Billfish Bounty in the Heart of the Mayan World – Guatemala

The Pacific Sailfish, Dolphin and Yellowfin tuna bite in Guatemala has been known by sport fishing enthusiasts in small circles for years. Now, it’s become world renowned for its strong off-season for the biggest and baddest billfish you can bring to your boat in the Pacific –– Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin and Black Marlin.

image101Don’t let the time of the year limit your attraction based on the seasonal Sailfish bite alone, which can reach 40 a day without a second look in peak season (June-October). The off-season Marlin fishing is so productive for anglers, Marlin catch guarantees are being made when fishing the Pacific waters of Guatemala––the Heart of the Mayan World; a slogan coined by INGUAT, the country’s tourism agency. They are casting as many lines as possible to fin-addicts worldwide about the one of a kind Billfish and pelagic fishing experiences of Guatemala. 

The daily release record was set at an unbelievable 124 Sailfish released, no wonder the fever for sportfishing is growing strong in Guatemala.

Photo Credit: Capt. Steve Dougherty –

Getting reeled in is easy. With the beautiful volcanic skylines, Mayan culture, local cuisine and red hot big game sportfishing, you are sure to get your fill and then some when traveling to this Pro Angler recommended fishing destination. The recent local boom in niche resorts like the Pacific Fin’s Resort & Marina are giving anglers from far and wide new experiences and epic fish pics to write home about. Most popular big game resorts are found on the Pacific; in sleepy beach towns like Iztapa where Pacific Fin’s Resort & Marina has been situated for over 10 years. All a quick ride from the major airport in Guatemala City through dozens of volcanoes and sugar plantations. Owners like Niels Erichsen of Pacific Fin’s, are heavily involved in the movement––pushing the now uncovered fishing mecca of Central America to new heights with full 5-star resort experiences featuring comfortable after fishing hangouts (below), fleets of more than 6 luxury boats, villas and special guest chefs like Extreme Chef. Terry French to serve up the fresh daily catch.

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Fishing in Guatemala is usually chartered around an area known as the “Pocket”, a massive underwaterimage00   canyon 30 nautical miles wide. You can expect your fishing day to start just 12 to 15 miles offshore towards the tip of the canyon. You can find yourself going maximum 30-40 miles to find blue water. In the end, it’s not hard to put yourself on the fish, especially after a clear ride out on some of the world’s calmest billfish waters.

On a recent Pro Angler excursion to Guatemala with Capt. Ozzy Delgado, Capt. Wild Bill, Extreme Chef. Terry French, along with Capt. Steve Dougherty of Florida Sportfishing and Grundens CEO Mat Jackson––Pro Angler was able to rip out fishing for back-to-back high producing days and really take in the essence of fishing the pocket with an amazing crew.

Two beautiful Blues caught deep in the “Pocket”:

Blue Marlin in the 300 to 600 lbs range are most common in this region. In recent years, it hasn’t been uncommon for local captains to raise up to 4 Marlin in one day in the months of September and October.

Photo Credit: Capt. Steve Dougherty –

Technique wise, both bait and fly fishing are at your disposal. When targeting Sailfish and Marlin, artificial teasers and skirted rigs with Ballyhoo are used with the bait and switch tactic. Stand-up is the best and most exciting way to battle these fish to the boat for a picture, smile and release. Guatemala is a world leader in conservation efforts for Billfish. Every setup you use will be rigged with circle hooks and any Billfish is catch and release by law, to ensure this Guatemalan fishing mecca; the Heart of the Mayan World, will remain a choice angling destination for years to come.

Kyle Reid, CEO – Pro Angler.

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