*We receive a lot of recommendations because of the service that the Great Sailfishing Company gives. We pride ourselves for going the extra mile for our clients. We greet all of our clients at the airport and every day. Our creed is "our client needs come first". We mean it. Here are some of our clients letters of recommendations.

From MIke C. who fished with us this season :

Excellent trip - a few stretches without fish as the action changed from day to day with the water color and temperature, but thats fishing. We all managed to release multiple sails, which was all the we could have asked for.

I will say this, you run a first class operation. Carlos, Giovanni and Francisco are among the finest crews I have ever had the good fortune of fishing with. Captain Francisco might be just another face in the crowd if you passed him on the street, but on his boat, he is "The Sailfish Whisperer".  Well, thats not completely true, there's nothing subtle or understated about Francisco when a fish showed up in the spread - the rapid stacato of Spanish words may have been rolled off of his tongue too fast for the average gringo to comprehend, but the message was loud and clear - time to go to work! I still don't understand it, I stood two feet away from him, staring at the same teasers, and unless a sail came completely out of the water lit up like a neon street sign I couldn't for the life of me figure out what he was seeing - but he was un-erring in his ability to locate and see the fish as they appeared under the teasers and position the boat and angler in time and position to make the cast. From there, Carlos and Giovanni were like a well oiled machine, drawing the fish into casting range and popping the teaser away just before the bill slashed over the fly and vanished to the sound of a protesting reel. It was textbook. When we didn't hook-up it was often out of sheer disbelief in what we were seeing and a failure to react.  You can read about it all you want and think you have a picture of how it goes down, but when it all comes together and you feel the power in your rod grip and see a tail walking sail peeling off a couple of hundred yards of backing in the first few seconds, it takes fly fishing to a whole new level. I would recommend your operation to anyone interested in chasing what has to be one of the most unique fly fishing experiences to be found in the western hemisphere.

And the great service didn't end when we hit shore. Jeremy, Rolando, and Manuel had us covered whenever and wherever we went on land. We never lacked for anything, they knew their way around and Jeremy helped us with  translations whenever we needed. Their local knowledge helped us to understand and appreciate the local culture. Jeremy was especially helpful, with his past experiences and contacts in Antigua and Agua Caliente, we got to see and understand more than we ever could have on our own. He's a natural, and left us with a positive sense of the generosity and welcoming nature of the Guatemalan people. One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the small town of Agua Caliente, and walking the town square while the kids were getting out of school for lunch. Incredibly beautiful  place and people.

You not only earned our business, but our respect.

Hi, I'm Mike Keyes of Keyes Outdoors Television Show that airs on Fox Sport Net North. For the past eight years I've been traveling and filming around the country in pursuit of some of the most exciting outdoors adventures that I can find.

This past week I think I've finely meet my match!

I just got back from Guatemala filming and fishing with The Great Sailfishing Company and I must say it was a total first class adventure. We landed 54 sail fish and had multiple couple header and triple header on. The action was fast pase and totally exciting!

The accommodations and hospitality was unmatched.

I highly recommend the Great Sailfishing Company!

Mike Keyes
Owner and Host
Keyes Outdoors

Upon arrival at the airport we were met by two of the co-owners of The Great Sailfishing Company, Kevin Styles and Les Cagel. We transferred to the Pacific coast via air-conditioned van complete with a cooler full of cold beverages on board, approximately a 90 minute ride.

We arrived at the Villas del Pacificio resort complex and our own private 4- bedroom villa that included a pool, an outdoor patio complete with a ping pong table and a foosball table. Inside was a fully air-conditioned first floor that included the kitchen, dining area, a downstairs bathroom, full size pool table, poker table, satellite television, and a stereo music center. The Villas del Pacifico community serves as the basis of operation for the housing of all guests of Great Sailfishing Company in Iztapa, offering 3 or 4 bedroom private villas or accommodations at the all-inclusive VdP hotel itself - the option is yours. The complex is a double gated community and has 24 hour security staff on the
premises. The private villas are staffed by a chef, waitress, and maid, and offers individual menu flexibility driven by your groups’ preferences, and rooming options to suit any party’s needs. The spacious upstairs bedrooms each have their own individually controlled air conditioning as well.


The first day we fished aboard the La Piragua, a 31ft Bertram, with Captain Manola Diaz and crew. The boat was fully equipped with conventional and spinning gear with optional quality fly gear available. The boat was quite functional and the captain and crew very adept at teasing and maneuvering the boat once fish were hooked. This particular day, we raised 10 sailfish with several of them not willing to eat after being teased properly to the boat. We ended the day with two releases out of 5 hooked, one on conventional and one on the fly. We had to run in excess of 40 miles out to find fish, which is something that we have found throughout the entire fleet of boats servicing the Iztapa region . . . complete willingness to run to where the fish are no matter how far it might be. Overall an excellent day, considering this is the referred to as the “off season”.

Day two we fished aboard the Joint Venture, a 35ft
Bertram, with Captain Nestor Garcia. Following a brief orientation and introduction by the captain, who spoke English quite well, we headed out to the fishing grounds. Again we found our captain and crew very skilled at boat handling and properly teasing the fish in for a proper (and IGFA legal) fly presentation. We raised 14 sailfish, again with several that would not eat the fly aggressively and finished the day with 3 releases of 5 fish hooked, two on conventional and one on the fly with 4 bonus yellowfin tuna in the 10 – 20 pound range. The highlight of the day was having 4 fish on at one time, 3 tuna and a sailfish, with one of the tuna on a 12 wt. fly rod exhibiting several blistering runs that rivaled any that the sailfish had given us.

A hot lunch was served on board consisting of Mahi – mahi sandwiches, sautéed shrimp and nachos, which induced an immediate food coma that was interrupted by a rude sailfish in the teasers after only a 15 minute nap. An excellent day on a very comfortable boat that is great for offshore fishing. The salon is air conditioned, offering a welcome respite from the heat, and it is appointed with matching black leather chairs and couch.

Overall we found The Great Sailfish Company to run a well operated, customer focused business, and they go out of their way to make your trip enjoyable. The accommodations, boats, equipment and staff, are on par with the type of quality and service that we expect for our clients.

From November through May is considered the prime season, usually offering up 20 plus shots at pacific sailfish per day. Off season months provide some excellent action as well and should not be overlooked.

Frontiers Travel

Dear Les,

My son and I had the best fishing trip ever.13 Sailfish and 3 Marlin in 3 days! While the fishing is luck, your attention to detail and level of service was remarkable. Your staff and boat crew were outstanding. We will certainly be back and we will recommend your company to others.

Samuel D. Swisher


We returned home on Saturday from a great trip. You,
Les, Carlos and the rest of the crew were excellent. I
can't say enough about the service. It was top notch. We're already working on the next trip. This next time we'll book for the last week in February or the first week in March, that way we'll hopefully get a little better fishing...

Two things, my dad thinks he may of left his camera in the
van on the way back to the airport. Could you check to see if he did? On the way back through the Guatemala airport the security prohibited us from carrying on our reels because we could strangle someone. I argued with them for about half an hour to no avail. It may help your clients if they knew such a stupid rule has been
implemented in GUA. I've heard rumors of such laws but
so far I've never actually experienced one.

Jim, this trip was a blast. Each and every one of us
felt we were treated with the utmost concern. The
houses were amazing and the food was excellent. Even
my two guys who can put down the food could not finish
the breakfasts... Your guides went above and beyond in
order to get us fish...

Overall, I cannot come up with even one area where I
feel there needs some fixing...Thanks again, for a
great trip. How is the booking for 2007 shaping up?
Let me know if I need to begin arranging things
soon... Looking forward to hearing from you....

Ryan Stokes
March 2006

GUA feedback

If I may have a chance to respond also. This was a wonderful opportunity for me and my children to vacation together. We boated 12 times my lifetime total of sailfish on the first day(obviously spent my funds on the wrong charters at the wrong time) For me I will return for sure as at this stage of my life-late rather than early- I want to enjoy myself as much as God will allow.

I don't have any negatives to report-your Bertram and crew were superb. Les handled our every request. For anyone with questions they can call me at 330 421 3682. Thanks for a first rate fishing experience. I
know you can't call them all-but 60 plus fish was a memorable time for all of us.

ps. Your chef must watch the poker tournaments-he gave us a lesson also.

Jim Cowen (father)

Dear Les and Carlos,

Home now for the better part of two weeks and so finally getting around to sending you a note. I sent a couple of photos previously and so hope they will make your hall of fame.

Needless to say we had a great trip. Last time I was fishing with you we caught 10 sails and 16 dorado and had fun so this time with Larry, and my brother Brian, we had similar hopes that we might all catch a fish or two. Well we bettered that in the first 1/2 hour! So many sails that we ran out of bait at 1 pm but that just allowed us to get the flyrod out and catch another 7 in short order on the fly. How could we keep that up for another day? Well we caught another 77 the next day! A total of 142 in 2 days with I believe 259 fish raised! What was even more fun was that after the first couple of hours on the first day we set the hook on nearly ever fish. we caught. The only thing we didn't get to do was to use the marlin bait that was ready for action!

The captain and crew worked very hard and were obviously enjoying themselves. The boat was very comfortable and the gear was topnotch, especially the fly fishing equipment. I was very impressed with the attention to detail of the crew with their care of the equipment.

Finally, we felt very well taken care of by you guys, from the moment we stepped off of the plane till you left us in Guatemala City to head for home.

We look forward to another chance to come and fish with you.

Lee, Brian and Larry


Man, that was some fishing I neve experianced anything like it. Needless to say my wife and I were near collapse. eighty two sails and one dorado I think is pretty good.I cannot say enough about Les and Carlos plus the great crew that we had. Those guys are the best.keep up the good work.I will recommend your group any day of the week.

Harry Walsh

To All Adventurers!!!

These guys are fantastic!!! Truly the Great Sailfish Company!!!

From the price (The best for what we reviewed) to the personalized service, these are real guys, with an authentic desire to serve you.

The fishing was incredible.....two dozen sailfish in two days!!!!

The boat was adequate(This area isn't developed yet, boats are scarce), the crew knowledgable, their desire to find and stay on fish was remarkable. They worked hard to keep the fish alive!! We had several triple headers, multiple landed doubles!!

The marina was very equipped, new and had a nice restaurant.

The hotels were comparable to other remote latin american countries. Geared to the Guatemalan tourist, more than the U.S.
Very clean, great service.

Antigua was the hallmark destination!!! From accomadations to food and history....excellent. I recommend the Casa Santa Domingo!

From pick up to drop off these guys were customer focused!!!

Thanks for a great trip!

R. Kirk Nowery President
INJOY Stewardship Services

Hi Les and Carlos,

Thank you again for a wonderful week in Guatemala. I can't imagine it running any smoother. The attached write up is from my son Jason.

Thanks again!


Jasons write up

This is a brief summary of a recent fishing excursion I took to Guatemala, a trip that was book-ended by a day exploring Mayan ruins and hiking up active Volcano Pacaya.

Day 1: We left the dock at 7am, and headed out 30 miles from the marina, which took about an hour (straight out from the Guatemalan Pacific coast is South). We were on the Tranquility, which was Captained by Mr. Cuya, accompanied by mates Douglas and Wilson. By 9:15, we had caught three sailfish. During the middle of the day, we caught 6 Dorado (same thing as Dolphin fish or Mahi-Mahi). The mates made us an awesome dish called Ceviche, which consisted of the Dorado, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, cured in fresh lime juice and salt. We agreed this was some of the best food we had ever had! We finished off the day with two sails between 1 and 3 pm, and were back at the dock at 4:30.

Day 2: We brought in 6 sails, all doubles. Captain Cuya did an excellent job maneuvering the boat to keep us between the fish, and we didn’t lose any of them. Around 11am, a black marlin surfaced about 50 yards behind the boat. We also caught one Dorado, which allowed us to enjoy another mid-day meal of Ceviche! All 7 fish were caught by 1pm, in addition to another
sail that we fought for 10 minutes before it broke the line.

Day 3: We saw flying fish on the run out, in addition to the sea turtles we saw every day, some with sea-birds resting on their backs. This was our busiest day, possibly aided by the four to five foot waves which persisted until early afternoon. We ended the day with 9 sails and one Dorado, 7 of which we landed by 12:30. A porpoise swam right next to the boat for a couple minutes while we were trolling mid-day.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience! The sails were 70-100 pounds, and the Dorado were 25-40 pounds. Both types of fish fight hard, and come out of the water often. The Dorado turn a beautiful bright green or blue while they are on.

Capt. Gary Miserlian
Decoy & Westwind Fishing Charters

This was Kevin's 2nd trip with us, both were in the first week of April.

Les & Carlos

Thanks for another great trip this year. Everything met and exceeded our expectations : the accommodation, the service that you provided - and most important of all the fishing !

We were concerned that after the incredibe catching (not fishing !!) that we enjoyed last year, there would be no way for us to repeat the excercise, but we all felt that overall our trip this year was at least as good as the prior year.

Although the sails were slightly less abundant - perhaps the moon, perhaps the currents, perhaps the bait........who knows ??........there was still plenty of action. Over the course of our four days fishing, we brought 29 sails to the boat, one Blue Marlin and many,many Mahi etc. We certainly could have "caught" more fish, as they were plentiful in the baits - but we were challenging ourselves with varying techniques - not to mention that I was "hogging" half of the boat a lot of the time using the "long wand". It actually turned out well, in that we had some respite from the non stop action of last year to have some recovery time, and to spend some "social time" together on the seas, rather than racing around non stop changing baits and hauling teasers !!

I have to commend the captain and his team for working with us to ensure that we fished how we wanted to fish, and worked with us to make us as productive as possible; in particular, we still talk about how we were running back from the fishing ground on the third day at cruise speed - when the Captain throttled back hard yelling "Marleen, Marleen" !! It was an experience to heave out the big baits, and watch the beast suck up a fully rigged bonito......and then proceed to head to the depths with it......attached to the 80lb outfit ! After some considerable time, we brought it to the boat -estimeated at 450lbs (although Jim reckons closer to 700lbs !) - but it looked like a submarine to us.

Again, thanks for the support and convenience - as I said, everything exceeded our expectations - and we plan on being back with an even larger team next year ! Look forward to seeing you then.

Best rgds, Kevin

Dear Les,

I wanted to thank you for your hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and felt there was a lot of value gained.

I have a DVD with some video from the trip, and a CD with still photos. I thought I'd send them down and you are welcome to use anything you like.

Where would you like them mailed to?

Best wishes, Robert

Mr.Deen and friends fished with us in March 2005

Hello Carlos,

I hope all is well with you today.I just wanted to thank-you again for the great time you gave us.. The time you spent with us was so appreciated and
educational, you are one excellent person.. Tracey and myself already miss our new friends at the villa and on the Bora Bora and wish that there was some way to communicate with them to let them know that it was our pleasure to get to know them .. I was watching some of our video of the trip and wished we could do more for our new friends and there families..We have been bragging up our trip and so far have about 8 other people interested in going next

Carlos, I was wondering what kind of arrangement you could do for say eight to ten people ? Could we fish on two boats and could we stay in two near by villas ? Is it possible to have the same housekeeping and fishing crew next year if they are available ? Also I don't feel we did enough for our housekeeping and fishing crew so what if anything do you think we could bring down next year for them ??? I know that might be a tough question but I would feel better giving them more than just money if you know what I mean..

Carlo's you have gained my respect and I feel honoured getting to know you

Thank-you for everything

Jodi Vanbeselaere
The Jodi Vanbeselaere fished with us in Jan. 2005 and are from Canada

Hi Guys: March 2005

Sorry I haven't e-mailed before now, but business is very busy. On George and my four day trip we had another great time. We averaged 25 sails caught
and released each day. Not bad for only 2 fishermen in the boat. Fishing started great and slowed a little, but again everything was excellent. Thanks again to you, Les and Carlos for everything.

George and George

Dear Carlos and Les,

I have just got back from a five day fishing trip to Guatemala , I was fishing with The Great Sailfishing Company, owners Carlos Cornejo and Les Kagel. What a pleasure to fish with a booking agent that takes such great care of its clients as well as hires great captains and mates. The captain Jose Gamez and 1st. mate Rolando Avita and 2nd. mate Neftair Gamez, did what I would call a stellar job, they were always alert to the fishing, they would not stop switching the bait, re-rigging new bait, having bait ready to use and they could tease fish. They work with the captain like a precision machine. They would match the teaser with the color of our flies. They were always asking us if we needed anything and would make sure that we got it . The boat " Tranquility " was a 31foot Bertram and was keep in order at all times, as well as well equipped. It is hard to find a crew that really know how to fly fish, I mean really know how to fly fish, did I say that enough. Now let get to the basics, the crew and captain were quick to spot fish, after that they would tease the fish, but they knew how to tease too a right or left handed caster. They would keep the fish out of the wash and come to the side of the boat that the caster was , and pull the teaser right in line with the fly line of the caster, then jerk out the teaser. The captain was great at positioning the boat to give the fly fisherman the
best angel. I have to mention again the mates would rig up daisy chains with ballyhoo if the artificial daisy chains did not produce. I fish about 40 days a years for billfish and I would take this crew with me anytime. Carlos and Les are unbelievable, they would pick us up and take us to the Marina each morning, make sure that the captain and mates knew what we wanted and explain to them our thoughts. The crew spoke some English, but somehow when you are fishing with such knowledgeable mates you somehow understand each other. Carlos and Les would then pick us up at the Marina after the day of fishing, and go over the day to see if we needed anything. The place we stayed at The Villa de Pacifico was very nice, it is a all inclusive trip. Its a place where you can go fishing and your wife, if not a fisherwoman, can do other activities. Carlos can arrange for a non-fishing people to take tours and Carlos is the best, speaking wonderful English as well as Spanish I am going to say one more time , if you want to catch sailfish. this is the place. I have been there five times, and have always caught fish at different time of the year, with the best time being December, January, and February.

If anyone wants to contact me , Terry Carter e-mail
Terry Carter
Blessings & God's Grace be with You,Muriel

Terry Carter and Micheal Strough fished with us in March of 2005

Dear Judy, (Larc Travel)

I was thinking of you during the Hurricane and wondered how you fared, Les told me that he was having trouble contacting you. How are things now?? My son's school in Lake Wales was badly damaged and have delayed opening for three weeks. Well we had a wonderful time in Guatemala, Les and Carlos were just fantastic. The hotel in Guatemala city was very nice, we enjoyed our tour and time there. Tikal was amazing and we had a great guide, also the hotel on the lake was great. Antigua is very special and definitely Hotel Santa Dominga is the place to stay, it's one of the most amazing places that we have ever stayed in, great food and service as well. I especially enjoyed Lake Atitlan and our tour around the lake, once again we had a great guide. It is amazing to see the local people still wearing their traditional costumes. Chichi was fun but a bit of a tourist trap but I am glad we didn't miss it. The scenery is just gorgeous and the people were very friendly and the trip went without a hitch. Les and
Carlos provided amazing service, we really felt well looked after. And now to the fishing, we had a great time, I only intended going out once but ended up
going out twice and actually caught my first sail fish (100lbs) which was a lot of fun, the boat guy actually hauled the fish up onto my lap for a Kodak moment much to my shock and amazement. the boys also caught sailfish, mahi and tuna and we had fresh ceviche every day.
Thanks for organizing this holiday, I know my husband is dying to go back fishing there during the height of the sailfish season. Les and Carlos are great and we highly recommend them. Once again I hope everything is ok with you and your business.

Best regards

Note: The Mary O'Neil family went on a 12 day full Guatemala Tour which included Guatemala City, Tikal, Chi-Chi, Lake Atitlan, La Antigua and three days of offshore fishing. The Great Sailfishing Company provided/arranged the full tour.

Dear Charles,

We just wanted to thank you for a wonderful trip to Guatemala where we had some great sailfish action on the flyrods just like you promised.

On 3 offshore days we caught 12 Sails in total on the fly, and lost about 4 times that number - primarily due to our lack of experience in setting the hook properly because the crew was really great in working together to give us the most opportunities. On a day inshore we caught a nice 20lbs Jack and lots of small Dorado's - great fun on light fly gear.

We're now working with the article (I've enclosed a few photos) and we'll edit our video later - I mentioned to Carlos that I can send you some mpg movie clips you are free to upload on your website.

Please extend our thanks to Carlos Morales and the Great Sailfishing Company for a great time in Guatemala.

Best Regards, Morten Svendsen

Les & Carlos

Thanks for the great trip in April. We had anticipated some great Sailfishing - as your name implies ! - but being right at the end of the season were slightly worried that either the weather wouldn't co-operate or the fish may not.

As it turned out, the fishing greatly exceeded our expectations - landing as many as 19 sails in one day can only be classified as outstanding ! We have fished in many places around the world, but this was the first time that the boat has chosen to bypass schools of feeding Tuna in order to find more sails. It speaks to the confidence in the sailfishing as well as the determination of the
captains to make sure we found the fish that we were targeting.

I'd also like to commend yourself and Carlos on the quality of the support that you provided. It was extremely reassuring to see you at the start and end of the fishing day, willing and able to resolve any concerns that we had, and to offer good advice on how to make our trip as productive and positive as possible. A perfect example is when we found it impossible to make any of our cellphones to link into the network (and we had plenty between us !), you were
happy to loan us a working cellphone with a "pay as you go" card......that made it both easy and relatively cheap to phone our progress home to the USA each evening.

Thanks again for a great you know, we are trying to close on the logistics to come and visit you again next year, and are greatly looking forward to it. If any of your potential clients are looking for references, feel free to have them contact me.

Best regards,

Kevin Styles (and party of 5 exhausted fishermen !)
Mr. Styles is Vice President of Sales Analog Devices
Mr. Styles and group fished April of 2004

January 14, 2003

Hey Les and Carlos,

Really love the new look of the website. My family got a big kick out of that over the holidays.

I will be returning to Guatemala approximately the same time this year -- mid-November. Will be very much looking forward to fishing with you again and am
hoping I will have enough guys to fill one of the big boats for a couple of days. I will keep touching base with you as the time nears. Hope all is well, buddy.



I wanted to thank you Carlos and Les for the BEST fishing trip my son and I have ever been on. You told me that the early part of the year was excellent fishing for sails, but this was unbelievable. I am reluctant to tell you just how many sails the captain told us we caught on each day, becuase it will not seem possible, but here goes. On the first day we got 19 sailfish to the boat and released, on the second day 34. At the end of that day the three on the boat, George, Darrell and my self were pretty tried but expected the next day to drop back to a managable number. The third day we got 42 sailfish to the boat.
We had more doubles than we could keep track of. We even had one quad. One of the mates held the rod until the first fish was landed, which happened to be Darrell. Then he landed the 4th. UNBELIEVABLE. The final day we got 23 sailfish to the boat. So, over our 4 day fishing trip we got 118 sailfish to the boat, and again that's the captain's number. Really, the 3 of us were too busy to keep track. I send pictures when we get them off the camera.

Thanks again for a GREAT trip.

George and George


this is Jim Williamson, first I wanted to say that Larry, Tony and I had an incredible time down there in Guatemala. The reason we had such a great time was that you and Les were such gentleman and were so helpful and accommodating. Your knowledge of your country and your patience and understanding made my trip a perfect one and we have begun to line up our trip for March. I wanted to send along some of the photos we took. I look forward to a long association with you and your company and good luck in your future efforts.


FRIDAY - 2/8/03

Although this was my first effort to catch sailfish on a fly, I had read a number of articles and watched a couple of videos explaining the process. Jose, the deckhand, also offered some pointers. But there still is somewhat of a learning curve.

The first day I hooked 8 fish and landed 3. Two were lost due to equipment malfunction. On my 12 weight rod I was using a Rio flyline with a clear "wet tip". Twice the connection between the wet tip and leader broke due to the wet tip pealing away from the core line. I don't know if I simply had a defective line or if the line manufacturers are still working to develop products capable of taking the stress involved in sailfishing.

There were three fish of note during the day. One was hooked in the dorsel fin next to the back, a fact not learned until after a struggle which went for at least an hour. That particular fish also provided some unusual entertainment as upon hooking the fish it went left from the stern. Within just seconds I saw a fish greyhounding behind the boat going directly to the right. I could see the pink fly sliding the leader so I knew that the fish had been hooked by someone. But I didn't initially grasp that that someone
was me. My line was in the water going left and the fish was now
paralleling the port side of the boat rapidly passing the boat still
greyhounding. I had a lot of line catching up to do, and although we avoided a break off due to excessive bally, the reward was only a long term battle with that dorsel-hooked fish.

The largest fish of the day, and of the trip, was estimated at 100 lbs. It too took a substantial amount of time to bring to the boat. The deckhands did an excellent job in handling the fish after grasping leader.

The third fish of note took off at least 300 yards of backing. Jose, deckhand with 5 years experience, never caught a sailfish on a flyrod. I told him he was free to give it a shot if another fish was available after I had one hooked up. That happened, of course his fish went right and mine went left. The captain could not chase either one and we had to fight them from the stationary boat.

The second deckhand was constantly monitoring my backing and reporting the status to the captain. My Spanish is virtually non-existent, but I know that something involving "un piquito" in reference to my line means that the deckhand was in agreement that we were running short on line. Fortunately, before we had to make a decision, my line went slack as for the second time the Rio wet tip failed. Also fortunately the deckhand reeled in my 300
yards of spectra backing saving me a real tired wrist.

I still came away from the day a little worn. I had a growing blister on an index finger from reeling. Next time I will be sure that I have reels which have alternate left and right wind, so that you can give yourself a break. The lengthy battles during the day also left my arms fatigued. My wife who doesn't view fishing with much enthusiasm, had nonetheless chosen to ride with me one day. Since the seas were flat she came on the first trip. She was amazed to see sailfish swim by with their dorsal fins out of water. She also said she watched one sailfish free jumping while Jose and I were
battling our two fish. She couldn't believe the number of fish present and the constant action.

SATURDAY - 2/8/03

The seas were up and I was asked whether I still wished to go. I am sure that it could be too rough to go, but it would have to be a lot rougher than it was to forego another shot at so many sailfish.

The captain said we "raised" 30 fish. For some reason it was hard to get them to accept bait and switch. We only hooked 7 but we landed 4. I lost one to a broken tippit when the fish, against a slack line, simply
broke the tippit based upon the weight of the flyline. On another occasion my cast resulted in a line wrapped around the butt of the rod. One doesn't have the opportunity to fix such a mistake in the time given. While the tippit should have broke first, in fact the new flyline parted at the end of the shooting head. Again, I don't believe line makers are producing products up to the need. The flyline was a Scientific Angler Big Game 12 weight.

On the way in we lost an engine. So having fished two days on the Black Fin I was scheduled on the third day on a Bertram.

Other than the lost engine, the day was superb. Not as many fish took the fly as one would have liked, but the action was constant.

SUNDAY 2/9/03

The third day started out great. I was four for four before things got a little sloppy. I wrapped a flyline around the butt once again on a cast. You don't get a chance to fix that mistake. This time the tippit parted. I also began experiencing problems with hook-ups. I wasn't getting the break of the fish taking the fly and rapidly leaving the boat in one direction or another. When they swim out slowly, or barely swim off at all, it is hard to get a good hook set. I went through a number of takes with the hooks coming out quickly.

But the action was unbelievable. We ultimately hooked 15 fish and brought 8 to the boat. The largest estimated at 85 lbs, I think a fairly accurate estimate. My wife wanted to go to Antigua so we stopped fishing early with only about 4 and a half hours of actual fishing done. It is hard to believe that you can get that many takes and land so many fish within that period of time.

One exciting moment shall live with me forever. I hooked the sailfish which went about 75 yards straight astern of the boat and then began a half-in, half-out, of the water sideways, counter-clockwise circle. When the fish got back to about 9:00, where his circle initially started, he came directly at the stern of the boat. I have sailfished before and have also read a number of articles about it. So I knew that one should be aware that
sailfish can come into the boat. But, it is hard to believe how quick
things happen.

The information I have seen claimed sailfish capable of attaining 50 to 70 miles per hour, depending on whose numbers you use. This fish was half out of the water so undoubtedly its speed was much less. Still he was going fast. With only about 75 yards to cover until he got to the stern of the boat he made the distance very quickly. The deckhand grabbed me and pulled me to the side, and the captain hit the throttle. Nonetheless, the fish made it to the boat's stern. I felt a slight brush as the flat of his bill
hit the top of my thigh. Of course, after his "boat accident" he was a fairly docile fish to bring in from that point on


Our visit to Antigua was very nice. I was surprised to see as many other tourists as there were. Prior to this point we had only run into
Spanish-speaking vacationers. Carlo gave us an excellent walking tour of Antigua which included coffee and desert and ultimately dinner, at which time Les joined us. The hotel we stayed in was also very quaint and memorable.


Thanks a lot for putting together such a good trip. The fishing is so good that it makes it hard to even consider fishing anywhere else for any other type of fish. It is hard to believe that in just three days I hooked 30 sailfish and landed 15. Had I been using conventional tackle I have little doubt that I could have caught and landed all the fish I would have been physically capable of reeling in. The numbers I got on a flyrod are better than what conventional tackle would yield at virtually any other sailfish destination. Oh by the way, we also saw marlin but had a sailfish on at the time and didn't get the chance to pursue them.

It was an excellent trip, I can't thank you enough. Looking forward to doing it again.

Terry Schraede

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