Spoonful of Sugar
Cabo San Lucas, BCS | by Capt. Dave Lear
Chris Erickson and his team aboard Bad Medicine finally found the cure for a constant bellyache. A lucky lure and doing the marlin dance in the cockpit of his 35 Cabo convertible probably helped, too. But when it was all over, their 409-pound blue marlin hanging at the scales represented the largest fish for Day One of the 2011 Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Jackpot Tournament. Cabo Riviera Marina and Golf Resort is the title sponsor for this year’s event.
“I’ve been fishing the Black & Blue for 17 years and I finally made it to the scales,” a happy and emotional Erickson said after the weight was announced. Luis Arballo was on the rod when the big marlin was brought to gaff. “We caught a sailfish, a striped marlin and then the blue for a Grand Slam,” Erickson added. “That fish ate our lure right after we put it out and did our lucky marlin dance. It’s been a great day and now we’re ready to go back out there and get another one.”
The 31st edition of the Black & Blue got off without a hitch this morning after a flare start off the famous Los Arcos rocks at the entrance to the Cabo harbor.
The 100-boat fleet motored east and west, with many venturing into the Pacific Ocean to the spot where a marlin pushing 800 pounds was caught earlier this week by a local boat. Fishing hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m through Friday. Teams have until 9 p.m. each night to return to the scales with their catch.
Luis Alberto Liera and the crew aboard Tiger Spirit, a perennial top contender, recorded the other big marlin for the day. Owner Ned Wallace of Newport Beach, California, said the 395-pounder ate a live skipjack, followed by a spirited fight. Wallace keeps his 72 Donzi in Cabo year-round and fishes with a veteran crew of local experts.
Steel Hookin‘ and Reel Energy also weighed in blue marlin that failed to meet the 300-pound minimum. Blue and black marlin are the only species eligible in the Black & Blue. Smaller fish that are successfully released earn 300 points each. Teams that weigh in undersized fish are penalized by negative 25 points, plus two extra points for every pound under the minimum. At stake is nearly $2.2 million in total cash prizes. Teams can enter the optional daily jackpots at levels up to $10,000 for additional payouts. The release division total pot is $73,525. To follow the daily catch reports and live web feeds from the scales, go to Bisbee’s LIVE Scoring.
The Spirit of 2010, a 120-foot luxury yacht, served as the official start boat for Wednesday. On board were tournament founder Bob Bisbee, the Federal Secretary of Tourism Profesora Gloria Guevara Manzo and the Baja California Sur Governor Marcos Covarrublas. Bob Bisbee was later honored for his three decades of promoting Cabo tourism at a special awards ceremony.
“The Bisbees mean everything to this town,” Erickson explained. Erickson is part-owner of the Cabo Villas Beach Resort overlooking Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas. “They’ve always put on a fun, exciting event and we all really appreciate what they do for the town and the sport.”
So will another jinx be broken tomorrow? Only the marlin know for sure.