The early bird gets the worm, and Team Reel Energy’s catch of a 419-pound black marlin on the first day of fishing held on to take First Place Team honors, and three out of four Day One Marlin Jackpots in the 17th Annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament.
The black marlin earned Reel Energy an $113,175 payday. The team was led by owners Brian and Tawnie Walley from Canada, Captain Horace Barge, Bob Hoose, Jimmy Decker and Luis Zumaeta. Wally who has fished the LCBT many times was the lucky angler on the fish earning his first tourney victory, first black marlin and largest personal catch to date. Captain Horace Barge has now been in the winner’s circle at the LCBT as both an angler on a winning fish, and as a Top Captain of a winning boat. Team Reel Energy will represent the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament in the 2016 Offshore World Championship.
While Second-Place Team El Suertudo may not have caught the biggest fish, it earned the biggest payday by far due to the team’s all-in status. Californian Bruce McDonald’s 312-pound blue, late on Day Two held on to sweep all three places in the Largest Marlin Division, all the Day Two Marlin Daily’s, and Second-place Team monies, for a grand total of $216,675. Team El Suertudo consisted of Capt. Greg DeStefano, mate Oswaldo Ortega, owner Guy Yocum, anglers Bruce McDonald, Gary Mason, Dylan McDonald and Darin Antin.
The Third-Place Team Trophy went to the team that earned the most billfish release points over the three-day event. Team Reel Gold released 13 billfish with seven stripes and six sails in the mix to take that Third-Place Overall trophy. Their consistency over the three days earned the team First Place Overall Releases, as well and a Day Two Release Jackpot bringing their grand total of cash winnings to $44,700. Team Reel Gold consisted of Captain Javier Kuby Garcia team members Richard Matson, Chris Turk, Jason Snyder and Murray Wright.
Team Bob Marlin, consisting of Capt. Alden Beroki, mate Ezequiel Cervantes anglers Salvador Benitez from Cabo San Lucas, and Californians Bart and Diane Sue Scofield, took Second-Place Release honors by releasing three sails and nine stripes. Team Bob Marlin also won a double Wahoo Daily Jackpot with a 47.8 pound fish on the final day to win $20,250. Team Caliente, consisting of Canadians Bob Dales, Gordon Salomons, Shaun Wedick and Graeme Dales took Day One Daily Tuna Jackpot of $7,425 when Shaun caught a nice yellowfin tuna weighing 160 pounds. Team La Brisa’s secured the $7,425 Day Two Daily Tuna Jackpot after an epic 5 hour battle on 40-pound test line besting a 180-pound yellowin tuna. The team included Capt. Ray Winkler mate Fernando Noyola, anglers Frank Bono, Wayne Winter, Mark Poland, Rey Winkler, Fernando Noyola and Marshall Mikula.
Team Santi 1 secured their spot on the board by boating a big tuna on Day 3 to take the Tuna Daily. John Truschke of Boynton Beach, Florida caught a 101.5-pound yellowin to edge out his teammate, Henry Swain, who caught a 93.1-pounder on the same day. Bob Donoffio made up the third member of the Santi team. Truschke’s tuna earned the team $7,425.
El Chupacabra weighed in a wahoo on Day One with Ty Oliver’s 35.4-pound fish earing the Daily Wahoo money of $7.425. The team consisted of Captain Jesse Scarborough, Roy Oliver, Ty Oliver, Bobby Cline, Ran Oliver, Esteban Marron and Raul Marron.
On Day One, Team Tranquilo distanced themselves from the pack, catching four striped marlin winning the Day One Release Jackpot. Team Tranquilo won Third-Place Release Team as well by catching four stripers, two sails and a blue over the three-day event. This performance earned the team, which consisted of Michael Morreti, Wendy Hood, Robbie Hood, Amanda Coffer, Ken Coffer and Daniel Arreto, a $12,300 payday.
Team Reel Quest fought off the pack on Day Three, catching almost all their fish on the last day. The team caught one blue and two stripes to take home the Day three Release Day Jackpot, earning a check for $8,700.
Overall the 37-team fleet with 208 anglers caught 138 billfish, consisting of eight blues, one black, 101 stripes and 28 sails. A total of $445,500 was awarded to the winning teams plus King Sailfish Mounts Trophies, Furuno Chart Plotter’s, Costa Sunglasses, Penn Reels, Yeti Coolers, Accurate Reels, Carey Chen Artwork, Shimano Reels, AFTCO Rod Belts, Gaff’s, Gloves and Champion Team Apparel. The event finished with a surf and turf awards dinner at the beautiful Playa Grande Beach Resort. A fun time was had by all.