Fishing has always been first when it comes to big events in Los Cabos, a primacy reconfirmed in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic last year. When other signature regional events were sidelined, fishing – thanks to its natural social distancing element – was able to continue, with tournaments not only going off safely, but smashing records at every turn for participation and prize payouts. Bisbee’s trio of high-profile, big-money tournaments, for example, all set new records in this regard.
So anticipation is naturally high for the 2021 fishing season in Los Cabos, especially as vaccinations throughout North America have brought a much greater level of safety and security in terms of travel and tourism to us all.
As any serious angler and/or long-time visitor to Los Cabos knows, fishing tournament season starts in the early summer and continues through November, effectively comprising about a six-month window of opportunities for both massive fun and massive profit.
Why this time of year, you might ask? Well, the fishing may be great year-round round in always sunny Los Cabos, but the fishing for those species people are most desirous of catching – primarily enormous billfish like blue and black marlin – are best during the summer and fall.
With that in mind, here’s what’s on tap in terms of summer fishing tournaments in Los Cabos for 2021.
So plan accordingly!
Pelagic Triple Crown of Fishing Tournament – June 10 to 12
Bisbee’s isn’t the only organizer of big money fishing tournaments in Los Cabos. Water sports apparel maker non pareil Pelagic returns to host its popular Triple Crown of Fishing tournament to kick off the summer season, with teams targeting black, blue and striped marlin, as well as tuna, wahoo and dorado. The 2020 tournament was canceled because of quarantine conditions in Los Cabos, but the 2021 event is on schedule and recently opened up registration. Base entry is $3,500 per team (up to six anglers), with $19,000 across-the-board for all jackpots and challenges. Prize money is tied to the number of teams entered, of course, but a reasonable expectation relative to past tournaments puts the estimate in the $350,000 overall range.
East Cape Dorado Shootout – July 17
This is one of the largest fishing tournaments in Baja California Sur, with an average turnout of 130 teams each year. What makes it so popular? The opportunity to win a brand new, fully-loaded 2021 Volkswagen 4×4 Amarok pickup truck, of course. The rules are simple, catch the biggest dorado on July 17th and you win the truck. There will also be great prizes for 2nd and 3rd place, as well as for the largest tuna and largest wahoo caught that day. The beauty of this one-day tournament format is that anyone can win. After the tournament, Palmas De Cortez in Los Barriles will host the awards ceremony, which is unlike any other locally, with dinner, music, a raffle, and more. The combined prizes and jackpots here typically top $130,000.
Ladies Only Fishing Tournament at Palmas de Cortez – July 22 to 26
The name doesn’t lie. Only lady anglers are eligible to participate (in teams of up to four) in this two-day fishing tournament hosted by Palmas de Cortez…although captains and deckhands can be men. The first iteration of this tournament was held in 2019 – and was a rousing success – with the second annual version delayed until 2021 due to Covid-19 concerns in 2020. The entry fee is $200 per team, with points awarded according to the species of fish reeled in. Billfish (200 pts.) and roosterfish (100 pts.) are catch and release, with photo verification. Tuna, wahoo, dorado, amberjack and jack crevalle are all worth 100 points, assuming they meet minimum weight standards. The winning team nets a return trip for the entire team, including a four nights accommodation package at Palmas de Cortez, with two days of standard cruiser fishing. Prizes for the runner-up teams (2nd and 3rd place) will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday, July 24th.
Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore – August 3 to 7
The East Cape Offshore kicks off Bisbee’s 2021 series starting August 3rd. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three qualifiers in marlin, tuna and dorado categories, with the awards celebration taking place afterwards at the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort. Base entry for the event is $1500 per team, with additional fees for daily jackpots ($32,000 “across the board”). Prize money is based on entry fees received, with 60% going to the billfish winners, and 20% each to top tuna and dorado anglers. Last year’s ECO broke records for attendance and the largest purse in the history of the tournament, as well as the largest fish ever caught. A record 72 teams competed for the record 1.1 million dollar purse – the first time the tournament had ever cracked the million dollar mark – with the added bonus of a 704 lb. blue marlin being reeled in. That too, of course, was the largest in the history of the event.
East Cape Gold Cup Wahoo Jackpot Tournament – August 21
Similar to the East Cape Dorado Shootout with its drive-away first prize, the biggest wahoo caught on August 21st will earn one lucky fisherman a showroom fresh 2021 Volkswagen Golf and a Suzuki 140 horsepower four-stroke outboard engine. In total, over $100,000 in cash and prizes are expected to be up for grabs, including great raffle prizes, return trips, fishing outings, and much more. The entry fee is only $500 per team and includes dinner at the awards ceremony.
Saludos from Co-Founders…
Chris Sands – Writer and Michael Mattos