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Cabo’s Upcoming Fishing Tournaments

September 18, 2020

It’s not nicknamed “Marlin Alley” for nothing. Situated at the tip of the Baja Peninsula at the place where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, Los Cabos is a legendary deep-sea fishing mecca. The fall season, when marlin fishing is at its best, produces the biggest catches (and the biggest jackpots).

Despite the pandemic, the show goes on. In addition to one independent event, the two biggest tournaments are headlined by Bisbee’s, a family-run series of high-stakes fishing jamborees that attract serious deep-sea anglers from around the world. The original Black & Blue Marlin Tournament (see below) was founded in 1981 by Bob Bisbee, a renowned fisherman, conservationist and philanthropist who thought it might be fun to organize an informal competition for his fellow fishing enthusiasts.

Anticipation is keen for the three top-tier Cabo fishing tournaments scheduled for next month. In August, 72 teams competed in Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore event for a record jackpot of more than $1,100,000. In addition, the winner reeled in the largest blue marlin ever caught in the 21-year history of the East Cape Offshore.

For anglers planning to participate in the upcoming events, NOW is the time to submit your entry fee. In years past, anglers and non-anglers alike would take part in round-the-clock revelry during the tournaments, but COVID-19 has put the kibosh on rampant partying this year.

In calendar order, here’s a brief review of the events, each of which is co-sponsored by the Los Cabos Tourism Board.

1. Los Cabos Billfish Tournament. Slated for Oct. 11 – 15, this highly-anticipated tournament, now in its 22nd year, marks the first major offshore event of the fall season. The tourney doesn’t pack the punch of the Bisbee’s gatherings, but it’s a well-run tournament and usually produces some major catches. Eligible pelagic species include blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, sailfish, spearfish, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, wahoo and dorado. The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament generally records upwards of 150 billfish catches over three days of competitive fishing.

2. Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore Charity Tournament. Any fishing tournament with “Bisbee’s” in the name is a big deal in gamefish circles. Scheduled for Oct. 15 - 18, the “Little Bisbee’s,” as it’s known, would be the talk of the town were it not a warm-up act for the biggest and most celebrated fishing tournament on the planet. The final night awards ceremony at Maria Corona, a landmark restaurant in downtown Cabo San Lucas, has traditionally been a lively occasion, though the festivities will be toned down this year due to social distancing protocols.

3. Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament. The Big Show. Brimming with cash and prestige. Billed as “five days of organized chaos full of hard-core excitement.” A world-class event that ardent fishermen dream of winning. Slated for Oct. 20 – 24, Bisbee’s Black & Blue has been contested in the nutrient-rich waters of Los Cabos for nearly four decades. Since its debut, its international reputation has spread across the globe. Bisbee’s Black & Blue has grown from six teams with a purse of $10,000 to more than 150 teams with millions of dollars on the line. In 2006, the tournament had its biggest overall cash payout of $4,165,960. This was, and remains, the largest payout in sport fishing history. Will this year’s jackpot break the record? Anglers and observers will find out at the conclusion of the tournament. Starting at 2:00 p.m., the weigh station in front of the Puerto Paraiso Entertainment Plaza on the Cabo San Lucas marina is a great place to evaluate the catch (at a safe social distance) during this one-of-a-kind event.

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