Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, MEXICO – Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament is a jackpot tournament with teams entering at different levels up to $10,000 per day. On Saturday evening that format paid off for Team Tiger Spirit, as it earned the biggest payout in the 31st annual event which took place October 18-22. Boat owner Ned Wallace, of Newport Beach, California, and his local captain and crew won an impressive $1,162,842 after weighing a 395-pound blue marlin on the first of three days of fishing. The daily $5,000 and $10,000 jackpots rolled over when no other boat weighed fish eligible at those levels. A total of $2,173,955 was at stake in this year’s tournament.
“We’ve been fishing the Black & Blue since 1993 and we’ve placed in the money three of the last four years,” Wallace said at the awards banquet overlooking the Cabo San Lucas harbor. “But this one has paid off the most. The biggest compliment for us is fishing against some of the great teams from around the world. It really means a lot from a prestige standpoint. My captain, Sergio Cota, is one of the most respected in the area and this win really cements his reputation.” Luis Alberto Liera was the angler who reeled in the profitable fish.
“I’m going to give the money to the crew,” Wallace added. “They deserve it, and I want to help them out. They can use the money for a good purpose.” Wallace also earned an all-expenses paid fishing trip to Panama, compliments of the West Coast Fishing Club, a tournament sponsor, as part of his winnings.
Angler Luis Arballo fishing with Team Cabo Villas Beach Resort & Spa aboard Bad Medicine, a 35 Cabo, took top honors after landing the biggest fish, a 409-pound blue, after putting out a lucky lure and doing an impromptu “marlin dance” in the cockpit. That catch swept the day one $200, $500, $1,000 and $2,000 jackpots for a total purse of $394,090.
Vicente Rangel of San Luis Potosi, Mexico and his family team aboard Pegasus is taking home a check for $283,752 after boating a 329-pound blue on the second day. Steve Skola, Chuck Mangus and their Hawaiian crew are pocketing $259,745 in prize money as well. They too earned most of the daily jackpots after bringing a 313-pound blue to the scales aboard El Lobo on Friday.
Black and blue marlin are the tournament’s only eligible species and they must weigh at least 300 pounds to count. Boats can still show off their angling skills by competing in the release category, however. This year, Hammertime was the top team after recording three blues and one striped marlin. That showing earned the team a check totaling $47,791. Big Time II came in second place in the release division after bringing three blues and a sailfish to the transom, while Reel Energy rounded out the standings with two blue marlin scored based on time. Big Time II earned $16,543 and Reel Energy pocketed $9,190.
One hundred teams from 12 nations competed in this year’s Black & Blue. Among the fleet, 113 billfish were caught during the three days of fishing, including 55 blue marlin, 47 striped marlin, 9 sailfish and two black marlin. The overall release ratio was 94 percent.
After a track record of paying out more than $56 million over the last three decades, the Black & Blue, presented by the Cabo Riviera Marina and Golf Resort, has indeed earned its reputation as the richest event in the sport.
“Despite the economy our overall money is up again this year,” said Tournament Director Wayne Bisbee after the checks were handed out. “Even second place can win a million bucks in the Black & Blue. So thanks to all our anglers and crews, plus our fantastic sponsors, we are the big enchilada of sportfishing. We’re the World Series, Super Bowl, and Triple Crown all rolled into one wet-and wild-ride.”
You can view team and catch details at the LIVE Scoring website sponsored by CatchStat.com
You can read more news at the Bisbee’s website: http://www.bisbees.com.
2012 Bisbee’s Events
East Cape Offshore Tournament: July 24-28
Los Cabos Offshore Tournament: October 19-21
Black & Blue Marlin Tournament: October 23-27
The Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournaments are presented by Cabo Riviera Marina and Golf Resort (http://www.caboriviera.com.mx/).