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praying to the fish gods bisbee

Team Snell fishingPhotos Courtesy of Chris Snell

Today is the second day of fishing in the Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, the richest fishing tournament in the world. The boats set out early this morning at 8 am hoping to catch that giant marlin that will bring them home the big bucks.

What is it like out there off the Cabo shores, hoping that you will reel in the big one?

Chris Snell and Andy Lemke from Team Snell have been kind enough to share with us some of their Bisbee’s experience – from preparation rituals to superstitions.

Dollars for fishing

What are your team’s superstitions (other than $100 bills)?

“NO bananas on the boat. Bananas are bad luck. (Nobody really knows why… it’s just boating tradition). When I fish, I always take a St. Christopher medallion with me – the patron saint of travel. We pour beer into the water from EVERY beer we open while fishing – it’s a gift to the fish gods. All anglers have to have a shot of tequila at 11 a.m. as a toast to the fishing gods. Nobody is allowed to sit in the fighting chair, unless a fish in on the line.” – Chris Snell

“No bananas, no girls on the boat. Pour a sip of beer into the ocean. We believe that as long as something goes completely wrong, the fishing will be great.” – Andy Lemke

Team Snell for the Bisbee

Who is on Team Snell?

“Team Snell is made up of Snell Real Estate clients and Homeowners. None of our anglers are professional fisherman – some have never even caught a marlin before. That’s the best part of it— we have our fishing systems down, a great captain — we even give novice fishermen an outstanding chance at landing a 500+ lb fish. – Chris Snell

What is the team’s favorite “big fish” story?

“One year, we were fishing the Miss Palmilla and we had a blue marlin that hit the side of the boat SO hard that the bill of the marlin went THROUGH the fiberglass hull, above the water line into the engine compartment. It was sticking out about 6-8 inches inside of the engine compartment. The boat was repaired, and the marlin’s bill remained intact.” – Chris Snell

“Every story Chris tells is a “big fish” story ;)” – Andy Lemke

Boats at the bisbee

What is the biggest marlin any one on the team has caught?

“Chris’s blue marlin” – Andy Lemke

“485 lbs. – about 8 years ago. It was an epic fishing day. On the same day, we landed 11 tuna, the smallest was 125 lbs and the largest pushing 250 lbs.” – Chris Snell

What is your favorite part of the Bisbee’s Black and Blue Tournament?

“The camaraderie. That first shot-gun start Wednesday morning is awesome. Optimistic anglers always go out thinking, “It’s our turn this year, we’re going to get the big one.” – Chris Snell

“The shotgun start & the novelty check with our team name on it.” – Andy Lemke

“When that reel goes off – that means a fish is on the line.” – Chris Snell

Bisbee view

Does the team have any pre-tournament preparations or rituals?

“We do a marlin dance in the morning, only to be seen by anglers… Thank God.” – Chris Snell

“Beach workouts prior to event. Chris – baby lifting ;)” -Andy Lemke

Snell Fishing time

What do the team members to do to practice for the Bisbee’s?

 “Pull on a bucket. We hook a galvanized bucket on the leader line, drop the bucket back about 50 yards and traveling at 6 knots. It’s impossible to reel in the bucket, but it allows the angler to practice removing the rod from the holder and climb into the fighting chair by himself without any assistance – which is part of the rules of the game. Once in the chair, we then back up and the angler retrieves the bucket.” – Chris Snell

How does Team Snell celebrate a catch?

“Tequila.” – Chris Snell

“Tequila.” – Andy Lemke

Beers on the bisbee

Is there anything special about your boat – the Ginny Mae?

“The Ginny Mae is owned by John Stoia, homeowner in La Caleta, Palmilla. His boat is not only extraordinarily equipped and outfitted for fishing, but he has two 1100 horsepower turbo diesels that make it one of the fastest fishing boats in Los Cabos. This is a HUGE advantage when you’re trying to be the first one out of 100+ boats to the fishing grounds.” – Chris Snell

 “It’s one of 10 fastest yachts in the Bisbee.” – Andy Lemke

For non-tournament participants, what is the best place to watch the event?

“The Office on the beach at 7:30 a.m. and watch the guys roar out of there. Or get a water taxi.” – Chris Snell.

“Kickoff boat or Baja Cantina on the beach.  Baja Brew Co could be good, too.” – Andy Lemke

Chris Snell has participated in the Bisbee’s five times over the years and his company, Snell Real Estate, has been a sponsor of the event eight times. The team consists of Chris Snell, Andy Lemke, Greg Casillas, Tom Boyce, Bob Howard, Fred Malone, Gary Smith, Bo McCloskey, Murray Sinclair, and Chris Sinclair. No women of course!

Smiles for Team Snell

We wish Team Snell good luck. We hope they have plenty of beers to keep the fish gods happy and that they keep the tequila handy for when the big fish show up. 

About Guest Author Cara Gourley
Cara Gourley

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