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What will the champions win?


A few statistics, too, on the biggest winners over the years

What can you win as a Tuna Jackpot champion. It's a good question, because the champs win a lot of unique prizes.


LAST YEAR'S champs, Tu Corazon, captained by Chuckie Van Wormer, won $180,575 and other gifts and looked pretty happy about it at the stage on Saturday night. They scored a 298 the first day, winning the first three day 1 optionals ($500, $1,000, $2,000) and the overall money that goes to biggest fish of the event.

First off, they win 85 percent of the overall cash pot, which is calculated by taking the number of teams and multiplying by $500, which is half of the $1,000 entry fee. The other $500 goes to dinners, clothing and operating expenses. If the champions are in any options, they win that money. Last year, Team Tu Corozon caught a 292 the first day and rode that to a payday of $180,575 for winning the first three options on the first day and the overall cash.

The most any champion has won, the result of being in most of the optionals, was last year, when Team 116 on the Reel Quest took the $10,000 optional the first day with a 231 pounder and then swept the second day optionals the second day with a 274 pounder for a total of $31,950. Second most money? That was in 2004 when 19's Toy won $248,800; third biggest payout for a champion was Reel Quest's 2013 total of $242,960. These boys mean business! Fourth biggest payday in the 18 years of the event was the 2012 team of Estrella Del Norte with $233,450.

The big money is, as you can see, in the optionals.


THE HALL OF FAME, the World Famous Tuna Wall, is already updated with the 2016 winning team Tu Corazon, at Capt. Tony's Restaurant on the malecon. The full history of the tourney is on the wall, and a replica of the biggest tuna ever caught in tourney history, the 383 pounder by team Fisher Man.

So, Tu Corazon won last year, so what did they win in a general sense? Well, they got a big cardboard check (please don't try to cash it), four custom hand-carved (by the director) Hawaiian circle hooks on marble bases ($500 retail each), women's and men's championship shirts custom fitted with their names created Friday night when the scales close on the tourney and are ready for the awards dinner where they are presented. They also receive a Cabo Cigar Co. humidor box filled with high-end CTJ-custom wrapped Dominican tobacco cigars, silver tuna rings from John Pettey Goldsmith and a one-of-a-kind bottle of Scotch, engraved with the Tuna Jackpot logo (It's good scotch).

The team name and weight of the fish are put on the perpetual trophy with the other 17 winners since 1999, and the color framed history of the tourney are put up on the Tuna Hall of Fame at Capt. Tony's Restaurant in Cabo.