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MANY THANKS to Tourney staff and sponsors

BY PAT McDONELL Director, Cabo Tuna Jackpot

You cannot put on a tournament without the backing of a great corps of staff and attending sponsors, who all contribute to the success of the event.

Our tourney staff was made up of our new assistant director Billy Egan, who heads up Western Outdoor News' freshwater events, including the two pro WON BASS tournaments at Lake Mead and Clear Lake. Egan was a huge on-site asset to the Tuna Jackpot this year. Covering the event for Western Outdoor News and our social media chain was Rich Holland, a former editor at Western Outdoors Publications.

There was the line-up of Ashlee Fuller of Cabo, Rene Olinger from Loreto, Adam Cargill of Cabo, Bill Jubb of Carlsbad from Team 86, WON Sales and Marketing Director Chuck Buhagiar, his wife Rhonda and their daughter Caylie and son Derrik Townsend. Two Texas ladies - Bonnie Womack and Sheri assisted at weigh-in, plus there were our usual local workers Chuy Mendez and Ivan Caballero and a new worker this year, Pepe.

Of course, the staff at Pisces Sportfishing was amazing, as Marco and Tracy Ehrenberg and staffers Alma, Eduardo, Abraham, Pat, Lulu and Melissa opened up their offices to us throughout the event and helped coordinate the tourney in a variety of ways. Manager Alex Alverez and his staff at Capt. Tony's restaurant put on a helluva Hallo­ween party and early Check-In Tuesday, a new event for the tourney that was fun and smoothed out the registration process the next day. Lots of costumes, dancing and great food and drink.

There was Gaston Montano and his video/audio crew, and Danny Matthews was on-site for photography. There was also Erwin Witt, our videographer, who created a great video for the Awards Dinner and will be posting it on the Cabo Tuna Jackpot YouTube channel soon.

The staff and ownership of the official start boat Cabo Escape was incredible, donating the use of their luxury party boat for the flare gun start. A portion of the $30 donation for the Costa Charters both days, Thursday and Friday, went to support the Smile International Foundation.

This brings up our sponsors, who flew in and attended the events or who are based in Cabo: Longtime attendees Dave and Amy Bulthuis of Costa flew out from Florida and were pretty darn busy doing good deeds and having fun. Costa provided an endless stream of high-end and coveted sunglasses for contests and drawings, the official tournament shirts, sponsored the “Show Us Your Costas” competition on the start boat and also sponsored the two Costa / Cabo Escape charity charters. At check-in, Costa gave EACH angler a Costa hat, cleaning kit, bottle opener, lanyard and sticker, and sold tickets for the charity start boat.

Lawrance and Jamie Quigley were here from Fishworks clothing and co-sponsored the Best Dressed Contest with Baja Cantina, Ray Gardner of Yo-Zuri and his fiancé, Candice Fersch also sponsored the Welcome Party at the Outdoor Pavillion theatre venue the first night with a vast array of drawing prizes and 600 free Yo-Zuri Chilly Pads. Plus there was a table of free Team Buckeye Tuna tequila shots at the entrance. Gardner was a busy man all week as he filmed with a drone that produced an incredible video snapshot of the event shown at the awards that can be found on the tournament Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot or Western Outdoor News Facebook pages.

Okuma reels was again a key sponsor and was represented by Dave Brown, who kicked out free hats and buffs plus rod wraps to teams at check-in, plus awarded a dozen Makaira, Metaloid and Andros reels and eight beautiful rods and tons of rod wraps and hats for drawings. Plus he was a hit at the Halloween party in his Oktoberfest lederhosen.

From long-time braid and fluorocarbon sponsor Seaguar, there was Dale Hightower and Jeff Slater, and they provided custom Seaguar boat flags and coozies at check-in and gave out prize packs of pink fluoro and Threadlock braid to the top three teams.

Baja Cantina is a third-year sponsor, providing the bags and catering the Thursday night Captain party at the its beautiful downtown Marina Corona restaurant and also co-sponsored the Best Dressed Contest, all handled superbly by Patti Estrada and Jorge Gonzales. They were assisted at all events by the Baja Cantina Girls, coordinated by Lula Ruvillou of her Revillou Talent Agency.

The Thursday night fiesta was a great event, and we all worked hard to make it special as we added a number of new elements to make it better overall and run as smoothly as possible.

AFW and HI-SEAS were represented by Steve Miller and he gave away a dizzying array of line and rigging tools, rigging kits, hats and AFW fishing wire packs for check-in. From Gray Taxidermy, we had Bill Dobbelaer and his wife, Pam, and Gray Fish Tag Research Scientist, Travis Moore, who sponsored the weigh-in scale and will award the winners a free fish mount of their 338-pound yellowfin tuna. Minerva and Bob Smith of Minerva's Tackle and Sportfishing charters who sold shirts with proceeds for Smiles (please stand up, Minerva), Dale and Grace Cote of Dreammaker Charters and Gricelda's Smokehouse who provided labor and the championship checks and on-site banners, and Pam Lorenz of WIN-TEAM who gave out gift packs.

Of course, the use of the cruise-ship pier facility for the awards was the handiwork of Senor Hector Montano, director of the marina agency API. Darren Carey and his staff at IGY Marina Cabo San Lucas, Antonio Tirado of National Rental Car, and our host hotel, the Tesoro. Brian Solomon of Solomon's Landing restaurant did not just cater but produced the awards dinner and did a magnificent job.

Of course there are many sponsors who assist in putting on the event, particularly Terrafin satellite imaging, Mustad hooks who provided hook packs, Let's Talk Hookup radio show, John Pettey Goldsmith who provided four championship rings and a gold tuna pendant for the silent auction, the Cabo Escape (Wild Tours in Cabo) Plano, and Seth Bone of Kingfisher Lodge with trips to Alaska, and Lupita Lomelin of Cabo Cigar Company who gave the winners a championship cigar box with custom-wrapped CTJ cigars.