A Southern California sportfishing team is probably still celebrating a week after winning the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
The payout for those aboard Chinito Bonito was a staggering $3,004,900 after San Diego angler Charlie Lee landed a 510-pound black marlin last Friday on the third and final day of competition.
The marlin, landed after a 1-hour, 37-minute fight in the Sea of Cortez, was the largest caught during a tournament in which conditions were stormy in the early stages because of Hurricane Willa.
It was the second-highest payout in the history of big-game sportfishing tournaments, Bisbee’s stated afterward.
“Frankly, it’s mind-boggling,” Capt. Evan Salvay, also from San Diego, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “You count your blessings, your lucky stars, all of it. It was a good day to be us, I guess.”
The record cash payout, also during a Bisbee’s competition, was $4,165,960 in 2006.
The Black & Blue tournament draws anglers from all over the world who compete for daily jackpots that rollover if there are no qualifying marlin that meet a minimum-weight requirement.
This year, rollovers occurred the first two days. The competition featured 114 teams and a total cash payout of $3,693,625.
Chinito Bonito was trolling live skipjack tuna when the 510-pound black marlin struck at about 11 a.m.
“We were going between 1 and 2 knots,” Salvay told the Union-Tribune. “You’re barely moving. It’s a very monotonous fishing style, until you get bit. We fought it almost two hours.”
Tournament rules are strict – for example, only the angler can touch the rod until a marlin is brought to leader – and Bisbee’s, at times, has used lie-detector tests to determine whether winning teams have complied.
–Images are courtesy of Bisbee’s Offshore Fishing Tournaments