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Sponsors are a major part of Tuna Jackpot Success.

By PAT McDONELL
WON Staff Writer

The Tuna Jackpot set a record for prize giveaways with $190,000 doled out over three parties, topped by the Ford Super Cab F-150 worth $30,000 that was won in a drawing the last night by the honeymooning couple Mike and Kathy Prida of Alpine.

There were hundreds of others prizes, including two trips to Panama with Pesca Panama and two others on the new sportfishing boat Intrepid, plus several trips to Alaska, including two to Waterfall Resort and a surprise trip donated during the awards ceremony by a contingent from a lodge in Kodiak, Alaska.

The 750 goodie bags by Shimano started off the giveaways, but these spectacular bags, were $25 collapsible coolers with the Tuna jackpot logo. They were stuffed with official Tuna Jackpot hats by Finnseeker, Owner hook packs and lip balm, Flexx-Rap tape, Berkley‚s fishing line for every angler, G-Loomis tatoos for that Cabo look, Banana Boat products and brochures on Waterfall Resort in Alaska and Crocodile Bay Lodge in Costa Rica.

There are simply too many winners to mention here, but team 77 on the Rebecca had two anglers win spectacular prizes. Duane Decker of Upland, a team Borracho member who fished the second Jackpot two years ago, won a drawing for a Furuno GP1650F Fish Finder, GPS and plotter. His fellow teammate, Pat Statham of Trabuco, won the 7-day trip with five days fishing to Crocadile Bay Lodge in Costa Rica.

The tournament just gets better and better every year, said Decker. We have a great time! Their team had no big tuna, but they did have a nice wahoo, a 56 pounder that was the fourth biggest weighed over 2 days.

Attending sponsors were there to see the tourney unfold, have fun and promote their products and help staff at the various parties and drawings. They were: Dave Bolton and Jay Povin of Mercury, Dave and Lisa Henry of Flexx-Rap tape, Leonard Johnson and Steve Bradburn of Furuno who donated three high-end electronics units for drawings, and Dennis Yamamoto, Dan Sasahara and Kat Shitanishi of Owner hooks.

Ford Dealers of Southern California were represented by Dick Landfield of Fairway Ford in Placentia and Marty Burch of Burch Ford who competed and caught two fish over 100 pounds, including a 132.5 pounder that was in the top 20 over two days. Landfield and Burch, with Paul Leader of Elk Cajon Ford (who could not attend) sponsored the Ford Truck Giveaway. Bruch also donated three Shimano TLD two-speed reels given away in free drawings over three nights.

Brad Steiler and Clay Norris of Berkley was on hand to assist staff and help dole out all that Berkley fishing line product for each angler and all those huge spools of line for the drawings. John Beath of Crocadile Bay Resort was on hand to give out the free trip, while Marty Furman of Trojan batteries, and Gary Schaffer and Jim Lebson of G. Loomis were in Cabo. Bart and Ginny Hall and Mike and Rita Battistoni of Fred Hall & Associates enjoyed the festivities and helped WON staff and other sponsors in organizing the drawing prize packages.

From four-year Jackpot sponsor Shimano who provided 20 Trinidad and two-speed TLD reels as well as all those free coolers, there was Jeremy Sweet, Justin Poe, Guy Johnson, Robert and Carrie Betts and John and Suzie Mazurkiewicz. Pete Gray of Let‚s Talk Hookup broadcasted his show live on Saturday morning from the patio of the Hotel Hacienda for the fourth year in a row, and the Outdoor Channel was on hand with a staff made up of Jake Hartwick, Wade Sherman, Mark Corcoran, Keith Covey, and Mike Ludlum.

Fishworks Clothing was represented by Pam Quigley of Fishworks, Hi-5 lures was on hand to display their lures at the check-in as many were donated to the prizes and produced some of the 100-pound class fish. Dan Ross was representing Dan‚s Specialty Guide Service which donated a spectacular $3,000 trip to Bristol Bay in Alaska.

Tracy Melton and Ryan Tomales of Melton‚s Tackle in Anaheim were on hand and competing, and AeroMexico Airlines was represented by Maria Murillo Mendez. Frank Baroudi of San Diego competed and caught the 14th biggest tuna of the event, plus donated several hundred dollars of Dominican cigars for raffles, and they were well-received and enjoyed by the winners.

The following is list of 2002 Tuna Jackpot sponsors, in alphabetical order, of those who donated products or assisted in support of the event.

Administration Portuaria Integral (API) ˜ The Cabo-based agency that controls the marina waterfront again allowed the staff of Western Outdoor News to use the marina-side malecon by the Cabo Marina office for its two-day weigh-in.

AeroMexico ˜ The official airline of the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament. They provided air transportation for the crew of the Outdoor Channel, which filmed the Tuna Jackpot for broadcast in early 2003 at a time to be announced.

Angler‚s Center ˜  This fishing accessories store in Newport Beach provided the host site for the recent WON/Mercury Tuna Jackpot Tuna Seminar and Sale and provided the free sponsors and giveaway polo shirts for drawings, in addition to providing a $250 gift certificate. Contact (949) 642-6662. website www.anglerscenter.com

Area Rule Engineering ˜ Area Rule donated 300 of its hot Tunobs tuna lures for giveaways in the drawings over the four days, with the bulk handed out the first night at the captains‚ meeting at Hotel Plaza Las Glorias. Call (949) 366-1333 for information. Web site www.arearule.com.

Baja Fishing Resorts ˜ A couple of fabulous trips for two with food and fishing and great accommodations at the East Cape‚s Punta Colorada or the Palmas De Cortez were in the prize packages. Call (800) 368-4334 or look on their website at www.bajaresorts.com for more details.

Ballyhood Lures ˜ Ballyhood suppled $300 worth of its tuna-catching lures. Web site www.ballyhood.com.

Banana Boat ˜ A new sponsor for all WON events, Banana Boat products were among the free items given out in Cabo to all entrants at check in, plus 20 product gift packages including Banana Boat t-shirts and product samples as part of the nightly drawings.

Frank Baroudi ˜ This four-time competitor who imports cigars, donated several boxes of high-end Dominican cigars for the nightly drawings.

Berkley ˜ Berkley is a four-year sponsor of the Tuna Jackpot and Brad Steiler of Pure Fishing again attended and assisted WON staff. Ten bulk spools of Trilene Big Game and 10 spools of Supreme line were handed out in drawings over the three three nightly parties, and each angler received a special Tuna jackpot spool of line. Visit www.berkley-fishing.com to see their full line of products.

Big Tuna Gear.Com ˜ Two Fish Cleaning Stations valued at $400 were provided by www.bigtunagear.com, a website that specializes in Internet sales of fishing gear.

Blue Water Tackle ˜ Blue Water Tackle in Solana Beach again joined the list of sponsors for the Tuna Jackpot this year. The Solana Beach-based store features all the tackle you need to score big tuna, and even carry a full line of fly equipment. They supplied 12 tournament packages with shirts, lures and hats.

Braid Offshore Products ˜ Lures, rod belts and harnesses, and a full line of other accessories are highlights of the Braid products, and owner Dennis Braid again put together a $1,200 prize package of Power Play belts, videos, harnesses and lures. See the website at www.braidproducts.com. Also, Dennis was also a featured speaker at the Tuna Seminar Oct. 5 at Angler‚s Center.

Buena Vista Beach Resort ˜ This world-class luxury resort, located on the East Cape, donated a 4-day, 3-night trip for two. The $1,200 trip includes fishing and meals. For more information on the resort call (800) 752-3555.

Burch Ford ˜ Marty Burch and Team Borracho donated three $350 Shimano TLD two-speed reels, above and beyond the 20 Tiagra and Trinidad reels Shimano already donated. And, of course, Marty and his team competed and caught two 100-pound plus tuna.

Cabo Magic ˜ Cabo Magic‚s full-day 35-foot Bertram Sportfisher donated six free nightly cruises on the Cabo Magic. A great chance to enjoy the beautiful sunsets with a drink in one hand and your arm around your significant other. Web site www.cabomagic.com.

Cabo Surf Hotel ˜ Smack dab on the sand in front of the most popular surf spot in San Jose Del Cabo, the hotel is offering a 5-night package for two at their beautiful facility. Relax in the pool, check out the waves and the quiet beach a few steps away and then make your tough decisions of whether to surf or keep relaxing. Tough one. This hotel is small, old-Baja and beautiful. As they say in real estate, location, location, location. Check it out at www.cabosurf.com

Cannon Downriggers ˜ Six Uni-Troll HP Val-U-Pak high-speed retrieve units were awarded. These feature Lexan and stainless steel construction, 3-digit counter, telescopic boom, rod holder, line release, low profile swivel base, ball storage hook and a limited lifetime warranty. Check out their website at www.computrol.com.

Catchy Tackle ˜ The spinning rotor creates a unique combination of flash, vibration and a bubble trail that consistently produces. Catchy Tackle provided 40 lures worth $800, so tournament competitors could take one for a spin. Check their website at www.catchytackle.com.

Champ and Camp ˜ The sportfisher Champ, based in San Diego, provided a unique trip on its exclusive Champ and Camp trips to Mag Bay surfishing, featuring inshore fishing and offshore tuna battles.

Chuck Byron Galleries  ˜ The renowned San Diego wildlife artist Chuck Byron is the Official Tuna Jackpot Artist and donated another painting that was auctioned off for $2,500 with the money donated to a charity for poor Cabo children. Byron competed on the Picante Express and gave away the painting. Contact his Point Loma Gallery at: (619) 789-7921. Web site www.chuckbyron.com.

Costa del Mar Sunglasses ˜ These sun glasses always make a big splash in Cabo, with six pairs of their latest creations at $150 each awarded. The polarized sunglasses are made with the finest sun protective lenses that provide optimum color contrast and complete protection from punishing glare and harmful UV rays. See their website at www.costadelmar.com.

Crocodile Bay Lodge ˜ Crocodile Bay Lodge, located in Costa Rica, is a first-class resort set among 44 acres of tropical gardens. It lies along some of Costa Rica‚s most beautiful beaches. The waters off Crocodile Bay offer billfish, high-flying dorado, marlin, yellowtail and bigeye tuna. The trip for two for five days of fishing and a 7-night/8-day was awarded by John Beat to Pat Statham of Trabuco. For more information on the lodge, call (800)733-1115 or (877) 733-5146 or visit www.crocodilebay.com.

Dan‚s Specialty Guide Service ˜ Dan and Suzie Ross, owners of the guide service, donated a fabulous $3,200 trip for one person to their spectacular salmon camp in southwest Alaska in Bristol Bay on the shores of the Nushagak River. It‚s a seven-day package with five days of guided fishing. Dam was in Cabo to make the presentation as well. See their website: www.danspecialty.com

Finnseeker Tournaments and Tackle ˜ Organizer of several saltwater events in SoCal such as the Mako Madness in Dana Point, they have nearly a dozen events on the schedule in partnership with Allcoast, and all for charity. The company also produces a line of high-end gaffs and lures. See their website at www.finnseeker.com. Chris Badsey of Finnseeker is provided 800 official Tuna Jackpot hats, black canvas andlow-profile with the beautifully stitched logo

Fishworks ˜ Fishworks makes durable, stylish clothes for fishermen, and donated shirts and shorts for drawings. Fishworks‚ Pam Quigley attended the event, helped check anglers in on Day 1. For more information call (949) 493-3233 or visit www.fishworksproducts.com.

Flexx-Rap ˜ Dave and Lisa Henry were again attending sponsors and Flexx-Rap gave each team six-packs of the tape at check-in and at each of the parties, the Flexx-Rap cash awards were handed out, crisp $100 bills were given away for a total of $2,000 total. Contact Flexx-Rap at: www.flexx-rap.com and by phone at (805) 472-2681.

Fred Hall and Associates ˜ Bart and Jinny Hall and their family generously provided booth space at the Del Mar Fred Hall Show to help in the promotion of the Tuna Jackpot Tournament. They again attended and added a little extra something, 10 packs of tickets to their shows and $200 cash in each drawing to blow at their shows or in Cabo. Get all the details on the fabulous Hall shows at www.fredhall.com.

Ford Dealers of Southern California ˜ The official truck company of all WON events. Burch Ford of La Habra, Fairway Ford of Placentia and El Cajon Ford sponsored the $30,000 Ford F-150 Super Cab Truck Giveaway that was won by Mike Prida of Alpine, who was honeymooning with his wife Kathy. In addition, Marty Burch donated three $350 Shimano TLD two-speed reels. Attending and competing on the Reel Trick, and catching a 132.5 pound yellowfin as well as another 100-pound class fish were Burch and Dick Landfield of Fairway. Also on their team were Don Southard and Bll Sarege.

Furuno ˜ Makers of outstanding commercial grade marine electronics for the pro to the private boater. Three units worth $4,000 were given away in drawings. One was the GP165OF GPS/chart plotter combo with 600 watts for the sounder, a unit retailing for $1,995. There is also the color LCD FCV 600L Video Sounder with 350 watts with a $895 listing, and the color FCV 582L Video Sounder with 600 watts, retailing at $1,595. See the website at www.furuno.com.

G. Loomis Rods ˜ Pelagic Series fishing rods were doled out, 16 in drawings and four for the team that caught the biggest wahoo, a 74.1 pounder. These rods are valued at $300 The website address is www.gloomis.com; telephone is (800) GLOOMIS.

Hi-5 Lures ˜ These lures win big-game tournaments and several of these hot tuna and marlin lures were handed out in free drawings. Ken Matney was in attendance and displayed the full array of lures at the captains meeting and sign-up party.

Hook Sportfishing Charters ˜ A $3,700 charter on the Captain Hook II out of Dana Point was handed out in one of the drawings. Hook Sportfishing also books the lodge at Lake El Salto in mainland Mexico for big bass action with Billy Chapman‚s operation, plus great duck and wingshooting, and another great trip Hook handles is Big K Ranch in Oregon, the hotbed for smallmouth bass and fishing hospitality at a first class ranch/resort facility. See their website at www.hooksportfishingcom.

Intrepid Sportfishing ˜ The newest and most luxurious long range sportfisher, the 111-foot Intrepid, is under construction and will be in the water as of July for its shakedown cruises, then the summer season, then it‚s off to Panama and faraway places. The Intrepid will be running trips out of Panama City to the legendary Hannibal Bank and outer islands for nearly four months in the 2004 season. Stay tuned for a full schedule. TWO trips for one angler each, valued at $4,000 for each Panama trip, were handed out at the Tuna Jackpot in nightly parties. Many thanks to owner Ken Price and General Manager Carol Stock for their generosity. See their website at www.intrepidsportfishing.com or call Carol Stock at 877-686-7827.

Irish Setter ˜ Looking for a quality fishing shoe? Irish Setter has introduced six fishing shoes to help you remain dry, avoid slipping and give you support. Irish Setter again donated 24 shoe gift certificates, valued at $100. For more information, call (651) 388-8211 or visit www.irishsetterboots.com.

Jig Stop ˜  This Dana Point tackle store is your Baja connection for tackle and travel, boats and sportfishers and just plain good advice. The shop and travel service donated a certificate good for a free day of panga fishing. (949) 496-0960.

Kelly Tires ˜ Official tire sponsor of all WON events. A set of four Safari tires for your car or truck was awarded at the Jackpot.

Leatherman ˜ This new WON Events sponsor has the new Pulse, the all- purpose palm-sized folding tool that every fishermen should have. Leatherman donated 12 Pulse units worth $75 each. Visit their website at www.leatherman.com

Let‚s Talk Hook-Up ˜ Pete Gray attended his fourth Tuna Jackpot and broadcast his two-hour radio show Saturday from the patio of the beautiful Hotel Hacienda. Call the show at (619) 291-2912, or *690 from a cell phone, on the office line at (760) 941-FISH. You can listen to the show on the show‚s website www. hookup690.com.

Melton‚s Tackle ˜ This Orange County big game tackle store has all the best gear and knowledge for the hard core anglers, whether you‚re a tournament competitor or the kind that finds his own fish, the BIG kind. Tracy Melton and his staff gave away 12 $100 gift certificates to their Anaheim store for the drawings each night in Cabo and they competed for the second year in a row. Call them at (714) 978-9192 and check out their impressive operation at www.meltontackle.com.

Mercury Marine ˜ Title sponsor of the event and makers of outstanding outboard motors, 2-stroke and 4-stroke. In addition to providing sponsorship money to hold the event in Cabo, Mercury again providing over 800 t-shirts for anglers at the tournament and tournament flags and also sponsored the wild Friday night party at Mama Roma‚s and Shrimp Bucket. Dave Bolton and Jay Polvin of Mercury attended. Telephone (800) MERCURY or see their at www.mercurymarine.com.

Outdoor Channel ˜ The channel serving sportsmen around the world was on-site with several crews to film the event and brought a team to compete. Check out the Outdoor Channel‚s cable lineup at www.outdoorchannel.com/freeguide. If your cable provider doesn‚t carry it, demand it! 18 million subscribers can‚t be wrong!

Owner Hooks ˜ Kat Shitanishi and Dennis Yamamoto were on hand for a fourth year of sponsorship with their quality product, and four-packs of Offshore hooks were handed out to each team and hundreds more packs given in free drawings over four nights. They biggest tuna, a 256 pounder, was caught on one of the Owner hooks handed out in the goodie bags. Telephone (714) 668-9011. Web site www.ownerhooks.com.

Pacific Pro/Williamson Lures ˜ An assortment of high-end lures worth $350 were given to lucky anglers in the drawings. Call them for details on their great lures at (949) 675-8797.

Performance Tackle ˜ Five gift certificates of $100 were given away. Call (562) 430-7671 for more information.

Pesca Panama ˜ You‚ve heard of the Hannibal Bank, the Jurassic Park of big-game fishing, right? Well, the floating Coiba Island lodge and its new fleet of three center consoles made two winning anglers very happy. Two trips for one angler each were doled out, and each of those weeks of fantastic fishing and gourmet food is worth $3,500. Check it out at www.pescapanama.com

Plano Molding Company ˜ At the Tuna Jackpot, dozens soft-sided tackle boxes were given in drawings. These Plano boxes are perfectly suited for ocean fishing, with a huge capacity for carrying a wide range of baits. Website information is available at www.planomolding.com; telephone is (630) 552-3111.

Pure Fishing ˜ No one has a more complete array of fishing lines than Berkley, with Big Game, FireLine, Whiplash, XT, XL, Sensithin and more in their arsenal of monofilament and braided lines to meet every need. Twenty bulk spools of Trilene Big Game fishing line will again be given away during the tournament in drawings, and 600 spools of Tuna Jackpot big game line were given to each angler at check-in! Contact: (800) 237-5539.

Rapala ˜ A total of 10 dozen Magnum CD lures were supplied by Rapala. These lures have long been a standby for tuna anglers. For more information call (612) 933-7060 or see www.rapala.com.

ReliefBand ˜ This unique product offers anglers drug-free relief for sea sickness. There were 12 bands up for grabs in drawings. For more information, call (800) 973-0378 or check out their website at: www.reliefband.com.

Robert‚s Fish Mounts ˜ A replica of the 218.9-pound yellowfin that won the first annual Tuna Jackpot was provided by Robert‚s last year and is now in Cabo with a perpetual plaque on which will be added the boat names of teams that win the overall jackpot each year. The mount is on display at the Pisces Fleet office on the malecon near Hotel Plaza Las Glorias. This year, the Griselda will be added by virtue of its 256-pound yellowfin, biggest ever caught in the four years of the event.

Seaguar Fluorocarbon ˜ The company that invented fluorocarbon line was again be a big part of this tournament. They offered fluorocarbon leader spools in tests from 1 to 400 pounds. Genuine Seaguar Fluorocarbon practically disappears in the water and that ultra-low visibility means it is far less likely to spook the fish. Seaguar doled out $500 worth of Fluorocarbon lines in various size tests. Telephone (561) 336-2280.

Shimano/American Fishing Tackle Co. ˜ One of the world‚s largest tackle manufacturers is a huge supporter of this event for the fourth year. As one of the largest sponsors of the tournament, their prize contribution this year is valued at a whopping $21,000 and includes 10TLD 30 II 2-speed reels and 10 Trinidad reels, PLUS a fantastic soft bag cooler for each entrant handed at check-in before the captain‚s meeting. A huge Thank You to Shimano! Check out their website at www.shimano.com. Telephone is (800) 833-5540.

Solomon‚s Landing ˜ This is the place for casual outdoor but fine dining in Cabo on the malecon in front of Hotel Plaza Las Glorias. Solomans provided 600 free margarita coupons. Bring your fish and they‚ll cook it for you. Lobsters to tacos, Brian‚s staff does it all, and it‚s a great spot to relax in cool air by the marina, and they make the best margaritas in Cabo, hands down!

Solmar Hotel ˜ The Solmar Hotel in Cabo San Lucas provided a free 3-night, 4-day stay and fishing package for anglers in one of the nightly drawings. The Solmar is a great place to call home while you‚re in Cabo. Their website address is: www.solmar.com. For more information, call Cabo Resort Reservations, Inc. at (800) 344-3349 or (310) 459-9861, FAX (310) 454-1686; or email to CaboResort@aol.com.

Surefire Lighting Products ˜ All fishermen need a sturdy, corrosion-resistant personal light to help them gear up before the sun rises. Surefire has a light that‚s perfect for all kinds of anglers whether you chase cow tuna or stocker trout. Surefire supplied $1,600 worth of top-of-the-line lighting products for giveaways and prizes. For more information call (800) 828-8809 x184 or visit www.surefire.com.

Trojan batteries ˜ The top name in marine batteries. Four batteries (four $150 certificates) were given away. These are quality power sources at work, and you‚ll soon know why the best boat dealers and marine retailer swear by their durability and deep cycle power.

Villa La Estancia ˜ This luxurious condominium development area in Baja offered up a 3-day fabulous prize. If you haven‚t seen Via La Estancia just up the beach from the Hacienda, then you haven‚t seen the ultimate Cabo condo ownership. Learn how you can own a luxury condo on the beach! Check out the website at www.villalaestancia.com. Telephone in Baja is 011-52-114-38121.

Waterfall Resort ˜ Alaska‚s beautiful Waterfall Resort is where anglers can target salmon, halibut and lingcod just to name a few. The resort features great fishing boats, excellent guides and top-of-the-line gear. The Waterfall Resort gave away an incredible two trips for two people valued at $6,800 each. That‚s a $13,600 donation! For more information call (800) 544-5125, or visit www.waterfallresort.com.

Yo-Zuri Lures ˜ A great selection of offshore fishing lures were given by Yo-Zuri. Octopus skirts are known around the world for their fabulous colors and fish-catching ability. Featured in the prizes this year were 25 Hydro Magnum trolling lures. Check their website at www.yo-zuri.com or call (561) 336-2280.