards are set for Saturday night so we will bring you details of the payouts later. In regular non-tournament fishing anglers also had a great time with a ninety six percent overall catch success rate for all species combined. Nevertheless billfish catches were on the slow side with twenty five percent of boats finding marlin or sailfish. We were pleased to welcome Allied Energy group from the east coast to Cabo where they did a mini tournament usually held at Cape Cod; it was great to meet so many friendly people who were a lot of fun…we hope they will be back next year. Dorado totally dominated the catches this week. The port was closed for two days October 13th and 14th which was a disappointment to anglers that had traveled a long was to fish and weren’t able to reschedule. One of the more notable catches was for “Bill Collector” with Mark Chiavetta from San Jose, California aboard, with a blue marlin released and four tuna and two dorado boated. “Andrea” had two sailfish released and boated six dorado for Dale, Don & Shelby McNeil from Townville, Michigan. Other anglers that had busy days were Chris Helms and friends aboard “Get Over It” on October 9th for a striped marlin, five dorados and a wahoo. Pisces anglers caught a total of 21 billfish this week, consisting of 12 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin and 8 sailfish.
OTHER SPECIES: Dorado were thick off of Land’s End this week with eighty three percent of boats catching from one to twenty fish. Our finally tally was four hundred nine for this species. “Andale” did well to catch sixteen as well as boat a 60 lb wahoo for Jeff Wiederkehr and friends from Huntington Beach, California. Doug Hart from Rosenberg, Texas was pleased with his catch of sixteen dorado and a striped marlin released aboard “Cabolero”. Yellowfin tuna catches were fair with eighteen percent of boats catching fish from 15 to 80 lbs. “Rebecca” had some nice 80 lb fish 30 miles south of Cabo for Paul Koch and friend from Fort Lauderdale. We had some wahoo catches again this week with weights between 20 and 60 lbs.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Rain off and on for three days, Skies partly cloudy, seas rough.
LOCATION: Mostly the Pacific from Land’s End to Golden Gate, but usually closer than the Gate; some boats went 30 miles south in search of tuna, 95 spot, a few boats went to Punta Gorda on the Cortez side.
BEST LURES: Live caballito, green/red, red/black, petrolero, yellow, cedar plugs.
Based on the catches of Pisces by Tracy Ehrenberg