Cabo Tuna Jackpot tops $1,000,000 as 149 teams compete

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By RICH HOLLAND
SPECIAL TO WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS

CABO SAN LUCAS − A late surge of high roller entries continued an overall signup push that ended with an astonishing 149 teams signed up for the WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot by 7 p.m. Wednesday, with huge payouts guaranteed for the tuna, wahoo and dorado daily jackpots in addition to a $61,625 Overall Tuna Jackpot Champion payout to the biggest tuna over the course of the two days of fishing Thursday and Friday, Nov. 5 and 6.

The total adds up to over $1,000,000 in guaranteed cash payouts to be finalized when the scales close Friday night. It is the second year in a row the Tuna Jackpot has topped the million dollar mark

“I expected we would be able to get to 120 teams considering the number of boat charters on the books, but I didn’t think we would get this many teams,” said Tournament Director Pat McDonell. “It’s going to be a great tournament.”

tournament angler with goodie bags and margarita
Tuna Jackpot anglers are ready to fish hard for big bucks — and always ready for a local beverage.

Signups and cash totals were helped along by the use of the CatchStat.com site initiated by WON General Manager Chuck Buhagiar. The website allows funds to be transferred safely and also tracks the full range of daily jackpot entries by each team.

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As of Tuesday, there were only 3 teams in the Gray Taxidermy $20,000 daily pot and by close of business Wednesday that total doubled to 6 teams. While that may not seem to be a large number, only teams that are already across the board in all the other tuna dailies can sign up for the special 20K jackpot that sees a portion of the proceeds go to Gray’s yellowfin tuna tagging efforts. Add it up, to be across the board you have to enter the $500, $1000, $2000, $3000, $5000 and $10,000 pots!

If you want to see how all that money is apportioned, download the CatchStat.com app from your mobile phone’s app store. (There are many other features, including the ability to follow your favorite team and immediate results from the scales.) A quick glimpse shows that 5 of the dailies will payout from $50,000 to $80,000 a day!

Dorado fishing has been outstanding in Cabo waters leading up to the Tuna Jackpot and helped to produce a record 131 teams signed up in the $1000 Dorado Daily pot. The $1000 Wahoo Daily rallied to record 118 entries.

tournament directors streaming live
The Captain’s Meeting featured Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing and Tournament Director Pat McDonell.

Strict COVID protocols were followed during the course of the Checkin — the Captain’s Meeting was streamed on Facebook — and will be continued during the next couple days at the scale, with only minimum staff and media allowed in the scale area. A Facebook Live stream on the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot FB page will cover the 3-6 p.m. weighin. The broadcast could go a bit longer, since boats that enter the harbor before 6 p.m. will have their catch weighed.

Besides CatchStat.com, updates will be posted live on both the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot and WONews Facebook pages, with stories also appearing after each weighin on WONews.com.

shot of outdoor checkin with masks worn
Rhonda Buhagiar and Jill Roldan checked in 149 teams as a single masked representative per team was allowed in the outdoor area.

How will the fishing be? Fishing for big tuna was tough on the full moon, while warm water affected the action on the banks in the Sea of Cortez. Wahoo fishing has been a bit tough, but a 30 pounder is definitely awaiting. As noted, dorado fishing has been as wide open as it gets, but fish seem to be maxing out at 25 pounds. That’s 5 pounds short of the 30-pound minimum. If a fish meeting the minimum is not caught the first day, the pot will roll over to the second day and the minimum dropped to a yet to be determined weight.

Ready for a $100,000 dorado? A record single day payout in the Tuna Jackpot? Anything is possible.

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