The month started out very slowly with lots of dirty water from the October storms. One of our captains took a boat ride out 76 miles, burned 225 gals to find nothing but green water.
* Steven Will’s party including Don Belling, Bill Aldridge, Noel Sanchez and Matt Dowling (4-5-6) on the Captain Hook had a rough time, because of this dirty water situation. The boat raised 7 sails and 1 blue, the anglers released 3 sails and the blue est 350lbs. They also brought to gaff 12 slammer dorados and 6 Yellow Fins up to 50lbs.
* At the same time, John York’s party including Bill Deas, Bill Reno and Harry Sumner fished (4-5-6) on the Rum Line raised 16 sails and the anglers released 11 on conventional and 2 on fly. Also caught 7 dorados, 6 yellowfins plus a jack crevalle.
* Skip Bliss’s party including Bob Chanson, Steve Beers and John Hatch (7-8-9) on the Captain Hook got better weather and bluer water (found at 42km). The boat raised 4 sails and the anglers released 2, but brought to gaff 4 slammer dorados and 20 Yellow Fins between 10-50lbs.
* Steve Fancsy (5-6-7-8-9) who was pre-fishing the PCCA Tournament on the Intensity found the fish in short order. The boat raised 19 sails and Steve released 13 and had one marlin bite, but no joy. 36 Tunas 15-50 lbs were caught.
Now that we found the bluewater in the pocket (42km) at the edge of the drop-off the PCCA Tournament had a great time (see attached report). 346 sailfish, three blue marlin and two striped marlin were released on 20lb Berkley Big Game line. Team OBX won aboard the Rum Line.
* Roy Van Wyk and Jim Starkweather aboard the Captain Hook (11-12) – who were not in the tournament, released 11 sails, 2 of which were on flies.
* Rubinho and his cameraman from the tv show PescaVentura from Brasil came up to fish aboard the Captain Hook (15-16-17). With the Spindrift as a chase boat they got plenty of footage and caught a few fish. The boat raised 22 sails and 1 blue. The angler released 8.
* Richard Rhoads and Casey Suarez (15-16) fished aboard the Makaira, which found the fish at the 200 fathom line and quickly released 14 sails.
* Mark Fitchett from Univ. of Miami, Gary Morgan and Matt David of CLS America are down (15-19) replacing the communications devices on our boats, which enables the captains to record fish caught. That information is transmitted directly to the Univ. of Miami which is a co-sponsor of the conservation and management of the billfish resources in Guatemala.
* Next up is Tred and Anni Barta (18-19-20-21) and cameramen Danny Kirsic and William Wheeler from Wheeler Communications who do all the Versus filming. They are on the Captain Hook.
1st day (18th) Capt. Hamlin reports “We raised 6 and missed 2 on backlashes on con. And jumped 1 off on 4#. But we caught 3 on split bamboo fly rods. That has to be a first for billfish, great footage. Tred was at his best, call him and congratulate him as I’ve never seen him happier. I’m pretty happy too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
2nd day (19th) Tred brought along a couple of old bamboo fly rods to use. On the five weight rod (yes, I said a 5) he spent the better part of three hours on a 100-lb striped marlin, which after several attempts to leader it, it tore off 400 yds of backing before being coaxed back to the boat and finally released. Anni Barta, not to be outdone, caught a 50 and 130-lb sail on ultra light tackle, then Tred lost a nice fish on 4-lb line.
* The Ben Koenig party (18-19-20) aboard the Rum Line raised 46 sails and anglers Ben Jr, George Pittas and Jim Davis released 25 sails and 1 striped marlin. They kept 8 yellowfins. Ben said “This was a trip of a lifetime. From our trip planning and arrival to our departure, everything and everyone was just fantastic. The lodge staff, captain and mates and food service was the best. We hated to leave, believe me. I have traveled all over the world and these guys wee the best. Can’t wait to go again and hope to have the same captain and crew”
* The Doyle party of 12 (19-20) aboard the Makaira, Spindrift & Intensity had a great time. Captains Jason, Michael and Nicho found the fish about 45km out – and the figures are the best we’ve had since the PCCA Tournament the week before. The three boats raised 105 sails and the novice anglers released 74 including a small striped marlin.
Rhyl Doyle said “I’m still in Antigua and will fill this out on my return but let me tell you now that everything was superb. Drivers, lodge, food, staff, boats , crews all top shelf. We released 74 sails in a day and a half also a striped marlin and two dorados (we kept the dorados). We have all been recommending the lodge to many people at the conference who were envious after hearing the fishing reports. Our customers were delighted making the weekend a huge success. I definitely plan to do it again in the future.”
– Rounding out the month:
* Dr Daniel Pearcy and his son, Jacob – who forever fish Captain Hook (24-25-26). The Captain Hook raised 67 sails and one blue marlin. The good doctor and his son released 42 sails.
* Kimberly Van Horn and her family on Spindrift (24-25)
Dr. Dan Pearcy and son Jacob, celebrating a birthday on his trip to Guatemala, released 42 sails and 1 blue marlin on their Thanksgiving trip aboard the Captain Hook with Capt. Ron Hamlin. Dr. Pearcy says ” I’ve fished most of the world’s top destinations & Casa Vieja ranks as the world’s top fishing lodge in my opinion. Tropic Star is not even close”
The ILTTA is underway. First day’s (29 Nov) results: 29 boats released 382 sailfish for a 13 fish per boat average. Just shows why Guatemala is the sailfish capital of the world! Casa Vieja’s Intensity was in 4th place yesterday with 20 fish and Release in 7th place with 19 fish, Makaira following close behind in 9th place with 16 fish.
ILTTA 2nd day (30 Nov) results puts Intensity in 2nd place; Release in 3rd place; Makaira dropping two slots to 11th place. 313 sails released from 30 boats. The action is 55 miles out in over 200 fathoms. Tomorrow is their off day, then two more days. So far the Tournament boats have released 695 sailfish!
* And, finally the ILTTA starts tomorrow (29 Nov – 04 Dec). Many of our anglers previously fished the PCCA Tournament and from destinations around the Caribbean.