Team El Suertudo Wins the 2019 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament

The second and final day of fishing at the 2019 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament produced 62 billfish releases.

El Suertudo February Winner
Michelle Gaylord / Out Your Front Door

Team El Suertudo had a blistering final day of fishing, to help win first place team overall, day two daily release points jackpot and first place overall release points jackpot.


A shortened 2019 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament was wildly successful, with the tournament fleet of 51 teams catching 117 billfish across two days of fishing, including 36 blue marlin, 73 striped marlin, three black marlin and five sailfish. One qualifying black marlin, weighing 440 pounds, was caught by Team Wild Hooker on the first day of fishing. Fishing teams were competing for $785,550 in cash, plus prizes.

The overall winner of the 21st Annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament was Team El Suertudo, scoring 1,300 points. El Suertudo didn’t weigh any fish, but a prosperous second day of fishing saw them catch four blue marlin, two striped marlin and a Pacific sailfish for 1,275 points. El Suertudo won the Overall Team Division and Overall Release Points Jackpot plus they won the Day Two Release Points Jackpot. The team, consisting of Capt. Greg Distefano, Guy Yocom, Jeff Richardson, Christian Lopez, Bruce McDonald, Adam Flores, Oswaldo Ortego and Alfonso Ortego, earned $117,350 for their efforts and an invitation to the 2020 Costa Offshore World Championship in Costa Rica.

The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament awards 300 points for black and blue marlin releases, while striped marlin, sailfish and spearfish are just 25 points. Marlin weighed over the 300-pound minimum are awarded points based on their weight. In 2019, each pound was worth 1.5 points, so a 500-pound black marlin catch earned 750 points. The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament point system favors blue and black marlin releases, or catching a monster marlin for weigh-in.

Team Wild Hooker took advantage of their lone black marlin catch. Angler Guy Arrington caught a 440-pound black marlin on the first day of fishing for a total of 660 points. Their fish was the only marlin brought to the scales and, therefore, the only qualifying marlin all tournament long. Their team won all the Daily Marlin Jackpots and the Overall Marlin Jackpot for total earnings of $483,750.

Second-place in the Overall Team Division went to Team Sneak Attack with 975 points. Sneak Attack also won the Second Place Overall Release Points Jackpot. The team released two blue marlin, one black marlin and three striped marlin over two days of fishing. The team, consisting of Capt. Vicente Bojorquez, mate Rene Moreno, Chip Wagner, Shawn Guttersen, Guillermo Bojorquez, David Rosenthal, Daniel Rosenthal and Christopher Chay, earned $72,790.

Third-place in the Overall Team Division was secured by Team Buenaventura with 950 points with three blue marlin and two striped marlin. The team also scored the Third Place Overall Release Jackpot. Their efforts earned them $44,610 in total. The Buenaventura team consisted of Capt. Dylan Kerwin, Chris Watts, Brad Terry, Shawn Dale, Darren Wright, Javier Octavio and Derek Williams.

Team Pocket Aces had a strong first day of fishing, taking the Day One Release Points Jackpot. Their two blue marlin releases were tied with Quitena, but Pocket Aces won out because their catches were earlier in the day. Team Pocket Aces consisted of Capt. Angel Salvatierra, Mark Hinkle, Steve Hayashi, Julio Fiol, Chris Smith and Abmando Zabate. In total, the team won a check worth $11,700.

Teams entered in the Tuna/Wahoo/Dorado Jackpot who weighed gamefish species were also able to get on the winner’s stage and receive cash prizes. No qualifying dorado were landed over the three days of fishing so that prize money was distributed to the tuna and wahoo winners. On day three, no qualifying tuna were caught, so that purse was rolled back to the first day’s winner.

Day One

Angler Mike Darden, of Team Tejas, landed a 158.6-pound yellowfin tuna to win the Largest Tuna Daily Jackpot. The fish won Team Tejas $24,600. The team consisted of Capt. Hernando Gonzalez, Mike Darden, Eddie Cobb, David Copoton, Lalo Eduardo, Julian Liquideno, Paul Thrane and Hernando Gonzales.

Angler Mark Chiavetta, of Team Bill Collector II, landed a 29.2-pound wahoo to win the Largest Wahoo Daily Jackpot. The fish won Team Bill Collector II $15,375. The team consisted of Capt. Gilberto Castro, Esteban Banderas, Mark Chiavetta, Rick Sangetta, Juan Carlos Lopez, Juan Carlos Martinez, and Ronaldo Castro.

Day Two

Angler Ken Eberle, of Auriga, landed a 35.5-pound wahoo to win the Largest Wahoo Daily Jackpot. The fish won Team Auriga $15,375. The team consisted of Capt. Jose Alvarez, Ken Eberle, Bill Nadeau, Jesse Cox, Ronald Weisfeld, Joe Assenza, Kevin Sensmeier and Luis Rentero.

A total of $785,550 was awarded to the winning teams, plus lots of great prizes from tournament sponsors. King Sailfish Mounts provided custom trophies. Garmin awarded a Quatix watch to the top captain. Maui Jim attended the event and provided sunglasses. YETI offered up both Ramblers and coolers to winners. Accurate, PENN and Shimano provided high-quality offshore reels. Marine artist Carey Chen couldn’t make the event this year, but provided prints for the winners. Soundview Millworks provided custom cutting boards. Lucas Oil provided a load of different marine products for tournament anglers. JABSCO and Rule brands attended the event and provided washdown pumps to winners. AFTCO was the official apparel sponsor for the 2019 Los Cabos Billfish, so winners received AFTCO performance clothing. AFTCO also provided rod belts, gaffs, gloves and championship team apparel for the winning team. Hiltons provided one year subscriptions. BFD Big Game Lures provided custom lures for the winners.

Day one of fishing at the 2019 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament was canceled due to dangerous weather conditions, leaving teams to battle it out over two days instead of three. The tournament awarded more than $780,000 in cash and prizes to fishing teams catching the largest marlin, tuna, wahoo and dorado, as well as the top three billfish-release-points teams and daily high-point-release teams.

The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament is hosted by the Los Cabos Tourism Board, and produced by Bonnier Events, in partnership with Marlin, Sport Fishing and Salt Water Sportsman magazines.

The 2019 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament sponsors include Los Cabos Tourism, Lucas Oil Marine Products, AFTCO Fishing, YETI, Garmin Marine, Playa Grande Resort and Grand Spa, The Marina at Puerto Los Cabos, King Sailfish Mounts, marine artist Carey Chen, Viking Yachts, Galati Yacht Sales, Arnian Freight Logistics, FONATUR, FONMAR, API Cabo San Lucas, Marina Fundadores, Fisherman’s Landing, Maui Jim sunglasses, Marlin magazine, Sport Fishing magazine, Salt Water Sportsman magazine, United Yacht Transport, Columbia, Shimano Fishing, Penn Fishing, Accurate Fishing, IWS Scales, Soundview Millworks, JABSCO Rule, Hilton’s Realtime Navigator and BFD Big Game Lures.



Overall Team Division

  1. First Place: El Suertudo
  2. Second Place: Sneak Attack
  3. Third Place: Buenaventura


Overall Release Points Jackpot

  1. First Place: El Suertudo
  2. Second Place: Sneak Attack
  3. Third Place: Buenaventura


Overall Largest Jackpot and Daily Jackpots Marlin Winner

  1. First Place: Wild Hooker


Day 1 Billfish Release Jackpot – Pocket Aces


Day 2 Billfish Release Jackpot – El Suertudo


Largest Wahoo Daily Jackpot

  1. Day One: Bill Collector II
  2. Day Two: Auriga


Largest Tuna Daily Jackpot

  1. Day One: Tejas