Tuna and Dorado Highlight First Day at Bisbee's ECO
August 6, 2014; East Cape, Baja California Sur: Opening Round
By Capt. Dave Lear
Major sporting events often take a while to develop. Prize fights usually go several rounds before the dominate boxer emerges. The most exciting period in a football game is typically the last two minutes. And the most dramatic moment in a baseball game is the walk-off homer, where a home team player launches a ball over the outfield fence in the bottom half of the ninth inning and walks off the field in triumph.
Big-game fishing contests often follow the same pattern. The action starts out slower while the fleet locates the bait, dials in the best rips and the anglers discover their rhythm. Once all these variables come together, it’s game on. For the 2014 East Cape Offshore, Wednesday was one of those opening rounds. Patricia Morrison on Syrita was the first to the scales with a qualifying fish.
“It wasn’t too bad out there, a little bumpy.” she recalled after the weight of her dorado, a 31.4-pounder, was announced. “I was using a live bait and we were fishing outside of Frailles, five to six miles offshore. Out of the blue a small female showed up, then this male came around and ate.”
Martha McNabb, an East Cape local and perennial Bisbee’s competitor, found similar conditions on her boat, Retriever.
“It was hot..temperature wise, not the fishing,” she explained with a chuckle. “Actually it was pretty slow most of the day. We had a small blue marlin on for about a minute before it pulled the hooks. I’d rather have it like that than fight one for a couple hours only to lose it. Right before lines out we saw some flyers and had one bull dorado come up into the baits, but we couldn’t get it to eat. So we’ve got a good idea of where to go tomorrow.”
Eric Estelles, fishing on Gaviota, was the top tuna angler for the ECO’s first day. His yellowfin tipped the scales at 46.6 pounds. Antonio Guluarte scored the second biggest tuna at 44.4 pounds aboard Dos Pirates, while Gonzalo Castillo weighed a 41.4-pounder. Castillo was competing aboard Zhao, an outboard-powered center console.
Rodulfo Lugue landed the only other dorado weighed on Wednesday. His fish registered 39.2 pounds. Dorado must weigh at least 30 pounds to qualify, while tuna have to be 40 pounds minimum.
The outlook for Thursday looks promising with the bait around, as well as some bigger billfish. Gotcha fought a marlin on 130-pound tackle for more than two hours Wednesday afternoon before pulling the hooks, so bigger prizes are in the area.
Round One is over. Round Two begins Thursday at 7 a.m. All 62 teams competing in the 2014 East Cape Offshore will come out swinging.