CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico and DALLAS, Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The success of this year's Bisbee's Black & Blue Fishing Tournament looked bleak in the wake of Hurricane Odile, which followed a path of destruction through host city Cabo San Lucas five weeks ago. But a combination of local determination, help from Dallas-based Bisbee's Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund, and even some Divine Intervention, made it the most successful Bisbee's in recent years. And in a "reel"-life David & Goliath twist, a team of local orphans and a caregiver – none of whom had ever fished before – caught a 385-pound blue marlin to win the tournament. The Casa Hogar team pledged their $258,325 prize to the home they share with 42 other children without parents.
Any other year, the boys would not have had the opportunity to fish the tournament due to the prohibitive entry fee. This year, however, Bisbee's Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund's "Cabo Relief Fund" introduced the "Bisbee Cabo Charter Hook-up" as a way to stimulate the economy by putting local charter captains – a group that was in real post-hurricane peril – back to work. An anonymous donor pledged to pay the entry fee through the fund to any team that agreed to hire a local boat, simultaneously injecting money into the economy and giving anglers a chance to check an item off personal bucket lists. It was through this program that the Casa Hogar boys were able to enter, and the program was so successful that it was accounted for dozens of the 127 total teams competing this year.
This wasn't the only initiative spearheaded by Bisbee's. Other efforts included donations of food, charter boat repair, and even temporary homes to those in need. To date, the Bisbee's Cabo Relief Fund has raised more than $750,000 and is responsible for:
- 2,000 clean water systems, each providing potable water up to 100 people per day for five years, distributed through Waves for Water
- 15 homes built; which will continue over the coming months
- Funding for local charter boat repairs
- Several tons of food distributed
"In all honesty, up until a couple weeks ago I thought we were going to rally whoever was here at the time, throw some money in a hat and just go fishing to keep the tournament streak going," said Tournament Director and Fund Founder Wayne Bisbee. "But thanks to all our fantastic anglers and sponsors, somehow we pulled it off the results are just insane. We helped put a lot of people back to work, caught some good fish and even gave away $2.1 million in prizes and we're definitely leaving Cabo in better shape than we found it."
SOURCE Bisbee’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund