SAN DIEGO — Smaller boats have been racking up nice scores on big bluefin off San Diego, fish to 300 pounds or better. At WON the reports have come in one after another, super cow style fish roped from 21- to 24-foot center consoles. Incredible.
Could it be the year of the small boat angler? The upcoming California Tuna Jackpot on Aug. 8 will be an ideal proving ground for the center console set. Small boat anglers can run a kite and a Flyer just like the bigger boats.
It’ll make for an intriguing game. San Diego’s newest tuna tournament will be headquartered at the historic San Diego Marlin Club, a perfect venue for such an endeavor.
Big boats can fish the tournament too, but at WON we’re hoping the sea will give us an equal playing field.
Aspects of the Jackpot were designed to appeal to owners of smaller private boats. Those include the ability to launch from any port. The weigh-in is in San Diego at the Marlin Club. Trailer boaters who launch elsewhere could arrange for someone to drive their trailers to Shelter Island for a quicker return home by road.
The $400 entry fee covers a team of 2 to 4 anglers — it’s meant to be accessible. That’s $100 per person for a crew of 4. Up to two more anglers can be added at $100 each, up to a total of 6. Even the optional jackpots are in range, with $250 covering the first tuna optional and another $250 taking care of the yellowtail option.
If you want a taste of the big money, WON has you covered with $500 and $1,000 tuna options. Four anglers can go all-in for $2,400.
The long-running Make-A-Wish® San Diego Tuna Challenge is on hiatus for 2020, and while WON cannot hope to nor desires to replace such a legendary event, our staff is happy to announce that 5% of all the California Tuna Jackpot optionals will be designated for Make-A-Wish San Diego to help this worthy organization fund wishes for critically ill children.
The optionals are exactly that, optional. The top three tuna will score cash of $7,000 for first, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third, based on 50 boats. More boats, more dough.
Lines-in will come at 4:00 a.m., with boats already on the water. Lines-out is at 4:00 p.m. and teams are due at the San Diego Marlin Club scale between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow.
Anglers don’t need to bag a big tuna to win. Fourteen sponsors are kicking in merchandise, and every one is a raffle prize and there’s no extra charge to enter. If you’re in the tournament, you’re in the raffle. Merchandise prizes total more than $11,000 as of press time and the prize pool is growing. Yamaha, Berkley, Seaguar, Gamakatsu, Accurate, Engel, Global Fish Mounts, Furuno, SKB, Techron Marine, Kuta, Frogg Toggs, G-FLY Baits, and Maui Jim are all on board. See the prize list in the sidebar.
Sign-up is available now at WONews.com. Day before check-in will take place Friday, Aug. 7 at multiple locations. Teams that did not sign up prior to August 7 can register their teams at Hogan’s Tackle in Dana Point, Sav-On Tackle in Sante Fe Springs, Ken’s Custom Reel in Oceanside, or Anglers Choice in San Diego. If you pre-register, WON will mail your wristbands so there’s no need to check in the day prior.
Sign up now! Teams that register before July 17 will be eligible to win the EF1000iS Yamaha generator early bird prize.
For more information contact Tournament Director Billy Egan at (949) 366-0248 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the California Tuna Jackpot Facebook page.
California Tuna Jackpot raffle prize list
Yamaha: 2 EF1000iS generators
Accurate Fishing: 5 Boss Valiant 600 (BV600) reels matched with Valiant BV-70H rods
Engel: 3 80-quart coolers
Furuno: a GP1871F Touchscreen
Kuta: 3 Kill Bags
Maui Jim: 4 pairs of sunglasses
Seaguar: 8 Fluoro Prize Packs
SKB: 6 Tak Packs
Angler Goodie Bags will include Techron Marine, Berkley Pro Spec braid and mono, Gamakatsu hooks, and Frogg Toggs backpacks.
Global Fish Mounts will make a mount of the winning fish.