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Big bucks at stake, and you can do this!

Can you afford the tournament? Adding it all up, for $2,500 a person, a 4-man team can be in the thick of the fun and competition, so get a team ready.

The tournament aims at being at being the "most fun tournament in Cabo." Well, it paid out just over $1 million to eight teams last year, with two of them, 2019 Champs Sirena and day 2 big winners Southern Comfort, winning $420,235 and $356,400, respectively. Heck, one team, Outcast, with a 21.4-pound dorado the second day won $80,000 by sweeping the two-day optional. It was the first year the dorado and wahoo were separated with their own $1,000 optionals. A total of 80 teams entered both optionals for a $160,000 payday for just those two optionals. You can fish for wahoo and dorado in a super panga!

But it's a fun tournament too. It's a description we hear from teams every year. There are always folks who tell staff it was on their "bucket list" to finally enter and try to win. If not to win, certainly to experience the thrill of a shotgun start with 150-plus boats surging from the blocks. Bucket list, indeed.

This is our 22nd year, with 154 teams participating last year. Anglers come from all walks of life and economic levels from all over the world: Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Norway, and of course, the U.S.

So, you've been thinking about going, asking a few friends, fishing, maybe going early and pre-fishing, doing some partying at the clubs or asking another couple to give it a shot and have some laughs.

Some people come every year. Many heard about it from friends, or were in Cabo when they saw it going on and decided to try it, or they read about it in Western Outdoor News or saw ads for it in the IGFA World Record Books or other national magazines.

This article is all about putting it on paper, the real costs you will have… to go, compete, destroy some brain cells, pull on big tuna, and get tan while back home it's snowing, and what the hell, maybe win a hundred grand? Or two? Or three hundred?

Let's break it down, what it really costs to be in the Tuna Tournament:

You have to factor in airfare, hotel, boat charter, entry fee, food, tips, and live with optional costs being the obvious: Optional jackpots, bigger boat, partying, bringing a family member or significant other, rental car, high-end sportfisher, etc.

At its most basic, after everything is factored in, the real cost of entering the Tuna Tournament and being in one or two lower-end optionals for a four-man team is less than $3,000 a person — more like $2,500.

Breaking it down: Airfare is around $350-$450, which is even less than in previous years. So, at the bottom end, a boat charter is $700-$1,000 a day, so $500 is your share over two days for a four-man team. That's a starting point, but a basic 20-knot, 28 footer with a Mexican captain puts you in the running no matter what, especially if you are in the new $1,000 Dorado and Wahoo Optionals.

Be aware: Most charterboat fees for tournaments are 30 to 50 percent higher than their normal daily charter fee due to more time, more tackle prep, longer hours, fuel costs and wear and tear on diesels. It's the captain and crew and your ability, too. They have some incentive too, as a charter captain gets 10 percent of all winnings.

— Hotel: Two rooms, $150 a night with breakfast at the Hotel Tesoro. Real cost per person is $80 a day, 5 nights, $390 including taxes.

— Entry fee: $250 a person, your share of the $1,000 for a 4-man team.

— $1,000 dorado or wahoo optional ($500 a day) and $500 tuna optional ($250 each day); for those two optionals, $375 is your share.

— Food? You have to eat anyway, but you get free buffet breakfasts and two dinners from us with the hotel and your entry. You can eat cheap in Cabo, or dine at 5-star spots — up to you.

— Just for the hell of it, rent a car at National (our official rental car agency and they offer special tourney prices through the Cabo Tuna website) for $200. For that, $50 is your share.

— Tips: $100 for two days is your share.

— Bait: $50 is your share.

— Food over 5 days. (Minimum $400)

That's pretty much it. The total per person (Each person's costs or their share of team costs) is under or around $2,400.