Cabo Fishing Tournament Nets First Timer $2.4 Million - News

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Fishing in Cabo San Lucas, anglers can very often get lucky - but not as lucky as angler Dave Sanchez who fished the Bisbees Black & Blue tournament for the first time and scooped a cool $2.4 million with the one that didn't get away.

What started out in 1980 as a small marlin fishing tournament in Cabo San Lucas founded by Bob Bisbee and a handful of friends, that offered the six participating teams a share of the humble $10,000 winnings, has grown into the richest sports fishing tournament in the world. This year, 107 teams from across the globe were competing for a chance at claiming millions of dollars for bringing in the catch of the day, and on October 25, Team Frantic Pace with a 465 pound Blue marlin caught by angler Dave Sanchez of Kansas City, Missouri, landed a cool $1.425 million.

During 3 days of the 32nd annual Bisbees Black and Blue Tournament competition, teams had an opportunity to cash in on the big money by hauling in a marlin in excess of 300 lbs. When no team was able to bring in a qualifying fish on the first day, the $ 700,000 offered for the catch of the day, rolled over to day 2 where Team Frantic Pace staked their claim to it with their massive 465 pound marlin. That earned the first-timers for the Bisbees the second biggest pay-out in Bisbees history.

And because Sanchez and his team aboard Frantic Pace were entered in all cash categories, they finished by taking a whopping $2.396 million for their fish. A total of $2.475 million was up for grabs in this year’s tournament with Frantic Pace claiming nearly all of it. The amount won by Sanchez and Frantic Pace is the largest winning purse since the 2006 cash payout of nearly $4.2 million which remains the largest earnings in sports fishing lore.

“We had a lot of fun, it was a great team effort and I’m just glad we ran across that fish. We found one, caught it and as luck would have it, that was all it took.” Dave Sanchez told the people from Bisbees website.

The youtube video of the Dave Sanchez/Frantic Pace marlin has accumulated 229, 284 views/hits while other videos covering other catches of the day only have been seen by 80 and 120 viewers giving credence that while the Bisbee Black and Blue Tournament has been termed the Super Bowl of Billfishing by Sports Illustrated, the Frantic Pace 465 lb fish is this year's highlight.

What can be a tad confusing to regular tourists and visitors arriving in Cabo unaware of the historic competition is that two sportsfishing events occur right after the other, with the Los Cabos Offshore Tournament ending just days before the Black and Blue Tournament begins. The Los Cabos Offshore Tournament is often thought of as “Little Bisbee’s” while the Black and Blue Marlin Tournament is considered the "Grand Daddy" of them all .

Captain Hercules Marsella of Coral Springs, Florida and fellow Frantic Pace ship mates, Josh Temple and Tony Berkowitz were all recipients of the big win with Top Tournament, Top Jackpot and all Daily Jackpot categories after no other marlin weighing more than the 300 pound minimum were brought in or recorded after the 3 tournament days from the more than 740 anglers aboard 107 boats which competed in the 2012 event.

“Part of the appeal of the Black & Blue is the chance to win a really big check and this year that honor goes to the Frantic Pace team. Congratulations to them, and muchas gracias for another memorable tournament. It’s been a helluva week,” said Wayne Bisbee.

“I’ll definitely be back again next year,” added first time entrant and million dollar winning, Dave Sanchez, who now joins the 2003 crew of El Gallo as first time million dollar winners. Since its inception in 1980 the Bisbee Black & Blue Tournament, the world’s richest fishing tournament, has awarded more than $54 million in cash prizes.

"Our teams are the best of the best in the sport. But with the stakes this high, everyone has to be at the top of their game,” concluded Wayne Bisbee when commenting on the Frantic Pace win amongst the more than 650 international anglers in 107 boats which competed this year.

“All of our weighed fish are measured and examined by our biologist before they are donated to charity,” explained Tricia Bisbee, the tournament’s Director of Sponsorship and Wayne’s sister. “DIF, the Mexican social welfare network, distributes the meat to nursing homes, orphanages and the nun’s hospital, so none of it is wasted.” This year, only two fish were disqualified for not meeting the 300 pound minimum.

The scales, located at Puerto Paraiso Mall at the Marina is where all the festive entertainment takes place during and just minutes after the weigh-ins close, which draw a very big crowd that stay into the evening hours celebrating the event with the many sponsors and vendor booths that line the Marina Golden Zone walkway.

Next year’s Bisbee Black and Blue Tournament is on the 2013 calendar for late October and promises to be as entertaining and history making as this year’s classic turned out to be.

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Charles McSherry

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