The 10th Annual Bisbee's East Cape Offshore Tournament, presented by Cabo Riviera, took place July 28 through August 1 in Buenavista, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Fifty-three boats and 254 anglers competed for $274,350.00 in prize money.
In what is becoming a Bisbee's "Grand Finale" tradition, it was the last fish on the last day that won the 2009 event. Cap'n Jake, a 50' Mikelson with Capt. Barrie Harnett, pulled up to the scales at the last minute with a 341-pound blue marlin caught by Kent Andersson to squeeze out the only other qualifying marlin of the tournament by 31 lbs. The team aboard Cap'n Jake took $77,871.40 for 1st Place and the Day 3 Marlin Jackpots.
The runner-up, however, took the big money. Keith Jones, fishing aboard Mi Corazon, a 30' Luhrs captained by Antonio Lucero Castillo, caught a 310-pound blue marlin on the second day and, in addition to 2nd Place, won the Day 1 and Day 2 Marlin Jackpots for a total of $124,784.60. Mi Corazon is no stranger to center stage-they took first place in 2006 with a 418-pound blue marlin and share the record with Copa Gobernador for the largest blue marlin caught in the ten year history of Bisbee's East Cape Offshore Tournament.
The fishing was steady throughout the three days of competition despite rough seas, and the field posted 101 billfish with a 95% release ratio: 36 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 37 striped marlin and 27 sailfish.
Tuna were scarce, but the two that made it to the scales were both over 100 pounds. First place went to Fisherman with Capt. Perico Sanchez Alarcon and angler Daniel Fisher. The 174.4-pound yellowfin won $17,997.00 for Top Tuna and the Day 3 Tuna Jackpot. Fisher's son, Danny Fisher, Jr., caught the third largest dorado of the tournament, 51.4 lbs., and won honorable mention as the top junior angler.
Pepe Yuen Ritchie, fishing aboard Slippery Lizzard with Capt. Chino Rocha Valenzula, brought in the only other tuna weighed, and won the Day 1 and Day 2 Tuna Jackpots for $17,850.00.
There was a strong showing of dorado this year with the winning fish, 57.2 lbs., caught by Alfredo Lucero fishing aboard Sails Call with Capt. Ed LaJoy. Sails Call took $17,997 for Top Dorado and the Day 1 Dorado Jackpot. They also won the Early Bird Drawing for getting their entry in early and will be fishing the 2010 East Cape Tournament for free! Dottie B II won the Day 2 Dorado Jackpot (48.5 lbs.) and Lucky Hooker took Day 3 (52.4 lbs.). Each team won $8,925.00.
For the first time, web visitors were able to follow the action live on the internet via global satellite tracking provided by International Racing Consultants (IRC) and Tracking International (TI). About a dozen boats were outfitted with transponders that tracked the boats progress throughout the day. In addition, IRC/TI conducted interviews and posted them, along with photos, on their website. You can find links to the video-taped interviews and photos on www.bisbees.com.
One of the true highlights of the event was the special day the Valdez family, owners of the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort, hosted for 15 boys from Casa Hogar, a local orphanage. The boys enjoyed a day of fishing, a picnic lunch on the beach and splashed away in the pool for hours. Casa Hogar was also the recipient of several voluntary donations made by various teams including 100% of the proceeds from the auction of a framed reproduction of the 1992 Bisbee's Black & Blue tournament art by Chuck Byron.
For additional information and complete results please visit www.bisbees.com.