By Megan Hart
You’re likely aware of the world-class resorts, beaches, and golf courses in Los Cabos. What you may not know, however, is that the popular vacation destination becomes the sport fishing center of the world for one week every October during Bisbee’s Black & Blue.
Big Risk, Big Reward
Here’s a rundown of what you should know about the event.
1. It’s the World’s Richest Fishing Tournament
The base entry fee for Bisbee’s Black & Blue is $5,000, but with greater risk comes the possibility for greater reward. The maximum entry fee this year, including all daily jackpots, is a whopping $131,500.
In 2006, the tournament set a sport fishing record when it paid out $4,165,960 in cash prizes. With such a big purse, Bisbee’s organizers have to stay vigilant. Winners are required to take a polygraph test if asked and the tournament employs a biologist to ensure that all prize-winning fish were, in fact, caught that day.
Family Owned, Open to All
2. It’s Still Run by the Bisbee Family
The initial Black & Blue tournament took place in 1981, when California’s Bob Bisbee invited five friends to travel to Los Cabos and take part in a $10,000 wager. Since then, it’s grown to include more than 150 boats each year.
Today, Bob’s son Wayne and daughter Patricia run the contest, but some things haven’t changed. Most of the catch is still donated to local families, shelters, schools, and retirement homes, just like it was when Bob started the event.
3. Anyone Can Participate
Unlike most major fishing tournaments, there’s no qualification requirements for Bisbee’s Black & Blue. If you have a boat and you can put up the entry fee, you’re in.
In fact, some amateurs have walked away big winners. In 2014, a group of teenagers and their caregiver from Casa Hogar, a local orphanage, caught a 385-pound blue marlin despite being first-time fishermen! They donated their winnings, $258,325, back to the orphanage.
More Than a Fishing Tournament
4. It Goes Beyond Fishing
Bisbee’s Black & Blue is more than just a fishing tournament. In addition to this year's opening ceremony, which will feature music, food and even an appearance by the Mexican navy, the contest brings other events to Los Cabos, including daily weigh-ins and fireworks on the final night.
5. Black & Blue Refers to the Fish
After reading all about Bisbee’s Black & Blue, you may still be wondering where the name comes from. Black & Blue refers to the two types of marlin most sought after by sport fishermen. Both species can reach well over 1,000 pounds and are prevalent in the waters off Los Cabos. Tournament participants can also earn points for catching striped marlin, sailfish, spearfish, mahi-mahi, and tuna depending on the category they enter.
Offshore fishing is a popular activity in Los Cabos all year round. Give it a try on your next visit!