9. Los Cabos Billfish Tournament
In 2008, the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament celebrated its 10th year, and while that event proved memorable for a host of reasons, tournament director Dan Jacobs says the first event was still one of his favorites.
"In the first year, we ran the event in November, which at the time was considered late in the season," Jacobs says. "Any doubts about big fish for a November tournament were squashed by Anthony Hsieh and Tracy Melton of Bad Company with a first-day blue doubleheader of 645 and 397 pounds."
The tournament also put in place a release system that initially brought some complaints. "We took some heat at the captains meeting regarding the release division and camera system," Jacobs says. "One guy stood up and yelled, 'Why don't you get rid of this BS release division!' We provided instant cameras like Polaroids for the releases, which are way more difficult than today's video systems. By the end of the event, everyone was talking about how well the release division went, and the heckler hasn't missed a single year of the tournament."
At last year's Los Cabos, The Billfish Foundation presented an economic impact study showing that sport fishing in Cabo represents more than $1 billion in economic impact and employs some 24,000 workers. With numbers like that, it's no surprise this event continues to grow.
? Est. 1999 with $150,000 in prize money
? Biggest cash purse: $850,000 in 2007
? 2008 Payout: $700,000
? Single-largest payout to an angler or team: $529,000 to Team Karma in 2008
? Number of boats/teams in 2008: 53
? Largest number of teams: 70 in 2007
? Location: Playa Grande Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
? 2009 Dates: October 13-17
? 2009 Entry fees: $5,000 base entry, $16,500 all in
? Contact: Dan Jacobs, 407-571-4680; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.loscabosbillfishtournament.com