The final events in Bisbee's Bluewater C.U.P. Series took place in Cabo San Lucas October 17-25, 2008: Bisbee's Los Cabos Offshore Tournament the 17th-19th and the world-famous Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament the 21st-25th. Overall 184 billfish were caught and ten teams walked away with $3,272,720 in cash awards.
Seventy teams competed for $296,760.00 in the Bisbee's Los Cabos Offshore, an 8% increase over 2007. Mike Cromer, fishing aboard After Midnight, weighed in the first fish, a 385.0 lb. black marlin, and finished in third place with $95,940.00. The second place marlin, also a black, was caught by Ralph Liberatore on The Bottom Line and weighed in at 510.0-pounds earning the team $7,938.00. The last marlin of the tournament was weighed right before the scales closed on the last day. The monster 870.0 lb. blue marlin, the second largest marlin caught in the 28-year history of the Black & Blue, was horsed in by Richard Saccaro on Marlin Master I and won $114,462.00. The largest marlin caught in the Black & Blue was a 993.0 lb. blue marlin in 1994 by the team on Picante.
There were no qualifying tuna caught so all of the gamefish money rolled over to the dorado category. The largest dorado, 56.8-pounds, was caught by Rich Hochrein aboard the Outcast and won $50,970.00. Hikaru Mitsuhashi from Tokyo, Japan, won the Day 1 Gamefish Jackpots for $27,450.00 with a 42.1 lb. dorado. RO.RA. III was the Top Release Team with three blue marlin released for 900 points.
Two days later 141 teams with upwards of 1,000 anglers from around the world readied for the kick-off of the 28th Annual Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament where $2,975,960.00 in prize money was up for grabs. With three big marlin in the record books, anticipations ran high and, just like in the Los Cabos tournament, it was the last fish on the last day that turned the standings upside down.
Setting yet another sportfishing record, Hang 'Em High weighed a 313.0 lb. blue marlin caught by Chip Wagner winning $2,234,035-the second largest team purse in history. The largest single purse ever awarded was also a Black & Blue record- $3,902,997.50 won by Bad Company 55 in 2006.
The only other qualifying marlin caught was a 457.0 lb. blue marlin by Jorge Nuñoz on the Bad Market. The team took home $660,475.00 for first place, and probably wished they had entered more of the daily jackpots! The top team in the Contender Release Division was Scott Free with 900 points for three blue and one striped marlin release and won $52,942.50. Second and third place both had 600 points and two blue marlin releases winning on time of release: Lucky Hooker took home $18,326.25 and Sea Jewel won $10,181.25.
Complete team and catch details can be found on the Bisbee's website at www.bisbees.com.