Captain Greg DiStefano, El Suertudo, 80-foot Weaver
Homeport: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
900 points include: Bisbee’s Black and Blue, 1st Place Release Division; Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore Tournament, 3rd Place Release Division; Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, 2nd Place Release Division
Captain Greg DiStefano is no stranger to either tournament victory or magazine write ups. In addition to his skill catching blacks and blues in tournament situations, there is a near 100% chance that DiStefano and owner/2018 WINNERS international division angler Guy Yocom have caught a bigger yellowfin tuna than you. In 2012, the pair won a million dollars for catching a world record 427-pound yellowfin on a Mustad hook. DiStefano’s experience fishing the waters surrounding Cabo San Lucas is extensive and marked by successful endeavor. When discussing his approach to tournament fishing, DiStefano is laid back and thoughtful.
“We focus on pre-fishing. Go do your own thing and focus on what you’re doing,” he recommends. “Forget what everybody else is doing. Focus on what you see and not what you hear on the radio or at the bar. We don’t expect people to tell us the truth if we asked… so we don’t ask them,” DiStefano says with a laugh as he describes his tournament preparation. “This year we pre-fished a lot with just the crew. Guy gives us the tools and says, ‘We’ll see you when the tournament comes,’” DiStefano says. “We couldn’t do it without him. He gives us every bit of opportunity – he says, ‘Go for it.’ He doesn’t ask a bunch of questions, he lets us do our thing. It really helps having an owner who understands what it takes to be successful. He is an all-around great guy. It also really helps to have a family that supports us, with all the travel that is involved.”
While the majority of the El Suertudo’s Captain of the Year points came from finishes in the releases divisions, the team is also accomplished in targeting large marlin for the scales. In the Los Cabos Offshore Tournament, the team finished third in the release division and weighed a 361. “We pulled the hooks on a good one on the second day of the Black and Blue – when nobody caught anything,” DiStefano recalls. The El Suertudo, roughly translated the Lucky One, is marked by stability of captain and crew. “I’ve worked with the owner for 12 years. My mate Oswaldo and I have been together for 11 years. We have the yellowfin record and a bluefin line class record,” DiStefano says. Guy Yocom owns the boat. For tournaments, he brings his buddies down to fish. Anglers on El Suertudo include Yocom, Bruce McDonald, Chris Kirkley, Greg Chase, Gary Mason and Azam Flores.
Running the cockpit are first mate Oswaldo “Balin” Ortega – first mate, Noe Cruz and Alfonso Ortega, Oswaldo’s father. When tournament marlin fishing, DiStefano deploys mullet or mud flap dredges, two teasers (squid chains mainly) and a five lure spread. When it comes to their pitch baits, the El Suertudo’s arsenal includes sierra mackeral, horse ballyhoo, and rigged caballitos (goggle eyes). More than the spread and putting in the time to prefish, DiStefano credits the close relationships of those who fish together.
“Balin and I are really close friends. We’re all dedicated to the boat and to fishing, but we’re also really competitive. We race cars off road in Baja – my boss does it, too. We’re very competitive.” DiStefano’s southern California roots are evidenced by his laid back, reflective manner and approach to fishing. He grew up in San Clemente, California in south Orange County. While much of the operation is based out of Cabo San Lucas, Guy Yocom also owns a 61-foot boat in Dana Point, California. The current El Suertudo is an 80-foot Weaver. “We’ve been extremely happy with the Weaver. We bought it used a year and a half ago out of Texas. It’s a 2008. Jim Weaver builds an amazing boat.”
Captain Greg DiStefano and El Suertudo’s 2018 campaign took top honors in a hotly contested Los Sueños International Division. DiStefano’s 900 points were enough to best the five other captains who finished within 200 points of the lead. Congratulations also goes to Captains Brent Gaskill (Builder’s Choice) and Cookie Murray (Auspicious) who finished in a second place tie with 800 points on the year. Captain Greg DiStefano is also the first Cabo-based captain to win Captain of the Year honors.
Read about another InTheBite Captain of the Year, Capt. John Louis Dudas, here…