It has been a late start to the fishing season for everyone in Guatemala but the fish are here and boats have already seen some great days. The 'Decisive' our 40ft Gamefishermen was totally repainted with some additional angler comforts installed during our down time. Although it took much longer than planned and hence the late start, to say she is looking good and fishing well would be the understatement of the year.
It was a busy summer never the less, with Brad and Cindy welcoming a healthy baby girl into the world on the 8th of October, to complete their perfect pair. Some of Brad's off-season highlights were a month in Africa visiting family and friends with time spent hunting, as well as catching some magnificent Red Steenbras up to 100lb's on the 'Wild Coast' of Africa. Brad was also fortunate enough to fish the Boy Scout tournament in St Thomas with friend Ed Burr on his magnificent 66ft
Spencer winning the final day with 4 blue marlin releases and a fine showing overall. A trip to the Florida Keys with longtime friend Scott Lund produced Brad's first day time swordfish. South African friend Kevin Hodgson invited Brad to join him on the most epic of trips to Nova Scotia during which the duo released a total of 13 giant bluefin tuna in three days, with three fish over the 1000 pound mark.
October saw Julie and Ros Lentz, Brad's fishing mentors from SA along with friends Pete and Lydia Smith visiting Guatemala for 2 weeks. The two couples were blown away by the natural beauty of Guatemala and friendliness of its people. With Decisive out the water for its paint job Brad accompanied the couples aboard the Rum Line, for two days of fun fishing. With green water the ride was far but there were a few sailfish and dorado out wide. Ros and Lydia both released their first
sailfish, nice going girls!! Julie released his first striped marlin and pulled the hooks on a small blue marlin after a few jumps to make for a memorable trip.
The 30th and 31st of October saw Scott Lund back with us were he left off last May catching multiple blues on fly, and the fishing was just as exciting. The first day proved a little tuff but by the end of it we knew just where they were not, releasing a few sails on the fly rod and some nice sized dorado for the table gormet galley. Going in the opposite direction the next day we found better water and within 15 minutes we had teased in a hot 250lb blue which inhaled Scott's cast and put up a superb battle. Making long runs with us in hot pursuit, it was a magnificent display of teamwork all around, culminating in a perfect release some 45 minutes latter.
Not to rest on our laurels, on we trolled only to find even bluer water. With three sailfish under our belts and hordes of small dorado all around we teased in what was more than likely a little striped marlin that would not switch to the fly. A little while latter we had another blue up which teased in well and made 3 turns under the fly, lighting up and getting our hearts going as it look like we were in for business but each time turning off just inches from the bite. By 3pm we were back at the dock and heading to a festive Antigua for Halloween celebrations and the end for another great fly adventure for our angler.
We have not fished this past week, but those boats that have been out have released as many as 25 sailfish a day at 14 to 20 miles from the port and plenty of marlin in the mix with reports of double header blues, and fish p to 500lb's in size to make things very exciting.
By all accounts it's going to be a bumper year for us here. History has shown that after a wetter than usual rainy season, and a previuos years El Nino, we see increased numbers of sailfish and marlin off our Pacific coast of Guatemala. What we are seeing so far is corresponding with this, so we are all awaiting with great anticipation the season ahead. We have some open days the end of November. December has consistently proven to be one of our top months and we have some of our last open dates during this top period to take advantage of before we again have openings in April and May. So for those that have not already booked their Guatemalan Billfishing Adventure we hope to see you down here with us for the trip of a lifetime.
Until next report, tight lines circle hooks and healthy releases.
Capt. Brad Philipps