Where the year goes is difficult to say, the festive season is on us and it seems like just yesterday that we were writing the last fishing update. November and December has seen some good fishing, with a steady pick of sailfish, great weather and flat seas. Recently announced is that Capt. Brad Philipps won The Billfish Foundations top award of Overall Release Captain of the Year for 2008/2009 and also the Top Pacific Sailfish release Captain of the Year. Both these awards he has won for the past 8 years running and attests to the quality of Guatemala's fishery and the crew on the 'Decisive'.
November saw us start with 41 sailfish releases for Gary Hughes and friends. Scott Lund, a.k.a. Dr. Dog, released 6 on the fly and 4 on spin on the 4th, with Alex Palazio and friends releasing 17 from 22 sailfish two days thereafter.
Dr. Dog was back with his friends Brian and Jessica on the 16th and 17th to enjoy the golf at Antigua Golf Resort and a steady pick of sails on the fly, spin and conventional tackle.
Mike Viveiros, Dell Dembosky and Craig Johnson fished the 19th as a warm-up to the annual PCCA tournament which started on the 20th. With a slow day of pre-fishing we ran in the opposite direction to the fleet on the first day of tournament fishing to find the fish and release 13 sails and a feisty 275 pound blue marlin for Dell, to jump team 'Decisive' into a day one lead. Day two saw the fleet piled around us but with a steady pick and 14 releases we went into the final day with a few fish lead. The final day saw us a little out of sorts, missing some fish and without our usual fish raising hummm, to let victory slip from our grasp in the dying hour to finish with 10 releases and a solid second placed finish and many trophies for the team and it's anglers.
The 28th of November through the 1st of December saw the Texas couple of Chris Keese and Theresa McClendon with us. The fishing was good, averaging 15 plus raises a day although many a fish proved finicky in getting them to eat the fly, but with the ever ready ballyhoo on the spin rod a fun time was had pulling on a bunch of sailfish. When all was said and done, both anglers had released sailfish on the fly, spin and conventional tackle to make for an outstanding trip.
Joe O'Brien along with his boss Jon Sharp of England were all over the sailfish from the 3rd through till the 6th of December. They averaged over 30 raises a day with between 5 and 7 releases on the fly and up to 14 on the spin road each day, with Jon catching his first billfish on the long wand. A serious freshwater fishermen, Jon commented latter that after releasing one of his fish on the fly, a particularly large 125lb plus fish, he'd been overwhelmed with emotion at the extent of what he'd just achieved and at the unbelievable joy the entire experience had brought him......well this is what it's all about.......... and sharing this with us over dinner that night really made us all feel very special. Nothing makes us happier at Guatemalan Billfishing Adventures than to hear compliments of this nature, thank you Jon!!
Dr. Dog was back with us the 6th and 7th with plenty of sailfish on the fly and spin rod as well as some dorado.
The bite slowed a little over the next week although anglers were still kept busy with their share of action.
Miguel Ricart and Romel Marranzini joined us the 18th of December to see fishing pick up releasing 17 form 27 bites and miss a blue. Manuel Tavares, his son RaÃºl, and Eduardo Reid and his son Horacio, joined their Dominican friends on the 19th sharing the 'Decisive' and 'Circle hook' with the 'Decisive' finding a late bite to release 19 from 25 bites, and some yellowfin and dorado. The next day the 'Decisive' again pulled the magic rabbit out the hat at the end of the day to release 11 from 15 sails and raise a big blue that would not hang around. The 21st saw lots of bird life and deep blue water but only a handful of sailfish. The highlight was a 100lb striped marlin on 20lb, a first for Manuel, nice going!!
It's now time for a short holiday break, so to all our wonderful clients, anglers, friends, family and generous sponsors we wish you all a Blessed Christmas, joyous New Year and all the compliments of the festive season.
Until next report, tight lines, circle hooks and healthy releases.
Capt. Brad Philipps