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WON Throws a Party in Cab

Night after night of parties and it seemed like the pile of swag provided by all of the WON/Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot's great sponsors would never go away, no matter how fast Rick Maxa of Let's Talk Hook-Up! radio show tried to move through the raffle tickets.

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OSCAR DACCARETT, STATE Commissioner of Sport Fishing, Baja California Sur, Mexico fired the starting pistol to signal the beginning of the tournament, featuring boats ranging from 90 feet to 22 feet. This a great event for anglers who can pay as little $700 a team to enter or who can get in all the optionals for up to $23,200.

I have just completed a twenty-five hundred mile road trip up and down the Baja peninsula. Starting out on the 24th of October, I took my time and meandered down Mex 1, stopping to visit some areas I hadn't seen in quite some time. It was a pleasant drive, uneventful, except for the people I met along the way, some of whom were there to participate in various charity events. But those we'll save for another column.

At the invitation of Pat McDonell, Editor of Western Outdoor News, Yvonne and I attended the WON/Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament.

This event also raises money each year for Nuevo Creacion, which helps with schooling and scholarships for the local students as well as Los Ninos Del Capitan, a day care center for single working Cabo mothers. All told, $27,000 was raised for the two charities. As far the event went, winners of the tournament received in excess of an impressive $420,000.

As a first time attendee, I was astonished by the amount of great prizes given away as part of the entry fee. The parties and dinners and general comraderie among the participants made it a fun filled week. Boat sizes ranged from the 90-foot El Vago to a 22-foot panga, the Dr. Pescado, one of the big winners of the event. This made me wonder at the lack of trailerboat entries in the event. Obviously the smaller boats had an equal chance at the large purses. I did see considerably more rigs towing boats on the road this trip, but I guess they didn't get the word about the tournament.

The activities kicked off Wednesday afternoon along the Malecón in front of Puerto Paraiso Mall. Booths for the many sponsors lined the walkway and the railings were festooned with banners. The registration booth was manned by volunteers and staff, Yvonne and I included. The 97 teams were all registered throughout the afternoon with each team member receiving a backpack provided by Turners Outdoors filled with goodies from the many sponsors as well as a tournament shirt.

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For the remainder of the afternoon the participants wandered from booth to booth, and competed in an accuracy casting contest where the winners received prizes ranging from a Yamaha generator to custom rods equipped with Avet casting reels. Of course the Corona girls made sure there was plenty of beer for the teams.

As the sun set over Lands End, the music continued to blare as everyone took their seats in front of the WON\Yamaha stage. Pat McDonell, Tournament Director, greeted everyone and began the Captains' meeting explaining the straight forward tournament rules, flawlessly translated into Spanish by Tracy Ehrenberg of the Pisces Fleet. Following the Captains' meeting, Rick Maxa (Rockcod Rick) of "Let's Talk Hook-up" fame began a seemingly endless raffle of items.

In the early morning gray light on Thursday, the ninety-eight teams began checking in with the Oceanus, the official committee boat. At exactly 7 a.m. Oscar Daccarett, State Commissioner of Sport Fishing, Baja California Sur, Mexico fired the starting pistol to signal the beginning of the tournament.

Lines were out of the water at 4 p.m.. and all boats were required to have returned to the scales by 6 p.m.. at the latest. As the tuna, dorado and wahoo were brought up to the official weigh station which was located on the Malecón in front of Puerto Paraiso Mall, the crowd 300 or more continued to grow and the excitement built as each fish was weighed in.

That evening, an outstanding barbeque dinner was served by Solomon's Restaurant on the Malecón in front of the host hotel, the Tesoro Resort. We heard it said repeatedly by tourists that Solomon's was one of their favorite Cabo restaurants!

Again the night's festivities included raffle prizes consisting of several sets of tires from Yokohama, watches from Reactor watches, Yokohama, a sponsor of the event, had entered several teams in the tournament.

Friday brought another day of fishing commencing with a shotgun start at 7 a.m. Weigh in that afternoon included the second largest tuna in the history of the WON/Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament...a 244 pound monster caught by the Reel Rum team, captained by John Donovan, owner of Red Rum Charters in Cabo.

That night everyone rocked out at Cabo Wabo, with Solomon's providing an outstanding buffet. Loud music, lots of dancing, then Rick Maxa once again did his thing. Pat McDonell held an auction for an all expenses paid trip to Florida for tarpon fishing which added to the excitement. The club (with some confusion) ended the party a little earlier than advertised, but until then the party was a blast and the fun was extended into the night at other nightclubs.

The awards dinner, served by Ruth's Chris Steak House on the Malecon in front of Puerto Paraiso Mall on Saturday evening was an extraordinary meal followed up with even more items raffled off by Rockcod Rick. The main feature was the cash giveaways to four teams. The total payout $420,000. The charity auctions, the drawing prizes and the setting by the mall added up to a great awards dinner and a fitting end to the 10th annual event.

If you are interested in being a part of one of the best Cabo parties in 2009, the WON/Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament, check out the link at www.loscabostunajackpot.com.