Category: Fishing at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club


 

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1956, but there was more to the story than anyone expected...

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1956, but there was more to the story than anyone expected…

Colonel C. J. Tippett was not only the Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1956, he was also the club manager for the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, off the coast of Peru.

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was the hottest big game sportfishing location in the world at that time, and celebrity anglers were pulling record-setting hook and line catches in astonishing numbers.

This activity attracted the attention of Sports Illustrated, and the magazine sent out a writer to do an article on the wonders of black marlin fishing on Marlin Boulevard. But the article didn’t represent The Club in quite the way the members had expected, some of whom were affiliated with the magazine’s leadership.

On March 19, 1956, the headline “The Fabulous Cabo Blanco Club – In Color” blazed from the cover of Sports Illustrated. It pictured Alfred C. Glassell Jr. with one of his many black marlin catches on the dock at Cabo Blanco. Tip’s happy anticipation in reading the article, mailed to him from New York City, quickly turned to unease as the author began to systematically bash the Club’s exclusive policies.

Tip and The Club’s leadership were tasked with damage control on the fallout from the article. The incident is described in detail in Chapter 17 of “When No One Else Would Fly“, the aviation biography of Colonel Tippett.

Tip wrote a telegram regarding his action on the article:

“KIP FARRINGTON. EAST HAMPTON, N.Y.

I HAVE WRITTEN HENRY AND YOURSELF A LETTER AIRMAILED YESTERDAY STOP.

SITUATION SERIOUS BUT CAN HANDLE STOP. REGARDS TIPPETT”

The full story, in the book, is now available on Amazon.com.

What The Book Is AboutColonel C. J. Tippett’s biography, When No One Else Would Fly tells a story that will appeal to fans of:

Aviation History – for an example, check out this post about how Tip taught pilots to Fly The Hump.

Big Game Fishing – like this story of how Tip cheered on the (still standing) world record black marlin catch.

WWII History – from the perspective of a man who knew General Hap Arnold.

Celebrity History – ie: stories from Tip’s long standing friendship with Bob Hope.

and finally,

Civil Aviation History – for instance, Tip’s participation in the pilot certification of the students at Tuskegee University and his personal meeting with George Washington Carver.

When a book has this much appeal to this many different interest levels, it’s a great deal. Thank goodness it’s available on Amazon.com!

The bait of choice at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was Bonito, Mackerel, and Squid.

The bait of choice at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was Bonito, Mackerel, and Squid.

There’s a tantalizingly tasty new book trailing through the oceans of big game fishing stories.

It is When No One Else Would Fly, the aviation pioneering biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett, who did amazing things not only in aviation, but also with black marlin fishing at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in the 1950s.

The details, both researched and in his own words, are a must-read for anyone interested in the history of big game sport fishing.

Cabo Blanco, Peru was a small fishing village named for the white cliffs above blonde beaches. It was a long car ride from Lima, the capital of Peru, and an even longer flight from the USA.

But that didn’t deter the richest and most famous big game fisherman of the time from coming to Cabo Blanco to fish for black marlin and bluefin tuna.

The way these men fished was strictly regulated, because they were fishing for more than just the catch; they were fishing for world records, overseen and awarded by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).

Lines, hooks, rods, and reels were all critically important to hooking the fish and setting the record.

And the bait… the bait was the thing.

Well, actually, it wasn’t always that important. There are some accounts that I found in my research on the fishing details of Marlin Boulevard that describe how marlin, warming at the surface after hunting in the deeps, would strike at the bait thrown in front of them with no hesitation. Other stories describe hours of trolling with a live fish threaded on the lure with no results at all.

Bonito was a favorite bait, as was Mackerel.
Squid were very effective, and the Humboldt Squid hunts at The Club filled were widely enjoyed and anticipated.

Tip didn’t always fish for his own bait as he prepared to fish for black marlin, but others at the Club often did. Tip’s daughter, Sue, remembers fishing for bait that, to her, were as big as the granders her father was hooking.

The book is available on Amazon.com. It’s as close as you can get to being there nowdays.. plus, it’s really good.

 

 

This used to be the world record Roosterfish catch, back in 1954. Col. C. J. Tippett pulled in this 80 lb fish on a 50 lb line at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club.

This used to be the world record Roosterfish catch, back in 1954. Col. C. J. Tippett pulled in this 80 lb fish on a 50 lb line at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club.

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club on the Peruvian coast was the most famous big game sportfishing location in the world in the 1950s, and Col. C. J. Tippett was the Club’s Director during the height of the Club’s fame.

He caught many huge and amazing fish, and he was present when many more were hooked – by famous and amazing people.

Among those remarkable fish is his own world record catch – a fish that may seem, at first glance, a little less remarkable than the rest, but it was a true world record catch, and it was Tip’s.

This 80 lb Roosterfish, caught on a 50 lb line, was taken at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in, I think, 1954.

I’m sure that Tip hooked it, and I’m sure that it was 80 lbs, and a Roosterfish, and on a 50 lb line… but I’m not sure of the date. Because Tip faithfully recorded everything except the date. sigh. So based on how he looks, I’m pretty sure it was between 1953 and 1956… and I’ve picked 1954 as my best guess.

Tip’s adventures at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club are detailed in several chapters of his biography, “When No One Else Would Fly” now available on Amazon.com.

The Roosterfish, Nematistius Pectoralis, is a member of the Jack Family. I’m taking another wild guess that it is named for that wicked spiny fringe on its back. Roosterfish live only in the Pacific Ocean and like rocky areas right behind the surf line. They can be caught from shore. Today, it is a good candidate for catch and release as it is not considered a delicacy, although it is edible. They are usually about 15 – 20 lbs, so an 80 lb fish was something special. The world record today is 114 lbs, caught off Baja California. There have probably been quite a few bigger catches but because the fish has to be killed to be weighed to qualify for a record, some fisherman decide to let it go; both the record and the fish.

Roosterfish fishing has it’s own big fan base; anglers with an angle of their own on fishing for this dramatic looking fish. Tip would have fit right in!

 

 

Colonel C. J. Tippett and his big, though not record-setting, and obviously not catch and release, black marlin rod and reel catch. at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in Peru.

Colonel C. J. Tippett and his big, though not record-setting, and obviously not catch and release, black marlin rod and reel catch, at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in Peru.

Colonel C. J. Tippett had the unique opportunity to participate in some of the best big game fishing in sport fishing history. The world record for black marlin fishing is still held by one of the men that Tip fished alongside, and from the waters where he fished. Alfred C. Glassell, Jr., caught the record 1560 pound black marlin at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in 1953, and Tip was there.

Tip himself caught black marlin, big-eye tuna, blue-fin tuna, mako shark, swordfish, sailfish, and held the world record for roosterfish until someone else caught a bigger one in the 1990s.

It was an amazing, exciting, glamorous time and when it ended, it wasn’t directly because of the sport fishing activities, but our modern eyes have qualms when we look at the size and species of the trophy pictures taken on the Cabo Blanco docks. Today, we know that those species are now endangered, and some of us wonder….

But rod and reel big game sport fishing was not, and is not now, the reason billfish populations are declining worldwide – it is longlining.

Longline fishing is a commercial fishing practice of setting baited hooks over miles and miles of open ocean. It kills large numbers of many species without regard to fish populations, sex, age, size, or season.

And it was the sport fishing industry who led the most vocal movement for a change in fishing laws – attacking not the commercial fishermen directly, but their marketplace instead. A far more effective method of influencing the fishing industry – which is, after all, a business.

The International Game Fish Association was a major champion of the recently successful Billfish Conservation Act, which prohibits the importation of all billfish (except swordfish) into the United States. Taking marlin off the menu in America.

The legislation was signed in 2012. The United States had been the biggest buyer of billfish catches in the world,
and now – it is not.

Several of the men who fished Cabo Blanco’s abundant waters in the 1950s went on to become highly recognized wildlife conservationists later in their careers. Conservation was not an active conversation point in the 50s;  time that saw the heyday of big game hunting, big game fishing, and record setting adventure.

The 1950s were the height of the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club’s fame and fortune, and Tip wrote about his adventures  as club director in the very-soon-to-be-released book, “When No One Else Would Fly“. Check Amazon.com for a copy, or join our b00k release notification list by contacting us.

 

 

Alfred C. Glassell and Col. C. J. Tippett

Alfred C. Glassell, Jr and Cloyce Joseph Tippett won this trophy fishing for black marlin at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, but for Glassell, these were not the biggest fish in the sea…

Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. was one of the founding members of The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, along with S. Kip Farrington, Jr.

He was a tall man, and towered above the other people in every photograph he stood for, unless he was standing next to my grandfather, Cloyce Joseph Tippett.

Tip was frequently at the Club, managing operations, and he joined Glassell on the Club boats as they fished for black marlin and giant tuna.

In 1958, Tip joined Glassell and Farrington in a fishing tournament. Together, they won the trophy seen in the photo.

Five years earlier, Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. had won a much bigger trophy. He caught the world record for largest fish caught on rod and reel – and the record still stands today.

On August 4, 1953, Glassell hooked a black marlin using mackerel as bait. He fought the fish for more than an hour, knowing it was big enough to qualify for a record.

Tip was back on shore that day, at the Club, and had suggested that Glassell take along a film crew who were visiting Cabo Blanco, hoping to catch a marlin on film. They were shooting for the film version of Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man and The Sea” and they were certainly getting good footage.

The black marlin was 1,560 pounds and Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. entered world history. He had the fish transported home whole and had it stuffed. For a long time, it hung in the Smithsonian Institution’s Hall of Sea Life. Now, it hangs in the offices of the National Museum of Natural History.

Tip’s biography includes many stories of The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, and stories of aviation history. The book is coming soon, and you can sign up here for an email announcing the book’s release.

 

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club and Col C. J. Tippett

Cloyce Joseph Tippett stands under the stuffed bluefin tuna on the wall of the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club’s main salon. He is posing with the boat captains and crew. The man in the checked shirt, to the right, is S. Kip Farrington Jr, founder of the Club. This picture was taken in the 1950s.

In the 1950s, in Cabo Blanco, Peru, world record catches were not unusual at the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club.

The club had been founded by the biggest names in sport fishing of the time, and members included rich and famous men. Everything about the club was focused on catching record fish, and the boat Captains were no exception.

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club hired the captains and crew from the village, and the neighboring villages up the coast. These men had a lifetime of fishing experience, and additional training at the member’s expense in the fine art of world record fishing rules. 

Cloyce Joseph Tippett, who was pursuing a day job as the Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization, formed by the United Nations after World War II, was the also the Club’s director, and he often wrote of the dedication and enthusiasm of the boat Captains.

“The crews are quite depressed when the fishing is bad,” Tip wrote in a personal letter to a friend in the early 1950s, “They take it much worse than the guests!”

Fishing for black marlin and other big game fish was not just a job for the boat crews, it was a passion. The giant fish were often a food source for the village families, but it was more that as well.

The Club members were proving their sportfishing dedication by paying the extraordinary membership fee, but they were under-achievers compared to the commitment of the fishing boat crews.

This photo, showing Tip in the middle, Kip Farrington on the right, and the boat crews in the middle, is one of few images illustrating these behind-the-scene heros of The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club.

Tip’s book is coming soon – getting closer every day. It has a huge amount of fascinating detail about The Club, and Tip’s involvement with it. Join my growing list of people who want to be notified when the book is released by contacting us. We never, ever, sell your contact information.

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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