One group of fishing amateurs just raised the bar when it comes to beginner's luck.
A team of local orphans and their caregiver -- all of whom had never fished before -- caught a 385-pound blue marlin and won the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Fishing Tournament on Oct. 26 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. But although Team Casa Hogar was awarded $258,325 in prize money for the accomplishment, it isn't splitting up the cash for each member to enjoy. According to a press release, every last dollar will be go into the organization they have benefited from, Casa Hogar, which helps provide shelter, food and educational opportunities to underprivileged boys in Cabo San Lucas.
The unlikely win concluded an already historic event, as the fishing tournament fell just weeks after Hurricane Odile devastated the area, throwing the event into question. The tropical storm crept up Mexico's Baja California peninsula on Sept. 15, forcing about 92 percent of those living on the southern half of the peninsula to lose power, Reuters reported. Although 135 people were hospitalized with injuries resulting from the storm, no deaths were reported.
In response to the storm's destruction, Bisbee's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund, a Dallas-based nonprofit committed to protecting wildlife, helped ensure the tournament's success through its Cabo Relief Fund aimed at providing assistance to Cabo San Lucas' impoverished communities. In a move to stimulate the local economy after the storm, an anonymous donor agreed to pay the entry fees through the fund for any team that paid to use a local boat in the tournament.
Team Casa Hogar wouldn't have had the funds to participate without the anonymous donor's gift, according to the press release.
“In all honesty, up until a couple weeks ago I thought we were going to rally whoever was here at the Baja Cantina, throw some money in a hat and just go fishing to keep the tournament streak going,” Bisbee founder Wayne Bisbee said, according to his organization. “But thanks to all our fantastic anglers and sponsors, somehow we pulled it off and the results are just insane. We helped put a lot of people back to work, caught some good fish, and we’re definitely leaving Cabo in better shape than we found it.”