The unparalleled numbers of Pacific sailfish prowling Guatemalan waters on any given day is what earned this place its reputation, but sails are not the only game in town. In fact, marlin (blues, blacks and stripes) are always a possibility, especially from April through December, with some giant blues showing up during late summer. Dorado also abound, particularly from June to October. And yellowfin tuna frequently make the scene between August and the end of the year.
Yes, there’s great fishing year-round in Guatemala, but October through June is generally considered the peak period primarily because the rainy season here extends from mid-July through September. In spite of the random showers, however, the fish are still present and on the hunt, and experience, local captains can usually maneuver around any meaningful precipitation while producing plenty of action for their anglers.
By the way, in Guatemala, it’s possible to raise your game and go from novice angler to experienced in just a few days. The staggering number of daily shots, combined with hands-on tips from our seasoned crews, will enable you to quickly hone your big-game fly-fishing skills.
After breakfast, a little before 7:00 am, anglers are driven to Marina Pez Vela (a 10-minute ride) to board their boat. Upon their return from fishing, at around 4:30 pm, the driver will be waiting to promptly take them back to the lodge.
Casa del Rio Lodge has two of Guatemala’s most coveted sportfishing boats, both modern, well-maintained and rigged specifically to catch large, offshore predators.
Fishy Business: With nearly 15 feet of beam and a significant bow flair and sharp-angle entry, this 36-foot Jersey Cape is a truly stable fishing platform and cruises in comfort even in a chop. The boat is propelled by a pair of powerful 450 Caterpillar diesel engines, and skippered by Capt. Ricardo De León, one of the most experienced billfish captains in Guatemala, with more than three decades fishing his home waters. Among the early hires at Tim Choate’s “Fins and Feathers” (the big-game operation that first made the angling world take notice of Guatemala’s incredible potential in the early 90s), Ricardo was instrumental in helping several of today’s famous captains learn to fish Guatemalan waters.
Makina: Casa del Rio’s other 36-footer is an equally adept and comfortable Out Island. This very seaworthy, Carolina-style game boat features an ample cockpit with lots of fishing room, and is powered by twin 450 Cummins diesels. It’s in the capable hands of Capt. Luis “Wicho” Ramirez, a veteran of countless billfish battles in Guatemalan waters, as well as some of the world’s other prolific big-game, destinations, including Panama, the Galapagos, Canary Islands and many more.
For larger groups, Casa del Rio also uses other comparable local boats with stellar track records of producing great results for visiting anglers.
Casa del Rio boats carry a selection of flies and fly outfits rigged specifically for offshore big-game. Nevertheless, visiting anglers are always welcome to bring their own gear and let the expert local crews help with proper rigging.