Record Striped Marlin Fishing in 2023 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament

The Daddy Rabbit team turns in an epic performance with 140 releases in three days
Aerial view of a fleet of sport-fishing boats leaving out for a day on the water.
Day One shotgun start from the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Courtesy LCBT / Out Your Front Door

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The 25th anniversary running of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament showcased a historic striped marlin bite. Over three exhilarating days, the tournament record for billfish releases was shattered as 42 teams released a staggering total of 583 striped marlin, seven blue marlin and three sailfish. This number nearly quadrupled the previous tournament release record of 150 in 2018.

The record-setting performance came as developing Hurricane Norma took aim at the Los Cabos region, and despite permitting challenges that threatened to disrupt the scheduled kickoff of the tournament. However, thanks to an upwelling of local support in the weeks before kickoff, and to the resilience of the Los Cabos fishing teams, the tournament went off without a hitch and delivered an epic bite that served as a strong reminder of why the Los Cabos region remains one of the world’s premier billfish destinations.

The team fishing aboard The Daddy Rabbit, a 58-foot Viking from the Channel Islands, California, emerged victorious as the 2023 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament champions. Under the skilled leadership of owner-angler Dennis Hood and Capt. Angel Agundez Sandez, the formidable team, consisting of Adrian Covarrubias, Guillermo Gonzalez, Ezequiel Orias and Ramon Sandez Agundez, exhibited exceptional angling prowess by releasing a remarkable total of 140 striped marlin. Their outstanding performance not only secured them the champion’s trophy and the top captain trophy, but it also earned them a substantial prize of $86,550. Additionally, their triumph came with the honor of an invitation to compete in the 2024 Offshore World Championship.

Team The Daddy Rabbit celebrating at the 2023 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament awards ceremony.
Team The Daddy Rabbit, first place. Courtesy LCBT / Out Your Front Door

Second place went to the team fishing on Let’s Go, who released an impressive total of 130 striped marlin aboard their 42-foot Freeman. Colin Sutton, Patrick Morey, TJ Jaworsky, Troy Mathers, Capt. Alan Araiza Flores and Capt. Alan Eduardo Araiza Castro worked the electric bite on their center-console in a steady rotation—hookup, leader, release, and the next angler is already hooked up, ready for the next leader touch. Let’s Go took home the second-place trophy and a combined check for $74,430.

Home-ported in Cabo San Lucas, the team on Meshuga Fish secured third-place honors fishing aboard their 68-foot Viking. Led by Capt. Jeffrey Stolarz, the team of Steve Hilton, Scott Ward, Scott Curtis, CP Drewett, Ryan VanderKooy, Lawrence Joseph Aliseo III and Hunter Barrett released 110 striped marlin and one blue marlin to take home the third-place trophy and a combined check for $57,120.

Gamefish kept the IGY marina weigh station busy with Bill Collector, Feeling Azul, The Magnetic, Cloud 9, Game On, Riverbottom Nightmare Band, Sauced Bosses and Overtime all collecting payouts in the tuna, dolphin and wahoo categories.

Team Let's Go celebrating at the 2023 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament awards ceremony.
Let’s Go took home second place. Courtesy LCBT / Out Your Front Door

However, with no qualifying blue or black marlin weighed, six jackpot categories of the $754,945 purse went unclaimed and teams were refunded accordingly. Total payout this year was $290,550 for billfish release and gamefish categories. Teams also raised more than $4,000 for the Solmar Foundation, a nonprofit organization that lends a helping hand to the members of the local Mexican community who need it most.

The awards dinner took place at the Playa Grande Resort’s beachfront terrace, where participants were treated to a full mariachi band and a four-course filet mignon and lobster dinner.

Team Meshuga Fish celebrating at the 2023 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament.
Meshuga Fish landed in third place. Courtesy LCBT / Out Your Front Door

The 2023 edition of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, owned by Los Cabos Tourism and operated by the publisher of Marlin magazine since its inception 25 years ago, proved to be a test of wills, but it was also a celebration of the enduring spirit of competitive sport fishing. The teams that competed this year kept pace with a hookup frequency previously unheard of, keeping the radio committee vigilant and the final results in question until each and every billfish release was verified by an exhausted video review team.
This year’s running also represented a refresh of sorts, with tournament director Jennifer Dudas taking the reins and receiving strong local support from Charo Bulnes of Solmar Hotels and Resorts, tournament facilitator Clicerio Mercado, Los Cabos Tourism, the Los Cabos Hotel Association and Darren Carey of IGY Marina.

With the renewal of a long-term agreement between Marlin and Los Cabos Tourism in place, the permits for 2024 have been secured and planning is well underway for this year’s running of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, scheduled for October 8 to 12. Be a part of what is sure to be the biggest fleet and payout to date by registering early at

Other teams who made the stage to take home cash and prizes included:

  • Team Bill Collector — $25,275 for Day One Daily Billfish Release Jackpot and Day Two Heaviest Dorado (tie)
  • Feeling Azul — $11,100 for Day One Heaviest Tuna and Day One Heaviest Wahoo
  • The Magnetic — $11,100 for Day Three Heaviest Wahoo
  • Cloud 9 — $5,550 for Day Three Heaviest Dorado
  • Game On — $5,550 for Day Three Heaviest Tuna
  • Riverbottom Nightmare Band — $5,550 for Day One Heaviest Dorado
  • Sauced Bosses — $5,550 for Day Two Heaviest Tuna
  • Overtime — $2,775 for Day Two Heaviest Dorado (tie)

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