Los Cabos – Big Fish, Big Money
With a grand prize of over $2 million, you won’t want to miss Bisbee’s annual Black and Blue Tournament. Serious fishermen (and women) look forward to this event not only for the generous prizes but for the bragging rights as well. This event is not for the faint of heart or the light of wallet with tournament fees ranging from $5,000 to $63,000.
Having been around for 27 years, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue Tournament has a rich history. As the story goes, it all started one night at Mar De Cortez bar when Bob Bisbee, a tackle-shop owner known for making the long journey from Newport Beach, CA to Cabo well over a dozen times a year, challenged his friends to a bet to see who could catch the biggest fish. His friends accepted the challenge and soon there was a pot of $10,000 for the winner. Who won the grand prize? None other than Bob himself. He also grabbed top honors the next year, prompting him to stop competing and start organizing the event.
Wayne Bisbee, Bob’s son, is now the director of the event and has been a witness to some of the drama that the tournament has created over the years. Wayne has had to deal with everything from cheating to kidnapping plots and has seen the event grow from a challenge among buddies to a worldwide event.
Though the registration fees tend to limit those who can compete, the tournament is open to anyone and its contestants range from small boats that resemble something more like dinghies to extravagant yachts that cost as much as the grand prize. Though environmental conditions may arise that put everyone on an even playing field, it only makes sense that these wealthier competitors are the ones that usually go home with the big money. After all, they can afford the very best.
Take, for example, past winner, Anthony Hsieh, who captains the Bad Company team and retired at the ripe old age of 35 after founding and then selling Direct Loans. Hsieh not only has an experienced crew but has a dream boat. The Bad Company is a Tournament 60 Hatteras that has undergone incredible upgrades making the boat, that was originally purchased by Hsieh in 2001 for under $2 million, nearly $3 million today. These improvements include not one, not two, but thirteen tuna tubes which basically store live tuna bait so they can survive for up to six hours. Don’t worry though, the boat remains aesthetically pleasing since all thirteen of these tubes are hidden and don’t disturb the smooth outside beauty of the boat. The Bad Company also has almost half a million dollars worth of electronics, most of which are high-tech fishing accessories including sonar anchors, GPS chart plotters, and satellites.
At the risk of offending die hard fishing enthusiasts, at a certain point, you have to wonder if the winner is really the most skilled fisherman or just the person willing to spend the most on gadgets. And, if the one with the most toys doesn’t win, does that just mean it’s all about luck in the end anyway? If you share these doubts, make sure to keep them to yourselves around the nearly 900 tournament participants.
If you’re too intimidated (or too poor) to enter the tournament but are eager to see some big fish and some even bigger boats, make sure you’re in Cabo San Lucas October 20th – 24th and that you’ve got a good view of the Sea of Cortez. If you’d like luxury accommodations on the beach, check out http://www.cabolaestancia.com/ for Medano Beach’s only privately owned condos.