Friday, May 7, 2010

Guatemala - Blue Marlin on the Fly

Wild Mango Trees!

Shrimp farms. Every place we went had guards armed with shotguns.

Dinner was perfect every night.

Cam Sigler flies

After years of talking about it we decided to pull the trigger and try our hand at sailfish on the fly. We stayed at Sailfish bay lodge and were greated by the friendliest staff that did everything they could do to make us feel at home. The fishing was unusually slow. The first day we raised one sailfish that turned jet black as it attacked Phil's Cam Sigler fly. The strike was head on, which is nearly impossible to get a good hook set on billfish, and the hooks missed their mark twice before the fish vanished off into the blue. The second day I was up to bat and didn't raise a fish. The last day I was up to bat again at least until I had a fish strike the fly. early on we raised a blue marlin that swam under the teasers forever and never showed any interest in the fly but inhaled a bonito thrown to it. Unfortunately the hook broke and never set on the fish. We had a quick visit by another sail on the inside teaser that vanished as quickly as it showed. Phil and I decided that we would switch after lunch and he would try his luck the remainder of the day. As lunch was being cooked a Blue Marlin crashed the teasers. In slow motion my fly hit the water, I popped it and moved my rod tip from side to side and held the most retarded pose as the marlin inhaled the fly. The hook set perfectly in the side of the mouth and the fish tailwalked and porpoised for 100yards before the reel fight began. The fish sounded and I began the longest tug of war of my life. 2..5hrs. Line was gained and line was lost and the same 80ft of flyline was fought over for an hour. The shooting head finally appeared, then the fish glowing electric blue. The deckhand had me back off the rail as he began guiding the line and the fish up. The leader and the yellow line appeared and the deckhand and captain and Phil all cheered and as quickly as it began, it was over and the Blue Marlin swam off. I was left with cramping arms, a sweat soaked shirt and the biggest smile I've ever had on my face. The crew estimated the Blue at 300lbs.

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