All That’s Fishy – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2020
A monthly Baja fishing report by Gary Graham -That Baja Guy
As the sportfishing community of Baja Sur ventures into the fall fishing season, stories of family outings framed by the great outdoors caught my attention. Local families who had been here for generations, along with those who migrated here to earn their living sportfishing, were eager to share their love of the sport of fishing with their young offspring.
When Stephen Jansen, a 6-foot, 3-inch tall, gangling Hollander traveled to Los Angeles in 1994, he succumbed to the siren’s call of a brand of fishing that he had read about but that could not be experienced in his homeland, and when he experienced fishing in Cabo, he was hooked.
The Bisbee Family East Cape Offshore held shortly after the reopening of sportfishing in early August set a record for the largest number of teams in their 20-year history! The winning 704-pound black was the largest ever weighed in, both of which underscores the eagerness of teams to participate and validates the size of the fish being caught.
In the weeks leading up to the beginning of the robust tournament season in mid-October, fishing for offshore species dazzled the slowly growing number of anglers from around the world who are finding their way back to Baja.
Double-digit and even a few triple-digit scores of dorado both caught and released have been a common recurrence, depending on the number of local fleet boats venturing off the Baja coastline from Cabo to Loreto.
Marina Puerto Escondido, which is owned by the Hamann family, is the newest full-service marina on the east coast of the Baja Peninsula near Loreto. The Hamann family and friends departed from that marina recently and had a day to remember! They were rewarded with an unusual catch of a seldom-seen blue marlin that weighed 377-pounds, the first blue that was taken in September, and the first-ever to be weighed at MPE. Meanwhile in Los Cabos, cow-sized yellowfin tuna showed a bit earlier than normal much to the delight of the arriving anglers.
The official tournament season got off to a great start with the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, that took place October 11-15 with 49 teams participating. Top honors went to the Stella June with their 593 pound black marlin, the largest marlin of the event caught on Day 3. Stella June also captured the largest yellowfin tuna weighing 236-pounds. The Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore Marlin Tournament shattered both attendance records and the total payout amount. The two-day event awarded eight of the 127 participating teams with its 769 anglers from around the world $1,457,000, breaking the enviable MILLION-DOLLAR mark for the second year in a row throughout its 20-year history. The ongoing Pandemic affected all activities including the Registration and the Weigh Station which were both moved to the API Cruise Ship Pier. A link to the Captains’ Meeting video was sent to every team member, every captain, and every crew member, containing all the information in both English and Spanish that would have been covered live at past events. Protocol required that face masks be worn and social distancing of six feet of spacing between every person was to be in place throughout the tournament. Only the angler and their catches could come to the scale, eliminating team photos. Award checks and trophies were passed out to the eight winning teams at Baja Cantina. The Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament celebrated its 40th anniversary and took place October 20-24th.
The Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot runs from November 4 through the 7. The 2019 tournament attracted 154 teams and paid out $1.01 million to eight teams, including two teams that won over $300,000. For more information visit loscabostunajackpot.com.
The Los Cabos Big Game Charter Boat Classic is the only free angler-entry tournament in Los Cabos with $40,000 in cash plus prizes up for grabs. It runs from November 17-20. Anglers must register and receive a confirmation on the official tournament website or on-site on Nov. 17 at either Marina Fundadores at Fisherman’s Landing Restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, from 5 to 7 p.m. or at Puerto Los Cabos Palapas in San José del Cabo, from 3 to 5 p.m. *