The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year, with #5 Guatemala . Criteria for our Top 10 include fish numbers, variety of billfish species, reports, average size of fish, length of season and number of boats fishing. With over 9,000 Billfish Reports submitted to us in 2017 from around the World, to even be considered for our Top 10 makes a fishery one of the best!
Guatemala – The 2016 Heavyweight Champ. The finest Sailfishing in the World. Numbers…Numbers…Numbers. Year in and Year out, Guatemala does not disappoint when it comes to Sailfishing or Billfishing for that matter. Perhaps the only time this fishery would seem down is after one of the finest seasons they have ever had (2016) and maybe one of the finest seasons the World has ever seen. Only time will tell..
For now, all we have is what history has provided and it is pretty good. We had to create new categories for releases on Sailfish because of Guatemala. When you set the bar, you set the bar. In 2017, Guatemala boats recorded ten (10) days with 30+ Sailfish releases, the best by far in the World. They likewise recorded ten (10) days with 40+ Sailfish releases, the best in the World. In fact, no other fishery even recorded a 40+ Sailfish release day in the 2017 outside of Guatemala. The finest day we had a report on was off the Typhoon going 84-105 on Sailfish in a day. Along the same lines of atmospheric numbers, Maverick went 74-101 and Allure II went 73-104.
Not necessarily known for variety, Guatemala boats reported seven (7) Grand Slams, putting them in a multiple tie for 4th in the World. The Best Slam, which was also one of the finest days in Guatemala in 2017 came off the Allure II releasing 24 Sailfish, 5 Striped Marlin and a Blue Marlin.
Perhaps the one shortcoming of this fishery is size given the dominance by the Sailfish. Still, we saw four (4) Marlin reported to us over 500 lbs. with King & I releasing an estimated 600 lbs. Blue Marlin. This is an almost year round fishery, with the primary season lasting 6-Months, but the fish are there even if the anglers are not.
Congratulations to Guatemala our #5 Billfishery of 2017!