Bisbee's Black and Blue Fishing Tournament in Los Cabos

Ana Gabriela López Espinosa

Los Cabos Sportfishing

Los Cabos is home to one of the most extraordinary fishing tournaments in the world: the Bisbee's Black and Blue tournament. This event is held every year and attracts hundreds of boats from all over the world, offering a total of four million dollars in prizes. When it first started in 1981, it only involved six teams competing for a total of $10,000 in prizes.

Los Cabos SportfishingFishermen from all over the world come together each October in Los Cabos to register and try their luck at sea. You could be just a marlin away from becoming a millionaire, which has happened several times in the last decade, with teams earning almost all of the four million dollars for catching the largest marlins each day of the competition. The tournament lasts for five days total: one for registration, three for fishing, and a final day for awards. A daily jackpot is divided among the highest-placing fishermen. The tournament also offers awards to the best captains and the best teams, taking into account the points from fishing other smaller species, such as dorado, tuna, wahoo, etc.

Winner of Bisbee's Black and BlueThe name "Black and Blue" comes from the two main objectives of the tournament: black marlin and blue marlin. These are relatively similar to sailfish, but their dorsal fins are much smaller and less elaborate. The bones of the jaw grow long and sharp as a sword. For the protection of these species of marlin, only marlin over 300 lbs can be eligible for prizes, so the rest must be released alive back into the sea. The records of the two largest marlin caught in the tournament belong to a giant blue marlin weighing in at 990 lbs and a black marlin at 640 lbs, caught by Rocky Gentile in 1994 and Martha McNab in 2006, respectively.

Marlin, Bisbee's Black and BlueThe first day of the tournament is dedicated to registration for the event and special talks for the participants, followed by a cocktail party to celebrate. On the second day, all boats and ships line up for the big shotgun start. This is a moment full of excitement, as hundreds of boats sail at full speed between foaming waves looking for the best place to find the prized marlin. The final day features a special dinner where the staff officially hands over the awards and recognitions.

Contestant of Bisbee's Black and BlueThe event is televised and closely followed by sports media from all around the world, in addition to a live video and radio feed on the tournament from the official website. The sponsors of Bisbee's Black and Blue are regarded as representatives of the finest products and services for the participants. The tournament not only provides the contestants with a chance to win, but also allows for an enormous economic income for Los Cabos, meaning that local people are always very helpful to the fishing teams and the event staff.

Fishing Boat, Bisbee's Black and BlueA few days before the big game, there's a smaller tournament that is used as "warm up" for Black and Blue. We're talking about the Bisbee's Los Cabos Offshore, where the total prize can reach up to $300,000 dollars. The registration fee is relatively minor and offers a unique day experience for all lovers of deep sea fishing. These tournaments are also affiliated with other similar events, like the IGFA Offshore Tournament and several local charities.

Millionaire winners of Bisbee's Black and BlueIt's no wonder this fishing tournament is one of the biggest attractions in Los Cabos. Even if you don't have the budget necessary to register for these tournaments, it's always possible to rent private boats and equipment for a fishing trip, or just come to Los Cabos in October to witness an impressive and titanic race for a million-dollar marlin!