CABO SAN LUCAS – A record-setting $1.35 million stood as the total payout of the 2021 WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot (CTJ) that came to a dramatic close on the Marina Cabo San Lucas waterfront on Friday night.
A whopping $806,400 of that staggering prize purse went to the 2021 Cabo Tuna Jackpot champions, Salty K, the Southern California-based team that pocketed $153,000 for the 131.4-pound yellowfin tuna they bagged on Day 1 which took the $20,000-entry tuna optional pot for that day of competition, and they mopped up the rest of the cash with a 230.85 pounder that would propel them to the top of the leader board on Day 2 before ultimately being named the overall winners of the richest tuna tournament in the world. Salty K’s cash haul from the event was $806,400.
A big recap of the 2021 CTJ will run in next week’s issue of Western Outdoor News, but there’s no time like the present to announce the top-finishing teams out of the 164 that shot it out in the latest installment of the event.
Team Overtime was next up in terms of cash score. They were handed an oversized check worth $432,400 at the Awards Banquet for entering all the tuna optionals other than the $20,000 one and catching a 133.35-pound tuna. Dan Hisler was the angler who hauled in the fish that would edge out Salty K’s biggie that day by only a couple of pounds.
Optionals were also what lead to the next-biggest payouts in the
2021. A pair of $47,600 checks for both Team Señor Patron and Yes ‘Em who caught the biggest wahoo among anglers entered into that optional on Day 1 and Day 2. Señor Patron’s ‘hoo tipped the scale on the CTJ stage in front of Hotel Tesoro at 38.8 pounds while the Yes ‘Em wahoo went 32.9 and became the leader at that point by half-a pound. More details on that race, all the top teams and some interesting side notes from various teams will be in the deeper dive on the CTJ in next week’s issue of WON.
The dorado optional went unclaimed on Day 1 after no teams were able to bring in a dodo over the 25-pound minimum. The $58,400 was then rolled over into the Day 2 dorado optional putting $116,800 up for grabs for the day’s biggest. CTJ Tournament Director Gerry Mahieu and WON Tournament Director Billy Egan made the call to drop the minimum to 20 pounds for the final day, but in heartbreaking if not comical fashion, each of the larger dorado brought to scale fell frustratingly short drawing gasps out of the tightly-packed crowd as they watched team after team narrowly miss a six-figure payout.
Further down the overall leader board, Team Una Mas 2na claimed 8,000 mas dollars for their 179.5-pound yellowfin good for second place overall in the tuna department. Next up was Team Strictly Business who finished third and picked up a cool $4,000 for their 167.15-pound yellowfin tuna angler Rick Eldredge of Lake Stevens, Washington pulled in on Day 2.
There are plenty more elements of the 2021 Cabo Tuna Jackpot to recap from both days of weigh ins, the start boat parties and shotgun starts, the “Show Us Your Costas” contest, fun and drama on the waterfront, interesting side stories out of individual teams and the awards ceremony, and that will all be found in next week’s issue of WON.