40th Annual Bisbee Black & Blue Tournament. Ends with Millions of Dollars Left on the Table

Baja Bytes Fishing – Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Que Pasa Baja California

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Mexicans will celebrate the traditional Day of the Dead remembrance south of the border Nov. 1-2 as usual. But unlike other years, cemeteries will be off-limits for gatherings.

Just last week, Baja California health officials had said they would allow small gatherings at city-operated graveyards in observance of Day of the Dead, but the decision has been rescinded. The cemeteries have been closed since the pandemic began. Citing another spike in coronavirus cases, it was decided to reverse course on allowing people to visit their departed loved ones.

Juarez sets 15-day overnight lockdown after massive coronavirus spike 

“Cities like Tijuana and Mexicali will not be allowed to reopen cemeteries, the risk of spreading the virus is too high,” said Alonso Pérez Rico, Baja’s Secretary of Health. Similar facilities in smaller cities like Rosarito, Tecate and Ensenada have been cleared to reopen.

“We cannot allow municipalities with higher incidents to reopen. The likelihood of spreading the virus into November just as we’re entering the winter season is very high, and we already have cases on the rise,” Pérez Rico said. He pointed out all of Baja California will remain on the “streetlight” system to determine openings or closures for businesses and facilities. He said most of the state remains under a red light warning.

Tijuana Bull Ring

In the Bullring area, a few boats are hitting the dropoff and just outside the kelp. They are catching some sculpin, lots of mixed red rockfish, a few sheepshead, and the odd lingcod, or deep water sand bass...Fish Dope

Coronado Islands / Rockpile

Better weather here than many areas up to the north.
Still plenty of bonito at North Island and the Middle Grounds.
Yellowtail remain hard to come by…Fish Dope

226-302 / Coronado Canyon / 230 / 371 / 425 / Upper Hidden Bank
Better weather conditions here than in the areas up to the north.
This zone was fishable.
Same story as it has been. Yellowfin, skipjack, yellowtail, dorado, and some big bonito.
Areas to the west of the 117 30 line are seeing the better numbers of yellowfin, while areas to the east of the 117 30 line are seeing the better numbers of dorado.
In all areas, the best fishing is coming mainly off kelps although a few really good jig stops are happening pretty much every day.
It should also be noted that while some very impressive scores are being made, it remains hit and miss. If you don’t find that “magic” kelp you might be in for a long boat ride.
There are quite a few kelps around and only about 40% to 50% are holding anything. The ones that are could have anywhere from a few fish to hundreds.
Also, there have been some exceptionally good jig stops on yellowfin, skipjack, and even open-water dorado. Trolling through fishy areas with good birdlife has been productive for finding these open-water schools, which have been responding well to chum after a jig strike – the usual natural cedar plugs, feathers, and daisy chains in pink, Mex flag, zucchini, and black/purple are all working fine on the troll. It’s worth it to fish through skipjack jig strikes as you’ll sometimes find it turns to yellowfin after 10 to 15 minutes of skipjack eating your live bait.
Most of the yellowfin are on the small side at 5- to 15-pounds with an occasional bigger fish around 20 pounds. Dorado have been a little more mixed, with plenty of small ones but the occasional kelp will have a few bigger bulls up closer to 20 pounds. Yellowtail are mostly small – from 3- to 6-pounds with an occasional standout in the 10- to 15-pound range.
The skipjack are running the same size as the yellowfin but there are a small number of very large skipjack in the 20- to 25-pound class too….Fish Dope


Cranky weather restricts the action to yellowtail and plenty of bottom fish.

Bahía de Los Ángeles

Late reports with a few pics. Hooked up with Captain Juan for a 3-day power trip. Arrived from San Diego via Mexicali with no issues. Crossed at 6:30 a.m. and made BOLA cruising by 1:30-ish. Day one, went North for YT for starters and went far to fish the Northside of La Guardia for some nice cabrilla action. Tails to 18-pounds and a couple of nice cabrilla...Tuna Meat


Baja Sur-Que Pasa

40th Annual Bisbee Black & Blue Tournament. Ends with Millions of Dollars Left on the Table

The three Bisbee family tournaments wrapped up another record-breaking year as all three 2020 events offered from $1 million to over $4 million while conforming with Government-dictated COVID-19 protocols in Cabo San Lucas. 

The East Cape Offshore finished August 7th with 72 teams and had a total payout of $1,110,050, the largest payout in its history. 

The Los Cabos Offshore marlin tournament crushed both attendance records and the total amount of payout, awarding eight of the 128 participating teams with 769 anglers from around the world $1,457,000, breaking the astonishing $1 million plateau for the second year in a row.


Sporty Game       $837,816.00
Pocket Aces         $293,544.00
True Grit             $138,760.00
NsatiaBill             $59,670.00
Knot Workin!      $85,000.00
Sea Angel             $20,655.00
Protocol               $11,475.00
Will 2 Win           $10,080.00

The recently-completed Black & Blue, the richest billfish tournament in the world ending October 24, attracted 127 teams and 883 anglers competing for a total payout of $4,649,350 million.

During the three-day event, the conditions changed dramatically as the sea temps soared to an unseasonable 90-degrees. Not only did teams have to contend with sea currents that changed erratically each day but they also had to deal with very rough conditions on the Pacific side.

While there were stripers, sailfish, and smaller blues released, teams struggled to find a winning fish that would meet the 300-pound minimum. Each day there were reports of hooking and ultimately losing fish that would have exceeded 300 pounds.

The bottom line was that there were no qualifiers brought to the weigh-station during the 3-day event.

John Dominic, a well-known local angler put it very succinctly, “There were several fish that were hooked and lost every day that could have changed this narrative altogether. However, that’s fishing!”

All participating teams will be refunded their unclaimed prize money.

Bisbee Black & Blue Award night wrap up

Baja Cantina was buzzing Saturday night when Wayne and Tricia Bisbee began the abbreviated awards’ program honoring the Top Release teams of the Bisbee Black & Blue tournament.  Observing that there were fewer trophies than he had expected on the table, Wayne Bisbee commented, “I gotta’ say it’s different…a lot different.”

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Roosters to forty pounds down at the dorado off the south tip of Carmen Island. The dorado have been found at different spots around Danzante Island and when it’s time to change up the action, many boats have been sliding over to Carmen.

There, along with the rooster action, the cabrilla are responding well to live sardina and silver Krocodiles. Roosterfish to 40 pounds have been landed and released. Up the coast near El Faro has been where the cabrilla are hanging.

Some healthy bites with break-offs in this area have been pargo but this week there have only been bent hooks and cut mono!

We were hit with the first big taste of the winter north winds this past weekend triggering the start of a new focus (that’s my guess after talking with a few local captains).

Instead of dorado first and adventuring after, the new aim is yellowtail first and until the sun gets hot. Roll the dice after yellowtail and shoot for a shallow rock pile. Cabrilla, snapper, or cool off with pulling some lures for whatever is handy and hungry.

I guess it’s time to shy away from this season’s smaller dorado even though they will be around for another month, maybe two!

Get ready for mackerel and yellowtail in Loreto.

The golden sunset has replaced the glow of the 18-inch golden dorado in Loreto, Baja Sur…Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

Magdalena Bay

Just a quick report from the last two trips, 10/7-9 and 10/20-22.
Fishing has been killer at the Papa Bank about 101 miles north of Cabo,
the first trip with my son (who is five-years-old) we released 78 stripe marlin, 10 sails, 1 big wahoo weighing 65 pounds, and over two dozen dorado over two full days.

The next trip was one and one-half days where we released 88 striped marlin and one blue along with another two dozen dorado in a day and a half. It’s a tough place to get to with long runs from either Cabo or Mag; we stayed the night on the bank both times.  Thank God for the great weather.

Fishing is slow in Cabo except for dorado and it’s wide open!  It has been several years since I have seen dorado action like this!…bays90


La Paz

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of Oct. 18-26, 2020

East Cape


 Photos and report – Mario Bañaga Nevárez.

Final Results for the 2020 Van Wormer Tuna Shoot Out

Van Wormer Resorts reports a successful tournament wit 47 teams participating for the largest yellowfin tuna. The winners were 1st-David More-Team Jen Wren lll, 2nd – Chris Campanella – Team Mi Sueno. 3rd-Preston Burton-Team Jukate. Congratulations to David Moore and his team for taking firs place in the 2020 Tuna Shot out with their winning tuna weighing 70.7-pounds collecting $53,510 in cash, which included grand prize, plus $300, $500 and $1,000 jackpots. Chris Campanella and team Mi Sueno took home over $20,000 in cash for the $2,000 jackpot for their 52.7 pound fish.

The Tuna Shootout at Playa del Sol is tomorrow. We went out today and scored two wahoo south of Los Frailes, near Vinorama.  There were mostly small fish, 22 pounders, but lots of fun! The tuna are in the same area and lots of Bisbee’s Tournament Teams were near, doing the marlin thing. Tight lines…prema2


Puerto Los Cabos

With ocean temperatures in the upper 80s, conditions seemed unusually warm, though presently we are feeling a cooling trend and the coming week forecast is to bring more north wind and cooler temperatures, so we should see water cool off and are hoping the all-around action improves. Anglers were using sardina, slabs of squid (mainly for bait), with some larger baitfish found on the fishing grounds as well. Schooling sardina were now more abundant along beach stretches near Chileno.

The highlight this week was a 311-pound yellowfin tuna that was weighed in on Saturday, taken by a group of anglers on the local sportfisher “Bacco,” out of Puerto Los Cabos after a 3 1/2 hour battle on the Gordo Banks. The overall tuna bite was slow although another 110-pound tuna was brought in from a super panga mid-week, and a scattering of a few other yellowfin in the 30- to 70-pound class, but in limited numbers. Most of these fish were taken near the San Luis Bank. One factor on the slower action seems to be the added pressure of all of the Ease Cape charters, also traveling long distances to congregate and fish on our local grounds.

Wahoo were becoming more active, still spotty, but a couple of charters ended up with between three and five wahoo per morning. Most of this action was near Iman Bank and farther north while trolling Rapalas, sizes ranged to over 15 -pounds. We expect this wahoo bite to improve in the coming weeks as the water cools some. Dorado action was sporadic as well. Some days we were seeing decent numbers of fish up to 15-pounds, while other days we would only see a fish or two.

Not much reported off the bottom – a handful of various pargo species, bonito, and even some out-of-season roosterfish caught near shallow rock outcroppings, a couple of which were over 40-pounds.

A few sierra were starting to show up as well, as their season is just getting underway. Good fishing… Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

So to the fishing … lots of bait in the water.  Sardina everywhere and that was a good thing in addition to caballito, and mackerela too. To say we caught dorado would be an understatement! It reminded me of the OLD days in CABO; they ranged from about 8 pounds to a MONSTER 60-pound bull. Dorado was the name of the game all three days.

Marlin were everywhere and we kept one that was badly hooked and going to die. It didn’t go to waste; the Panga Captains were Very Happy!

I also caught and released a sailfish – the first I have ever seen in Cabo. One day we decided to go out to the Iman … a long ride from Cabo but worth it with some dorado and a nice wahoo. We did hook a couple of decent-sized tuna but lost them … Since we already had plenty of dorado and wahoo and some marlin to take back, we decided to fish the rocks for snapper. We have some ultra-light gear we use for this and it paid off; we got a ton of snapper and an assortment of other species with them. We used sardina and our setups were 20-pound spectra with 10-pound fluoro leaders; we used small egg weight and hook, so we were basically fly lining. I will say the NEEDLEFISH were huge and all over the friggin place, so that was an obstacle while fishing the rocks/surf. I also caught blue trevally which I had never seen either, and I did catch a nice dorado on my light gear on soft plastic which was a blast, so, we all came back with a full assortment of fish and had lots to give away to people who could use it. Saturday night we finished with a full-on Blow Out Party at the Squid!  It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip … so we thought!…sammyvelvet


Wrapping up three days of fishing like this:

The striped marlin bite is picking up this week in addition to dorado. Plus, today, 11 roosterfish were released yesterday by 10 a.m. for our anglers out on one of our Pisces pangas.

The crew on the Pisces 28’ Andrea Tagged and Released 14 striped marlin plus 11 dorado for Scott Hancock and Brian and Cecil Henderson who are our new friends!! Welcome to the Pisces family! They were kind enough to donate some of their fish through our Fish Donation Program. AND not only did these guys donate fish they also Tagged and Released all their marlin, aiding in understanding our fishery better to conserve and protect it!

Pisces anglers can donate any fish they will not take home with them or eat, to children in the Los Cabos area who live in some of the most underprivileged neighborhoods. This fish is an essential food source that they will not otherwise get and is greatly appreciated! We make sure it is delivered to those that need it the most and send anglers a picture and info of their fish donation being delivered.

Because in the end, fishing is SO MUCH MORE than just catching fish; and the more ways we can give back to the community that brings us such awesome experiences and memories, the better … Rebecca Ehrenberg.

That Baja Guy-Gary Graham
Cellular (760) 522 3710

Published by That Baja Guy - Gary Graham

That Baja Guy...Gary Graham Gary Graham turned his passion for all things fishing into a profession. Whether its boats, destination travel, adventure experiences, vehicles, tackle, methods or just the spinning of a good outdoors tale, Graham has evolved into the go-to guy.

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