All Systems GO for Bisbee’s ECO

  • Gary Graham
  • Jul 30, 2018

It’s getting close! Online sign-ups prior to Tuesday’s registration have been brisk. Numerous well-known team and boat names are returning, as well as the greenhorns -- the freshman class of 2018 competitors. Some teams are quietly pre-fishing; crews are making last minutes runs to the Big Box stores for groceries and other supplies, eagerly exchanging “fish dope” with anglers they encounter in the wide aisles.

Many of last year’s front-runners are seeking to pull off one of those “back-to-back” wins that are almost always illusive.

Last year’s newcomer, the Jones Fish Team is hoping to repeat their remarkable first-year Dorado Jackpot win of $45,900. Other returning victors include: Retriever, 1st Release, $30,940; TAG Team, Top Dorado $13.330; and Sneak Attack, 2nd Release $10,710; and Awesome Day 2, Tuna Jackpot, for $15,300.

Not only are they mere “winners,” at press time, two teams, Sporty Game and Retriever are also proud members of the unofficial “Bisbee Millionaire Club.”

Other updates: The boat Sirena will be replacing Pangalisa. John Dominic with his Team Pangalisa will be returning onboard the 39-foot Contender. Back-to-back overall Tuna Division champs, they have won five out of the last six dailies and are hoping for a three-peat -- another win of "Top Tuna and Dailies” that earned the team $44,040 last year.

Another team to keep an eye on will be the Team Tequila Teasers competing for their third time. Will their late win of $132,800 in the WON Tuna Tournament last November with a 239-pound yellowfin give them some momentum? Will they be giving Team Sirena a run for the money? Stay tuned…

Also, after an extended South Sea Cruise, the Titan (Sailboat) 2013 Team Titan, (the first sailboat ever to compete in the Black & Blue), hung on to win first place in the Release Division, winning $63,537 for three blue marlin releases based on time.

Mi Corazon, the big winner in 2017, decided to sit this year out and give everyone else a chance. 

This season, local anglers’ conversations seem to be punctuated with references to the phrase “good old days,” which of course is referring to the reappearance of the sardina, the return of more dorado than the past few years plus more yellowfin tuna.

“Yellowfin tuna showed up in March and have been consistent ever since. This is great news because it sets up a perfect environment, providing black and blue marlin their favorite food! This week after driving away from the tuna with a full fish box, JenWren III hooked an estimated 400-pound black and had it on for about 10 minutes before it became unbuttoned!” … Mark Rayor, JenWren Sportfishing

“Our boats have been seeing lots and lots of striped marlin mixed with some big (mostly black) marlin. There have been both big blacks and big blues recently! A couple over 500 pounds and one exceeding 600!” …John Ireland, Rancho Leonero.

Adding to the above, the Weather Channel is predicting partial cloudy skies with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the low 90s.  There are no threatening storms on the horizon during the three fishing days.  

The Bisbee staff is in the building sorting out the last-minute details and making final preparations for Registration on Tuesday.  Don’t miss it!

It’s a great opportunity to catch-up with other teams you’ve met in the past as well as a chance to check out the new-comers, the various sponsors and their displays of products. Be sure to bring the entire team for a Photo while you are all fresh, looking your best.

Hope to see you at Registration!


  • 3:00-7:00pm Registration and distribution of Team Bags at the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort.
  • 6:30-7:00pm Captains Meeting on the pool deck. Attendance by at least one team member is mandatory.
  • 7:00-8:30pm Kick-Off Cocktail Party.