Beginning in 2015 Patricia Bisbee, Vice President, Bisbee Tournaments arranged for Hope for Los Cabos operated by Jen and David Limpert and their extended family. To receive all the fish that were brought to the scale during the Los Cabos Offshore and Bisbee Black and Blue tournaments.
Waiting between fish being brought to the scale, the two of them explained how their program had begun. Basically, they realized that most tournaments didn’t allow the teams to keep their catch in many of the events.
However, the distribution of the fish that were brought to the scale was not very organized; they were given away on a first come/first serve basis.
If you say it fast, it seems like a simple undertaking. However, upon closer inspection, there are a dizzying number of moving parts required to make the distribution happen, beginning the moment these hefty fish are taken down from the scale and loaded onto a cart.
That’s when the Limpert volunteers take over – first to clean and fillet and then, in most cases, deliver the fish directly to the dozen strategically located feeding centers, rehabilitation centers and the orphanages which are in the remote communities surrounding Cabo and San Jose.
Since the first time I learned of the project, their volunteer staff grew from a few helpers to many volunteers who manage the increasing flow of fish donated by the growing list of anglers participating in local tournaments and individual contributors.
In thinking about the enormity of the project, Jen Limpert recently observed,
“We are honored to partner with the Bisbee fishing tournament every year. Their generous donations of fish get distributed to various charities and families in Los Cabos, and since we began, were able to provide more than 91,000 meals to people in extreme need in the area.”
The success of the program stimulated others in the sportfishing community in Los Cabos to “think outside the box” as well. Rebecca Ehrenberg, manager of her family’s large charter boat fleet, Pisces Sportfishing, oversees their crew.
Kevin Blaeholder of Castle Rock, Colo., headed 30 miles offshore in search of yellowfin tuna aboard Pisces “Restless“. The hoped-for tuna failed to materialize; instead, a large blue marlin appeared in the spread. It snatched a yellow/lime-green lure and greyhounded toward the horizon.
Rebecca listened attentively to their tale of hoping to tag-and-release the brute. Their captain, Beto Lira, explained, “We had the tag stick ready even before the fish was hooked, but it sounded, and although I tried to aid the angler as much as I could by maneuvering the boat, after almost two hours, it was just dead weight and had to be slowly planed to the surface! It would’ve been nice to see it swim away with a Gray Fish Tag in it,” Beto wishfully concluded.
The impressive blue marlin was hoisted and weighed on Pisces’ recently acquired IGFA Certified scale, which indicated the weight as 597-pounds!
Rebecca asked Blaeholder tentatively, “Would you like to contribute the fish to a good cause? We have kitchens that serve meals to school children and their parents in some of the neighborhoods of Los Cabos, and they always welcome the food.”
Blaeholder listened intently before nodding affirmatively with a smile on his face. All of the fish he caught, except for a small portion that the angler and crew kept, was donated to 14 community kitchens that serve 50 to 100 kids a day in the poorest neighborhoods of Cabo.
Ehrenberg proudly noted: “This is pretty cool, plus the captains and crews are both proud and excited about the concept.
We have officially partnered with these kitchens and any angler who fishes with us and wants to share their catch can know it’s going to those most in need. Fish is something these neighborhoods have rarely seen on their plates in the past, and it provides an important protein for them.”
This was not Ehrenberg’s first time to jump in to aid her community. She helped develop a partnership with Feeding Los Cabos Kids — which operates 14 kitchens — after the region was devastated by Hurricane Odile in 2014.
She continued by joining with participants in the 2015 Stars and Stripes Charity Sportfishing Tournament who agreed to donate their catches to the kitchens, often going themselves to deliver the fillets.
“This way, the anglers in the tournament can see and understand for themselves that they have a direct one-on-one impact,” Ehrenberg said.
“Since 2015, we’ve done it every year and it has become one of the favorite activities of many of the tournament participants.”
Perhaps, this novel approach of connecting the dots by associating conservation with charity will not only become a solution for unwanted fish that couldn’t be revived to be tagged but also by showing those who have how to contribute to those who have not – providing a “Feel Good Moment” one way or another.
Hopefully, other charter companies or individual operations will offer similar options to their clients, providing them “Feel Good Moments” of their own.
This is a partial list of the groups, organizations, and orphanages in Los Cabos that are recipients.
1. Feeding Los Cabos Kids -14 feeding centers
2. Palabra de Vida – Men’s Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center
3. Cabo Missions for Christ – Feeds families in the barrios
4. Comedor de Linda – Feeding Center for children
Casa Hogar – Boys and Girls Orphanage.
5. Hope for Los Cabos passes fish out to many families in the barrios, to many Mexican workers around town, and to many security guards. They also make certain the volunteers cleaning the fish have some to take home for their families.