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Fishing Report - Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - January 2011

2011 started well for us off the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. We have had some bumper days of up to 44 sailfish releases, with consistent numbers of blue marlin to really make things exciting.

The morning of the 1st broke bright and sunny after a rocking New Years party and Decisive was the first of the fleet to release a sailfish for anglers Dave Lewis from Grand Rapids MI and Paul Herman from Tyler, TX with a couple more under their belts Dave went on to release a feisty 225 pound blue marlin after some espectacular jumps to really break in the new year. The following day saw us release 3 sails, put some some tuna on board as well as plenty of huge dorado up
to 45 pounds. The 3rd had us going 9 from 14 bites on sails with another handful released the 4th as well as marlin that wouldn't play.

Bill and Julie Douglas fished on the fly rod the 5th, 6th and 7th with the couple seeing some amazing action around some huge logs holding incredible amount of bonito, dorado and marlin. Their first day we missed a 200 pound stripey around a log only to hook and have Julie release a 500 pound blue a little while later. An hour later we had another big marlin up that would not eat and then missed another while releasing 5 sailfish for the day also. Not to be outdone, Bill released a 200 pound blue the following day with each of the couple catching a few sailfish on the fly rod as well as a good number on the spinning gear to see out a very memorable trip for them.

Dave and Diane Cordes fished on Decisive the 8th and 9th with Dave choosing to give the fly fishing a go. Early in the day a big fish showed up on the short teaser and we pitched a mackerel with Dave doing a fine job on the spectacular 400 pound blue for some fantastic boat side jumps and photo's. Over the course of the next day and a half both Dave and Diane got the hang of the fly deal and each released a few on the long wand with another 9 on the spin of conventional gear.

The 10th saw us gearing up for the next days fly tournament with Decisive fly fishing hotshots, Scott Lund and Joe O'Brien. We looked out way west and reelased 4 sails on fly and Scott caught a 400 pound blue on bait that would not tease for the fly. The 11th saw us in the thick of the action right out front with 13 fly releases from 16 bites to end top boat for day one. With things slowing on day two Decisive pushed back to the west and found some action towards the end of the day managing 5 releases for the day. Having to roll the dice on the final day Decisive went back out west to try find the previous afternoons action but the move didn't pay off as although things looked good the fish could not be found.

Ritchie Howell and friends fished with us on the 14th going 6 from 11 bites out to the east.

Heading back to the west John Hundley and his son-in-law Eric and grandson Copper saw a slow first day for their trip on the 15th with only 2 releases. But in Guatemala things don't stay slow for long and with the girls on board the next day bringing some lady luck we released 14 from 26 bites the next. John had all the fish to himself the following day going 20 from 31, as the family went up to Antigua to enjoy the local culture and history as well as the amazing sights. While Patsy goes for her walks in the mornings, finish reading a book, have nice meals and enjoy the pool to herself!

Our old Texan/Panamanian friend John Richardson along with wife Susie, son Monte, daughter Allison and Scottish friend Neil Cunningham and TBF's very own Elliott Stark rotated stays with us the 20th through the 24th and to say they saw some great action would be an understatement. Things started hot with John and Neil releasing 44 from 70 bites their first day. We mixed thigns up the next day as Monte and Allison wanted to give the fly deal a go and ended the day with 22 on bait and a fly release for Monte. Allison had her turn the next day and did a fine job catching her first billfish on the fly with another few couple on the baits. John, Neil and Elliott were at it the 23rd with 22 sail release a nice big blue we missed and another up that would not play at all. The 24th saw us miss a 300 pound blue and release 3 sails to end a wonderful trip to the Richardson's group.

Some more Texas friends Bobby (Bouche') and Bryan Richter where with us for some fishing fun the 25th through 27th. Running out wide we went 8 from 10 on the baits the first day. With a patch of green water offshore the bite was found no more than 2 miles off the beach right in front of the marina and the boys released 2 on fly with 5 more on bait. Things got really good for the Decisive and team Bouche' the next day with 7 releases on fly and another 5 on bait. Not to stop a good thing they took it a notch further the next day. Still only 2 miles off the beach Bobby and Bryan put on a fine display of flyfishing to release 12 sails on fly and another 8 on spin. Nice work boys!!

Tyson O'Connell, father and friends all of Montana had the booked for the final two days of the month, also to give their had at the fly game. The guys did a great job and had a fantastic time in shallow and enjoying the flat calm seas almost the entire month has brought as well as the adrenaline charged a fly bite brings right at boat side. The guys released 4 on fly and 2 on bait their first day with another 3 on fly and a fish on spin the next.

With the consistent numbers of blues and sails and the vast quantity of bait we are seeing here its' looking like its going to be a great season ahead.

Until the next report, tight lines, Eagle Claw circle hooks and healthy releases.

Capt. Brad Philipps