The 2022 Bisbee's East Cape Offshore edition begins with 97 teams who, for the third year in a row, are vying for another RECORD-BREAKING TOTAL of $1,614,425, according to the final numbers listed in CatchStat. Anglers from Cabo to La Paz share optimism after the positive results of several successful events for different species kicking off this season in Baja.
Before the 3-pm opening of the 23rd Annual East Cape Offshore Tournament, when eager teams could finalize their registration, they socialized on the patio, basking in a pre-Covid normalcy lacking for several years. Maskless, some chatted with old friends and first timers while others posed for their team photos.
When registration opened, the growing crowd of teams surged, nearly overwhelming the Staff. Throughout the afternoon, the parade of entrants continued. When registered, the teams mingled at the Pool Bar, exchanging pleasantries, and hoping to get more information than they gave about their pre-fishing results.
"Waters too hot!" a few observed. "It's off-color," others countered.
"We didn't see one fish on our way up here from Cabo," added another. But unfortunately, whatever positive observations were offered seemed to be shared quietly in one-on-one conversations.
Axel Valdez, the owner of Buena Vista Oceanfront and Hot Springs Resort, welcomed everyone to what he called the Golden Days of Baja Fishing, "like it used to be."
He was followed by Wayne Bisbee, Tournament Director, and Clicerio Mercado, Bisbee Coordinator, MX, reviewing rules in both English and Spanish. In conclusion, they noted that the Drone Operator requested the teams – "Line up straight for the drone shot, please!"
So, ninety-seven teams lined up as straight as possible.
After the Captains' Meeting concluded, many teams headed for the beach, where they were served from an "all-you-can-eat special Taco Bar overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Entertainment was provided by Omar and Nataly Martinez, "Ukulele Blitz," a father and daughter combo from Cabo San Lucas.
Brimming with self-confidence from his recent Dorado Shoot Out win held several weeks earlier, Esaul Valdez, when asked about his plans for the day, answered, "I don't know about the rest of the guys, but I'm planning to catch TWO fish!" So, watch for him at the scale this afternoon!
The following morning, the teams, consisting of approximately 350 anglers plus captains and mates, boarded their boats and once again attempted to form a straight line.
When the clock ticked to precisely 7:30-am, three flare guns exploded in unison, signaling the official start of the three-day fishing event. Donna Jeffries, turismo director, Los Cabos, to her right; professor Oscar Leggs Castro, Los Cabos, Mayor, to her left Martin Inzunza, Fonmar Director. Fourth from her left Marco Puppo, Diputado Federal, brown shirt.
The Bisbee season begins again! Watch this spot…
That Baja Guy-Gary Graham