Cabos San Lucas is today well known for many things – its beautiful beaches, top quality golf courses, family friendly atmosphere, and exuberant nightlife, to name a few – but it is the region’s sport fishing that originally put Cabo on the map. It can be said without hyperbole that the fishing in Cabo is some of the best to be found anywhere in the world. This can be attributed to Cabo’s unique geography, as it sits at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez meet the cooler waters of the Pacific Ocean, attracting a large variety of “trophy” fish, such as Dorado (Mahi-Mahi), Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and several species of Marlin and Sailfish. With such a diverse variety of fish inhabiting the waters around Cabo, and in such abundance, it’s no wonder that the town plays host to some of the largest, richest, and most competitive fishing tournaments in the world.
While the billfish tournaments garner most of the attention, Cabo is home to many smaller tournaments that focus on the other fish to be found in the waters surrounding the peninsua. One such tournament is the East Cape Dorado Shootout. Dorado is one of the most sought after trophy fish in the world, not only for the prestige of landing a powerful specimen but also because they are incredibly delicious. In restaurants, they are usually sold under their Hawaiian name, Mahi-Mahi, and tend to be one of the pricier options on the menu. The 2017 East Cape Dorado Shootout will be held July 13th-14th and features payouts of over $165,000 in cash and prizes, including a brand new Volkswagen Amarok pickup truck for the angler who brings in the heaviest fish of the tournament.
In Los Cabos the fishing is good year round, but things really start to pick up in October and November, when the big billfish congregate around the cape. Starting in mid-October the tournaments begin to pile up fast. Kicking things off is the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, which will be held Oct. 15th-19th in 2017. The Billfish Tournament focuses on Black and Blue Marlin, and offers more than $850,000 in payouts. This tournament also has the added benefit of being an IFGA Offshore World Championship qualifier, meaning the winner will be invited to participate in the IFGA World Championship Tournament.
Following directly on the heels of the Billfish Tournament is the Bisbee Los Cabos Offshore Tournament, scheduled for Oct. 19th-22nd, 2017. Affectionately known as the “Little Bisbee”, the Bisbee Offshore is often seen as a warm up for the Bisbee Black & Blue Tournament. But this little tournament pays out pretty big, with over $300,000 in cash being handed out in several different categories, including billfish, Tuna, and Dorado.
And then there’s the “big one”, the Bisbee Black & Blue, the world’s richest billfish tournament. Scheduled for Oct. 24th-28th, 2017, the Bisbee Black & Blue draws the best anglers from all over the world, and for good reason. With over $4 million in prize money on the line, the Bisbee Black & Blue sits at the pinnacle of the sport fishing world. With a large overall grand prize and numerous daily jackpots, the Black & Blue offers anglers plenty of opportunities to win big.
Capping off the major tournament season is the Cabo Tuna Jackpot, to be held Nov. 1st-4th in 2017. As the name suggests this tournament focuses on the giant Yellowfin Tuna found in the waters off Cabo’s coast, presenting anglers with an entirely different challenge than the big billfish tournaments. But while the Tuna Jackpot offers a fun and exciting change of pace for anglers, with $750,000 in cash, and an additional $100,000 in prizes, on the line, it is every bit as competitive as the billfish tournaments.
Cabo San Lucas owes a lot of its status as a premier vacation destination to its sport fishing industry. While today visitors come to Cabo for variety of reasons, the high quality fishing is still one of the town’s major draws. And with some of the world’s richest and most prestigious fishing tournaments being held in Cabo every year, it figures to stay that way for a long time to come.