Thursday, November 05, 2009

History Made in the Tuna Tournament

The first day of fishing is over and boy what a day. I got a phone call from well know local angler and personality Oscar Daccarrett at around 10.30 am today and he said "Tracy we have a good fish on, around 300 lbs", not wanting to jinx himself he said "I'll call back when we've got it on board" and hour and half later he told me that had boated it and he thought it would surpass the current Tuna Tournament record of 318 lbs. I told him to take it easy and slow down to wrap the fish in wet towels and to conserve it as best they could as the scale would not be open til 2.00 pm. I knew that he had bought a special ticket from Costa del Mar one of the sponsors, which was an oppotional deal, where if you get a fish over the current record of 318, they kick in $50,000.00 to the prize money... not bad for a $50.00 ticket going to charity....but what were the odds of beating the 318? Well in my mind it could be done. Judging by the number of big tuna we had seen coming in over the last couple of months and the perfect fishing, blue seas, no wind and still on the hot side. Figuring I had some time I got to work doing some chores out of the office, until I got a phone call from Mike at Tournament Control....who was laughing and saying can you believe it the fish is 383 lbs....just five pounds short of the all tackle world record. INCREDIBLE... I rushed off to the dock to see the fish in person and to congratulate the anglers, all local guys from San Jose. The fish was taken at the Gordo Banks on 100 lb test on a Penn International 80 two speed and a bent butt rod. The fish took what is know as a "bullito" which is a small tuna or bonita that was approximately 2 lbs. The fish took one hour and 35 minutes to boat. The main angler on this fish was Hugo Pino, also Augustin Pino and Oscar Daccarrett. See, this tournament is about fun and they needed three guys to muscle this brute up to the boat. The fish is worth approximately $175,000.00 to this team from "Fisherman" a 35 ft Cabo skippered by Alfredo "Perico" Sanchez. The length of the fish was 74" and the girth was 62". This team however, was not entered in all the jackpots, so a 102 lb fish caught by Mel and Judy Ostberg who are entered in everything look like they will take $44,000.00. Spartacus also brought a nice fish to the scale, weighing in at 122.4 lbs, they are entered across the board they also weighed in an 87 lb 'er so we will see where they stand.

Photos show the team of Fisherman and myself and Oscar Daccarrett, from this shot it give you a good idea of the size in comparison to people.

Tuna Tournament Begins!

Today was the first day of fishing of the Western Outdoor News Jackpot Tuna Tournament now in its' 11th year. The check-in was at the Tesoro Hotel and there was a great turnout of 104 teams, making it the only tournament to actually increase in size this year and also the largest tournament of the year. We love this tournament because it's all about fun as well as fishing. Lots of local boats particpate and the entry fees are accessable to pretty much anybody with the minimum being $700.000 and the maximum of $23,200.00 if you enter all the jackpots. The organizers throw parties every night for the particpants, not just an awards dinner and we see anglers return year after year. The control boat was Oceanus and we were away from the dock aboard her by 6.00 am to start checking in the teams, which can be a bit chaotic with 104 vessels coming at you all at the same time. They have to be visually checked off by the control boat and hold up their team number as they go by. It's a lot of fun to wave to friends and captains we know and there is a lot of excitement in the air. The State Secretary of Tourism was on board to fire the flare for the shotgun start. I got roped into being the tournament control operator to check in boats, but it was quite fun actually. I have already heard from a couple of boats hooked up to large tuna but the scale won't open until 2.00 pm, so we will keep you posted.

Tracy Ehrenberg