Satellite Tagging Research Showcases Guatemalan Sailfish

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.

Expedition Fishtrack, Be A Better Angler

You want to be a better angler.

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.”  

INSTRUCTORS 

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.  

SCHEDULE 

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 ozzy@pacificfinsresort.com

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 clevine@fishtrack.com or 407-222-3893.

MARLIN GUARANTEE 2019

Guaranteed Marlin or FISH For FREE!

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**

Missed the 2 part episode of Unfathomed in Guatemala? Here it is!

What is Unfathomed you may ask… Unfathomed with Captain George Gozdz strives to present the highest quality fishing show that appeals to fisherman and non-fisherman alike through portraying the outdoor lifestyle with cinematic storytelling.  Fishing will serve as the bond to combine unique personalities, exciting destinations, and fishery education to provide an engaging viewer experience. 

Meet Capt. George: 

Throughout his childhood, fishing was George’s true passion.  As a young boy, he fished the waterways of Florida and dreamed of one day becoming a famous fisherman like his television idols.  As a young man, with that dream still in his heart, he entered the field of emergency medicine, but his down time was always spent on the water.  15 years in a high-stress work environment convinced this father of 2 to follow his dreams. After several years operating as a local guide, Captain George became a frequent guest host on a number of popular fishing shows.  In 2010, this exposure and his reputation as an angler’s angler led him to being tapped as the host of one of the most popular fishing shows “Reel Time Florida Sportsman” that has run for 8 seasons.  With over 100 shows, Captain George has garnered an incredible following and proven his loyalty to industry partners. With Captain George as the host, RTFS has had mass appeal due to its innovative approach with use of compelling storytelling based on the outdoors, combined with cutting edge cinematography.

Unfathomed 2019 Episode 2- Guatemala part 1. Join George as he travels to Pacific Fins in Guatemala and experiences the best billfishing in the world. Fishing is only half the lure in this beautiful country. George sets off on an adventure and experiences the volcano Pacaya, the mountain coffee fields, the ancient city of Antigua, and more.

Unfathomed 2019 Episode 3- Guatemala part 2. The journey of discovery continues in Guatemala. Incredible sailfish action is also highlighted by the rich culture of this wonderful country. After multiple sailfish releases including one on a fly rod, George travels to explore the volcano Pacaya. 

Father’s Day: We are celebrating the entire month of June!

Why Not Surprise Dad With A Father’s Day Fishing Adventure This Year

When it comes to dads and husbands don’t we all want to make their day special? If you are looking for some new and different ideas of what to do this year when Father’s Day rolls around on Sunday, June 16, we can surely help! What guy wouldn’t love a fishing adventure out onto the fertile waters off the coast of Guatemala. 

When you book a trip for the month of June, two paying adults – kids are FREE (regardless of age).

Shake up Father’s Day celebration with more…

Instead of driving, how about surprise him with a first class trip to the resort on our private plane? A great way to start the adventure.

How about a local tour? We are certain that once you get to know the hidden beauty our countryside can offer, you will fall in love as well.  Let us recommend a variety of tours and activities that can make your visit to our country memorable. We can help plan, coordinate and book any tour you choose, as we rely on the top tour operators for this segment of your trip. like…

Tikal – El Peten, in northeast Guatemala, represents the largest tropical forest in Central America, containing ruins, great and small, from the ancient Maya civilization.  

Antigua Guatemala – Spanish Heritage

Antigua Guatemala is one of the most idyllic destinations in the world, with painstakingly restored Spanish colonial architecture, manicured parks, stylish hotels, superb international cuisine and a horizon shaped by three spectacular volcanoes.  Walking along cobblestone streets, visitors find high-end art galleries, fascinating museums, luxurious shops with international treasures and traditional markets packed to the rafters with locally made textiles and wood crafts.  With its architecture, culture and unique setting, Antigua Guatemala, quite simply, is the most charming city in all the Americas.

Lake Atitlan – Natural Splendor

Lake Atitlan is a natural marvel like no other, 50 square miles of deep, crystal blue water surrounded by three lofty volcanoes.  Formed by a volcanic cataclysm 100,000 years ago, the lake shimmers in a mountain valley, overlooked by a dozen quaint villages, whose residents proudly wear traditional dress that distinguishes each town from the next. 

If an excursion is not on your radar, our fishery will keep you busy. There is a lot more we offer at Pacific Fins. 

Muscles or back a little sore from an action packed day on the water? How about a 60 minute massage session that will make you feel brand new for the next day.  

Relax Poolside with apps and drinks of your choice…

Whatever your package preferences are, we can make your loved ones trip one he will never forget! 

Tim Choate – Awarded Special Recognition at 4th Annual Guatemala Billfish Invitational

Pioneering angler Tim Choate was hooked on fishing from boyhood. Following a very brief career as a lawyer, his wanderlust took him to where the big fish roamed, including five seasons on the Great Barrier Reef. In 1982, he and Capt. Peter B. Wright boated the largest black marlin of the season. It weighed more than 1,200 pounds.

In the 1980’s, when Venezuela was not a well-known hot spot, Choate helped put it on the map. He was part of the Hank and Gretchen Manley team that caught the first double super grand slam: a sailfish, blue marlin, white marlin, and swordfish. Choate was also present during the Manleys’ quest to catch 1,000 billfish in a calendar year. They finished the 1983 season with 1,108.

Choate eventually built a small charter fleet in Costa Rica, before moving on to help explore Guatemala’s big-game fishery with his famous Fins & Feathers Resort. He has also developed charter-fishing operations in Brazil and the Galapagos Islands.

A strong conservationist, Choate helped create, and was the first director of, The Billfish Foundation. He has also worked with political leaders in Central and South America to protect billfish and encourage catch-and-release fishing.

Today, the Choate name is still synonymous with conservation and the love for Billfish. An IGFA Hall of Famer for his contributions, Choate has been recognized for his work in Guatemala and takes home some powerful awards.

Today, the Choate name is still synonymous with conservation and the love for Billfish. An IGFA Hall of Famer for his contributions, Choate has been recognized for his work in Guatemala and takes home some powerful awards.

The 4th Annual Guatemala Billfish Invitational – A Big Success!

The 4th Annual Guatemala Billfish Invitational was by all accounts an overwhelming success. When we started to put this year’s tournament together, we knew that it was going to be a good one. Competitive anglers from the US and neighboring countries made the journey to Guatemala wanting to be a part of it. 

Tournament highlights included celebrity guests; Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Wade Boggs, Uncharted Waters Peter Miller, Into the Blue Scott Walker, and Unfathomed George Gozdz. 

The week’s festivities kicked off with Pacific Fins hosting the first night’s event – the welcome party. Anglers got the opportunity to get educated by Dr. Nelson Ehrhardt and Bruce Pohlot of the University of Miami. 

“When Dr. Ehrhardt speaks…all pay attention”. Guests in attendance got a lesson in Billfish conservation and also the satellite tagging results – 8 out of 10 tags that were deployed in the 2018 tournament generated valid data. 

Team King & I, wins The 4th Annual Guatemala Billfish Invitational

With 4400 overall points, team King & I took top honors with 107 Sailfish raises, 92 bites and 44 releases. 

2nd Place Team, Sirena with 4200 points.

3rd Place Team, Fishy Business with 3700 points. 

1st Place Marlin goes to Dan Bernstein on boat Knotwork.

Biggest Dorado goes to team Makina

The tournament in 3 days, with a fleet of 15 boats generated a total of 1163 Sailfish raises, 915 bites, 446 releases and 3 Blue marlin releases. Niels Erichsen and his staff did an amazing job in making the tournament run smoothly. The overall first place winners of this event, will have their names added to the Guatemala Billfish Invitational Perpetual Champions trophy by Kingsailfish Mounts (pictured below). 

We want to THANK all our participating anglers for making this the best one yet. We were happy to see all having a great time, meeting and making new friends. From the kick-off party and Poolside Celebration to the neighboring lodges who took part in the Invitational, to the awards presentation at the final 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 Sailfish Commission and the week-long festivities that generate much needed funds for a worthy cause. 

In addition, we are going to be posting on our social pages pictures that were taken during the event. Keep in eye out for next weeks newsletter, which will have next year’s event dates – YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS IT!

Don’t say, “I told you so”. The 4th Annual Guatemala Billfish Invitational is SOLD OUT!

We knew this was going to happen, but we didn’t know it would be this good! Since, its inception in 2016, The Guatemala Billfish Invitational has grown through the years. Past guests still feel like they are on Cloud 9 after each event. The main purpose of the tournament has always been to raise awareness for the conservation efforts by The Sailfish Commission in Guatemala.

This year is no different, the fun 3-day tournament where like-minded anglers gather to socialize and fish in a relaxed environment all in support of a worthy cause is still running strong. 

In the last few years, major milestones have been accomplished and the momentum the Guatemala Sailfish Commission is obtaining are yielding immediate results for all in Guatemala.

This event wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors; Accurate Reels, Biscayne Rod, YO-ZURI, Yeti, Costa, DEEP Apparel, Kingsailfish Mounts, Guy Harvey Magazine, Nautilus Reels, Squidnation, Hook + Gaff Watches, Fishtrack and many more. A special THANK YOU to our new and returning guests, who without them it wouldn’t be possible. And, our very own Niels Erichsen for putting in lots of hours to make sure everything runs on all cylinders. 

For all who can’t make it this year… we will be posting daily all the festivities taking place via social media. If I were in your shoes… I would be thinking about reserving a spot in next year’s event… 🙂 

Set your DVR! Unfathomed with Capt. George Gozdz has begun.

It’s here! The inaugural season of Unfathomed with Capt. George Gozdz. 

Join long-time fishing guide and Unfathomed host, Captain George Gozdz, as he explores the outdoor lifestyle and illustrates it through cinematic storytelling focused on appealing destinations, intriguing personalities, and quality fisheries. 

Make sure to tune in this week starting: Friday 10:30am, Saturday 1pm, and Sunday 6am on Sportsmans Channel. You don’t want to miss this two part episode as George explores the wonders of Guatemala and witness for himself what fishery we have.

We want to THANK George and the guys at Colorblind Media for an awesome job.

Here’s is a little teaser from this week’s episode:

Hall of Famer, Warren Sapp to Fish the 4th Annual Guatemala Invitational

Sack artist and a nightmare to opposing Quarterback’s in the NFL, Warren Sapp, is back for the second year! 

Sapp played college football for the University of Miami, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American and won multiple awards. Sapp played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1995 to 2007 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders, making the Pro Bowl seven times. Following Sapp’s NFL career, he was an analyst on NFL Network until 2015. 

Sapp was drafted by the Buccaneers in the 1995 NFL Draft as the 12th overall pick. In his nine seasons with the Buccaneers, he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl and earned the ultimate goal, a Super Bowl ring in 2002.  

Whether on the football field or on a boat, Warren is a true competitor.  

Video of Warren’s career highlights:

Join us May 2 – May 6 for a fun filled event. Register today at 888-431-5556 or email me at ozzy@pacificfinsresort.com.