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437-Pound Black Marlin Lands Angler $258,683

black marlinA 437-pound black marlin caught in the Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tournament (ECO) was worth more than a quarter million dollars to angler Andrew Hughes and his fish-fighting team.

Along with Hughes’ check for $258,683, eleven winners in various divisions plus jackpot dollars brought the total payout of the 2017 tournament to $590,375.

The winning marlin hit a trolled live skipjack approximately 5 miles off the local Punta Arena Lighthouse on the Sea of Cortez.

Bisbee tournamentHughes, 59, fishing with the team, Mi Corazon (My Heart), fought and brought the billfish to the boat in 60 minutes.  As a tournament angler, this is Hughes’ third time being in “big money” and the second time winning.  Previously, Hughes took home $149,000 for winning in 2006 and $124,000 for a second place in 2009.

A 36-year California resident and owner of two roofing companies in the Los Angeles area, Hughes has been traveling to the East Cape region of the western Mexican peninsula for “about 30 years” to fish the Gulf of California aka Sea of Cortez.  The designated “East Cape” is some 50 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, dotted with fishing villages and hotel resorts.

Headquarters for the ECO tournament was the Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort, near the restaurants and shopping districts of Los Barriles.

A dedicated tournament angler, Hughes won a tuna and marlin competition in Puerto Vallarta less than a month ago.  Prizes for that victory included a new car and jackpot money.

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Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world records and in his first year as a member of the Tuna Club of Avalon, he received more angling awards than any other first-year member in the club's 109-year history. He's been involved with many California angling clubs and is the Baja California Representative for the International Game Fish Association. 
Gary's a conservationist as well as a writer and photographer. In addition to two books on saltwater fly-fishing, hundreds of his articles and photographs have appeared in publications around the world. Graham has devoted his life to finding new fisheries and developing new techniques — all of which he shares through his guiding, speaking, photography and writing.