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Event: Baja Capers 2002 Marlin Tournament

TackleTour tags a marlin in the 2002, 8th annual Baja Capers fishing tournament

Date: 9/9/02
Event Type: Tournament
Location: Baja, Mexico
Event date: Aug18-22nd, 2002
Reviewer: Buzz

Big Game ocean fishing can be one of the most exciting adventures of a lifetime.  Miles out into the deep ocean you have the opportunity to catch a numerous species of fish, such as Dorado, Tuna, and Billfish. Your equipment will often be tested to the limits if you hook into a ferocious predator such as a 500 lb. Blue Marlin. Which is exactly what TackleTour Editor Buzz discovered firsthand. Buzz enjoyed three days of fun in the sun at one of the premier fishing tournaments in Baja, Mexico... the Baja Capers 8th Annual Fishing Tournament. Not only did he come home a winner, but with memories that will last a lifetime.

Early in the morning anglers eagerly await their boats as they prepare for day 1 of the Baja Capers tournament

The Location: Baja Capers fishing Tournament was hosted at the beautiful Hotel Palmas De Cortez in Los Barriles, Mexico August 18-22nd 2002.  Upon first glance the hotel seems like a vacation resort, but when you take a look at the beach, the docks, and the huge scales, you quickly realize that this hotel provides some of the best sport fishing in the region. Hotel Palmas De Cortez sponsors other tournaments as well such as the Bisbee which is well known for it’s huge entry fees and grand prize payouts.


The event takes place at the beautiful Hotel Palmas de Cortez which frequently hosts large tournaments like the Bisbee


The Tackle: Big game tackle was available on the boats. this tackle consisted of mostly Penn reels and rods. About 50% of the people who fished in the tournament brought their own tackle. While many anglers used Shimano Tiagra reels the majority of anglers fished large Penn reels and Tuna Sticks. Most fish were caught on 50lb test with various wire and cord leaders.


Before fishing for Marlin anglers need to catch some live bait, in this case Bonita

The Format: The Baja Capers 2002 tournament hosted 48 anglers of 16 teams for 3 full days of fishing.  A captain and a deck hand is assigned to a boat that serves 3 tournament members.  The boats are cruisers measuring 28 feet or bigger with single or dual engines that cruise at between 20-30 knots.

Buzz works up a real sweat as he fights and successfully lands a 290lb Blue Marlin

Tournament members can choose who they fish with in their boat, however other anglers in your boat are not on your team.  Your teammates are drawn after you arrive in Los Barriles.  Ranking is done by a point system that accounts for the type of fish, the size, and whether or not it was tagged and released.

Buzz's 290lb Marlin is tagged and released unharmed

Since the tournament is sponsored by the Billfish Foundation, anglers are awarded extra points for tagging and releasing any Billfish.  Tuna and Dorado are considered “weighed” fish which means they must be brought back and weighed at the scales to receive points.  After weighing these fish you are free to have them smoked or frozen to be brought back to the States (a big plus).

A 100lb sailfish is returned to the water

Fishing in fantastic Baja water for big game is a treat in itself, but no tournament would be complete without some trophies and prize money! Baja Capers contributes prizes, cash payouts, and awards to deserving tournament members.  This year’s members won reels, rods, gift certificates, a free vacation, and numerous cash prizes.

A 120lb Striped Marlin is caught on live bait
(zoomed picture shows the Bonita still in the Marlin's mouth!)

Sponsors of the tournament: Baja Capers recognized as one of the most exciting fishing events on the East Cape Of Baja, Mexico and the tournament boasts a number of industry leading sponsors including:    C & H Lures, Boater’s World, Corona, Ande Line Company, Star Lures,  Gamakatsu, Penn, The Billfish Foundation, Shimano, The Van Wormer family, and our very own TackleTour!


(Left to Right) Dave Goulart, Tony Rogers, and Jim Soares took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in Top 3 landed Durado

The Scoring: The scoring for the tournament is broken down as follows:

                          Fish                                              Points
Any Marlin   400 Points
Tagged Marlin 100 Points
Sailfish 325 Points
Tagged Sailfish 100 Points
Dorado 3 Points per pound
Tuna 3 points per pound
Wahoo and Roosterfish 2 points per pound


 Plenty of trophy's and prizes await the winners

This Years Tournament Winners of Top Overall Anglers

1st Place- George Erwin 2600 points

2nd Place- Dustin Derollo 1275 points

3rd Place- Tom Burkhart 1270 points

 Buzz's team win third place overall in the tournament (were still not sure if Buzz is grinning about winning 3rd place, or being sandwiched in between the Corona girls)

Conclusion: Baja Capers offers a first class annual fishing tournament experience that delivers excellent fishing, lodging, and entertainment.  It offers a great opportunity to hook into the fish of a lifetime while exploring the gorgeous blue water of the Sea of Cortez.  While your not losing all your energy trying to bring in a 300lb Blue Marlin, you can see Dolphins, Sea Turtles, Manta Rays, and even Whales right from your boat.  With a little luck and a good equipment you can win prizes, or the money pool which in some cases could pay for your trip.  Whether you are a beginner fisherman just wanting to try deep sea fishing, or an experienced angler, this tournament provides the excitement that will impress all.

 Everyone who participated in the Baja Capers 2002 Tournament had a fantastic  experience landing the fish of a lifetime!


To learn more about the details, information, or if you want to book for next year’s tournament, please contact Tournament Director Dave Goularte at (408) 247-4555. 

E-mail: BajaCapers@aol.com









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