1. Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Jackpot
When looking at the top big-money tournaments in the world, the Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Jackpot held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, certainly holds the most firsts of any other event. The Bisbee was the first tourney to give away a $1 million prize for a single fish, the first to give away a $2 million prize for a single fish, the first to give away more than $3 million to one team and the only billfish tournament to ever give out more than $4 million in prize money. In terms of dollar bills, it doesn't get any bigger than the Bisbee's.
The world's richest tournament started out simply enough, with just six boats slapping down $2,000 each in 1982. The event grew quickly thereafter, and over the years, the Bisbee's has seen some monster fish and monster pots, but for director Wayne Bisbee, the most memorable event took place in 1990. That year, actor Willie Aames (Eight is Enough and Charles in Charge) brought in the winning fish after an epic 21-hour battle on the last day of the event.
"We had to reschedule the awards banquet for 800 people since he was still hooked up," Bisbee says. "It was quite a chaotic scene when he came in the next morning - the day after the tournament ended. That event caused us to make a lot of changes in our tournament format."
Come October, you can bet that the world's best crews will descend on Cabo, double-check all their knots, sharpen their hooks and hope to cash in on what could easily be Bisbee's biggest pot ever up for grabs.
? Est. 1982
? Biggest cash purse to date: $4,165,960 in 2006
? 2008 Payout: $3,272,720 with 144 teams
? Single-largest payout to an angler or team: $3.9 million to Team Bad Company in 2006 (largest prize ever awarded in a billfish tournament)
? Largest number of boats: 239 in 2000
? 2009 Entry fees: $5,000 base entry, $63,100 all in
? 2009 Dates: October 20-24
? Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
? Contact: Wayne Bisbee, 214-557-8108; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bisbees.com