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The Four

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As day was breaking, and we could still hear the birds singing their morning songs, we loaded all our gear in the Morgan 39 (power boat), ready to leave the dock. As we pulled away the morning songs gave way to the hum of the diesel engine....ah what a wonderful smell of the hint of diesel and salt air intertwined to start a relaxing day of offshore fishing.

Cruising through the mangrove lined channel, we are heading for the bay that leads us past the last hint of civilization, as we exit the pass for a 40 mile trip to the azure blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is there that we will begin true rejuvenation of body and spirit as we reel in large groupers and snappers, enjoy a few cold ones, and begin concocting our great fishing tales of the day. 
Well, the cooler is full with the days catch, and it's time to head back to civilization. We have about a 2 1/2 hour trip back. Looks like a storm brewing about halfway between us and land. The weather report was very good for the day, as a good fisherman always checks the reports prior to venturing offshore. Storms are normal during the summer months in Southwest Florida, so with the favorable weather report, we are not overly concerned.

Wow....we are approaching the storm, by now very wide spread, and we see the water from the churning sea being blown sideways, maybe 40 to 50 knots! As we get closer we throttle back a little until we decide the direction of what looks to be a monster of a storm. To our good fortune the storm is headed out...and we are headed in, so not to much of a change in our heading. We are now in the thick of it, smashing into the giant waves, and then down hill to the next set! we are taking water over the bow down in between waves - four of us on board with plenty of skill to ride this one out.The waves seem to be 10 to 15 feet, and the wind is about 50 to 60 knots now! 
The front hatch cover has just ripped off completely and is sitting between the hatch and cabin!! This is a miracle - 60 knot winds and the hatch hasn't moved from it's resting place! The big problem here is the boat diving down the waves and taking water over the bow with an open hatch! Springing into action Captain Morgan (yep you guessed it....he built the boat) told me to take the wheel, at which point he makes the dangerous journey to the bow to save the hatch cover. While he is holding on for dear life and putting the hatch cover back in place, I direct my father and brother-n-law down below to hold the hatch cover from inside.

Captain Morgan has made it back to safety, and now we can stay afloat while we continue to ride out the storm as we head for shore. After about another 45 minutes the seas finally begin to subside, and we see the pass about 5 miles ahead! It was truly one of those times when there is no time for worry or being scared. If it has ever happened to you in any type of situation, then you know the feeling I am speaking of. We are back now and the local news and coastguard are reporting on the freak storm that came from the Atlantic, crossed the state in South Florida onward into the Gulf of Mexico, with 20 foot seas in which 24 plus boats were capsized. We just said WOW -we were in that. Our fish tales for this trip were pale in comparison to the monster storm tales.

Author of this article,
Gary Vanderpool

Rare disorder leaves Tred Barta paralyzed

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On his way to Alaska to tape his TV show, Tred Barta recently suffered a rare occurrence called a spinal stroke. He is currently paralyzed from just below the chest down. Prognosis is way up in the air at the moment. His message to everyone is? "Don't take a single second of your life for granted." Send him best wishes at

Orca imitates outboard motor

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Amazing footage of the young orca has resurfaced online

Even though it was originally posted awhile ago, this amazing video has resurfaced recently in the web world. It shows a young orca doing its best imitation of the Johnson outboard it seems to have befriended. This particular whale is actually the star of, well, The Whale – a documentary that is now screening in select cities.

screensaver featuring the amazing photography of Fernando Almada, a charter captain in San Carlos, Mexico.

Tournament veterans win at Los Cabos Billfish Tournament with 543-pound blue

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2011 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, Day 3 and Final Results

CABO SAN LUCAS, BCS — Angler Horace Barge of San Marcos, California, caught a 543-pound blue marlin on day one of three days of tournament fishing to earn his Team Chupacabra First-Place Team and a $47,500 cash prize at the 13th annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament held October 11 through 15 in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur.

Chupacabra’s blue marlin also won the team, including Capt. Jesse Scarbrough, mate Bobby Cline, and anglers Mike Mullen, Robert Cline, Timothy Donnelley, Horace Barge and Michael Thompson, tourney honors of Largest Blue Marlin, Days One through Three Daily Marlin Jackpots, and the Winner-Take-All Marlin Jackpot to bring Chupacabra’s total tournament prize money to $364,764.25. The team also holds a unique distinction of being one of few teams to fish every year of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament.
Team Angelina I, which was captained by Job Villavicencio and comprised of mate Hernando Gonzales, Florida anglers Anthony and Kathy Sposato, and Eduardo Liero Ceseña and David Martinez of CSL took Second Place Team with its 408-pound black marlin winning $28,500. That black won the team Largest Black Marlin category and an additional $14,250, bringing their winnings to $42,750.

Third Place Team and $19,000 went to anglers from Madrid, Spain, fishing aboard Picante 45 with Capt. Daniel Carrera and mate Pedro Orates. The team — including, anglers Jose Antonio Sud Roman, Francisco Muñez Pavon, Carlos Muñez Pavon, Jorge Garcia, Pedro Nolasco Romero de la Cuesia, Pedro Orantes Lieras, NS Luis Alberto Orantes Lieras — released one blue marlin for Pedro Orantes Lieras, a Pacific sailfish release by Fracisco Muñez Pavon, and a blue marlin release by Jorge Garcia to earn 1,100 points total and First Place Billfish Release Points team earning them $9,500; total winnings $28,500.

The Second Place Billfish Release Points Team was Go Deeper with 1,000 release points, first from five sailfish and one blue marlin. Team Miss Behavin’ earned the Third Place Billfish Release Points Team with 1,000 points from four sailfish, one striped marlin and one blue marlin release.

In the gamefish jackpots, Team Karma 3 angler Bob Manroe weighed a 216-pound yellowfin tuna Wednesday, earning them the Day One Jackpot. Day Two Daily Tuna Jackpot went to Team Fisherman for its 240-pound yellowfin. And Team Zhao’s 135-pound yellowfin tuna took the Day Three Tuna Jackpot money.

Team Karma 3 weighed a 27-pound wahoo on Thursday to take home a double Daily Wahoo Jackpot, and Team Wildcatter brought a 39.3-pound wahoo to the scales on Friday to take the Day Three Wahoo Jackpot. Team Red Rum weighed the tournament’s only qualifying dorado at 28.5-pounds, taking triple Daily Dorado Jackpots.

The tournament awards banquet took place at the Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa’s exquisite beachside terrace adjacent to the Brigantine Restaurant. Participants enjoyed a fine dinner of filet mignon and lobster, incredible door prizes and raffle items, and a slide show and multimedia production. The tournament honored the late Don Luis Bulnes Molleda and raised funds for the Solmar Foundation, thanks to the generosity of its participants.

In all, the Cabo San Lucas 2011 tournament season started off with a an impressive showing, as the tourney fleet of 42 boats weighed a 543-pound blue marlin and 408-pound black marlin, and successfully presented video of 51 billfish caught and released — two black marlin, seven blue marlin, 16 striped marlin and 26 sailfish.

2011 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament Final Results

Los Cabos Team Division

Furuno First Place Team
Chupacabra with 543 points wins $47,500 and invitation to the 2012 IGFA Offshore World Championship
Captain Jesse Scarbrough, mate Bobby Cline, anglers Mike Mullen, Robert Cline, Michael Thompson, Horace Barge
Total Team Chupacabra winnings: $364,764.25

AMD Second Place Team
Angelina I with 408 points wins $28,500
Captain Job Villavicencio, mate Hernando Gonzales, anglers Anthony Sposato, Kathy Sposato, Eduardo Liero Ceseña, David Martinez
Total Team Angelina I winnings: $42,750

Rick Bogert Third Place Team
Picante 45 with 1,100 release points wins $19,000
Captain Daniel Carrera, mate Pedro Orates, anglers Jose Antonio Sud Roman, Francisco Muñez Pavon, Carlos Muñez Pavon, Jorge Garcia, Pedro Nolasco Romero de la Cuesia, Pedro Orantes Lieras, Luis Alberto Orantes Lieras
Total Team Picante 45 winnings: $28,500

Biggest Blue Marlin
Chupacabra angler Horace Barge 543 pounds wins $14,250
Captain Jesse Scarbrough, mate Bobby Cline

Biggest Black Marlin
Angelina I angler Job Villavicencio 408 pounds wins $14,250

Most Billfish Release Points — First Place Team
Picante 45 with 1,100 release points wins $9,500

Most Billfish Release Points — Second Place Team
Go Deeper with 1,000 release points wins $5,700
Captain Javier Allejandro Abarua Gallado, mate Francisco Artro, anglers Chris Vincent, Luis Abaroa Gallardo, Francisco Arturo Montelongo V., Tony Berkowitz, Bobbi Whitcomb
Total Team Go Deeper winnings: $12,382.50

Most Billfish Release Points — Third Place Team
Miss Behavin’ with 1,000 release points wins $3,800
Captain Jose Reyes, mate Jose Loria, anglers David Finkelstein, Ben White, Paulo Soto, Luis Reyes

Optional Jackpot Divisions

Baja Brewing Co. Daily Marlin Jackpot, Days 1-3, Levels 1-4
Chupacabra with 543 pounds wins $213,914.25

Fin-Nor Winner-Take-All Marlin Jackpot
Chupacabra with 543 pounds wins $89,100

King Sailfish Mounts Daily Billfish-Release Jackpot — Day 1
Auriga with 600 release points wins $6,682.50
Captain Lobo Martinez, mate Norberto Landas, anglers Kenneth Eberle, Jane Eberle, Alyson Eberle, Marco Ehrenberg

King Sailfish Mounts Daily Billfish-Release Jackpot — Day 2
Go Deeper with 700 release points wins $6,682.50

King Sailfish Mounts Daily Billfish-Release Jackpot — Day 3
Reel Quest with 600 release points wins $6,682.50
Captain Ty Valli, mate Antonio Botoguez, anglers Dick Landfield, Walker Evans, Chuck Oltman, Bill Savage, Michael Loffer, Vincente Botoguez

Transcabo Day 1 Tuna Jackpot
Karma 3 angler Bob Manroe 216 pounds wins $5,049
Captain Juan Jose Abaroa, mate Kyle Manroe
Total Team Karma 3 winnings: $15,147

Transcabo Day 2 Tuna Jackpot
Fisherman angler Hugo Pino Olachea 240 pounds wins $5,049
Captain Alfredo Periko Sanchez, mate Hector Hugo Pino Miranda

Transcabo Day 3 Tuna Jackpot
Zhao angler Donald Whitter 135 pounds wins $5,049
Captain Carlos Bertran, mate Eduardo Aripez Beltran

Transcabo Day 1 & 2 Wahoo Double-Daily Jackpot
Karma 3 angler Bob Manroe 27 pounds wins $10,098
Captain Juan Jose Abaroa, mate Kyle Manroe

Transcabo Day 3 Wahoo Jackpot
Wildcatter angler John Martin 39.3 pounds wins $5,049
Captain Angel Gilberto Kakogui, mate Juan Osuna Garcia

Transcabo Day 1-3 Dorado Triple-Daily Jackpot
Red Rum angler Randy Pruden 28.5 pounds wins $15,147
Captain Javier Ceseña, mate Jesus Ramero

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