Marlin, Tuna Caught in Bisbee's Los Cabos Offshore Tournament
By Capt. Dave Lear
October 18, 2014; Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Odile, a slogan quickly appeared that accurately sums up the spirit and tenacity of Baja: Cabo Strong. That attitude was definitely on display Saturday as the 2014 Los Cabos Offshore got underway with 81 boats motoring off into the dark-blue Pacific. After the devastating impact from the Category 4 storm last month, many doubted whether this tournament would even happen. But happen it did, with both a qualifying marlin and tuna weighed the first day.
Local Cabo angler Fernando Guzman picked the perfect time to boat his first blue marlin. After a fight lasting just over three hours, Guzman and his team aboard Los Rudos hoisted the 322-pound marlin aboard. The fish smacked and missed a lure first before Guzman fed it a live cabellito bait near the Gordo Bank, an underwater hump in the Sea of Cortez. The end result was met with a roar of approval from the gathered crowd when the weight was announced.
Several dorado were weighed earlier, yet none topped the 30-pound minimum weight requirement. Radio Control, with Buena Vista Beach Resort’s Axel Valdez manning the mike, was busy recording dorado catches throughout the day. The abundance of these neon game fish, along with schools of sardines and smaller tuna, bodes well for big marlin to be roaming off the tip of the Baja peninsula. Competing boats must stay within 50 miles of the Cabo harbor but the presence of deep water within yards of the famous Cabo rock arch means the runs offshore are often fairly short.
As is typical for this event, the tuna division was hotly contested. Tuna have to weigh at least 40 pounds to score. Burro III was the first to weigh a sizable qualifier, a 64.2-pound yellowfin. Gonzolo Castillo on North Star was next and kept the crowd guessing, although its 63.3 tuna was just off the mark. Finally Paul DeLuca’s entry was hoisted aloft and the 69.6 pounds of sashimi emerged the top winner for the day. That fish, landed on Catch Fish Cabo, ate a squid after a short chumming session and was whipped in 20 minutes. DeLuca used a Shimano Tiagra 50 spooled with 80-pound line and leader to subdue his prize.
“I wasn’t sure we’d be able to pull this off, but thankfully we did,” Tournament Director Wayne Bisbee said after lines out was announced at 5 p.m. “Our anglers and sponsors stepped up and even though fishing wasn’t off the charts, it was steady throughout the day and we weighed some qualifiers. So that in itself is a tremendous accomplishment, plus we still have another day of fishing. Our anglers are strong like bull and I’m just watching in admiration ringside.”