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EFSA - European Federation Of Sea Anglers

European Game Championship 2013 - Los Cabos – Mexico

We have promised the Championship with the most marlins ever, and we’ve got it.

To reach this great result we need the right fishing spot, and we’ve got it.

We  need the perfect week, and we’ve got it.

We also need the best local people to support us, and we’ve got it.

But to have a nice Championship we also need good anglers and gentlemen, and we’ve got it too.

With all this requirement, my first experience as Game Championship Officer has been fantastic and I want to thank you all for helping us to reach this small but very important milestone in EFSA history.

Wonderful weather sunny and dry and good sea‘s condition have welcome the 24 anglers participating the European Game Championship 2013  staying at  beautiful and confortable Hotel Sandos Finisterra in Cabo San Lucas.

In my first day in Cabo I have met first the Gibraltar Teams members, arrived the week before the Championship and I’ve found them all well excited and ready to go.

The fishing report was going well too reporting a good increase of the Striped’s presence, disappeared three weeks before after a tropical storm that have involved the area around the tips of the Baja peninsula.

During the training days the EFSA Teams have released 13 Striped Marlin, 1 sailfish, a Black Marlin extimated around 200 lbs caught by the South African Team Protea and a small blue caught by the Italian anglers Fausto Fraccaroli while was fishing with a pangas.

We have reported also two wahoo caught by the Gibraltar team (Carreras, Lara and Torres)and a nice 127 lbs yellowfin tuna caught by South African's anglers.

Also the  famous Bisbees Black and Blue, running in the days prior to our Championship, ended with good news with more than 60 blues caught (quite all released being under the minimum weight of 300 pounds) with a final blue monster of 774 Lbs arrived in the afternoon of the last day.

With all this good news we have started the Championship operation on Saturday October 26 at Minerva’s Baja Tackle Shop meeting the Captains and mate for the briefing.

On Sunday  October 27th, right after the boat draw, we have had a long briefing along the Championship’s Coordinator Minerva Saenz and the Radio Control Operator Mario Banaga. followed by a tasteful

Mexican Kick off party at Tortuga Beach Restaurant, located inside the Hotel Sandos Finisterra, right on the beach in front of a quite Pacific Ocean that, following the report will be the tournament area for the four days of the Championship.

Monday morning at 7.00  local time as scheduled, the EFSA Game Officer have called Lines in water. The day have started bad since the beginning with a repeater’s technical problem resolved after a couple of hours with our Radio Control Operator reaching a good position on a cliff upon Migrino’s beach  right  in front of  the area where the boats where fishing.

The teams have started soon to call hook up of many Dorado (dolphinfish) abundant all around, but all under the minimum weight of 25 pounds. Since the first Marlin’s  hook up, destiny mark immediately the elected team.

In fact the Barbarian team, Antonio Montefusco (Switzerland) John Cross (Wales) and Gianluca Paravizzini (Italy ) on board of MINERVA VI call the first “Marlin en la linea” on the radio. On the rod the Italian Gianluca Paravizzini that  break the line quite immediately.

The day have passed for all teams training with the dorados until one hour before lines out when the Minerva VI have called in another Marlin’s hook up. Again Paravizzini on fight, trying to catch his first marlin.

At three o’clock lines out and another 30 minutes for the team to complete the catch that has been complicated by the leader entangled around the fish extimated around 120 lbs. Just eight minutes before the end of the day , finally arrives the good news: “ released”.

 It is not a normal day for Los Cabos, but we have had the first Marlin of the Championship.

After a slow start, the second day have has showed clearly the real face of Cabo’s waters with many striped Marlin released since the early morning. School baits have appeared all around on the surface pushed up by the Striped Marlins less than two miles off the Baja’s shore in the Pacific side of the Championship area.  Many fish have been get lost by the anglers , most of them fishing Marlin for the first time. At the end of the day more than 30 Marlin’s strike shave been called in with   13 Striped  Marlin released.

What seems to be luck in the first day, became  consistent in the second  with  Barbarians still leading the Open ranking releasing another 4 Striped Marlins (Montefusco best angler of the day with 3 releases)  on board of Minerva II .

Good day also for the Gibraltar A Team (Balban- Pons-Gabay) on board of Minerva III with four Striped Marlin released. Third place for South Africa (Hartley – Spence- Van Wyk-Riley) with two release.
Gibraltar A leads the National teams, followed by Switzerland and South Africa.
On the lay day all anglers have participated in the Roosterfish Festival on board of the typical local Pangas.

A total of 58 fishes has been released after measurement using for the first time the IGFA Official Measurement Device. The Gibraltar team Danny Gabay and Anthony Pons  have won the contest beating the Barbarians Antonio Montefusco and John Cross. On third place the Italians Giacomo Forti and Fabio Mattiacci who have fished the biggest one a nice over 120 cm of length.

The event was sponsored by Minerva’s Baja Tackle who offer the nice T shirt Trophy with the name of the winners on it.  The Awards Dinner take place at Captain Tony’s Restaurant located in the Marina’s sidewalk.

Still Marlin Fiesta on the third day of fishing  that start really good. Team Italy B right after  the Cabo point hooked up two Striped Marlin followed by many other teams  and at 9.30 in the morning we already have reported 7 fish released. During the rest of the day , the action has been quite slower but still prolific.

Another 20 Striped Marlin’s strike during the third day with 14 fish released.

Returning to Cabo’s Harbour , unforgettable moments for Gibraltar B Team  have seen a huge  billfish on the surface,  probably a Blue Marlin, that unfortunally doesn’t hit the bait pitched soon by team . Not good for the rank but exciting to try.

Barbarian’s Team, still leading the Open Ranking after the third day of fishing with another three Striped Marlin released reaching 1.600 points, increasing their position over Gibraltar A today with only two fish released for a total of 1.200 points tied by South Africa  with four Marlin released (nice triplet for Jacques Van Wyk).

Gibraltar A leads National Standing and has been tied by the South African Team’s Protea with 1.200 points.

On top of the individual anglers ranking Antonio Montefusco (Switzerland ) is still leading with two more release reaching 1.000 points, followed by Jacques Van Wyk with 800 points and the Italian angler Andrea Linguanti with 600 Points.

Barbarian’s Team, have closed their “Perfect Championship”, doing a great job even in the last fishing day, winning the EFSA European Game Championship 2013 with a total of nine striped Marlin released.

The final day  have registered less hook up than in the previous days, but the experience made by all anglers have reduced the lost fishes and the final day have ended with  another  9 Striped Marlin for a total of 37 fishes released.

Second place for Gibraltar A Team Shaun Balban , Anthony Pons and Danny Gabay , that with 7 releases have won also the National Team Rank.

Third Place for South African Team Protea with 7 release completed one hour later Gibraltar A.

In the Individual Rank , first place for Antonio Montefusco (Switzerland) with 5 Striped Marlin released, followed by  Jacques Van Wyk (South Africa) and Andrea Linguanti (Italy B).

Unforgettable Championship also for the eleven anglers who have realized their dream releasing their first Marlin of their life during the fishing or practice day have received a Marlin’s flag on stage.  Gibraltar’s anglers Shaun Balban, Charlie Carreras, Charlie Lara , Anthony Pons e Lee Torres (Gibraltar) who have released also his first Pacific Sailfish, welsh  John Cross, the Italians  Giovanni De Bustis, Andrea Linguanti, Placido Manganaro e Gianluca Paravizzini. Furthermore Danny Gabay (Gibraltar) have released his first Striped Marlin and Fausto Fraccaroli (Italy) his first Pacific Blue Marlin.

The “Mezcaleros” award ceremony, took place at Plaza Finisterra’s Championship Headquarter in a unique scenary with a breathtaking night view over Cabo San Lucas Harbour,

where the Barbarians Team has been awarded with the gold pins and EFSA Plate,  sprinkling and drinking good Italian Prosecco wine, furnished by the sponsor Bepin de Eto with all other anglers.

All well wet, outside and inside, but all happy after four hard days of fantastic fishing we have close this Championship that , listening the comments  of all anglers, has been a great success.

As usual for the great event, there is a long list of persons I want to thank for that also on behalf of the EFSA Executive.

A special thanks goes to the General Manager Paulino Emiliano of our Championship Headquarter Sandos Finisterra Hotel, the Sales Manager Ramon Ascencio and our fantastic Group Assistant Lupita Rochin Romero. for their great organization of all events and for their friendship. I really appreciate  great job they have done and I hope to have the opportunity to be there again soon.

All Captain and mate have been so patience with all the anglers fishing marlins for the first time helping them to increase their catch ratio day by day. An important role for this great result.

No words are enough to thanks our Championship Coordinator “always smiling” Minerva Saenz Valenzuela and the entire Minerva’s Baja Tackle ‘s staff. Those people have been the invisible engine of the event.

Another special personal thanks goes to all 24 anglers participating in the Championship for fully understand the needs and the feeling of this event and to have done the best in order to insure a great future of the EFSA European Game  Championship.

Thanks to Ande Monofilament, furnishing their fantastic line also for the Game Championship.

Thanks to all other sponsors GIBI Marine, IWS Scales, Transcabo, Bepin de Eto, Boat and Fishing, Eagle Claw and thanks also to all at IGY Marina Cabo San Lucas.

Definitely, Cabo have confirmed to be one of best fishing destination in the world.

The Championship have registered a total of 63 Marlin’s hook up with  percentage of 59% of valid Catch.

Plus more than 50 Dolphin fish all of them under the minimum size of 25 pound.

We have had 37 Striped Marlins in the Championship and almost 50, counting those caught during the training day by our anglers. Quite a same number of nice Dorados  no one reaching the minimum size of 25 pound. 58 valid fishes has been released in the EFSA Roosterfish Festival with some nice fish over 1 meter of length.

But if I have to choose an imagine of this experience , well, no doubt about it.

To see all the anglers on stage at the award ceremony, showing the marlin’s flag for the first marlin in their life, it’s been a very special moment for me and I’m sure they will never forget Cabo and this event for the rest of their life. Believe me, this is the best reward for me. I love this place and I’m very happy to introduce the other anglers in this fantastic fishing spot.

I want to thank you also the EFSA President Horst Schneider and all EFSA Executive members for support all my requests and I ‘m glad for this good results for all of us. It’s been my great pleasure. Thank you.

For all those who cannot be able to participate in this Championship, as we use to say while where in Cabo.

We will propose this venue again soon for another great Championship.

Looking forward to see you all in Miami 2015

Massimo Brogna
EFSA Game Championship Officer


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