After the very successfull Stu Apte Fly & No Sancocho Tournaments, the fishing in Guatemala got even better.
* In late January, our good friend Dr. Ferreira and friend Mr. Carreiro from Portugal indulged themselves in Antigua’s many facets before arriving at the lodge. Capt. Nico on the Release (01 thru 03) says they had a great time, catching and releasing 39 sails.
* Bill Roversi & John Davenport making their way down from some chilly weather up north fished with Capt. Nicho on the Spindrift (02 thru 06) for five days, catching over a hundred sails. I guarantee they will be back next year!
* Fly anglers Stuart Hooley & Richard Varley from across the Big Pond, accomplished what no other had done before. Richard is a quadraplegic and a fly angler. Capt. Hamlin on the Finest Kind (03 thru 06) took good care of both anglers, but went to the extent of bringing a 3rd mate on board, just to hold Richard’s position on the boat, while he cast and fought his fish. That’s a first for us and for Richard. The only other angler we’ve had in recent years to fish from a wheelchair is Tred Barta. They ended their four day stay with 9 releases all on fly. Stuart says he coming back next year with five more wand wavers!
* Then the Keith Brice group arrived. Keith fished with his brother Capt. Jason and the group with Capts. Nico and Chico (04 thru 06). The group of twelve doctors and medical reps caught over a hundred sails and had rave reviews of the fishing, the staff and the lodge. They too will be back next year.
* Then came Dr. Hanson’s annual pilgrimage to our lodge. His party including Steven Johnson, Robert Jurgens & Mark Bailey caught 29 sails in one day with Capt. Nico (11 thru 13). They had a great time, as always and are planning next year’s trip. Dr. Hanson is my second oldest client (see below).
* Dave & Arlene Ribler stayed at our lodge while fishing aboard the old Circle Hook with Capt. Eddie (11 thru 15). Dave is one of my oldest customers, who started fishing with Safari Outfitters and PanAngling – both of whom I was associated with for many years. Dave is slowing down a bit – only 61 sails and a 300# blue marlin this trip.
Every day this month, our boats have scored 35-40 raised fish, tagging and releasing about half. It is reminiscent of the bountiful 2006-07 years.
Continuing the report: After cold weather fronts moved thru the area, causing rough water and several lumpy days, the fishing for sails suddenly improved.
* Tom Siska party fly fishing on the Release (24 Feb) raised one and released it. Yesterday, fly fishing on the Rum Line, they raised 42, had 15 bites and released 10. Definitely an improvement.
By comparison, the conventional anglers:
* Hanslik party fishing on Intensity (20-21-22) raised 73, had 54 bites and released 28;
* Sody party fishing on the Finest Kind (21-22-23) raised 39, had 35 bites and released 26;
* Montauk Tackle (winners of the Barta auction) party fishing on Release (21-22-23) raised 33, had 31 bites and released 21;
* Wolf party fishing on Twenty (22-23-24) raised 44, had 33 bites, released 24.
* Azelis party fishing on Intensity (23-24-25) raised 70, had 61 bites and released 40;
* Dr. Steven Smith, fishing with friends William DeVane and retired skipper George Bayer (Hawks Cay Resort) using light tackle raised 84 fish, had 70 bites and released 53 in three days