The only free-entry fishing tournament in the Baja kicked off with a fleet of 105 boats leaving from three different ports; Cabo San Lucas, East Cape and San Jose. While weather conditions couldn’t be better in Cabo and San Jose, a gusty breeze kept most boats at the dock up on the East Cape.
Tournament director Dan Jacobs called for lines in promptly at 7:00 a.m. and the boats headed out to fish until 2:30 p.m. While the conditions were close to perfect on the Pacific side, a good breeze put a sizable chop on the Sea of Cortez. The fishing, however, was a little slow for those anglers targeting tuna or wahoo. Several boats reported marlin releases, but only one angler managed to weigh any tuna for the entire fleet. Since there are no minimum weights each day, Jon Schmidt from Austin, Texas swept the tuna category with a surprising stringer of tuna. Schmidt’s first-place yellowfin tuna weighed a whopping 8.2-pounds and earned $2,333.34!
Schmidt wasn’t planning on taking the tuna to the scales, until he heard tournament director Dan Jacobs’ call out over the radio that no tuna had been weighed. His other two monsters, an 8-pounder and a 7.4-pounder, which brought his total to $5,000, since all of the wahoo and marlin money from Day One spilled into the tuna and dorado categories.
Anglers found plenty of dorado biting offshore on the Pacific side and longtime Cabo angler, Marlin University alumni and raffle winner, Joe Assenza from Evansville Indian, brought his wife Karen down to fish the tournament for the third time. Karen Assenza’s 25.1-pound dorado took first-place honors and a check for $2,333.34.
Caleb Jobe from Denham Springs, Louisiana, also had a lucky lady aboard the Reel Rum; he caught a 22.7-pound dorado that earned a check for $1,433.33 while his wife, Stefanie Jobe, took the third-place prize of $1,233.33 for a 22.2-pounder of her own. Not a bad pay day for the price of a Cabo charter boat.
Over 300 anglers left the docks on Day Two to get things rolling. You can still register for the final two days by visiting www.loscabostournaments.com or on site at all weigh-in locations.