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2003 Attending Sponsors

Attending sponsors in Cabo help dole out $180,000 in prizes in gift bags, drawings

If it was just about the competition, then only five teams would have walked away with anything of value after two days of fishing in Cabo Nov. 5-8. In the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot, though, it‚s where free tackle and clothing and great fishing trips are handed out constantly over the four days ˜ $180,000 worth. And, that $180,000 figure does not take into account the $24,000 Seaswirl 18-foot center console with Mercury outboard. That rig was not given away by Seaswirl executive Bob Troutman because no tuna over 2581⁄2 pounds was weighed, a feat that would have resulted in an insurance payout and a drawing among all anglers at the awards banquet.

A new G. LOOMIS ROD was given to Bob Penny by Mark Landry, left.

Attending sponsors were on hand to help, party and in many cases, compete. For example, Seaswirl had three or four teams, and two of their boats were trailered down, one of them their new 29-foot sportfisher with twin 2-stroke Mercury outboards. Trojan batteries had several teams competing. Most sponsors split their time between fishing, golf, working with the staff at check-in, the weigh-ins, and the Friday party and the awards dinner Saturday night. „A special thanks goes to Mike Battistoni of Fred Hall & Associates and his wife Rita who worked hard every day to organize the prizes and help give them away, and that was a lot of prizes,‰ said Joe Higgins, WON Publisher, who doled out those prizes over three parties in free drawings. „The sponsors were not only supportive of the event with the great tackle and trips, they were there to help organize and make it a better event on-site.‰ Also attending were Furuno‚s Steve Bradburn and Leonard Johnson who helped the staff set up the weigh areas with banners and stuff gift bags for check-in. Title sponsor Mercury was represented over four days by Mercury V.P. of Sales Jay Povlin and was joined on-site by Victor Casteneda of Mexican Airlines, the official airline of the Tuna Jackpot. Peter Jang of Peter J. Gallery in Newport Beach and gallery general manager Jerry Rhodes were on hand at the check-in and at the awards banquet to deliver the commissioned painting for the event that was auctioned off for $4,300 for the benefit of the Cabo Fire Department. The huge painting depicted Cabo sportfishing, the famous arch and sportfish on Peter Jang‚s familiar backdrop of a nautical chart.

FLEXIBLE CASH, as in $500, goes to Drew Pickerel, right, from Dave Henry.

Fishworks Clothing was back for another year, with $1,000 of gift certificates and Pam Quigley again assisted at check-in. Her son and originator, designer and owner of Fishworks, Lawrance Quigley, dressed up the Fish Tale‚s Too team that caught the biggest fish, a 157.8, with Fishwork‚s $150 foul weather jackets that had been specially embroidered with the Tuna Jackpot logo.Dennis Yamamoto, Kat Shitanishi and Dan Sasahara represented Owner American hooks. Dennis was either fishing or assisting staff and was at the check-in doling out packs of Owner hooks to each team after they checked in. In all, $10,000 in hooks were given out at check-in or in drawings at the parties. It worked, as the biggest tuna, the 157.8 pounder, was caught on a caballito pinned to an Owner Gorilla hook.

Pete Gray was down for a live show on Saturday morning at the Hotel Hacienda Beach Resort for the fifth time in as many years. He had several sponsors on the show, including John Mazurkiewicz and Mark Mills of Shimano who were joined by G. Loomis rod‚s Gary Shaffer and Mark Landry. Shimano and G. Loomis were again incredibly generous with their free gifts for the gift bags at check-in as well as high-end rods and reels. Dave and Lisa Henry, back for a fifth year of Tuna Jackpot fun, this time went big time. They handed out six-packs of Flexx-Rap tape to each team at check-in, and also gave each team member an official Tuna Jackpot canvas hat, in forest green embroidered with the Tuna Jackpot logo on the front and the Flexx-Rap logo on the back. They also handed out $2,000 in cash at the three nightly parties as well as shirts and tape packs.

A contingent of folks from Ford Motor Company competed and participated as sponsors. Marty Burch of Burch Ford in La Habra gave away $3,000 in Mystery Weight cash Saturday night, and each of the nightly parties boasted a $1,500 all-expenses paid Loreto fishing trip from the dealership. Burch was joined on the fishing/sponsorship team by his fleet sales manager Don Southard and fellow SoCal Ford dealer owners Dick Landfield and Kelly McMullen. The second largest group of sponsors were a special situation. They were the hosts, executives and videographers of the Outdoor Channel headed by Wade Sherman. He was joined by Marc Corcoran, Brad Markham, Jake Hartwick, Craig Incardone, Craig O‚Brien, Danny Jackson. The show will air sometime after January at a time and date to be announced.

Trojan Batteries had the largest contingent of sponsors, with 18 people down for the event and competing on several East Cape boats. They were: Max and Ralph Auguste, Paul Tyler, Ronnie McCaslin, Jim Thompson, Shane Smith, Jim and Chris Chatham, Ed Safee, George Cote, Tom Peters, Mike Piscitelli, John Colazas, Ron Atwood, Brad Dwan, David Godber, Holly Ernst and Carol Thompson. Dan Ross of Dan‚s Specialty Guide Service fished the Tuna Jackpot and provided a trip for two to his spectacular salmon camp on the Nushagak River in Alaska, Phil Desautel of Phil‚s Smiling Salmon Guide Service was on hand and provided three trips to Northern California and Alaska‚s Kenai River. Waterfall Resort‚s Chuck Baird, Ryan Tomalas of Melton‚s Tackle, Tom and Lori Garcia of Cabo Magic Sportfishing who gave away 3 charters and had several boats in the tourney, and Bill and Joan of Allison Marine in Newport Beach. There were several on-site sponsors as well. One crucial to the well-being of the staff was the team of Brian and Dawn Solomon of the great Cabo restaurant Solomon‚s Restaurant that served as the crew‚s dining headquarters. It was packed all week and drew rave reviews.

FURUNO WINNER Jeff Crabb gets his new GS 4100 from Leonard Johnson. (above)

Dick Bublitz of the Big Game Fishing Journal was in Cabo to cover the event for the publication with a worldwide audience, and Frank Baroudi of La Jolla fished and donated several hundred dollars of much-appreciated Dominican Republic cigars for drawing giveaways.

Another sponsor on site was Dreammaker Charters and Smokehouse‚s Dale and Grace Cote, Cabo Marina manager Enrique Fernandez, Cabo‚s most famous photographer Tomas Spangler, and the Pisces Fleet‚s Tracy Ehrenberg, who booked many of the boats and whose office served as the on-site Cabo registration prior to the event. She also joined Hi-5 Lures‚ Ken Matney to offer custom Tuna Jackpot key chains for each angler.


<< Melton Tackle was represented at the Tuna Jackpot by Ryan Tomalas.