Telling it like it is : Sailfish fishing in Guatemala
This Guatemala fishing report is for the week ending
March 6th 2009 and is prepared by The Great Sailfishing Company
operating out of the new Pez Vela Marina.
Full moon, New moon – doesn’t seem to make much difference this year to the predictability of the fishing down here in Guatemala. Typically the strong pull of the changing moon drives rips and currents that tend to stir up activity. We wrote about this in our blog recently – everyone has an opinion, why don’t you share yours ? The new moon is generally favoured by anglers – although the research cited in our blog post somewhat disputes that………what is indisputable was that there was a new moon, and we (and our clients Doug Scout and party) were keen to watch the fishing improve as we approached.
The sailfish have been slow by Guatemala standards during the latter part of February – with boats averaging low single digits each day. We would normally expect many more than that, but we have been affected by waves of weather fronts, and probably more importantly waves (or currents) of green water that have pshed in.
Within these fronts of green water can be found small (2-3 miles wide) eddies of good blue water close it, and inside these eddies can be found bait and billfish…….so the decision to be made : search around close(r) to shore for eddies, or run far off (50+ miles) and keep going until good blue water is found.
For the most part the fleet has opted for the former for 2 reasons :
a) Travel time : with most boats running at a comfortable cruise of 22/23 knots, it is a 2+ hour run out to find blue water (with no guarantees when you get there). In general clients don’t mind the run out, but then comes the realization of the shorter time available for “lines in”…..plus now there is the 2+ hour run back to port. Worthwhile if the fishing has been outstanding, but dubious otherwise. Hero or Zero ??
b) When the bulk of the fleet adopts the same strategy of searching in the 15-35 mile band for eddies of blue water (and fish active within those eddies), with good communication, consistency can be found for all boats as information is shared. One of the benefits of 100% catch and release fishery is that there is no competition (other than friendly) for the fish – so no incentive not to share current information. In fact the opposite is true, as it is positive seamanship to have “friendly” vessels within 20 minute cruise.
We tried both approaches with the Scout party, and earlier with Msr Montupet and group – but didn’t see significantly different results – so in general opted for the “search pattern” approach.
Some good fish were found – the marginal numbers of sailfish being somewhat mitigated by the size (many well over 100lbs), and by the numbers of Blue Marlin caught and successfully released.
What we really need however is a return to strong and predictable numbers that Guatemala is famous for. While reporting this, I am pleased to report that the last week has seen a return to this, and a constant improvement to at least double digits per day. Our hope (and expectation !) is that things continue to improve, or at least stay in this range for the remainder of the season……so book those flights !!
The boats are ready, the crews are primed – come down and enjoy
the season fishing with http://www.greatsailfishing.com/
We are booking strongly already for some of the popular dates this season, so don’t wait, give us a call
at 1 877 763 0851or send us an email (below) to check on dates – we would look forward to welcoming you to
some of the finest fishing anywhere.
Our Favorite Fishing Quote for the week:
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught."
Les, Carlos, Kevin and Jim
The GreatSailfishing Company