Even the best-laid plans go awry sometimes. That’s especially true in tournaments when the fish don’t show up. Or in the case of the 2012 Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore, the right fish failed to make an appearance.
No qualifying marlin were weighed in this year’s 13th annual event, which took place July 24-28. But by all other measures, the event was an unconditional success. The tournament attracted 350 anglers fishing aboard 61 boats. The fleet caught 94 billfish during the three days of competition. Three weighed marlin didn’t meet the 300-pound weight requirement. A total of 48 striped marlin, 30 blues, one black and 15 sailfish were caught and released for an impressive release ratio of 96.8 percent. In the game fish category, 15 dorado and 3 yellowfin tuna were weighed.
“Conditions were good all three days,” said Capt. Sammy Talbert, skipper of Sneak Attack, a 65-foot American Custom Yacht. “We went one-for-two each on stripers and blue marlin on Friday, all off Punta Arena. I don’t know why there weren’t any big fish.”
One big fish did make it to the scales Friday, a yellowfin tuna, caught by Awesome, a 30-foot Island Hopper home-ported in East Cape. The 262-pound yellowfin set a new East Cape tournament record and earned Capt. Luis Duran and his team $37,095. Shaun Speer was the angler for the catch.
Newcomer Taylor Horton and his buddies Dave Christman and Samuel Cosio also had a nice payday. Horton’s big dorado, a 57.5-pounder, earned $37,095 for the Ez-Duz-It team, skippered by Capt. Ernie Cosio of Cabo San Lucas.
Team Tenacious pocketed $22,950 in winnings for a nice 213-pound yellowfin, boated by Eduardo Aripez Beltran. Tenacious earned two days’ worth of the game fish daily jackpot with the catch.
Ned Wallace, owner of Tiger Spirit, a 72-foot Donzi, collected $11,475 in daily jackpot money for his 40.1-pound dorado caught on the first day. Chip Wagner, who owns Hang ‘Em High, a 58-foot Miller Marine, is also taking home $11,475 in jackpot money for his 42.4-pound dorado landed on the second day.
Sniper, a 35-foot Cabo skippered by Capt. Angel Cesena of Cabo San Lucas, guided his crew to two blue marlin, one black and one striper. Those catches earned the team the top release honors. Sneak Attack was second in overall releases (two blues and two stripers), while Wildcatter took the third place release team award (two blues and one striped marlin).
The 2012 awards were presented on the beach overlooking a tranquil Sea of Cortez at the host facility, Hotel Buena Vista Spa & Beach Resort. Revelers enjoyed the presentation and great live music by the local cover band, Cabo Max.
“Word is getting out about this event,” Tournament Director Wayne Bisbee told the assembled crowd. “We had $461,790 in prize money at stake this year. And next year, with half a million dollars and all the new slips that’ll be available at Cabo Riviera, there are going to be a lot more boats wanting to get in on the fun. That’s pretty impressive for a little local tournament here in East Cape.”
The 2013 East Cape Offshore Tournament is scheduled for July 23-27, 2013. The next event for the 2012 Bisbee’s Baja tournament series is the Los Cabos Offshore Charity Tournament, October 19-21 followed by the biggest event of them all, Bisbee’s Black & Blue, October 23-27.
Record Tuna at Bisbee East Cape