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Sailfish Guatemala Fishing Report to March 22nd, 2003.

March 12 We welcomed our returning client Ed Opler from Jackson Hole Wyoming and this year he brought legendary fly fishing casting champion Joan Wulffe and husband Ed Rogowski. Joan wanted to catch sailfish on fly and the first day fishing was successful for all! Fishing was out at 40-50 miles, a long run out, but sails were aggressive. Ed was up first and nailed a nice 80 lb sail. Ed followed and released another 80-85 lb sail. Joan watched the action and then caught her second sail in her career! Fishing on only 12 lb tippet, we hoped a new women’s world record could be set but the sail was under the current 86 lb record. Ed followed with another nice sail to end their day. March 13 The next day out was similar with the run being out to 43 miles. We encountered several large groups of spinner dolphins and then Ted started off the days fishing with a great 90-95 lb sail on fly. Joan followed quickly but still under the 86 lb mark. Ed followed with his and Ted released another, his second of the day. All used Cam Sigler flies and Joan offered fly casting lessons to Robert. A great day aboard Maverick and for dinner we served fresh dorado at our Casa del Mar.

March 14 Fun continued aboard Maverick with more sails released on fly. Our group released 4 more today. At night we welcomed another group visiting from Kansas City. Headed by Outdoor Connection’s Marc Glades, we welcomed Bill Maas, former All Pro with the KC Chiefs and now Fox Sports Prime Time Football Announcer. Along with Marc and Bill, they brought friend Jim Bell to catch some sails for their first trip to Guatemala. March 15 Action started quickly for Bill Maas fishing on Man O War when in the morning he hooked up on a 400lb plus blue marlin! The battle lasted for 1-* hours before Bill successfully gained a release! Meanwhile on Maverick, our fly fishing group continued their success while releasing more sails. Ed ended the day and their trip, releasing a 110lb sail on fly with a battle lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes! The sail came close to the boat 3 times before heading to deeper water! It was a struggle and caught on 12 lb tippet. If Joan had taken her turn (she passed this one to Ed), we would have had a new world women’s record! Thanks for the great time Joan, Ted and Ed! We look forward to the return trip! March 16 Our group with Bill Maas, Marc Glades and Jim Bell slammed some sails starting in the late morning. Action was steady for the afternoon and they ended with 28 sail releases! Our guests using circle hooks hooked all up! This was their first experience with circle hooks and they saw first hand how successful this works on billfish. Guatemala has proven to the industry that circle hooks are more successful with billfish than j hooks and are much safer. There is no reason not to switch, it only takes a little time to learn the method and the sails are not harmed and clients are happier!

March 17 Action aboard Maverick started quickly for our guys. Robert worked on their technique using circle hooks and by late morning they had released 10 sails. Then the guys asked if we could teach them fly fishing. We pulled out our fly equipment and began practicing the cast and hook up method. Bill was first up and the first sail we teased up he hooked. After a 15 minute run, the sail finally threw the hook on a leap completely out of the water. Bill was disappointed but we assured him he would have another chance. Jim went second and after several misses, successfully released his first ever sail on fly! Weighing about 80 lbs, the sail gave several dramatic tail walking exhibitions. Marc was up next and hooked a large sail and the battle was on! Lasting about 45 minutes, Marc too released his first sail on fly, weighing about 110lbs, this sail proved to be a challenge with jumps, deep dives and furious headshakes! Now it was Bill’s turn…. Our mates teased up another big sail, and it aggressively attacked Bill’s pink and white Cam Sigler fly. The fight was on…. First running out about 200 yards, the sail leaped, danced, dove deep and proved a formable challenge to our former All Pro. The battle lasted almost 1 1/2 hours before Bill was able to land it! Another first time sail on fly! About his trip with us, Bill remarked, “This was the most awesome fishing trip ever! A 400 lb blue marlin, lots of sails and a sail on fly. It doesn’t get any better!”

March 19 We welcomed 3 students on spring break from the University of Georgia, Heath Norman, StephenGreene and Preston Kimbrel. Rather than the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale, they decided to come fishing in Guatemala, catch some sails and see if they could catch one on fly. The first day out was rough! Seas were 3-6 ft and the wind was blowing at 40knots. Unusual for Guatemala, nevertheless, sails were still active and they released 16 sails on conventional for their first day. March 20 Weather continued to be rough, effects of the full moon?? Fishing proved slower and 8 sails were released on conventional. Other boats reported the same slower action. When you fish out of Guatemala you leave almost due south and the boats move either SW or SE. Today boats began fishing in different directions to try and find a hot spot.

March 21 Our clients decided to switch to fly fishing since the weather had settled down. We decided to run out to about 40 miles along with several other boats. Action was definitely slow for all and when flyfishing, boats raise less fish because of fewer lines. Heath was up first and took advantage of the firstsail aggressively teased in, he cast perfectly and the sail smashed his fly. The fight lasted about 45 minutes and Heath successfully released his first ever sail on fly. Stephen was up next and slammed the first sail up! Sails were not particularly aggressive or hungry and other boats fishing conventional reported the same. Next up was Preston….we teased another sail up after he dropped off our teaser lines two times. Our mates and captain worked hard on this fish and finally Preston was able to cast…. The sail, now very angry, inhaled the fly and after an hour, Preston had caught his first sail on fly! We had 3 bites and 3 releases, these guys took advantage of their shots!

March 22 Fishing was incredibly slow all day. We had 3 come up and play with the teasers early on but simply disappeared. They were not hungry at all. The day continued this way, sails would come up and swim away with no interest. Boats fishing conventional reported the same, there was very little interest in the bait. We ended the day with only 8 up and no bites. Several times we observed sails lying on the water and showed no interest in our lines. The water is excellent color right now but apparently filled with bait. Sometimes even in Guatemala it’s slow……..

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