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Nailed it! Victor Locklin Grabs Hold of a Star

Special To Western Outdoor News

CABO SAN LUCAS - During the check-in a familiar face was spotted in team garb. Victor Locklin smiled, grabbed my arm and moved away from the blare of the PA rock and said, "I told myself I am going to win the Tuna Jackpot someday. I have tried too hard, too many times not to win this thing. So I figured I would go where all those big fish come from and fish with the guys who know where they are."

Everyone ever associated with the Western Outdoor News Cabo Tuna Jackpot knows Victor Locklin of Corona, and not only because he's the kind of cool person who remembers you. Victor Locklin was the first, but not last, Tuna Jackpot competitor to catch the biggest tuna during a day's competition and not win any optional. He didn't enter any, not even the $500 pot. The next day two larger fish were weighed and Locklin was left with a third place in the overall and the token cash that comes with it.

"I've weighed some fish and got a little money, but I want to be the Tuna Jackpot Champion," added Locklin. Then he nodded towards his Estrella del Norte teammates. "So I approached James (Rosenwald) over there and we agreed to pool our resources for this year and target the big tuna on the Gordo Banks."

Besides jumping aboard the Estrella del Norte with Rosenwald and his La Playita crew, which included skipper Luis Roberto Beltran Cazessus and Adrian Miranda Camacho, both also signed up as team members (making them eligible to fully participate in catching fish), Victor decided to up his own game.

"This last year I went over to Puerto Vallarta and fished for the big tuna there," he said. "I fished with the Osunas a couple times and they showed me some of their tricks. Then I went on the Constitution and saw how they fish with the squid to catch big fish. They use the Okuma reels, the 30 and 40 Makairas, because you have to have something that can handle those giant tuna so you can land them.

"I tell you what, tuna are like the Army - when you start catching their smaller fish, they send in the really big ones! Just ask (Tournament Director) Pat McDonell, he was on that Constitution trip. The big tuna just kept coming and getting bigger and bigger and if you weren't ready, they just tore you up!" Victor added.

Locklin got a chance to repeat much of what he told this reporter before the tournament to the crowd at the Western Outdoor News Cabo Tuna Jackpot Awards Dinner. Victor did so as a Tuna Jackpot Champion. The Estrella del Norte team was the first to the scale the first day of competition and they weighed a 338-pound yellowfin tuna. Yes, they were in the $500 daily optional - and the $1000, $2000, $3000 and $5000 jackpots. Combined with their top weighted share of the overall Tuna Jackpot, they won a total of $252,425.

Victor chased his dream and made it happen. Does that mean anyone can? Confidence was also a big part of his plan.

"I told myself, if the Reel Quest can do it, I can do it," Locklin told the awards attendees. "Heck, I'm from Corona and I saw that one of those Reel Quest dudes is from Temecula, so that makes us neighbors, right? They're no better than I am."

The Cabo Tuna Jackpot is all about the winners, and James Rosenwald, Victor Locklin, Luis Roberto Beltran Cazessus and Adrian Miranda Camacho not only won the lion's share of the money, they can also say what few others can:

"We are the Champions of the Tuna Jackpot!"