Guatemala offers some quite exceptional blue-water fishing as well as being a very strong contender for the world’s most productive sailfish fishery. This is by no means an uncontested title but the marine topography of the area conspires to produce exceptionally productive marine fishing grounds which is within close proximity to Pacific Fins Resort. To put this in perspective the top fishing boats can catch and release in the region of 2,000 Sailfish in a year and the record catch was a quite staggering 124 released Sailfish in one day!


Blue-water Fishing in Guatemala - Sailfish & Marlin

Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado & Yellowfin Tuna are the most common species caught by sportfish anglers in Guatemala but it is the Sailfishing that is truly outstanding. On average when fishing with conventional gear 15 – 20 hook-ups are possible in a day but over the peak season from June-October more than 40 bites is quite is normal. Pacific Sailfish typically average 90-100lbs but Sailfish of over 125 lbs are common. Marlin are never far from most blue-water anglers aspirations and in recent times the fishing for them has been equally exceptional. Blue, Striped and Black Marlin are all caught in Pacific Fins waters, with Blue marlin in the 300 to 600 pound range being the most common. In recent years it has not been uncommon for the best captains to raise 4 or more Marlin in a day. Marlin can be caught year round in Guatemala but the largest concentrations seem to occur from September through December.


Fly-fishing for Blue-water Species

Unquestionably the most challenging form of blue-water fishing and certainly the greatest achievement is to catch a Sailfish or a Marlin on a fly-rod although Dorado and Tuna will also provide great sport. The skippers and their crew will only be to eager to provide you with opportunities to catch any of these species on a fly. Do not expect the same number of hook-ups as you would when fishing with conventional gear. Fly anglers will generally average 1 out of 3 or 4 releases to hook-ups however the experience will have the adrenaline racing like no other activity whilst fishing in blue-water. Successfully releasing a fly caught Marlin is the biggest challenge of them all but increasing numbers are being caught each year as methods and tackle gets more refined.

Conventional Blue-water Fishing

If fly-fishing is the apex achievement of deep-sea sport-fishing then fishing with conventional tackle is definitely the most productive. A typical day of bill-fishing involves pulling teasers to raise the fish, then pitching them a circle hook rigged ballyhoo. This approach almost guarantees a hookup! The crew are masters at hooking Billfish, but are always eager to teach customers the art of circle hook fishing.


Why Guatemala – What makes the fishing so good?

As might be expected it is a combination of factors that together contribute to the outstanding numbers of Sailfish in the waters within close proximity to Pacific Fins.

  • The Pocket – A canyon with depths of 3-4,000ft lies within 12 miles of the marina, the faces of the canyon creating strong currents which allow baitfish to proliferate and hence draw in the Billfish in large numbers.
  • Currents – Ever-changing currents in the region, moving east to west from El Salvador and west to East from Mexico, in combination with the topography of the pocket further reinforce the concentrations of baitfish.
  • Oxygen concentration – Oxygen levels within the Guatemala’s Pacific Ocean are particularly high near the surface level. This keeps the baitfish closer to the surface and the billfish are more accessible rather than diving deep in search of food.
  • Temperature barriers – From October-May strong winds from Mexico and Costa Rica create a cooling effect either side of the Guatemalan Pacific Coast. This temperature barrier restricts the movement of the baitfish and keeps the billfish in the Guatemalan area of the ocean for longer.
  • Guatemalan Fishing Laws – Conservation minded fishing practices, the discouragement of commercial fishing fleets and prevention of commercial fishing for Sailfish are all integral to protecting Guatemalan waters for future generations as well as enhancing the current fish stocks.


The Boats & Accommodation Packages

There are a number of boats ranging from 31-40ft with accommodation packages to suit different budgets. All the boats are equipped with the top-notch Shimano tackle and electronics as well as being skippered by professional and experienced captains and crew. Both bait and lures are used however please note that all billfish are catch and release only. Boats can be shared by up to 4 anglers and booked on an individual day rate although we normally recommend a package of 3 days fishing to ensure you experience optimum conditions during your stay.


Pacific Fins Resort & Accommodation

Pacific Fins prides itself in being the only true luxury Fishing Resort in Guatemala. Whilst the fishing will always be the raison d’etre the lodge ethos is to ensure your experience off the water is as superlative as it is on the water. An English speaking staff ensure a quality service which is supplemented by gourmet cuisine. Accommodation is in four beautiful air-conditioned Villas which each have two bedrooms with two queen beds, two bathrooms and a very comfortable central lounge area featuring a flat screen TV with SKY satellite service. Sliding glass doors open on to a sun-deck overlooking beautifully landscaped tropical grounds, pool and marina. In addition there are two suites for those who would prefer a little more privacy. Drinks at the bar are all inclusive and dinner is from an a-la-cart Menu with fresh seafood, steaks and a wide range of appetizers, entrees and Desserts.


About Guatemala & Getting There

Guatemala is a country bursting with beautifully striking features, biodiversity and an indigenous culture with a powerful and vibrant identity. Volcanoes, thick tropical forests, outstanding Mayan ruins that stretch out and above the surrounding forest canopy, beautiful lakes, and exotic fauna, flora and wildlife are all part of the experience. Guatemala Is also one of the largest, covering an area of over 108,000 sq Km (slightly smaller than England), shares its main borders with Mexico to the north, the Caribbean Sea and Belize to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and by both Honduras and El Salvador to the south. It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Guatemala.

Location and Getting There

There are direct flights into Guatemala City from a number of most major cities in the U.S with Miami or Houston being the common hub for transfers from Europe. (Approx 2 hrs flight from Miami and 2 hrs 30 from Houston). On arrival into Guatemala City, you will be met by a Pacific Fins chauffeur who will take you on the 60 mile drive south to Iztapa in an air-conditioned mini-bus. The scenery along the way is worth the ride with farms, forests and active volcanoes amongst other sights. On departure guests commonly depart the following morning after the last fishing day and many choose to spend a night in Guatemala City before flying home


Typical 4 night / 3 days fishing Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Guatemala City
Transfer to Pacific Fins Resort

Day 2-4

3 Full days fishing 07.30-16.30 hrs

Day 5

Transfer back to Guatemala City


Availability and Pricing for the 2024-2025 Season


The season runs all year but fishing for Sailfish is best from June-Oct and for Marlin from Sept-December

Standard 3 Day Fishing Package:

- 4 anglers- $3,650/angler
- 3 anglers- $4,600/angler
- 2 anglers- $5,550/angler

Based on double occupancy

Performance Package:

- 4 anglers-$3,250/angler
- 3 anglers- $3,800/angler
- 2 anglers- $4,550/angler

Based on double occupancy

All inclusive Package Includes:

- Captain & 2 deckhands Fishing from 07.00-16.30 hrs
- All fishing tackle & bait for conventional & fly-fishing
- All meals including beers, wines and local spirits
- Lodging & transportation on arrival

Best Time To Go

You can experience fantastic fishing all year round and Pacific Fins is increasingly popular not just with sport-fishing anglers but as a family destination where expectations are typically surpassed. The best periods for those who want to focus on Sailfish are from October-June with September-December being the best months for Marlin although they are caught year round.


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