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PREVIEW: We're aiming for a $1 million payday!


That's right, and interest is high after a record breaking year with 163 teams and a whopping $840,600 payout last year with 17 teams across the board and 22 teams in the $10,000 tuna optional; But this year the tourney has been opened up at the top end, and the for those going after wahoo and dorado dollars in separate $1,000 optionals




BY PAT McDONELL
Director

How do we top the 20th annual Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot? After all, it boasted two teams that won more than $300,000 for the first time, and one of those teams, the champions on Cloud Nine and its 272 pounder, eighth biggest in the history of the tourney, claimed the biggest payout in the history of the tourney at $392,800, and Team Hooray pulled in $324,800.

Western Outdoor News is planning another great tournament and its few changes reflect a commitment to making it affordable to fish at the entry level in any size boat, and lucrative at the top end for the heavy optional hitters. The tourney went up from 147 teams in 2017 to 163 teams last year, and the payout was nearly $200,000 more. This Nov. 6-9, we predict the tourney will produce its first-ever $1 million-plus payout for a projected180 to 190 teams. Signups are already coming in steady.

There are always tweaks to an event, and this year there are some new wrinkles that will jack up the payouts and fun,


Here's news concerning this year's event.

COMPETE AT ANY LEVEL: Among the changes for the tourney is that we are making it possible for teams to win at ANY level, high or low in the optionals. We are well aware that teams play at the level they feel comfortable at, and that is why they are called "optionals."


For 2019 we are offering the same tuna optionals, but a $20,000 optional at $10,000 daily has been added for this year. This optional is called the Gray Fish Tag Research Tuna Optional with 85 percent of the money going to the biggest tuna among teams that enter it (it will pay out each day like the others), 10 percent to the tourney, and 5 percent to Gray Fish Tag Research to purchase fish tags that run $5,000 each.


ACCURATE'S pink Valiant 500 reels, four of which go to the top female team with biggest tuna over two days, with at least two lady members on the team and fishing each day.

The only stipulation for entering that $20,000 tuna optional is that only teams that enter across the board can enter the new optional. There were 17 teams across the board last year, a record for the tourney that started in 1999. We are hoping the high roller teams will go for the big money and help Gray purchase fish tags for research – and perhaps push the total payout over the $1 million mark for the first time.


GAMAKATSU is providing a dry bag backpack to each angler.

WAHOO AND DORADO HAVE OWN OPTIONALS: For the teams that want to compete but not play at the high roller table and still go after the title of 2019 champion, the $1,000 wahoo/dorado optional is now replaced with separate $1,000 optionals. The 30-pound minimum on both wahoo and dorado is in effect the first day but if a qualifying dorado is not caught the first day the minimum will be lowered to 20 pounds. The 30-pound minimum for wahoo will remain in effect both days. The Optional separate optional allows more teams to compete for big money each day. And, teams looking for tuna are more apt to hook a big dorado than a wahoo because wahoo are more tackle specific (wire leader, etc). So when you are fishing tuna, you are also fishing for big dorado. You want to be in that optional as you look for tuna.

WEIGH-IN DEADLINE AREA IN OUTER HARBOR: Another change, asked for by anglers and the marina officials is a new spot for the 6 p.m. weigh-in deadline for boats. It will not be the usual inner harbor area just off the weigh-in docks, which is far too dangerous as boats speed in to make the deadline and marina patrols are ignored. Thus, the outer harbor will be the designated spot that will be videotaped and manned, at the outer jetty. A tourney boat, bannered and monitoring channel 28, will be stationed at the outer jetty from 5:45 to 6:15 checking in final teams and letting others know after 6 p.m. it is too late to weigh in.


THE SCHEDULE is subject to change for event, but there are eight events to look forward to from Check-in to the Awards Dinner with two days of weigh-ins in front of the Hotel Tesoro, the Costa Start Boat Charter on the Cabo Escape, the Friday Fiesta at Maria Corona Restaurant, and more.

THE SCHEDULE: More details will be forthcoming as we work with sponsors and vendors and restaurants, but the Wednesday through Saturday schedule will remain the same, and the same sites will be used for parties, check-in, and weigh-in. The awards dinner catered by Solomon's Landing at the cruise pier was a huge hit, and each year it gets better and better for the anglers. This year, due to construction, the dinner will staged in the covered area while the outer pier is being reinforced and refurbished. The weigh area n front of the host hotel Tesoro will be reconfigured to offer a better viewing area, with the stage and scale against the marina as a backdrop.


THE SCHEDULE is subject to change for event, but there are eight events to look forward to from Check-in to the Awards Dinner with two days of weigh-ins in front of the Hotel Tesoro, the Costa Start Boat Charter on the Cabo Escape, the Friday Fiesta at Maria Corona Restaurant, and more.

The weigh area in front of the Tesoro will again be held Thursday and Friday, there will be two shotgun starts, and two shotgun (flare) start charity parties 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on those days aboard Wild Tours' beautiful party yacht Cabo Escape, with Smiles International benefitting from the $30 charter fee collected by the sponsor, Costa sunglasses. Catered by Capt. Tony's, and the bubbly and Cincos Perros tequila shots for the brave will be poured and be ready to cheer on the teams and then get ready for drawings for Costas and then dancing.

SPONSORS BACK, MORE WELCOMED ABOARD: This year we welcome back nearly all of our loyal sponsors, with four new companies climbing aboard.

One is Nomad lures which is really fired up to be a big part of the event. They are sponsoring the Welcome Party at the malecon marlin sculpture area between Solomon's Landing and Capt. Tony's restaurants (and bars!), same site as last year, and Nomad will award $500 in product daily to the Day 1 biggest tuna, the Day 2 biggest tuna, the largest wahoo of the tourney, and the largest dorado of the tournament, plus more great tackle for the grand raffle.


THE SCHEDULE is subject to change for event, but there are eight events to look forward to from Check-in to the Awards Dinner with two days of weigh-ins in front of the Hotel Tesoro, the Costa Start Boat Charter on the Cabo Escape, the Friday Fiesta at Maria Corona Restaurant, and more.

Gamakatsu hooks is coming down, and they are coming into the tournament in a HUGE way. First off, they are providing the official team boat flags, nylon, embroidered, banner style and in color. They are beautiful. One per team, and others will be available for purchase for $20 at check-in. That is not all. Gamakatsu is also providing 800 of their new dry back backpacks. They are a dry bag that seals, and have sturdy backpack straps and will be adorned with their tuna logo and our tournament name imprinted. Super cool, quality gift for every angler. And, they are sponsoring the new Gamakatsu Karaoke Contest, to be held at the Friday Fiesta among five individuals (or team) finalists in a drawing. Sign up at the Check-in and name your song so we know we will have our Karaoke system and special emcee ready to go

A new sponsor this year is Cinco Perros Tequila, which is triple distilled. The bottom line in tequila is that only 2 percent of all tequila is triple distilled like Cinco Perros. They will be exhibiting at check-in, providing free samples at the Nomad Welcome Party, and providing bottles for drawings prizes throughout the event.


GET A GREAT DEAL at the Hotel Tesoro, and book by Sept. 30 for special rates at the official host hotel of the Cabo Tuna Jackpot.

Techron, made by Chevron, is a new sponsor for all Western iutdoor News events and is taking the outdoor outboard world by storm, providing boats a fuel additive that not only cleanses the system, but also conditions the gas an negating the effects of ethanol. A must-have in fuel stabilization.

Of course, Costa sunglasses is major part of our event every year and the company has built its rep in Cabo on the boats of the Tuna Jackpot. Everywhere you look in Lands End – Cabo is the Sportfishing Capitol of the World -- has captains and anglers wearing Costa shirts, hats and wearing Costa's top-grade, classy sunglasses with their 580 lenses. There is nothing better for your eyes on land and water. Every angler will again receive at check-in a long sleeve Costa event performance fabric shirt with the champions of every Tuna Jackpot imprinted on the back. Maybe your team will get its name on the shirt in 2020? Just catch the biggest tuna in November.

Attending sponsors Dave and Amy Bulthuis also give away dozens of pairs of sunglasses and many gifts in drawings, and supports the Smiles International Foundation charity by sponsoring the Costa Cabo Escape Charters each morning of the shotgun start.


GET A GREAT DEAL at the Hotel Tesoro, and book by Sept. 30 for special rates at the official host hotel of the Cabo Tuna Jackpot.

Accurate reels is coming back down for a second year, and are bringing a dozen beautiful two-speed reels for drawings, and they this year are adding four two-speed pink Valiant 500 reels (BV2-500-SP) designed for the ladies and engraved 2019n WON Tuna Jackpot on the crossbar. The pink reels valued at $580 each are the only such Accurate Valiant reels in existence. The biggest tuna caught by a team that has at least two women officially on the team and on the water will win all four reels.

Baja Cantina is again hosting the Friday Fiesta at its beautiful Maria Corona's Restaurant, is providing the Baja Cantina girls for events, and sponsoring the official Cabo Tuna Jackpot hats this year, plus co-sponsoring the Best Dressed Contest with Fishworks clothing.

The official hotel of the Cabo Tuna Jackpot is the Hotel Tesoro where the event started back in 1999, and it has never looked better. Be sure to book your rooms at the Hotel Tesoro, especially before Sept. 30 as the official host hotel situated in the middle of the Jackpot action is offering a special 10 percent off an already discounted rate for all rooms. See more on the web page at Tesoro web page and click on the link ads or logo, or just call the Tesoro. The code for the tourney discount is TUNAJACK19.

EARLY SIGNUPS: Beat the crowd! There will again be a 1 to 4 p.m., early check-in at the conference center on Tuesday at the Tesoro. Sign in, avoid the lines and come back the next day for the swag by sponsors. The regular check-in will be Wednesday on the malecon and a welcome party at the Marlin sculpture between Solomon's Landing and Captain Tony's, and a Friday Fiesta at Maria Corona's Restaurant.


THE CABO START is always exciting to be in the middle of, both days, off Lands End.

For any questions about the event to sign up and reserve your current or new team number your signup contact is tourney administrator lori@wonews.com. Note on any entry or check that you are requesting a specific number. All team numbers are up for grabs as the "reserve time" has passed. We will assign team numbers to open slots on the roster sequentially unless you request a number. The roster is published on the website and is updated every few weeks for now, and then weekly in the last few months.

It's time to see what all the fun and fuss is about. Get a boat, get a room at the Tesoro and sign up with your friends and family for the Nov. 6-9, 2019 tournament, the biggest tournament every year in Mexico and the biggest tuna jackpot event in the world. It's a great tourney and a helluva party.