EAST CAPE - John Ireland's Hotel Rancho Leonero had only three boats entered in last week's East Cape Bisbee's offshore tournament, but he wound up with the two top prizes for the only qualifying billfish weighed.
The Rancho Leonero resident boat Sonrisa, with Mike O'dell, Cooke Bausman, and Fred Green, took the $60,394 top prize with a 425-pound blue marlin. The skipper was Lorenzo Marron with Felipe Gonzales as deck hand.
And, the Rancho Leonero fleet cruiser, Canelo (named after Ireland's dog), came in second, with $4,017 for a 307-pound blue, landed by fleet skipper Hector, and team members Keith Jones, and Randy and Matt Davis.
The yellowfin tuna category was won by local East Cape angler, Richard Bottini, on the Makaira, with a 95-pound fish, and the dorado category was won by a 67-pounder caught by Fred Valor on the Awesome. Eash of those fish won a $7,770 prize.
In all, 37 teams competed for $139,350 in prize money, on August 7 through August 10, but Tricia Bisbee reported that some money was returned to entrants because the two winning teams had not entered the optional daily jackpots. The tournament winner, Sonrisa, qualified for the World Billfish Tournament Grand Championship Tournament and the Rolex/IGFA Invitational Tournament, both scheduled for Cabo San Lucas.