Three weeks ago, I sent out a newsletter expressing how good Summer is in Guatemala. Well…I should have been a betting man.
While many know that our waters hold loads of sailfish, particularly during the peak season from November through June, many don’t realize this region hosts good numbers of blue marlin and plenty of dorado, aka mahi-mahi during the rainy season (summer and early fall). Not to mention how good the yellowfin tuna bite has been this year and the bigger fish being caught.
The crew of Maverick and angler Mr. Schmid with an impressive 155 lb trophy.
Besides this awesome tuna, Mr. Schmid had 18 Sailfish bites and released 15. 13 dorados, 6 yellowfin between 40-50 lb range and a 100 lb yellowfin tuna to start day one. Lets not forget the hot marlin bite going on this time of year. Schmid also released a 350 lb blue. And of course going home with a bang…the trophy fish pictured above. We can surely say that Mr. Schmid went home all smiles!
Mr. Schmid and his blue.
So, when someone asks me if Guatemala has an off season? It doesn’t. With that, bring on the rain, bring on the sunshine, there is fish to be caught!
“I wanted to pass along my thanks to the entire team at Pacific Fins for making my visit so memorable. Catching my first (and hopefully not my last!) sailfish on the fly rod also provided great material for me to write about in Outdoor Canada magazine. Even better, I just found out that the article I wrote, “Sailfish Sojourn” won a major award from the Outdoor Writers of Canada Assn, taking 1st place in the Fishing Feature category. So it was an extraordinary trip in every possible way.”—Scott Gardner, Associate editor & fly-fishing columnist, Outdoor Canada magazine
In April 2018 at the Guatemala Celebrity Pro-am invitation fishing tournament, University of Miami researchers deployed 10 satellite tags off the coast of Guatemala to study the behavior and habitat use of sailfish in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO). Of the 10 satellite tags, 7 produced high quality data sets while 1 tagged sailfish was caught by commercial fisherman off Mexico and 1 tagged sailfish died due to post release mortality. The final remaining tag status remains unknown and likely represents a mortality or fishery event.
Of the 7 tags with data, no sailfish traveled eastward toward El Salvador and Nicaragua while all tagged sailfish traveled westward, northwestward or southwestward (Figure 1 Top). This is consistent with the majority of sailfish tagged throughout the EPO.
Figure 1: (Top) Map of seven satellite tags placed on sailfish off Guatemala in April 2018. (Bottom) Zoomed in map of sailfish tag density created from satellite tag data showing regions of highest sailfish presence in shades of blue with darker shades inidicating higher levels of tag density.
Sailfish traveled to regions known to be productivity hotspots such as the San Jose Canyon off the coast of Guatemala and the Tehuantepec upwelling system south of the Mexican coast indicated by the darker blue in Figure 1 bottom plot. Tagged sailfish tended to immediately leave the tagging location after the tagging event but only 2 of these made long distance migratory movements outside of the EPO region toward the west. The majority of sailfish stayed in the region with multiple sailfish returning to the relative location where tagging occurred.
The likelihood of sailfish to remain coastal within the Guatemalan economic zone region is critical for management and conservation as measures to protect this species within Guatemala may be more effective than in other locales given the high density of local sailfish. Through regional conservation regulations such as those put in place by the Guatemala Sailfish Conservation Commission, it will be possible to maintain the high catch rates seen historically in the region.
Sailfish preference for specific habitat ranges can be obtained from the tagging data and when analyzed next to sea surface temperature, a clear preference for the EPO warm pool is present (Figure 2). Here we see a preference for waters between 29o and 30o Celsius with a range of 26o to 32o Celsius. This is just one example of sailfish preference estimation made possible with the use of satellite tagging data and available satellite oceanographic information.
You want to have a better understanding of how sea-surface temperature (SST) charts and satellite imagery can help you find fish. You want to learn how to rig baits like a pro. And you want to fish an incredible location without any hassle.
With Expedition FishTrack you can build your fishing resume and improve upon all of these skills while networking with fellow anglers and enjoy three full days of fishing for sailfish and marlin.
This all-inclusive trip includes three days fishing for sailfish and marlin at Pacific Fins in Guatemala, as well as evening seminars. Dates are December 7-11, 2019. Space is very limited.
Scheduled for December 7-11, 2019, the inaugural Expedition FishTrack will be hosted by Pacific Fins Resort and Marina in Guatemala, home to the world’s most best billfish bite. The expedition includes three days of guided fishing, instructional seminars, on-water fishing tips, four nights lodging, all food and beverage, airport transfers, use of tackle and a take home swag bag. Cost is $4,500 per person, and FishTrack Premium members receive a discount of $150, so if you’re not already a premium member make sure to join now.
“We often get asked how the satellite imagery and sea-surface temperature charts on FishTrack helps anglers find more fish, so we try to come up with interactive ways to educate our users,” says Charlie Levine, FishTrack editor and publisher. “Expedition FishTrack is a program that brings it all together. We will host informal evening seminars, as well as on-water angling and boat-handling instruction. And luckily for everyone who attends Expedition FishTrack, we’ve partnered with Pacific Fins Resort and Marina in Guatemala, a world-class fishing lodge with excellent boats and accommodations.”
Tony DiGiulian, Lead Instructor: Tony has more than 40 years experience as a captain, mate and consultant. He has led clients to more than 10,000 billfish captures. He co-founded the IGFA School of Sportfishing and runs fishing seminars at many of the top boat shows. He is a dedicated conservationist and was named The Billfish Foundation’s Conservation Ambassador in 2010. Tony will lead all bait-rigging and angling seminars at Expedition FishTrack.
Charlie Levine: Charlie is the Editor and Publisher of FishTrack.com and helped grow the satellite imagery provider from its beginnings into one of the most trusted SST services in the offshore fishing world. He has fished many hot spots around the world and has written hundreds of articles on all facets of sport fishing. Charlie will run satellite imagery seminars and tutorials at Expedition FishTrack.
Ozzy Delgado: Based out of Miami, Florida, Ozzy is an experienced offshore angler and fly-fisherman. Ozzy has worked in the sportfishing industry for many years, with stints at Grundéns, Guy Harvey Magazine and Mako Marine. He is currently the VP of sales and marketing for Pacific Fins. Ozzy will make sure all students have everything they need on site.
Arrive December 7: All guests are responsible for booking their own airfare to Guatemala City. Once you arrive, clear customs and head for the airport exit. Students will be welcomed at the airport by Pacific Fins staff. All travel is extremely safe and hosted. Board the Pacific Fins vans for the ride to the coast. Upon arrival at the resort, enjoy a welcome beverage and feel free to freshen up. There will be a group dinner where guests can choose from the outstanding menu prepared by the on-staff gourmet chef. Students will have a chance to network with one another over dinner and drinks. The Expedition FishTrackstaff will have welcome remarks, explain the agenda and hand out swag bags.
Fish December 8: Guests will gather for breakfast and boat assignments will be given out. Each student will have a chance to fish with each instructor over the three days of fishing. While driving out to the fishing grounds, students will be briefed on the drop-back and pitch-baiting techniques used in Guatemala, where sailfish and marlin are caught on circle-hook rigged ballyhoo with 30-pound fishing gear. After fishing, return to the lodge. Take time to freshen up, enjoy appetizers, drinks and dinner. Evening talk about satellite imagery, sea-surface temperature charts, chlorophyll charts, altimetry, tide, currents and all of the tools on FishTrack that helps anglers find hot spots, anywhere in the world. The floor will be open for questions and each individual will have ample time with FishTrack staff to make sure they understand how to use these valuable tools to help them find fish in their home waters and abroad.
Fish December 9: Guests will gather for breakfast and boat assignments will be given out. On the ride out to the fishing grounds we will compare sea surface temperature charts with real-time conditions. Each angler will have plenty of time to bring up more questions about angling techniques or FishTrack tools. After fishing, return to the lodge for appetizers, dinner and drinks. Lead instructor Tony DiGiulian will run a bait-rigging demonstration. Some of the baits he will teach include the circle-hook ballyhoo, o-ring ballyhoo, Spanish mackerel, strip baits and any other rigs students would like to see.
Fish December 10: After breakfast, guests will head to the marina. On this day we will host a mini tournament with awards for most fish caught and most improved angler. After fishing, guests will be driven back to Pacific Fins to enjoy appetizers, drinks and dinner. After dinner, Pacific Fins owner Niels Erichsen will lead a discussion about billfish conservation. Niels has been keeping records on the local sailfish population for many years and can highlight this fishery, the issues of post-release mortality and how important circle hooks are to our mission of sustaining this valuable resource. After this discussion, awards and diplomas will be handed out to Expedition FishTrack participants.
December 11: Guests will enjoy breakfast before departing for the airport. The staff from Pacific Fins can also plan excursions for this day if you’d like to stay and visit the local volcanos, catch a roosterfish, schedule additional fishing days or head to the colonial city of Antigua for some shopping and tours. For more information on the excursions available contact Ozzy at [email protected].
FishTrack is extremely excited to launch this new program. Expedition FishTrack is open to any and all anglers from anywhere in the world. Take advantage of this affordable trip and come meet your fellow anglers while fine-tuning your skills. You will go home a better angler. That much we can guarantee. For more information, contact Charlie Levine at [email protected] or 407-222-3893.
Since its inception , everyone thought we were nuts by offering “The Marlin Guarantee.” Clients thought we were nuts. The media thought we were nuts. But here we are in 2019 and we arte doing it again!
Want Marlin? then visit us; August, September, or October. Book our most popular package : 3 days fishing, 4 nights. What do you have to lose? We GUARANTEE it.
Our Guarantee…your boat will get at least 3 Marlin bites on conventional tackle over the length of the trip.
3 bites by the man in the Blue, Black, or Striped suit over 3 days fishing. Don’t get 3 bites, YOU COME BACK FOR FREE.
For complete information and you can take advantage of this insane offer, give us a call or email us.
**YOU MUST FISH FOR MARLIN TO APPLY**
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About Pacific Fins
Pacific Fins Resort & Marina is Guatemala Fishing at its best. Our boutique hotel with private villas and suites is located in the world’s most productive billfishing destination. We offer all-inclusive fishing packages with a la carte dining, open bar, and custom, personalized service. Our setting on the water and attention to detail is unmatched in Guatemala.