The Los Cabos Big Game Charter Boat Classic returns November 15th – 18th to the southern tip of Baja again this year. This relatively new event is sponsored by the Los Cabos Tourism Board and managed by Bonnier Corporation. Bonnier is the publisher of Sport Fishing magazine, Marlin magazine and many other outdoor titles. The 4 day event serves as a celebration of the fishery and as a thank you to anglers of all skill levels for supporting the vibrant Los Cabos area. The tournament is designed for anyone and everyone from serious anglers to weekend warriors and even first time anglers. Part of the reason the tournament is so inclusive is because of the low barrier to entry. In fact, it’s FREE! The event host, manager, and sponsors put up the entire $10,000 a day in cash prizes (for a total of $40,000).
9 cash prizes are awarded each day for 4 days, there is even a tournament style weigh in for the boats returning to the dock every afternoon. A winner is chosen each day for catching the largest 3 tuna, wahoo, and dorado. The angler who catches the biggest fish in each category on each day will take home $1,800, the runner up will be awarded $900, and the angler in third place will get $635. Registration is currently open!
However, the cash prizes are not the only awards that anglers are competing over. There is a billfish release category, anglers must email photos or videos of the release, and every angler who participates will get a certificate and be entered in a drawing for special prizes. Since many of the anglers competing in the tournament are new to the sport (or new to big game fishing), the billfish release division is a great way to teach anglers that catch and release is standard for billfish. There are also trophies for the lady angler and junior angler (under 17) who catch the largest fish each day. A slew of other prizes are provided by the event sponsors including Lucas Marine Products, Aftco, King Sailfish Mounts, Carey Chen, Yeti, Berkley, Penn, Costa Sunglasses, and more.
To make the tournament even more inclusive they have arranged for weigh-ins at three locations. Anglers fishing out of the East Cape can bring their fish to the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort, in San José del Cabo the weigh-in is at the Puerto Los Cabos Palapas, and in Cabo San Lucas at the Marina Fundadores Weigh-Gantry.
The only requirement to enter the tournament is that you are an amateur angler or a professional angler that does not work in the Los Cabos or East Cape area. Anglers in the tournament must also be fishing on a licensed charter boat. The charter boats range from 20′ pangas to 40′ sport fishers (and larger). Beyond these requirements there are not many rules, anglers may pass the rod, receive assistance, etc… Fishing is from 7am until 2:30pm each day to mimic typical charter boat operations.
Bonnier Corporation and the Los Cabos Tourism Board are expecting more than 400 anglers to fish the tournament on around 130 different charter boats. There will be a diverse group of participants from all over the world, but especially Mexico, the US, and Europe. Registration is open now as well as every evening during the tournament for fishing the following day.
As the only free anglers event in Los Cabos it draws crowds of anglers with a fresh and energetic approach to competitive fishing. Past participants note that the event added a lot of fun to the day, from the thrill of the contest to seeing the weigh ins etc…. The week before Thanksgiving is also a great time to visit Los Cabos, since it is after the peak season flights, charters, and hotels are more reasonably priced but the weather is perfect and the fishing is excellent.
Plan your next vacation around the Los Cabos Big Game Charter Boat Classic and find out why this event is gaining so much popularity through word of mouth and rapidly growing every year.
Editorial Contributor – Lewie Aldridge
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