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Fishing Report - Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - February 2008

This is proving to be another one of those outstanding seasons for us on the 'Decisive' in Guatemala. The fishing has been extremely consistent this past month with an incredible amount of bait holding large number of sailfish in the area. It has not been unusual to see upwards of a 200 fish a day balling bait on the surface. We have been spoilt with this truly incredible "National Geographic" style sightings, which to see first hand has been many a highlight for our anglers. This together with the blue water and flat seas has ensured angler fun-filled excitement with as many as 61 sailfish releases in a single day.

February 1st, saw Larry and Laura Nash finish their trip with a blue marlin release as well as a couple of sailfish.

Perry Glover, Nigel Kreft, Ryan Vanderman, Meredith Cullen all of Texas joined us the 2nd through the 4th. Their first day proved the slowest of the month with 5 releases from 9 bites, but things picked right up the next day going 13 from 28. They finished their trip the following day with a very consistent 22 sailfish releases from 29 bites.

Cousins, George and Michael Coe, were on the fly rods for the next 3 days with us. The duo released 7 from 14 sailfish their first day, with another 7 releases the next day, on some finicky fish which proved tuff on the fly as a result of all the bait in the area. The 7th however proved one of those great Guatemalan fly days with 15 releases on the long wand to send the guys home in style.

The 9th through 13th saw Brad Watkins, Lori Hazel and John Wendkos aboard the "Decisive". The group averaged between 10 and 15 sailfish releases a day over their 5 day stay, catching them on 6, 8 and 20 pound tackle, with the highlight being a 400 pound blue marlin that John released in fine fashion on 20 pound tackle. A truly large marlin estimated in the 800 pound range, also show herself in the spread that same day but would unfortunately not eat. All in all, Brad and friends had a wonderful trip and is always good to share time with them at the Billfish Inn.

Capt. Brad made it to the Miami Boat Show from the 14th to the 17th. It was great to catch up with old fishing friends as well as meet new ones, and a good time was had in the big game room at the Pelagic Offshore Gear Booth. Brad also attended the Billfish Foundation Award Ceremony at which he was honored with the "Top Pacific Sailfish Release Captain Award", "Top Pacific Blue Marlin Release Captain Award" and "The Overall Release Captain of the Year Award" for 2007. Both Kennedy and Yefri, 'Decisive's' talented and hardworking mates, were also honored with Awards. The venue was overflowing with people and it was great to see such a good turnout and support for this years TBF Awards Ceremony.

Scott Lund, our Billfish Inn neighbor, Ernie Small, Phil McCrackin and RJ Torsey experienced some incredible Guatemalan sailfishing on the 18th and 19th of February, releasing 60 sailfish in 2 days and witnessing some of the incredible bait balling scenes mentioned earlier. It really was incredible and as much bait and balling activity as I have seen in my 8 years here.

Joe O'Brien was fly fishing for the next 3 days with us and also saw some great action although getting the fish to bite the fly at times with the incredible amount of bait around was trying. Joe released 13 from 22 on fly on the 20th, the 21st saw Joe catching a 350# blue marlin on conventional tackle as well as 5 sailfish on the spinning rod and 3 on the fly. The 22nd saw Joe release 5 on the fly and 12 on bait to end a wonderful trip for the dedicated angler.

Our friend Gary Hughes of Chile was accompanied by his boss Lars Josefsson and associate Pablo Rosetti from Argentina to see some incredible action, releasing 61 fish on their first day, followed by 57 releases the next and 25 releases on a shortened final day to blow the socks off of Gary's previous best trip.

The 26th, 27th and 28th saw Jerry Peterson and Bill Long enjoying things with us. Their first day saw the duo release 15 sailfish, to be followed by a really good day of fishing the next with 34 action packed releases. The ocean proved on the rough side the following day and the guys choose to give it a break that day.

The last day of the month saw our 6 Puerto Rican friends join us at the "Billfish Inn", fishing aboard the "Decisive" and the "Makara". Manolo Matienzo, Ernesto Vasquez and Dr. Jose Santana started off hot with 26 releases aboard the "Decisive", with Juan Carlos Torruella, Miguel Casul and 'Chiki' Maiz releasing 18 sailfish aboard the "Makara" for their first of 4 days of angling.

As one can see, it has been another red-hot month for the "Decisive", with close to 450 billfish releases for the month and a total of almost 1,500 releases for the past 4 months. With the way things are shaping up it looks like it is going to be another record setting season in Guatemala, as all the bait is bound to hold the fish here over the next few months. We are fully booked for March and April but do have availability for the 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 of May and the 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 of May. So take advantage of these open days and the fine fishing that is bound to be had, it sure would be great to see you down here with us enjoying the Billfishing Inn's fine hospitality and the blue marlin that are bound to make their usual summer showing to compliment the steady sailfishing bite we are seeing.

Until next report, tight lines, circle hooks and healthy releases,

Capt. Brad Philipps