With COVID-19 protocols still lurking in the shadows, the first official gamefish tournament of the 2021 season got underway without a hitch. Thirty local and visiting teams completed their paperwork and plunked down their final payments for the entry fee and brown bag jackpot for the Marina Puerto Escondido Tournament.
A jovial and excited group of team members greeted old friends and made new ones. John Sercu, Captain of “Team TAG,” insisted that the pandemic year of 2020 didn’t count, and he was eager to repeat his 2019 feat of winning overall, and the other teams viewed Sercu and his team as the big target to beat.
Many teams had arrived early and pre-fished; their discussions were more about what they had not seen during their efforts than what they had found. However, there was some buzz about large, no, HUGE yellowtail as well as some BIG dorado, and lots of striped marlin lurking farther offshore, which was some of the team stories last year. Robert Ross, the undisputed Tuna Guru in these parts, was mum. No one heard a word out of him.
Whatever the case, Enrique Salcedo, General Manager, welcomed the teams and guests to the Team Meeting before continuing with the review of rules and various payouts for the yellowtail, dorado, yellowfin tuna, and “release only” billfish which included sailfish and striped marlin.
The tournament had arranged to have all of the bait boats ready and waiting for the contenders on Saturday morning, in case they needed to top off their tanks for the day with live ones.
Then it was on to the 7-a.m. flaregun start that sent the 30 boats scurrying in different directions.
They MUST be back in the Marina past the jetty at precisely 5-p.m. with their catch or release tags to qualify. STAY-TUNED….