By Michael Koehn

La Paz, Mexico — The 2002 Bisbee Offshore Circuit, the richest bluewater big game tournament series in the world, recently opened its season a little early, and with a completely new format for the organization. The very first “Mini-Bisbee”, a free event for the children in La Paz, was held on May 1, as part of the 8-day long Tequila and Mariachi Festival sponsored by Baja Life Magazine and the Baja Communications Group.

“The Mini-Bisbee is probably one of the most enjoyable events I have been involved with,” said Wayne Bisbee, Tournament Director for the Newport Beach-based operation. “We picked up an armful of spin casting rods at a nearby Big 5, and then drove down with my Dad and picked up Clicerio Mercado, our Cabo-based director of Baja Tournaments. There were already a number of kids waiting for us at the pier before the curtain went up at 10 this morning.”

The tournament allowed children from the La Paz area to compete in a series of casting contests and a final cast-off to determine the winners in the various age groups. Over the course of the day an estimated seventy local children, with ages ranging from six to fourteen, completed in the contest, and they all were provided with a commemorative Mini-Bisbee T-shirt, soft drinks and refreshments, and plenty of expert instruction from the festival staff.

Sinkers and line flew across the pier, headed for the target buckets as the kids learned, many for the first time, how to operate a rod and reel and cast. For those who wound the handle backwards, or otherwise had technical problems, Wayne’s father was on hand to assist with the dreaded bird’s nests.

By early afternoon, the winners had been determined, through the casing accuracy point system, and prizes were awarded for first, second and third places. Winners in those categories were awarded a certificate, ribboned medals, and the first prize winners received new spin-casting rods. As the competitors were assembled for group photographs, the scene resembled a small scale Olympic awards ceremony, with the kids in their new shirts comparing certificates and proudly showing off their medals.

“I’ll tell you what,” said Bisbee, “we are known to produce the richest offshore billfish tournaments in the world, but you can’t put a price on those expressions on those faces. For most of these kids, it’s the first time they’ve had a fishing rods in their hands. We hope today we’ve been able to let the kids have a little fun, learn something about casting, and given them a start toward an appreciation of fishing and the fun of being on the water with their friends.”

The Mini-Bisbee will continue later this year to coincide with festival events in Los Cabos in October and Loreto in November. The Bisbee offshore bluewater series for the high stakes angler has been expanded this year and will feature events on the East Cape (at the Palmas de Cortez hotel) from August 7-10, followed by an event in La Paz out of the La Concha Beach Resort, September 11-14, and the newly-added Los Cabos tourney on Oct 11-13. The flagship Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Jackpot Tournament will be held in Cabo San Lucas from Oct. 15-19.

From more information on the Baja Offshore Circuit, contact: 
Bisbee’s, 729 W. 16th Street Suite B-10
Costa Mesa, CA 92627PH: 949-650-8006
FAX: 949-650-7882
In Cabo San Lucas, Sr. Clicerio Mercado can be reached at



























































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