Even more teams, who have won from one of 110 qualifying tournaments held in 39 countries on six continents during 2004, are expected when the sixth annual world championship, a four-day catch-and-release billfish event begins.
“We've gotten letters, phone calls and e-mails from a number of winning teams from a half dozen countries indicating they're planning to be competing in Cabo,” said Lynda Wilson, Rolex/IGFA tournament coordinator. “The level of competition at those qualifying tournaments to win an entry into the Rolex/IGFA Offshore is intense.”
This is the fourth year the anglers will be fishing the waters around the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The first two years of the world championship tournament were held in Hawaii beginning in 2000.
Teams already registered represent tournaments in the countries of Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Italy, Kingdom of Tonga, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Tobago, the United States, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.
Twenty-one teams of anglers represent the United States from more than 20 states. Six teams are from competitions in Mexico.
The teams will draw for different boats each day from the local guided Cabo fleet. They will fish for three species of marlin (blue, black and striped) and swordfish for 300 points each along with sailfish and spearfish for 100-point values each. The catches will be scored and released alive at the boat in accordance with the IGFA tournament rules.
The teams also receive points (per pound) for tuna, wahoo and dorado up to two fish of each species per day above the minimum size limit of 25 lbs. Local charities received the donations of all fish weighed at the Cabo docks.
Last year a total of 299 billfish were caught and released.
The team with the most points at the end of the four days of competition will receive Rolex timepieces and trophies. Eighteen other prizes will be presented including ones to the three top anglers and captains, and top three places for the heaviest tuna, wahoo and dorado.
The tournament headquarters will be the Hotel Finisterra.
Besides title sponsor Rolex other sponsors in the offshore championship include Aero México, Aftco, Blue Water Boats & Sportfishing Magazine, Bodo Muche Studio-Foundry, Chevrolet, Corona, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Eagle Claw, Guy Harvey Inc., Hook & Tackle Outfitters, Hotel Finisterra, IWS Scales, King Sailfish Mounts, Mexico Tourism Board, Mold Craft Products, Momoi’s Hi-Catch Fishing Line, Murray Products Fighting Chairs, Nautical Jewelry Originals, The Outdoor Channel, Penn Tackle and Viking Yachts.
Local sponsors in Cabo San Lucas include Minerva’s Baja Tackle, Pisces Fleet Sportfishing and Ultrajewels the official Rolex retailer in Cabo San Lucas.
Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship Tournament in July
The Rolex/IGFA OCT is one of two world-class series fishing events that include the fifth annual Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship Tournament which will be held July 10-13 in Islamorada, Fla., in the Florida Keys. In that tournament some 40 anglers representing nearly 50 qualifying tournaments on four continents are expected to compete in light-tackle and fly-fishing competition for bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish and snook.
Founded in 1939 the International Game Fish Association is a not for profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and promoting responsible, ethical angling practices, through science, education, rule making and record keeping. The IGFA maintains worldwide game fish records in freshwater, saltwater, fly fishing and junior angler categories.
IGFA members are located in over 125 countries. The IGFA welcomes visitors to its 60,000-square-foot interactive Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach, Florida.
For further information, contact Rolex/IGFA tournament coordinator Lynda Wilson at the International Game Fish Association, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, Florida 33004 Email: Lwilson@IGFA.org, or phone (954) 927-2628 Fax (954) 924-4299.