Click here for more info on the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot!
The Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot is a ton of fun whether your team is in just the basic entry, or if you enter the various jackpot options. This year’s motto is Fish Hard, Fish Harder, and there is no better place to do it than Cabo San Lucas.
There have been many questions about the Cabo Tuna Jackpot, whether it will be held, will it be safe and what can teams expect in terms of health protocols?
A few other questions could be, how is the fishing? Will it be fun? Our top priority is the health of the anglers, staff and people of Cabo. The other priorities are that we have a fair and honest tourney, we weigh in a lot of fish, and for just one week we get to relax and have fun in 2020.
No matter what we are allowed to do, or not do, we will require all anglers to wear a mask or a buff while on boats or at any function near other anglers or staff. You will find health protocols in Cabo to be more stringent than the U.S. Bring masks, or buy official Tuna Jackpot buffs at the Smiles booth at check-in and during weigh-ins.
Three East Cape tournaments were recently held: very successful, large fields, big payouts and great fishing. They were also very restricted, with no parties. That could loosen up. If not, and all jackpot tournaments in October and November in Cabo are still on “orange” status, teams and family and friends will be able to enjoy Cabo’s beauty and cuisine, drink margaritas with their toes in the pool or the sand, dance and, oh yes, compete in the biggest tuna tournament in the world. And the fishing has been spectacular lately.
If allowed, we will have the photo station on the scale with the Baja Cantina Girl. And if the Cabo Escape charters on Thursday and Friday will be allowed to run, you can buy your tickets at the Smiles booth. Same for the Grand Raffle prize tickets. All proceeds go to SmilesInternationalFoundation.org.
So yes, we are set for another great year in Cabo, for the 22nd Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Nov. 4-7 which last year attracted 154 teams and paid out $1,016,700 to eight teams.
In 2012 when the town was devastated by Hurricane Odile we never wavered in our goal of hosting the tourney, no matter how many teams showed up. It’s the same this year. It’s time to have some fun, celebrate life and family and friends, and you can be sure a very safe Cabo San Lucas is ready to welcome us all back.
— You can sign up via check or credit card. Checks must be received by October 30th. To sign up online, just click the link above or call Lori at (949) 366-0804 and she will help you over the phone.
— Wire the money. Request wiring instructions from Lori@wonews.com and fill out an entry as best you can and fax it to (949) 366-0804.
For tourney questions, e-mail Tournament Director Pat McDonell at email@example.com
WON CABO TUNA JACKPOT RULES
- All decisions by the tournament directors and advisory board are final. Decisions on rules interpretation requested by teams or team members will be reviewed and made only by the tournament director and are final. WON reserves the right to change/modify rules at any time. WON reserves the right to deny any team’s or individual’s entry.
- The official radio channel for the Cabo Tuna Jackpot is channel 28. All boats are encouraged to fly the official tournament flag during the 2-day event.
- The tournament director reserves the right to alter starting and finishing times to coincide with weather, tides and probability of better fishing conditions.
- Only one team member need be present at tournament registration as long as he or she has the waivers from each team member. Team members can pick up their own and other team members’ shirts and hats and flags at the other staff tables.
- A “team” is defined as either a single angler or up to 4 total anglers on the official roster. Boats can have a maximum of 2 crew members and up to 2 guests. The maximum number of people on any boat is 8. There will be a maximum of 4 anglers per team who can fish, and a crew of up to 2 people who cannot fish. Crew CAN chum and set lines and gaff, etc., but CANNOT pull on fish. Teams are allowed 2 additional spots on their team for guests, but the “guests” cannot assist in fishing or spotting in any way. Crew and Guests can be switched out each day, but anglers CANNOT! Further question may be answered at registration.
- All participants must possess a valid Mexican fishing license on both days of fishing. Anglers checked by a Mexican authority who do not have a valid Mexican license will cause their entire team to be disqualified from the tournament. To avoid delays and other problems, it is highly recommended you obtain a Mexican license and boat permit before entering Mexico.
- There is no limit or restriction on when and how much bait can be obtained prior to the shotgun start. Teams can obtain bait (buy it) one half-hour past the 7 a.m. shotgun start. The PURCHASE of bait must be completed by 7:30 a.m.
- All boats must be behind the official starter’s boat prior to the 7 a.m. flare gun start. There will be a visual boat check-off starting at 6:15 a.m. outside the harbor entrance. All boats must attempt to report in fish on the tournament channel that are estimated at over 100 pounds. Locations need not be disclosed on the radio.
- Lines must be out at 4 p.m. during each day of tournament fishing. The scale at Marina Cabo San Lucas in front of the Tesoro will open at 3 p.m. Boats must be within the outer harbor at the jetty by 6 p.m. No tournament fish will be weighed in after the 6 p.m. deadline. This is a rule change for 2019. We will clarify this at the captains meeting. Boats will be videotaped, and must check in with tournament control situated within view of the jetty.
- Any boat deemed operating in an unsafe manner will be disqualified from that day’s fishing. No fishing boundaries will be required either day.
- There are few restrictions on tackle other than the fish must be taken on hook and line using rod and reel. Crew members may touch the rod briefly before handing off to an angler. It may not be passed back to any crewman at any time. More than one team member (not crew) may fight the fish, and team members or crew may assist the angler by touching the main line at any time during the fight. The rod may touch the boat railing during the fight. Use of outriggers, teasers, downriggers, spreader bars, kites and balloons are allowed. DRONES ARE NOT ALLOWED. The use of the Green Stick, a commercial “TROLLING” method with a mast, a “bird” attractor and multiple clips from the main line are NOT ALLOWED
- Teams can possibly win 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall. A maximum of 3 tuna, 1 wahoo or 1 dorado may be weighed per day, per team. The tournament weigh master may decide not to weigh all fish if there is a larger fish already holding down 1st through 3rd place at the time your team weighs in.
- It is the responsibility of the team to decide which fish to weigh prior to docking at the weigh area. So, a team can bring in three tuna as well as one wahoo OR one dorado. The team must choose which fish to enter in the dorado/wahoo optional.
- Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. of the fishing days, no vessel entered in the tournament may be involved in handing off or receiving anything from another vessel whether that vessel is entered in the tournament or not. The tournament director may choose to grant special permission in advance to a team to waive this rule if someone’s personal safety or health is at risk. A disabled boat CAN be towed back to Cabo so a fish can be weighed in on time. No fish can be brought back by another boat whether it is in the tournament or not.
- Overall, $500 of the $1,000 entry fee, and 80 percent of the daily jackpots will be paid back to anglers. The team that catches the biggest tuna over the two days wins 85 percent of the total cash in the entry pool. Second largest tuna wins 10 percent of the cash in the entry pool. Third largest tuna wins 5 percent of the cash in the entry pool. In jackpots, the winning team/captain takes all cash in the pot. Of the total amount awarded for first, second and third places in the entry pool and in the optional jackpots 90 percent will go to the team and 10 percent will go to the boat captain of the charter boat if that boat is chartered. If not chartered, the captain’s winnings is divided among the team members as they see fit.
- The official minimum weight for tuna, wahoo and dorado is 30 pounds. No fish under 30 pounds will be weighed. Wahoo and Dorado are backup species for tuna, in the overall only. There is no backup species for any optionals.
- In the event of a tie in any overall or optional pool the two teams will split the winnings equally for that divisional award. More than two teams tying will result in a equal split for all teams. If no eligible optional jackpot fish are caught the first day, the jackpot money rolls to the second day. If no eligible jackpot fish are caught the second day the money rolls back to the first day winners. In the unlikely event that no eligible fish are caught over both days, refunds of the entry amount (minus $500 tournament operation fee) and jackpot amounts (minus 20 percent tournament operation fee) will be given, via mail.
- Mutilated fish in which the ability of the fish to fight has been compromised will not be weighed in. The tournament director will make the final decision, with no protests allowed since it is a visual judgment call.
- Any U.S. team or U.S. individual receiving monetary winnings is required to provide to Western Outdoors Publications a social security number and a current address. A signature will additionally be required for receipt and acknowledgment of winnings. Team captains of teams that win money will be required to meet with WON staff to apply for their winnings which will be sent by check via mail within 2 weeks after the event.
- Wristbands will identify team members and must be worn at all times. These will be distributed to team captains at check-in. The wrist bands are your ticket to the three free, hosted parties. All prizes must be won and accepted by a team member with a team wristband.
- All monetary winners will be subject to a lie detector test at the discretion of the tournament director. If any angler declines to be tested, his team is automatically disqualified from receiving any monetary awards. The lie detector test will be used as one of, but not the sole, determining factor in any decision by the tournament directors and the advisory board.
- All verbal protests and supporting evidence must be presented to the tournament director(s) immediately upon returning to Cabo, followed by a written protest no more than 30 minutes after the verbal protest. Protests must be filed with WON staff at the “official” weigh station location. Evidence will be ruled on by both tournament director and the staff advisory board prior to the next day’s events. Any verbal or physical abuse or threats from entrants toward Jackpot staff is cause for a team’s disqualification.
- Teams which weigh in fish cannot continue to fish that day. All boats that weigh in fish the first day are subject to a thorough boat inspection at the dock by a tournament staffer.
- No spotter planes can assist teams in any way during the two days of official tournament fishing.
- All boats must visually check in with the tournament start boat (the Cabo Escape) between 6:15 a.m. and 8 a.m or will be disqualified for that day’s fishing. The start boat and staff will be on the water until 8 a.m., either at the arch or at its slip. Call radio control at channel 28 if the start boat is not visible.
- Safety is No. 1. No boats on the flare start shall “shoot” between the rock and arch at the start, which means all boats must run to the fishing grounds on the OUTSIDE of the outer rock. There is no automatic penalty, however. Disqualification of a team or teams is up to the discretion of the tournament director on both days.
- By order of the fisheries department, all team members must present their fishing licenses on both days at weigh-in when bringing a fish to the scale. They will be returned at the scale area before you leave.
- Try to have fun, treat all anglers and crew and staff of the event with respect. (Easiest rule of all).