Mi Corazon Tops the Fleet at Bisbee’s East Cape

The winning marlin was worth over $258,000

2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
Live-baiting paid off handsomely for Andrew Hughes and the Mi Corazon team, big winners in East Cape.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com

Once a year, the sleepy fishing village of East Cape, Mexico, comes alive with participants from across the planet vying for a top spot in the popular Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tournament. Located about 50 miles from Cabo San Lucas on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, East Cape offers outstanding marlin fishing in the Sea of Cortez.

This year's tournament would fall to a past winner, Andrew Hughes, and his team on Mi Corazon. Hughes had won previously in 2006 and placed second in the 2009 tournament, so he used that knowledge to put his team in position for another big win this year.

Knowing that big marlin prefer large live baits, he chose to slow-troll a skipjack about 5 miles off a well-known landmark: the lighthouse at Punta Arena. After an hour’s fight, they had their 437-pound black marlin in the boat. As the largest marlin of the tournament, the fish netted his team a total of $258,683 in prize money.

Several other teams also had a great tournament at East Cape, with Retriever winning top release team and others taking home big checks in the dorado (mahimahi) and tuna categories. In all, over $500,000 in prize money was distributed in this year's event.

2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
Retriever was the top release team.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
Red Hot placed second in the tournament standings.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
The dorado jackpots were considerable.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
The golden rule of tournament jackpots: you can't win it if you aren't in it.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
An East Cape sunrise greets the anglers as they board their boats.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
The tournament's shotgun start provided an impressive sight from the hills overlooking the beach.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
A Viking roars to the front of the pack.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
Participating teams had good fishing for marlin and tuna throughout the tournament.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com
2017 bisbees east cape offshore tournament
The awards dinner on the beach was spectacular.Courtesy Gary Graham / garycgraham.com