The Billfish Report has reported the notable catches from every billfishery on the planet last year – and having ranked the top billfisheries of 2009, is also now offering some guidance on where was the best place to catch particular species of billfish last year.
To start, in speaking to billfish, there are essentially 10 species – in the Atlantic is the white marlin, Atlantic blue, swordfish, longbilled spearfish, and Atlantic sailfish. In the Pacific there is the Pacific blue, the striped marlin, black marlin, Pacific sailfish, shortbilled spearfish, and swordfish. We’ll be sharing the best place last year to catch all of the above – and will cover swordfish in the Atlantic report.
We start today with the Pacific…
Pacific blue marlin – Kona remains the best place to catch blues, even if the fishery had an average 2009. The summer run – late July and August – was tremendous, with harbor records being caught on two occasions (eight is the new record), but there were fewer large fish caught last year, with numbers still strong but not extraordinary.
Pacific sailfish – without a doubt, Guatemala takes the spoils. Year-in and year-out this billfishery produces huge – as in 40-50 on some days – numbers of sailfish, and 2009 was no different.
Shortbilled spearfish – the run of shortbilled spears in Kona is typically in the late winter and early spring, and 2009 saw sporadic spears last year as well – though one can see a spear almost anytime in Kona. By far the most reliable place on earth to pick up a spear, no matter the ocean.
Black marlin – though the season on the Great Barrier Reef was unquestionably the most noteworthy of the year for billfish, if you’re looking for a black marlin you’re likely most apt to see one in Panama, be it off Coiba or in Pinas Bay. One can see blacks almost any day of the year there, and 2009 was no different – and given that it’s the only fishery on the planet that can see a black any day of the year, this is the best place to catch one.
Striped marlin – the striped marlin fishery in Cabo San Lucas is the most consistent one on earth, and was in 2009 – even though it was by all accounts an off year for Cabo. Though places like New Zealand can see significantly greater size (300+-pound fish), the fact the striped marlin can be caught year-round in Cabo, even in a year like last year, makes it the best place in 2009 to catch a stripey.
Watch for our Atlantic “Best place to catch a…” coming next week!