The third and final day of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament stated out with great expectations because there were two tides to fish during tournament hours and a double daily Marlin Jackpot was up for grabs since no qualifying marlin came to the scales on day two. Because no dorado over the minimum weight was weighed on the first two days of fishing, a qualifying dorado would mean a triple daily for one lucky team. The bite was consistent as teams called in releases from the start. Team Bandit, the 2009 champion, hooked up early and subsequently boated a nice blue marlin at 8:49 a.m. for angler Rich Hamilton. The team elected to keep fishing until lines out in hopes of releasing more billfish and perhaps catching a daily game-fish winner. Team Rum Runnin from Indiana hooked up at 11:15 a.m. to a nice fish for first-time tournament angler Jason Pruden. After a long, hard two-hour fight, the 22-year-old angler had the fish alongside, with the captain making the call to boat the blue marlin. Then the hookup call came from Team Fisher Man, who were leading the tournament and trying to add to their points and winnings. The team elected to boat the black marlin caught by Hugo Pino and fish toward home until lines out.
Team Alure put up some great release numbers on day three, catching two blue marlin and one striped, earning them the Day 3 Release Jackpot and third-place billfish release Team. Team Hang Em High continued their consistency in the release division, adding three striped marlin and two sailfish releases to their five striped marlin releases on day two, taking the second-place billfish release team honors. Team Game On was ultimately the most consistent billfish team of the tournament, catching five striped marlin on day one, one sailfish on day two and two striped and one blue marlin on the final day for a total of 1,300 points, earning them the billfish release point team win.
With three marlin coming to the scales and over $100,000 in the balance, hundreds of spectators looked on as the drama unfolded, with tournament director Dan Jacobs carefully weighing each fish. The first team to the scales was Rum Runnin, with a blue marlin that ultimately weighed 465 pounds. Their fish put them in third place and gave them the lead in the Level One Daily Marlin Jackpot. Next to go to the scales was FisherMan, who led the tournament with their first day’s 713 black marlin. Team Rum Runnin’s hopes for a daily were soon dashed when team FisherMan’s fish weighed just 1 pound heavier, at 466 pounds. The additional marlin gave team FisherMan 1,179 points, securing fist place and the lead in Levels 1-4 Daily Marlin Jackpot. Now both teams had to sweat it out as team Bandit backed into the dock with a nice blue marlin. Team Bandit was across the board, so a fish over 466 pounds would mean third place and all the marlin dailies. But it was not in the cards for the 2009 champions, as their fish fell just 4 pounds shy, coming in at 463 pounds.
In the Tuna/Wahoo/Dorado jackpots, team Blue Marlin shone with a 125.6-pound tuna, earning them the daily jackpot. Team High Risk took their second wahoo daily with a 41-pounder. Team Bull Rider managed a 41.6-pound dorado to take the triple daily. Angler and team captain Rick Twamley commented at the scales, “It was a great day to catch a nice dorado.”
The awards banquet took place at the luxurious Playa Grande beach-side terrace. Participants enjoyed filet mignon and lobster, incredible door prizes, amazing raffle items, a slide show and the always popular awards video. The fishing was fantastic, with the tournament posting a record 713-pound black marlin, a 466-pound black, and 629-, 465- and 463-pound blue marlin. The fleet presented video of 60 billfish caught and released. The final results are as follows:
Day 1 Tuna Jackpot Retriever angler Martha Macnab 123.1 pounds wins $4,347.50 Captain Tony Araiza, mate Omar Araiza
Day 2 Tuna Jackpot Santi I angler John Truschke 209 pounds wins $4,347.50. Captain Victor Salzar
Day 1 and Day 3 Wahoo Jackpots High Risk angler Jorge Jain 52.1 pounds, 41 pounds wins $8,695. Captain Charlie Aboroa, mate Hernando Gonzales
Day 2 Wahoo Jackpot Chupacabra angler Clay Hensley 50.9 pounds wins $4,347.50. Captain Jesse Scarborough, mate Robert Cline
Dorado Daily Jackpot Day 1-3 Bull Rider 41-pound dorado caught by
team representative Rick Twamley $13,043.25 Captain Fransisco Ruiz
Day 3 Tuna Jackpot Blue Marlin angler Bill Illidge 125.6 pounds wins $4,347.50
Day 1 Release Jackpot wins $5,197.50 total winnings $9,545.25
Captain Luis Olascoaga, mate Salvador Benitez, anglers Tom Illidge, Ed Marriott, Don Pacoud
Day 2 Release Jackpot Incognito team representative Randy Hinton, Captain Jamie Gonzalez wins $5,197.50 Anglers Victor Flores, Gabael Cesena, Luis Arballo
Day 3 Release Jackpot Alure wins $5,197.50
Third Place Billfish Release points team Allure wins $3,700. Total winnings $8,897.50 Team representative Greg Grosch, Captain Jeff Gaebel, mate Chad Herren, anglers Russ Armstrong, Steve Spina, Jose Ojeda and Jeff Gaebel.
Second Place Release Points Team Hang Em High wins $5,550. Team representative Chip Wagner, Captain Ramon Agundez, mate Dago Agundez, teammates Albert Connell, Andrew Lack and Eddie Kopplow
First Place Release Points Team and Early Registration Prize Game On wins IsatPhone Pro from Mackay Communications and $9,250. Team representative and Captain Robert Gebo, mate Christine Gebo, teammates Esteban Morales, Fabian Sanchez, Richard Goodall
Second Place Team with 629 points Sneak Attack wins $27,750, Largest Blue 629 pounds wins $9,250, Half of Striped Marlin $4,625, Winner Take All Marlin Jackpot $59,400. Sneak Attack total winnings $101,025. Team representative Dan Rosenthal, Captain Sammy Talbert, mate Eduardo Angeles. Teammates Shawn Gutterson, Dan Stewart, Bo Jenyns
Third Place Team with 465 points Rum Runnin angler Jason Pruden 465-pound blue marlin wins $18,500. Team representative Joe Assenza, Captain Javier Ceseno, mate Jesus Romero, teammates Randy Pruden, Darrell Pruden, David Herrmann
First Place Team FisherMan with 1,179 points from a tournament record 713-pound black, angler Daniel Fisher, and 466-pound black, angler Hugo Pino, wins $46,250, Largest Black $9,250, Half of Largest Stripe $4,625, Level 1-4 Daily Marlin Jackpots $144,639. Team FisherMan total winnings $204,764. Team representative Daniel Fisher, Captain Alfredo Sanchez, mate Chato Cortez, teammates Esaul Valdez, Carlos Bloch, Hugo Pino, Agustin Pino, Oscar Daccarett, Rafal Garcia. Invitation to the IGFA Offshore World Championship