Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Huge Marlin Caught on Eve of Bisbee Black & Blue

Huge fish caught on the eve of the 33rd edition of the Bisbee Black & Blue.  We were down at the dock this afternoon when we heard that Pisces 31 ft Bertram, Rebecca was approaching the dock with big fish. Just a couple of minutes later in motored Rebecca with a huge fish laying across the cockpit, it was so large that it's head had to be angled up to fit - basically the length of the fish was more than the width of the boat. Captain Jose Ramon told us he had been fishing about 21 miles out from Cabo with the same anglers that had been with him on the previous two days, when he saw something about a mile away, jump out of the water. At first he thought it was a manta ray, but they picked up lines and sped over to investigate.  The fish first hit a green & lime lure, then Jose Ramon, quickly rigged one of the tuna they had caught earlier in the day and dropped it back to the large fish, who inhaled it, giving them a solid hook up.  Thirty six year old George Hanson from Idaho Falls, was given the rod and he steadfastly fought the big fish on  80 lb test for an hour before the crew realized the fish had died - they then brought it up by hand lining it between them. At the surface they realized that the fish was tail wrapped and had drowned.  They put a tail rope around it and hoisted it into the boat and headed back to shore. Other anglers on board were Gary Barnes, Dave Rankin & Eugene Hanson.  George who works with his dad Eugene in their recycling business, had set the trip up for his dad & his friends and they were not disappointed -
with 35 tuna, 9 dorado, 1 striped marlin and of course the 566 lb blue marlin caught by George, during their three days charter with Pisces who added "this was a trip of a lifetime"

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.

Pancho The Sea Lion Nabs Prize Winning Tuna

Don't be fooled by the sweet face, Pancho is a professional fish snatcher.


Pancho has been a naughty boy! Don't let that sweet face fool you....Pancho snatched a tuna that was about to be weighed in as a prize winning fish during the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament. Team Ole Ole backed into the dock with a qualifyin...g tuna of around 35 lbs, they handed it to the dock worker, who grabbed it by the tail and swung around to put it in his fish cart. In one smooth movement, Pancho who had been stalking the boat, erupted from the water like a speeding bullet, snatched the tuna and disappeared. Definitely making team Ole Ole candidates for the hard luck award - we figured the tuna was worth close to $7,000.00 if it had made it to the scale.
This is not when he stole the tuna, this was another day, but gives an idea of the real size of  Pancho and other sea lions in the area.