2 Arizona men win Mexico fishing contest, prize of $1.59 million

Two Arizona men won a Mexico fishing contest recently, landing them a prize of $1.59 million.
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 12:59 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Two men from Arizona recently won a Mexico fishing contest, landing them a prize of $1.59 million. Mike Ciardullo and Matt Parsons managed to find the catch of a lifetime, hooking a 344-pound marlin on the very first day of Bisbee’s Black & Blue tournament in Cabo.

“There’s a total of 220 boats, a total of probably 1,200 or 1,400 people,” Ciardullo said. “Nobody caught anything the first or second day,” Parsons said. “We were the kings of Cabo for about two days.” Ciardullo explained that the pot grew to be so large because the jackpot from the second and third days rolls over if there are no other fish brought in.

“We lost to two fish,” Parsons said. “It’s such a blur.” Ciardullo said it was his second time competing in a fishing tournament, and Parsons said this was his first. “Everyone was cheering for us, so we’re thinking at least we broke even on this deal. But when they announced the amount of money, we were pretty happy.”

Both fishermen said that all fish caught is donated to the locals so nothing is wasted. “It’s catch and release up to 300 pounds,” Parsons said. “Out of 70-some fish, only three of them died for food.”

Ciardullo said he had to take a polygraph test for an hour, explaining what happened. “They take it real serious,” he said. “There’s specific tournament rules you can’t violate. They want to check you for honesty and that you followed the rules.” The two said that locals in the area followed the tournament and that they were celebrated everywhere they went.

To learn more about Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament, click here.