Reel Gold Wins Los Cabos Billfish Tournament

Catching a black marlin on Day Two reverses fortune for Capt. Roberto Marquez’s crew

black marlin at scales
A four-hour battle with a 347-pound black marlin ended up being a fight worth fighting for the Reel Gold team. That was the winning catch of the 2017 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament.Michelle Makmann

The Reel Gold team's start to the 2017 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament was about as bad as it can get.

The ending was the complete opposite for Capt. Roberto Marquez and his crew.

Despite an early injury to one of the team’s members, the crew caught one of the two qualifying marlin weighed during the offshore fishing tournament and won first place overall — and the largest payout.

Angler Jon Crawford suffered a quad muscle tear on Day One. Despite the early setback, angler Murray Wright hooked a 347-pound black marlin on Day Two and the crew boated the fish after an epic four-hour fight. With an all-in entry, the team won $203,760.

Wild Hooker fishing team
There were two qualifying billfish — weighing more than 300 pounds — from the tournament. The Wild Hooker team caught the second, a 303-pound black marlin.Michelle Makmann

The Wild Hooker team caught the other qualifying billfish, a 303-pound black marlin, to finish second overall. Angler Allen Stuart hooked the fish and Capt. Shane O'Brien made the correct call in bringing it into the boat, as the fish exceeded the 300-pound minimum weight by 3 pounds.

Alone with second place overall and second in the Largest Marlin Jackpot, that catch won the Day One jackpot, bringing the payout to $169,140.

Fish Tank fishing team
Capt. Ben Horning's Fish Tank team won the release division entirely from the second and third days, when the crew released eight blue marlin and one striped marlin.Michelle Makmann

The Fish Tank team won the release category by scoring 4,100 points from eight blue marlin and one striped marlin. On Day Three alone, Capt. Ben Horning's crew released five blues and one striped marlin. With victories in two daily release jackpots, plus a third-place finish overall due to only two weighed fish, the team left Los Cabos with $75,900.

Reel Gold fishing team
Despite an quad muscle tear on Day One to Reel Gold angler Jon Crawford, his teammates came through on Day Two with a black marlin and left the tournament with more than $200,000 in winnings.Michelle Makmann
Chupacabra fishing team
The Chupacabra team celebrates a second-place finish in the tournament's base-entry release division and the overall release jackpot category. The crew won $18,270.Michelle Makmann
Expedition fishing team
The Expedition crew is all smiles after a third-place finish in the base-entry release points category, earning the team $12,000.Michelle Makmann

The 43-team field competed for a piece of tournament’s $534,600 purse. The anglers released 102 billfish, including 61 blue marlin, 31 striped marlin, six black marlin, three sailfish and one short-bill spearfish fishing off Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Los Cabos Marinas.