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May 03, 2010

Guatemala Fishing Report April 28th 2010 - Natural Baits

Shaking in Guatemala

Shaking in Guatemala
While the world was occupied with the events hovering over Iceland in the past week, similar events were brewing and burbling once again in Guatemala. The famous ring of fire travels along the Pacific Coast of Guatemala before passing by Iceland - and contains an incredible 452 volcanoes and 75% of the world's total. Guatemala itself is home to over 30 of these, and between five and eight of them may be active at any one time - about the highest ratio of active to dormant anywhere in the world.
Some of these are constantly erupting and have become well travelled tourist sights (see our page on visiting the volcanoes at Volcanoes in Guatemala) ..........but this week saw a new entrant into the count of "most active" with the eruption of the Santiaguito volcano in the western highlands. Since last erupting in 1902, this has been one of the better behaved Guatemala volcanoes - but this week saw a quite violent reminder of its past. The last eruption managed a 6 on the VEI (Volcanic Explosive Index) and as such was classed as "colossal". This current one is much less, but the cloud of ash reaching as high as 27,000 feet is an indicator of the potential of activity !
This constant seismic activity does not appear to have any significant impact on the fishing in Guatemala - even the large magnitude quake in March had no noticeable effect on the concentrations of billfish - seems like it is only us land dwellers that are effected by such things. The fishing although slower than a month ago, has remained quite consistent. Decent numbers of sailfish - but a LOT of Blue Marlin showing. Some days our boats have been reporting 3-5 raises of marlin for the day with perhaps one or two hookups. What has been noticeable however is how concentrated the fishing has been - most days the sportfishing fleet has ended up within a couple of miles of each other over concentrations of bait, but outside of that diameter, the pickings have been slim.
Fortunately the captains in Guatemala co-operate well, so though some may be fortunate in finding the fish early in the day, by mid-morning the migration to that area was on for the rest of the fleet and by noon everybody has been on fish.
They have had to rely on good old experience for the last week, as we have experienced (unusually) almost constant cloud cover which has restricted the ability to retrieve decent satellite imagery and its usual clues for where the fish may be concentrated. As long as the radios continue to work we should be ok !
The sailfish have been showing in good numbers throughout the day and have been aggressive with the baits. A different story however on the fly, as the fish have been much less receptive to anything that wasn't a natural bait. We made the switch last week to only running teasers with natural bait trailing and saw a much improved level of commitment to the baits from the fish - which resulted in better bites on the fly as well.
Other natural baits were on display in Guatemala City this past weekend as the annual beauty pageant was held in the Crowne Plaza. At the final count, Ms Alejandra Barillas was crowned as Miss Guatemala 2010 and will represent the country in the Miss Universe competition.