There are always many factors that can and do effect the fishing in Guatemala.
Probably the most significant of these are where and how far to shore the blue water comes streaming in – as this by itself determines the temperature gradients that ten to attract nutrients and then the food chain that feeds from there.
Other visiting fishermen to Guatemala may debate – and often cite the moon phase as being one of the predeterminate variables, but our experience is that the currents and temperatures tend to have a much higher weight in the veracity of the fishing in Guatemala.
In general, the fishing in Guatemala has been very good and consistent for the last several weeks. What has changed is where the fish are……….one day we are fining blue water at 35 miles, the next it may be as close as 5 miles from the dock.
Mostly we are just glad to be able to find it quickly in the morning, and then to set a pattern between the boats to find out where the bait and pelagic are concentrated.
One of the great benefits of a “local” fishery such as Guatemala, further abetted by the “no kill” rule for billfish – is that the captains are all close friends (and often family), and so are willing to share information to the rest of the fleet as it becomes available.
This results in the fleet spreading out towards the blue water early in the day and then closing more together as the fish are located and the catch rates start emerging.
We welcomed back the Graham party for fishing last week – over the course of the five day trip they released their fair share…….quote ……….”Had a great trip last week with about 100 releases. A couple of real nice fish. I got one on conventional that the crew guessed in the 150 class and my last fish of the trip was a 2 hour battle on a the fly rod with a 130 plus fish.” I did check with the Captain, and he did verify that the sail on the fly was at least 130lbs, which even for Guatemala is a very big fish !
Seemingly this group wore the fish out, as they became kind of scarce for a few days – until the Mitchell group showed up with a fine case of hand tied flies that proved just too much for the sailfish to resist.
Each day the fishing and the fishermen got progressively better, with more fish being raised as the new moon progresses. On their final day, they raised 22 sailfish with 12 good bites to the fly and 8 releases – and plenty of picture taken for evidence of a great fishing day !
This kind of raise and catch rate is almost normal for this time of the year, as we are fast approaching what is regarded as the peak of the season.
It is always a very busy time as lots of fishermen come down to escape the cold as well as to fish.
The great angling (and hopefully !) will continue until the end of April and even into May we have seen a strong and sustained Marlin bit – so in that regard the season here in January is only just starting !