Guatemalan Blue Marlin Record

A father-and-son team makes history in Central America

anglers on a boat
Capt. Chris Sheeder led the father-and-son team of Scott and Rocky Segal to a new one-day blue marlin release record for Guatemala, fishing out of Casa Vieja Lodge.Courtesy Capt. Chris Sheeder

*Few countries in the world can match the impressive billfish action found in Guatemala. Most of the country's hype comes from the incredible sailfish fishery, where anglers can conceivably catch 10, 20 or even more in a single day. However, there is a substantial number of blue marlin in Guatemala as well.

Capt. Chris Sheeder, one of the country’s top captains, sent us this recap of an amazing day offshore.*

Scott Segal, a past visitor to Casa Vieja Lodge, brought his son Rocky down to learn the art of bait-and-switch with us. On Day One, we started out with just four teasers and pitch baits, which is much less confusing than a full spread — it cuts down the learning curve quite a bit. And like most introductions to the sport, the backlashes and frustrating losses ensued.

Our second day was a little better, and by the third day, Rocky had gotten the hang of dropping back to the sails. He even went on a four-fish streak without missing one. At dinner the night before their final day, Rocky boasted that he was not going to miss a single fish the next day.

I explained how that was a pretty unrealistic goal and that he should be happy with better than 50 percent for his hookup ratio. Well, his prediction was very close: Rocky and his father went four for four on sails and also caught seven blue marlin out of eight bites, only missing one marlin because of an unlucky bill wrap on the bite. That achievement sets a new Guatemalan record for the most blue marlin releases in a single day of fishing. It was a terrific experience for both father and son to enjoy. —By Capt. Chris Sheeder, as told to Sam White