Bisbee's 24th East Cape Offshore Tournament
Teams gathered early for the Registration that opened at 3:oo pm, eagerly welcoming the opportunity to renew their friendships from years past while making new ones; Teams shared their history of years passed, of their participation in ECO. There was more camaraderie among the teams and the Bisbee staff, with laughter and happiness flowing. The staff was ready and waiting, the line formed, and the Bisbee Team opened precisely at the scheduled time.
The line grew throughout the afternoon, and as teams concluded their Registration, they huddled into groups to decide which jackpots to enter, ranging from individual categories, which included Billfish, Dorado, and Yellowfin Tuna. The line continued to grow, and teams huddled into groups to decide which jackpots to enter. The amounts varied, and the Teams went into huddles to discuss their options.
Mingling with competing teams was a must as they made their choices, and they guardedly exchanged the results of their pre-fishing observations. "Water is sure hot!" "Not much bait showing on the meter!" "The wind was up by mid-day!" "etc." "etc."… the usual mundane comments.
The Team count grew as the afternoon slowly slipped by.
One of the teams with a history in the ECO was Team #55, "Keep It Reel," aboard Buenavista Resort's "Liliana." They have participated for the past five years and won a jackpot during the last year. Dedicating their entry to honor her deceased husband, "Scot," was Maureen Kays, along with team members Manuel, Marcus, Captain Manuel Perlata Bogarta, and Oscar Ramero Vargas, anglers.
Team WhataCatch #35 with team members Greg Deters, Hadley Deters, Heather Hielscher, and Donna Webb-Wessels anglers seemed to have the camaraderie that has been the cornerstone of this event, judging from the response of the different Teams I visited.
As Teams waited for the Captain's Meeting, they mingled around the pool and browsed through the vendors offering various items, including t-shirts, fishing tackle, and lures.
With Clicerio Mercado as his interpreter, Wayne Bisbee opened the Captain's Meeting by reviewing the Schedule and Rules and modifying the start time to accommodate the lack of DST in Mexico.
Wayne was excited to welcome the 98 teams competing for approximately $1.8 million (U.S.). Before closing, he also recognized "Team Too Awesome"#20. The entire Team arrived with custom shirts with the following words: "Celebrating 23 Years Fishing Bisbee's East Cape Offshore in the Year 2023!" were recognized by "Wayne Bisbee."
Shaun Speer, Omar Araiza, Maria Fernandez, Jose "Pepe" Cota Verdugo, Jose "Chepe," Ibaibarriaga Paredes with Ibaibarriaga - 3 a's, three i's, two b's, two r's). Lucas Loynes, Stan Parks and Clicerio Mercado.
Working tirelessly at Radio Control year after year, Axel Valdez observed that his father Chuy, founder of Buenavista Resort, would be proud of the growth of the East Cape Offshore since he and Robert (Bob) Bisbee had dreamed up the event 24 years ago.