Tracy and Rebecca Ehrenberg with many of the Captain's and Mates of Pisces Sportfishing at the Captain's meeting for the 40th Anniversary Tournament
Finally the day has come to choose a winner for our 40th Anniversary Giveaway which began earlier this year. To enter the Giveaway the anglers needed to submit their story and picture from their best day fishing with Pisces. The prize: A day of fishing aboard the BRAND NEW, 2018, 37’ Viking Billfish. The only one of its kind available for charter on the whole Northwestern USA, CANADA AND MEXICO, and roundtrip airfare and luxury accommodation at the “Harmony Apartment” right on Medano Beach included.
When we came up with the idea to do this giveaway, we based it on the fact that we cannot imagine our life without Pisces Sportfishing crews, staff and especially our anglers. It has meant so much to us, over the years of hard work, or tough times, like in Hurricane Odile or even for example, when the Swine Flu outbreak occurred, that no matter what, YOU, our anglers, stayed faithful to Pisces and came back and showed your dedication and support. That means a lot. We know Cabo has grown and changed since we started 40 years ago here in Baja, and many people, including locals, have forgotten how this little town started… it was a small fishing village when we arrived here, with only about 3,000 inhabitants. Now the town has grown and morphed into many different things, but at its heart it will always be about fishing. It is fishing that has grown us, strengthened us and taught us so much. It is fishing that has allowed us to serve an astonishing 500,000 anglers in all these years and make an impact not only in people’s lives but in our community as well.
Then Mate, now Captain, Rey Winkler on the 1st boat of our fleet, The 28' Karina, with Captain Leon Camacho, now deceased, at the helm.
Fishing for us is the moments and the memories, the feel of the ocean breeze, the sound of the line buzzing off the reel and even the sleepy moments when nothing is happening. It’s the excitement of that bite you have been waiting for all day or the nonstop action on the water, and getting to feed the pelicans and Pancho at the end of the trip. It’s the first time on the water with dad, or the joy of catching your first marlin, it’s time with family and friends. It’s everything all mixed into one day or one moment, that no matter how you try to recreate it or how many times you go, you will never have one day be the same. So we just want to say thank you, once again, for trusting us with these special moments; for these memories that last a lifetime and for letting us be part of making your dreams come true. These moments are what bring us together and this is why in celebrating our 40 Years, we can’t do it without celebrating YOU.
Jason Wagner was one of our Five finalists, submitting this photo of his first ever marlin caught with us in 1988 at only 10 years old.
We received about 200 stories from anglers across the globe, and in all the stories these underlying feelings are what shined through, a first, a new experience, a lifetime dream, a moment with family and friends, and building relationships with staff, dock-masters or crews. The essence of fishing. We were able to narrow it down to our top FIVE stories and then decided to pick the winner from a hat. I must admit, we had moment and prayed, seeking wisdom that whoever deserved this prize get it. Tracy put her hand in and selected a name. Then she put that same name back in the hat, mixed them all back up again and I chose.
We both picked the exact same person!
But how could there not be a second or a third? Well… why not?
Our runners up have been fishing with us for almost 30 years, and as a thank you for their loyalty over the years we have also decided to give them a free fishing trip on their favorite vessel.
Mr. Rick Walsh was selected as our third place story, as in his own words he describes below his first ever, record-setting, day on the water with a Billfish Super Grand Slam and a very special yellowfin tuna catch.
“I have been fishing with Pisces for over 20 years. They are the only charter that I use when deep sea fishing in Cabo because they are simply the best. There are 2 trips of many that are particularly memorable. The first occurred on August 11th, 2001 aboard the Rebecca with then Captain Roberto Sandez. I became the 13th angler in IGFA history to achieve a bill fish super grand slam (4 different species of billfish caught by one fisherman in a 24 hr period). I caught, photoed and released 2 blue marlin, a striped marlin, a sailfish and a black marlin out around the Cabrillo seamount. The black marlin is the only one I ever caught in Cabo and was the last caught of the 5 billfish!!
The second story occurred on October 9th, 2015, also with Captain Roberto on the Valerie, his current vessel. We came upon a large school of dolphin with plenty of diving birds. A big yellowfin tuna ate the hootchie lure on the center line.I was able to get it up to the boat in about an hour. Just then Roberto blasted down from the bridge and gaffed the tuna near the tail. I put the rod but in the gunwale, grabbed the short gaff and set it in just behind the gill. As we were pulling the tuna in a 6 foot silky shark jumped out of nowhere and took 2 rapid bites before we could get it in the boat. One of those was too close for comfort. The tuna weighed 230 minus the shark dinner meat!!”
Mr. Rick Walsh and Captain Roberto Sandez on the 35' Valerie with their shark-attacked 230 lbs tuna
Captain Roberto Sandez pictured on the Valerie, has been with us for 30 years.
Our second place winner is Mr. Lou Pimentel, another loyal angler of ours, fishing as mentioned above, for almost 30 years. Not only is his story remarkable but the video he included of that day on the water is just the icing on the cake. Read it in his own words…
“Over the many great years of fishing with Pisces, there have been so many memorable trips with friends and family members that it’s hard to pick just one trip to enter in this Giveaway contest. But, I guess the one trip that brings back the warmest memories is a trip from 1995. I had not yet retired and I wanted to take my son, Daniel, fishing in Cabo. I asked a friend, Earl Hopkins, if he would like to take his son, Bill, and make it a father and son trip. As our boys were now young men and starting lives on their own, I thought it would be a good bonding experience for us all. As you can imagine, this could be a very long story what with the many things four guys could do in Cabo back then.
Well, I’ll stick to the best part, fishing. Our first day out was on the Tracy Ann, fishing was slow but we did catch some Dorado. Then a day of fishing on Pangas, several football Tuna were caught. Our goal when planning this trip was to get these boys a Marlin and we only had one day left to go fishing. That day was booked on the La Brisa with Skipper Rey Winkler. Well, mid-February is not the best of times for catching Marlin but February was the only time we could all get away.
Fishing was slow, very slow, it was 1:00 PM and we had one Dorado in the box, we were all getting pretty depressed, last day. Being all the way out at the, Outer Gorda Banks, it was about time to head in when I asked Rey to stay out just a little longer if he could. I told the boys not to give up, we still might get one. About that time Rey trolled through the middle of three or four boats that were drifting for Tuna. All hell broke loose, one after the other in rapid succession we were hooked up with three Striped Marlin. The boys were hooked up first and while I was watching them Rey came flying off topside grabbed a rod and hooked up the third Marlin. We had three Marlin going in different directions and somehow we managed to bring them all to the boat, releasing two and keeping one. This was but one of many special days spent fishing with Pisces, the Marlin are all catch and release now, and have been for many, many years. We’ve caught Sailfish, all the different Marlin, Tuna, Yellowtail, Dorado, and Wahoo.
I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating…Over the years I’ve fished a few other boats other than Pisces, either because the Pisces boats I wanted were already booked or because a friend wanted me to join them. If you want a boat ride, it really doesn’t matter, there’s a lot of companies, choose one. But if you want to go fishing and return with a nice days catch and having had a great day, go Pisces, They’re the Best. Period.
Although the 23 year old film has pretty bad quality, you can still experience the day we had at Gorda Banks..."
Captain Rey Winkler with his Deckhand Fernando Noyola on the 31' La Brisa in 2018. Captain Rey has been with us since Pisces Sportfishing began 40 years ago.
And, the winner of the 40th Giveaway Prize is Nancy Hinch Tower, from Louisiana with her story of their first time fishing with Pisces and dream come true. Chosen twice, there was no doubt about it, Nancy Hinch Tower, you were meant to win this! Again we thank each and everyone of you that participated and we look forward to serving you for another 40 years at least! Tight lines everyone!
Picture taken by the crew of the Ruthless of Nancy and Jared by the Arch after their successful day of fishing
Nancy Hinch Tower’s entry:
I'm going to start off by saying sorry for this long post. I want you to know our story from start to finish, and why over and over again I would chose Pisces Sportfishing. August 8, 2018 my husband comes home from work and says I have good news, ok? He says next week I can take some vacation (I've been wanting him to take vacation forever but he has been soooo busy with work)….. My face was like “that's awesome” but inside I was like, “what the heck, how am I going to plan a vacation in just a few days?” So, I called a friend who recommended Pisces Sportfishing if we chose to go to Cabo. See, August 10, 2018 made our 5 year wedding anniversary & we've been together for 17 years. We haven't been anywhere like this by our self, not even for our honeymoon (we went to Vegas with about 50 friends). So going to Cabo sounded so amazing. We have a 2 1/2 year old son and a 2 month old son… thanks to my awesome in laws they kept them both! Ok, back to my story, my friend who recommended Pisces has fished with them a lot but they had also used another charter company too. My husband researched all the boats with both companies and at the end said the boat Ruthless sounded interesting to him. He said something in my heart just keeps going back to the Ruthless. The Ruthless is one of the Pisces boats. I know I called up to the Pisces offices several times asking A LOT of questions. I wanted to know about how fishing had been because they had a storm going on and I didn't know what the weather would look like next week. I didn't know if we should do a half day or a full day. I didn't know about licenses etc. Every time, EVERY TIME, I called up there the girls was soooooo friendly, so helpful and so kind. I booked our boat that Friday for Wednesday. I knew we would only be there Tuesday-Friday. I had also thought, “well if we don't catch anything on Wednesday then maybe I could book something on Thursday.”
Abraham started emailing me with details and information. I started emailing him with all of my questions or anything that would come up and he would respond instantly! I emailed him several times and he was always so very informative. Tuesday came and after we got to the resort we went down to the Marina to see where we would be leaving out of that morning. So many people tried to get us to book something with them and we was like thanks, but no thanks we already have something booked. We found where we needed to be for in the morning thanks to all of the instructions from Abraham. Wednesday morning we made it up there and they had coffee and breakfast rolls for us, and we had our beer 😊 We met Captain Beto & Roberto (deckhand). They was so friendly. Heading out that morning the water was rough. When we made it to where we was going to fish and Roberto set everything up he said “we will be positive.” About 10 minutes of trolling and we heard the line zing. OMG, the feeling was like “Yes this is awesome! What is on the other end?” Roberto told my husband Jared, “Hurry hop in the fighting chair.” This is when his adrenaline rush kicked in.
When we saw it was a Blue Marlin I wanted to cry for my husband because that is what he had dreamed of catching. Beto & Roberto was super excited and pumped up. They tried to get the fish in quick so we could get it on the boat, take some pictures and release him back into the water. Jared got him to the boat within 20 minutes but that fish wanted a fight and zinged back out. After a 2 hour fight and several times of getting him up to the boat we realized that if we released him we don't think he would have made it so we decided to keep it. When we got the Marlin in the boat Beto & Roberto kept telling Jared how wonderful he did and they just kept pumping us up and were so positive. When we headed back in I asked Beto & Roberto if we could go by the Arch and take pictures, they was like OF COURSE! For me that was a huge highlight because I had been seeing the sea lions from afar but when we was there and the sea lion came and propped itself up on the boat I was ecstatic. When we got back to the dock and the guys took the fish off of the boat to hang it up, WOW it was so big 10 1/2 foot (126 inches). The guys that was going to clean the fish was so excited that they wanted to take pictures with it too. We kept some fish to bring back in our soft side YETI cooler for a carry on and we brought 3 fresh steaks. Pisces Sportfishing told us they would package all of our fish and freeze it for us, WHAT? This is awesome!!!
On Thursday, Jared & I went back down to the Marina because we wanted to go to the Pisces Sportfishing office to get shirts, other goodies, and to meet the people there. Those girls was again so friendly. We finally got to meet Abraham which was so nice to put a face to the person you've been emailing. While we was there it was such an honor to meet Rebecca & Mrs. Tracy. I want to express our gratitude to Mrs. Tracy. She was so friendly and so full of information. I could listen to her stories all day. I bet she is so much fun out on the water and what a great angler I'm sure she is! We had brought our 3 Marlin Steaks down with us and was asking where to get them cooked at. Mrs. Tracy walked us next door to Captain Tony's where she told the cook how to prepare our catch for us. WOOOOOWWWW, that was the best sashimi & sushi roll we had in our life. The flavor and the sauces. Thank you Mrs. Tracy and Captain Tony's! They also cooked it for us 4 different ways and that was so delicious too! If you ever find yourself in Cabo you have to fish with the best of the best, Pisces Sportfishing. You have to visit their office and buy merchandise. You have to spread the word of what a humble, down to earth, welcoming business this is. We made many memories and now we share them with our Pisces friends who we love and recommended time and time again!
Captain Beto Lira and Jared share a congratulatory embrace after their Blue Marlin catch.
Captain Beto Lira in 2018 on the Ruthless, Captain Beto has been with us for over 15 years.
WRITTEN BY: Rebecca Ehrenberg.