Poco Bueno fishing pot reaches $1.37 million

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

July 17, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.

Alex Brewer, 14, of Albuquerque, N.M. watches as boats come in Saturday at Poco Bueno at Port O'Connor.

Alex Brewer, 14, of Albuquerque, N.M. watches as boats come in Saturday at Poco Bueno at Port O'Connor.

PORT O'CONNOR - When it comes to Poco Bueno, Jimmy Cagle is simply known as "the ice chest guy."

As he dragged his blue and white ice chest into the middle of the crowd, something happened that many Poco Bueno regulars already expected - country music started blaring out of the medium-sized cooler, which he made into a boom box.

"You can't go anywhere without music," Cagle said, as his friends and the crowd around him waited for the possibility of seeing a blue marlin at the last weigh-in of the 2010 Poco Bueno Annual Invitational Fishing Tournament.

On Friday, five blue marlin already had been caught and weighed in.

Marlin Majic, brought in the first and largest blue marlin at 476.5 pounds.

The name of the captain or where the yacht's crew was from were not available.

As of 9 p.m. Saturday, no other blue marlin weighing more than Marlin Majic's blue marlin had been weighed in.

Cagle was just one of the many characters with a Poco Bueno history at the weigh-in.

Jim Reed, owner of 10th Street Lodge in Port O'Connor, remembers his father winning the pot in 1971.

Reed could not remember how much his father won, but several of his guests involved in the tournament said the pot this year for the largest blue marlin was $1,375,000.

"This is the biggest Poco Bueno I've ever seen," he said.

One of his guests, Kim Duplichan, of Houston, said she feels people have a misconception about how the oil spill is affecting the Gulf of Mexico.

"Off of the Texas coast, we are fishing like crazy," she said.

For Skylar Fisher, Poco Bueno is something he has gone to since he was a kid.

The 29-year-old can remember heading down to watch the weigh-in for at least the past 20 years.

"They close down the street," he said as he kept his place on the back of a trailer with his friends. "It's just a place to hang out."

The crowd looks bigger than it has in the past, Fisher said.

Gasoline prices at this time last year were higher, which may have deterred people from wanting to travel, he said.

Poco Bueno is just one of those events that makes Port O'Connor, well, Port O'Connor.

"We have Memorial Day, Labor Day, the fireworks and Poco Bueno," he said. "These four days are the only things that draw people to town."



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