EAST CAPE, Baja California Sur, Mex. – A 437 pound black marlin caught in the Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tournament (ECO) was worth more than a quarter million dollars to angler Andrew Hughes and his fish-fighting team. Along with Hughes’ check for $258,683, eleven winners in various divisions plus jackpot dollars brought the total payout of the 2017 tournament to $590,375.
The winning marlin hit a trolled live skipjack approximately 5 miles off the local Punta Arena Lighthouse on the Sea of Cortez.
Hughes, 59, fishing with the team, Mi Corazon (My Heart), fought and brought the billfish to the boat in 60 minutes. As a tournament angler, this is Hughes’ third time being in “big money” and the second time winning. Previously, Hughes took home $149,000 for winning in 2006 and $124,000 for a second place in 2009.
A 36-year California resident and owner of two roofing companies in the Los Angeles area, Hughes has been traveling to the East Cape region of the western Mexican peninsula for “about 30 years” to fish the Gulf of California aka Sea of Cortez. The designated “East Cape” is some 50 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, dotted with fishing villages and hotel resorts.Headquarters for the ECO tournament was the Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort, near the restaurants and shopping districts of Los Barriles.
A dedicated tournament angler, Hughes won a tuna and marlin competition in Puerto Vallarta less than a month ago. Prizes for that victory included a new car and jackpot money.
Andrew Hughes aboard his Mi Corazon brought a 437-pound black marlin to the scales the first day, placing his team at the top of the leader board.
Clicerio Mercado, along with Tricia Bisbee, was assisted by Rogelio Bosque, Guillermo Sandez, Professor Victor Lizarraga, representing Los Cabos’ mayor and Lic. Hector Montaño from API, Los Cabos (Los Cabos Port Authority) accompanied by his young grandson and granddaughter passing out checks and trophies to the eleven winning teams.