California teams top Los Cabos Billfish Tournament

Baja Bytes

Baja Editor
May 11, 2011
Lake Elsinore, CA USA
Gary Graham
Boat Name
Los Cabos Billfish Tournament

The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament is the first of the fall tournament series in Cabo San Lucas each year. Dan Jacobs, Tournament Director along with his experienced team are excellent at their job which is reflected in the quality of this popular event that has been supported by the Los Cabos Tourism Board for the past 17 years.
Thirty-seven teams arrived at the opening reception and team meeting which was held at the lavish Playa Grande Resort Beachside Terrace overlooking the sparkling Pacific Ocean on the first night.
They were quickly dispatched with team bags and any question they had quickly answered by the tournament staff, before they headed out the terrace to catch up with old friends and meet newcomers.
The 203 anglers aboard their 37 boats crowded together on the first day in anticipation of the flare-gun start. It was clear the favored direction would be around Cape Rocks toward the Pacific.

Tournament control fielded the VHF radio calls of the hookups and the releases. Striped marlin and sailfish were released in order to score points for the cash prizes offered in the release division. Blue and black marlin required a minimum weight of 300 pounds to qualify if kept; otherwise, they would result in negative points. No qualifiers were reported … just releases throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

That changed when Captain Horace Barge, aboard the "Reel Energy," radioed that Brian Walley was “tight” to a good fish. The fleet collectively held their breath as the fight played out. They didn't have long to wait as the experienced crew landed the reportedly large fish only 19 minutes later.

In the afternoon, Tournament Control confirmed that Walley's fish, a black marlin, had qualified and had tipped the scale at a respectable 419-pounds -- the only qualifier in the billfish division for Day One. The total score for the day: 40 billfish released; 2 wahoo -- largest, 35.4 pounds; and 3 yellowfin tuna -- largest 160 pounds.
The second of the three-day event the teams still favored the Pacific with only a few boats heading north up towards the Sea of Cortez. Striped marlin and sailfish dominated the day as hookup/releases were called into Tournament Control. Twenty minutes before lines out at 5pm, "El Suertudo" Captain Greg DiStefano announced that Bruce McDonald was hooked up and 30 minutes later they confirmed the catch. At the scales the fish qualified with 12 pounds to spare at 312 pounds. Also a new leader also emerged in the yellowfin tuna category with a 180-pounder.
On the third and final day seas grew and the catch total diminished. Bart Scofield, aboard the "Bob Marlin" landed the largest wahoo of the three days weighing 47.8 pounds … the only change on the leader board for the last day.

The final total was notable: 138 billfish with 136 releases -- including 7 blue marlin, 101 striped marlin and 28 sailfish. There were two qualifying marlin, the 419-pound black and the 312-pound blue and there were no underweight marlin brought to the scales.
The evening began with many raffle items donated by the event’s long list of sponsors and conducted by Dan Jacobs and his staff. The awards banquet, always special, included a four-course steak and lobster dinner prepared by Playa Grande’s renowned chefs and served impeccably by the wait staff on the Beachside Terrace.
This was followed by introductions and a special presentation to Luis Coppola, former senator, local businessman and activist, for his many contributions to Baja and Mexico tourism by Dan Jacobs prior to the awards presentations.

The awards were a follows;
· Day One Wahoo Jackpot Winner - a 35.4-pound wahoo - Angler Ty Oliver on El Chupacabra with Capt. Jesse Scarborough – $7,425
· Day One Tuna Jackpot Winner - a 160-pound yellowfin – Angler Shaun Wedick on Team Caliente Captain Jamie Gonzalez, teammates: Graeme Dales, Gordon Salomons, Alberto Lieras. Caliente – $7,425
· Day Two Tuna Jackpot Winner after over 5-hour fight on 40-pound test line besting a 180-pound fish La Brisa – Capt. Ray Winkler, mate Fernando Noyola, anglers Frank Bono, Wayne Winter, Mark Poland, Marshal Scott Mikula La Brisa – $7,425
· Day Three Tuna Jackpot Winner a 101.5-tuna - Angler John Truschke on Team Santi 1 with Capt. Victor Salizar, teammates: Henry Swain and Bob Donofio. Santi 1– $7,425
· Day Three Billfish Release Jackpot – 700-points from one blue and two striped marlin releases – Captain Ty Valli, Dick Landfield, Steve Henigen, Alan Donnins, Luis Anaya, Ari Keiss, Antonio Bojoquez, and Guielmo Bojoquez. Reel Quest – $8,700
· Third Place Billfish Release Points Team / Day One Release Jackpot Winner1100-points - from one blue and four striped marlin and two sailfish. Captain Julio Lopez, owners Ken and Amanda Coffer, Michael Moretti, Robbie & Wendy Hood, Daniel Arreto, and DJ De Jarnette. Tranquilo – $12,300
· Second Place Billfish Release Points Team / Day Three Wahoo Jackpot Double Daily 1200-points from nine striped marlin and three sailfish; and from 47.8- wahoo caught by Bart Scofield; Capt. Alden Beroki, mate Ezequiel Cervantes, Salvador Benitez, Diane Scofield. Bob Marlin $20,250.
· First Place Release Points Team / Third Place Team / Day Two Daily Billfish Release Jackpot – with 1300-points from seven striped marlin and six sailfish. Team Reel Gold Captain Javier Kuby Garcia, Murray Wright, Richard Matson, Jason Snyder, Chris Turek. Reel Gold – $44,700
· Second Place Team, Day Two, Levels 1-4, Daily Marlin Jackpot, Largest Marlin Jackpot from 312-pound blue marlin caught on day two by Bruce McDonald, Capt. Greg DiStefano, mate Oswald Ortega, owner Guy Yocum, Darin Antin, Gary Mason, Dylan McDonald. El Suertudo – $216,675
· First Place Team, Day One, Daily Marlin Jackpot, Levels 1-3 – from 419-pound black marlin caught by Brian Walley. Captain Horace Barge, Tawnie Walley, Luis Zumaeta,Reel Energy – $113,175 plus an invitation to The Offshore World Championship.

Congratulations to Reel Energy the 2015 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament Champions! They earned First Place Team and the Day One Daily Marlin Jackpot Levels 1-3 honors -- and are taking home a total of $113,175 in cash winnings plus the King Sailfish Mounts trophies, Carey Chen Art, AFTCO - American Fishing Tackle Co. champion apparel and tackle, Costa Sunglasses, Furuno Marine Electronics, YETI Coolers, PENN Fishing Reels, Accurate Fishing Reels and an invitation to compete of at the Offshore World Championship in Quepos, Costa Rica!

Day one video

Day two video

Day three video when available
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Sep 22, 2009
Northern Colorado
Jason Jones ( Lone Shark)
Boat Name
Century 1801, Hobie PA14 & SoA
Seems the tournament took place 1000 miles too far south :D
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