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The recent Marina Puerto Escondido Sportfishing Tournament saw 30 teams travel to the iconic, peaceful Loreto area in Mexico to compete in the second annual two-day offshore event. Coincidentally, this was the first big gamefish tournament of the 2021 Baja Sur season.
Hosted by the newest marina on the Baja Peninsula, located just 15 miles south of Loreto, it accommodates mega yachts up to 60 metres (200 feet). Owners Inmobiliaria JEP and Hamann have completely revamped the marina with state-of-the-art slips, amenities, and premium services.
Ideal spring weather greeted the participants, comprised of both local and visiting teams, who met to match their skill and knowledge. The fishing area featured the productive waters of the Bahía de Loreto National Park and the area surrounding the Marina Puerto Escondido. The fishing grounds lived up to their reputation as being one of the most prolific in the Sea of Cortez.
On day one, the sight of 30 teams and their boats, ranging from a six-metre (20-foot) Mexican Pangas to a 24-metre (80-foot) sport fisher, all jockeying for position before the flare gun start, reflected the diversity of the participants. As the flare sailed across the sunlit sky, the fleet accelerated. It was clear some took the in-shore challenge of the big yellowtail seriously. Others headed east off shore in search of dorado and billfish. With poor radio reception, it would be late afternoon at the scales before the teams' success or failure could be revealed.
Following COVID-19 protocol, face masks were always to be worn and social distancing of six feet of spacing between every person was to be in place throughout the event. Only the angler and their catch could come to the scale, eliminating team photos.
Team Marmakos on Allure was first to the scale with a 31.1-pound yellowtail which was caught in the first hour of fishing. Hunter, San Diego Ca., marvelled, “All we caught were cookie-cutter fish like this one.”
Later during the Saturday night awards, Rebecca Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing, riding aboard La Chingona, confided that they had found a bunch of marlin and managed to release seven for the day.
On day two, as teams gathered at the start line, the winners from the first day had already received their rewards and were buoyed by the confidence of winning. The remainder of the fleet was fuelled with determination to not let their second chance to be in the winner’s column be wasted.
That afternoon, teams straggled in after two busy days of action, hoping to be the team with the most releases or the most dorado and yellowtail to weigh in.
The total numbers for the event included 61 dorado brought to the scale, as well as 34 yellowtail. In the release division, 61 billfish were released during the event.
CHICLEBOLA yellowtail 34.1 pounds 1st place overall
MARMAKOS yellowtail 31.1 pounds 2nd place overall
TAG TEAM dorado 34.6 pounds first place overall
RETREIVER dorado 34 pounds 2nd place overall
The final awards were distributed Sunday 16th May 2021.
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