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Bisbee’s Los Cabos tournament has a record weekend

Rough conditions in SoCal waters slows offshore fishing

Team Chinito Bonito with their $96,010 yellowfin tuna caught during the Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore tournament.
Team Chinito Bonito with their $96,010 yellowfin tuna caught during the Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore tournament.

Dock Totals 10/10 – 10/16: 2,325 anglers aboard 121 trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 168 bluefin tuna (up to 194 pounds), 95 bonito, 241 calico bass (80 released), 256 dorado, 9 lingcod, 146 lobster (84 released), 8 rock crab, 3,197 rockfish, 61 sand bass, 256 sculpin, 201 sheephead, 124 skipjack tuna, 909 whitefish, 87 yellowfin tuna, and 1,268 yellowtail.

Saltwater: The week began slow for the fleet as blustery winds created high seas and kept many vessels at the dock Monday through Wednesday. As the brief stoppage kept most of the fleet safely in their slips, many anglers wondered if the turbulent conditions would drive the bluefin away from the banks west of San Clemente Island. By Thursday that theory was tested, and though the wind-stirred green water at the surface pushed the bluefin deeper in the water column and slowed their bite, the fish are still there. In recent years, bluefin tuna have been in the area west of San Clemente Island through fall and into winter months, but as weather makes its seasonal change, more boats will begin to concentrate on the Baja coast south to provide the best odds of catching for their passengers.

That said, the possibility of catching cow bluefin tuna to over 300 pounds is still drawing a few boats to the Cortez and Tanner banks in spite of the often-iffy bite, though when the big tunas don’t want to play there is excellent bottom fishing, and lately bruiser yellowtail up to and over 50 pounds have been caught in the area. As long as there is action and a chance at a trophy bluefin, there will be at least a few overnight to 3-day trips available that will be heading that way. For those wishing to target yellowfin, yellowtail, and dorado, booking a 1-to-3-day trip with boats fishing south from the Coronado Islands and banks outside down to the high spots 25 miles due west of San Quintin is the best bet. As always, and especially as seasons turn, check with the landings for areas and species targeted when booking.

Further south, the 2021 Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore tournament was held October 14 through October 17, with a record 187 boats entered to compete for a part of the 1.9 million dollars in total cash and prizes. As of this writing there has been no official winners announced, though based on live reports, a 319-pound black marlin caught by angler Ron Kawaja on Team Pelagic is the projected overall billfish category winner with a payout of $76,167.00. A 179-pound yellowfin tuna boated by angler Davis Ahn of team Chinito Bonito is expected to take top honors in the tuna category with a payout of $39,060.00 and an additional $56,950.00 for the daily largest gamefish category for tuna.

With several categories including daily jackpots and gamefish divisions, the payouts add up. Team Pelagic also scored on the $500, $1,000, and $2,000 daily jackpots with added winnings of $65,025.00, $114,750.00, and $193,800.00, respectively, bringing their tournament total winnings to $449,742.00. Though they missed out on and additional $327,250.00 by not entering the $5,000.00 daily jackpot, that’s a pretty good hit for a nearly across the board entry fee of $17,500.00.

In the Los Cabos Offshore tournament, black and blue marlin can only be kept for weigh-in if 300 pounds or larger, those under 300 pounds and other billfish including striped marlin, sailfish, and spearfish must be released. A released black or blue marlin count in the release category of the tournament and are worth 300 points each. Other billfish count as 100 points. Two teams, Quiteña and Pura Vida, are leading in the release category with 900 points each. Team Quiteña released two blue marlin and three striped marlin, while team Pura Vida released one blue marlin, one sailfish, and five striped marlin. Though they had an equal number of points, team Quinteña took first in the release category with their two 300-point blue marlin besting Pura Vida’s one blue marlin. That difference earned team Quinteña $89,505.00, while Pura Vida collected $30,982.50. Team Game Plan took third place in the release category winning $17,212.50.

With the recent passing of hurricane Pamela, ocean conditions were expected to be sketchy for marlin fishing during the tournament. That prediction did not bear out for marlin, though dorado and tuna fishing was a bit slow even though hurricanes and added debris can up the action on those species. All in all, it was a good two days fishing and another successful Bisbee’s tournament in the books. The total count of fish caught during the tournament was 3 black marlin, 43 blue marlin, 41 striped marlin, 19 sailfish, 16 dorado, and 4 yellowfin tuna.

Fish Plants: None scheduled

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Team Chinito Bonito with their $96,010 yellowfin tuna caught during the Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore tournament.
Team Chinito Bonito with their $96,010 yellowfin tuna caught during the Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore tournament.

Dock Totals 10/10 – 10/16: 2,325 anglers aboard 121 trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 168 bluefin tuna (up to 194 pounds), 95 bonito, 241 calico bass (80 released), 256 dorado, 9 lingcod, 146 lobster (84 released), 8 rock crab, 3,197 rockfish, 61 sand bass, 256 sculpin, 201 sheephead, 124 skipjack tuna, 909 whitefish, 87 yellowfin tuna, and 1,268 yellowtail.

Saltwater: The week began slow for the fleet as blustery winds created high seas and kept many vessels at the dock Monday through Wednesday. As the brief stoppage kept most of the fleet safely in their slips, many anglers wondered if the turbulent conditions would drive the bluefin away from the banks west of San Clemente Island. By Thursday that theory was tested, and though the wind-stirred green water at the surface pushed the bluefin deeper in the water column and slowed their bite, the fish are still there. In recent years, bluefin tuna have been in the area west of San Clemente Island through fall and into winter months, but as weather makes its seasonal change, more boats will begin to concentrate on the Baja coast south to provide the best odds of catching for their passengers.

That said, the possibility of catching cow bluefin tuna to over 300 pounds is still drawing a few boats to the Cortez and Tanner banks in spite of the often-iffy bite, though when the big tunas don’t want to play there is excellent bottom fishing, and lately bruiser yellowtail up to and over 50 pounds have been caught in the area. As long as there is action and a chance at a trophy bluefin, there will be at least a few overnight to 3-day trips available that will be heading that way. For those wishing to target yellowfin, yellowtail, and dorado, booking a 1-to-3-day trip with boats fishing south from the Coronado Islands and banks outside down to the high spots 25 miles due west of San Quintin is the best bet. As always, and especially as seasons turn, check with the landings for areas and species targeted when booking.

Further south, the 2021 Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore tournament was held October 14 through October 17, with a record 187 boats entered to compete for a part of the 1.9 million dollars in total cash and prizes. As of this writing there has been no official winners announced, though based on live reports, a 319-pound black marlin caught by angler Ron Kawaja on Team Pelagic is the projected overall billfish category winner with a payout of $76,167.00. A 179-pound yellowfin tuna boated by angler Davis Ahn of team Chinito Bonito is expected to take top honors in the tuna category with a payout of $39,060.00 and an additional $56,950.00 for the daily largest gamefish category for tuna.

With several categories including daily jackpots and gamefish divisions, the payouts add up. Team Pelagic also scored on the $500, $1,000, and $2,000 daily jackpots with added winnings of $65,025.00, $114,750.00, and $193,800.00, respectively, bringing their tournament total winnings to $449,742.00. Though they missed out on and additional $327,250.00 by not entering the $5,000.00 daily jackpot, that’s a pretty good hit for a nearly across the board entry fee of $17,500.00.

In the Los Cabos Offshore tournament, black and blue marlin can only be kept for weigh-in if 300 pounds or larger, those under 300 pounds and other billfish including striped marlin, sailfish, and spearfish must be released. A released black or blue marlin count in the release category of the tournament and are worth 300 points each. Other billfish count as 100 points. Two teams, Quiteña and Pura Vida, are leading in the release category with 900 points each. Team Quiteña released two blue marlin and three striped marlin, while team Pura Vida released one blue marlin, one sailfish, and five striped marlin. Though they had an equal number of points, team Quinteña took first in the release category with their two 300-point blue marlin besting Pura Vida’s one blue marlin. That difference earned team Quinteña $89,505.00, while Pura Vida collected $30,982.50. Team Game Plan took third place in the release category winning $17,212.50.

With the recent passing of hurricane Pamela, ocean conditions were expected to be sketchy for marlin fishing during the tournament. That prediction did not bear out for marlin, though dorado and tuna fishing was a bit slow even though hurricanes and added debris can up the action on those species. All in all, it was a good two days fishing and another successful Bisbee’s tournament in the books. The total count of fish caught during the tournament was 3 black marlin, 43 blue marlin, 41 striped marlin, 19 sailfish, 16 dorado, and 4 yellowfin tuna.

Fish Plants: None scheduled

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