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Fishing Report - Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures - March 2008

We were spoilt with another very consisting month of fishing this March off Guatemala aboard the 'Decisive' with Capt. Brad Philipps. In total the boat released 350 sailfish and 4 blue marlin in 25 days of fishing to keep anglers very happy and sure to come back for more.

March started with the Puerto Rican boys of Manolo Matienzo, Ernesto Vásquez and José Santana continuing their trip releasing 9 sailfish on the 1st and having an exceptional day on the 2nd with 30 releases from 51 bites. The following day the trio mix it up each releasing a sailfish on the fly as well as 19 on the bait to end a great trip for them.

John Bailey invited his brother Rick and nephew Eric down with him to enjoy the fine hospitality at our 'Billfish Inn' from the 4th through the 6th to release 18 from 35, 16 from 26, and 28 from 43 for a very enjoyable family getaway.

The 7th and 8th, saw Rick Lawrence and Jim Boles with us fly fishing, to see 3 releases on the fly and 10 on spin the first day and 3 released on fly and 7 on bait the following.

Our friend Denny Doyle was joined by his good friends Ed Burr, MG Orender and Bob White on the 11th through the 13th. Things started a little slowly their first day with 4 sailfish release, but Bob-a-Blue White came through again with a 200# blue on the 20 gear which ate a ballyhoo out of the rigger and was released in fine fashion to make the day. Things picked up the next day with 24 releases from 36 bites and the group tried some fly fishing the following day releasing 2 on fly and 7 on bait.

The 15th through 17th saw Bob and Corrie Verde flyfishing with us, the duo released 2 sails on fly and 4 on bait their first day, followed by 7 on bait and 2 on fly from 30 finicky raises the next day. They released 4 on fly and 6 on bait their last day.

Bobby Richter, James Preis and his young son Merritt, all of Port Aransas, Texas where with us to give young Merritt some billfishing 101, and what a great job the young man did on the hookups, out-fishing his elders 3-1. The trio released 12 sailfish their first day along with some tasty yellowfin tuna, 11 sailfish the next and 4 on their final day.


Our 'Billfish Inn' neighbor, Dr. Scott Lund of Wellington, Florida, had the day of his dreams on the 23rd. After leaving the dock late, we found the fleet and the blue water at 25 miles and it was not long before Scott had released 2 sails on the fly and a couple more on spin, minutes later a nice blue showed up on the rigger. After a perfect tease job by Yefri, great cast and an incredible going away bite, Scott was hooked up to his first blue on fly. About forty five minutes later, after some incredible jumps and wild runs together with some great angling and hot dogging chasing the fish all over the slick-flat indigo blue ocean, we released the 275# blue with high fives all around. With the lines back in the water and working a close school of spinner dolphins we couldn't believe our luck when only minutes latter Scott hooked and released his second blue of the day on the pitch bait. With another sailfish on fly and spin we headed for the pool and celebratory champagne and 23 year old rum drinks after having witnessed the wildest three hours of angling possible. The day had to go down as the highlight of the Guatemalan angling month and certainly a PLUS for Scott, Kennedy, Yefri and myself to have shared in his first blue on the fly after all these years of having fished together and just goes to show that if you stick to your guns and put in you time, your luck will change and you will get your shot. Nice going Scott!!

Ken Johns, John Adamiak and Bobby Jones, joined us from Florida aboard the "Decisive" on the 26th to release 26 from 45 sailfish, Dennis Longstreet, Jim Linzer and Bob Rankl released 28 from 46 on the "Spindrift" that same day, the guys swapped boats the following day with Ken and team releasing 41 from 77, while Dennis and team released 32 on bait and Dennis his first on fly, to finish off a great trip for the six guys after having seen some outstanding billfishing action. I heard the comment on their departure.............."What are we going to do fishing back at home now, after having seen this sort of non-stop action. Thanx's Brad, we're spoilt for life!!!

Ted Blount brought his son Todd and son-in-laws, Frank and Sean with him for a great family trip. They had planned to overlap their first nights stay with that of the final night of their Florida friends stay, to make the most of good times. It is always a treat for us to see people having such a good time at the 'Billfish Inn' and what a festive time was had by all 10 anglers catching up on old times and sharing stories of the previous days action over scrumptious food and good humor. Todd started the next days fishing with the highlight of his angling career, releasing his first blue marlin, an energetic 450# fish, with the guys following that up with another 10 sailfish releases, 6 the next day and 11 on their final day.

Bob Edmonds joined us on the 31st to release 24 sailfish from 27 bites with an exceptional average on the Eagle Claw circle hooks to end another fine angling month in true style.

The 'Decisive' has released over 1800 sailfish and 46 marlin for the season so far starting November, which just goes to show how consistently good the fishing off Guatemala really is. There is just no billfishing destination that can compare. Our new set of updated Alutecnos Veloce 20's have sure been put through their paces now and have come out with flying colors. The teaser of the month has proved to be the new Legend Lures 'Piper', a new style lure which Roddy Hayes gave to me at the boat show, it is a hot little item that the sailfish just can't leave alone. We have another 2 great months of fishing ahead of us before we pull the boat to repower her and get ready for October when we start all over again. So do not leave it to late, book your dates and get down here to share with us in the billfishing trip of a lifetime.

And don't forget to go to the marlin magazine website and enter your vote for your favorite captains and crews in the Captain of the Year Competition, voting closes any day now.

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

Capt. Brad Philipps