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Live the Pacific Fins Experience

Guatemala Billfish Invitational – Record Event!

The newsletter we have been waiting for… The 7th Annual Guatemala Billfish Invitational Tournament was recently organized from December 8th to the 12th, 2022. We are still on a high… WHAT AN EVENT!

Guatemala is a country that over the years has proven to have the best sailfish fishery in the world. It’s the perfect destination for many anglers to obtain multiple shots in one day and this event proved such statement.

Our main objective for this tournament is to create awareness for the benefit of conservation of sailfish, being a resource of great importance for the country. In this event, like the previous ones, we had different celebrities of international stature and personalities that contribute to sport fishing in the region. 

There was 35 brands and entities supporting sport fishing in the country, as well endorsed by the National Fisheries Association in Guatemala. 

The tournament consisted of three days of fishing with 102 participants from the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Guatemala. This tournament gives the opportunity for amateurs and professional anglers to compete to be the team that releases the most sailfish.

Among the celebrities who attended: 

‚ÄĘ Alex Avila: Former Major League Baseball Player. 

‚ÄĘGeorge¬†Gozdz:¬†Host¬†of¬†the¬†Outdoor¬†Channel¬†and¬†Sportsman¬†Channel¬†television¬†show,¬†Unfathomed¬†and¬†also¬†a¬†professional¬†guide.¬†

‚ÄĘ Peter Miller, Host of Uncharted Water (Discovery Channel TV) professional fisherman and 3-time world sailfish champion. 

‚ÄĘ Matt Moore: World renowned chef and host of his show on the Food Network.

‚ÄĘ Bob Dipiero: Renowned composer and singer of country music. He has composed songs that have been in the top 20 and 15 songs in the USA. 

‚Äʬ†Gary¬†Burr:¬†Member¬†of¬†the¬†country¬†music¬†hall¬†of¬†fame¬†in¬†the¬†USA¬†and composer¬†of¬†songs¬†for¬†artists¬†such¬†as:¬†Cristina¬†Aguilera,¬†Ricky¬†Martin,¬†LeAnn Rimes¬†and¬†Ringo¬†Starr;¬†among¬†others.¬†

The tournament in 3 days, generated a record 2023 sailfish raises, 1725 bites and 1078 Sailfish releases. 11 blue marlin raises, 5 bites and 4 released. 1 striped marlin, countless dorado and yellowfin tuna. Making this tournament the largest in the history of Guatemala! 

Tournament Results

1st Place Pro Team for a total of 7500 points, team Piragua.
Anglers: Danny Difabio, Austin Collins, Alex Avila, and Luis Perez. Congrats Captain Manolo Diaz for also taking home first place Captain. Team won overall prize money of $25,000!
Congrats to Piragua’s Captain Manolo Diaz, well earned.
2nd Place Pro Team for a total of 7100 points, team Intensity.
Anglers: Peter Liechty, Blaine Arthurs, Ryan Foret, and Brent Tatford.¬†Team won 2 daily calcutta’s totaling $11,000.¬†Congrats to Captain Mike Sheeder and his crew for putting up a great fight to the end.
3rd Place Pro Team for a total of 6500 points, team Chechos.
Anglers: James White, Helen Chamizo, Joaquin Chamizo, and Jayce Chamizo. Captain Carlos Diaz. Team won day 1 calcutta $5,500.
Congratulations to badass angler, Helen Chamizo for taking home First Place Lady Angler. She surely made a lot of guys look bad.
1st Place Amateur Team for a total of 10,000 points. Yes! 10,000 points with 97 Sailfish Releases and 1 Blue Marlin, team Sirena with Capt. Chendo. Anglers: Kyle Jones, Wendy Ashley, Greg Fabrizzi and Kat Halpin.
1st Place Marlin with 1 blue marlin and 1 striped marlin release, goes to team Makina. Anglers: Steve Summers, Christine Summers, Stacey Wills, and Tim Wills. Captain Wicho Ramirez. Congrats to Steve Summers for personally catching the Grandslam (blue marlin, striped marlin and a sailfish).
1st Place Dorado for a total of 127.4 pounds, team Allure.
Anglers: Sean O’Connell, John Logan, Alvaro de la Hoz and Tony Semaan. Captain Julio Morales.
1st Place Yellowfin Tuna goes to team Mijooo.
Anglers: Ozzy Delgado, George Gozdz, Phillip Weikert, Juan Manuel Cobar and Cole Sellers. Captain Joel Fajardo.
Gary Burr and Bob Dipiero made one of the nights special by performing an intimate concert for all the anglers.
Another highlight that gave the 7th Annual Guatemala Billfish Invitational stamp of approval, we got the IGFTO (International Game Fish Tournament Observers). To have professional observers on the boats makes it clear to follow all rules by releasing the correct species and that the fish were properly handled.
The president Steve Hargett coordinated and assigned observers to boats each day. This organization promotes conservation therefore without a doubt accepted our invitation and donated $2,500.
Thank you Steve, Lisa, Reese, Robert, Rick, Kenny, Marci, Barbara, Terry, Art, and Julio.

We want to give THANKS to all our participating anglers for making this an amazing event. We are happy to see all having a great time, meeting and making new friends. From the kick-off party and Poolside Celebration to the neighboring resorts; (The Hook, Sailfish Oasis, Aeroclub, Intensity Sportfishing, Casa Del Rio, and several private rental homes) who took part in the Invitational. To the awards presentation at the awards dinner and all the parties and fishing in between. This is definitely a tournament that any novice or serious angler needs to be a part of. We are pleased to support the Billfish Conservation Project and the week-long festivities that generated much needed funds for a worthy cause – A total of $35,000 was collected.

In addition, we are going to be posting on our social media pages pictures that were taken during the event. Get ready as 2023 dates are: December 7th through the 11th, 2023. Trust me… we already have teams booked. Call or email us to be a part of this history making event. You don’t want to miss it in 2023!

TO ALL ANGLERS AND SPONSORS, CHEERS TO YOU FOR MAKING THE BIGGEST TOURNAMENT IN GUATEMALA!