Sailfish and Marlin Light Up Guatemala

Capt. Brad Philipps' season recap is one for the record books

Pacific sailfish jumping
A sailfish takes to the air off Guatemala.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures

Guatemala is one of those top-shelf fishing destinations and is unlike any other on the planet for a number of reasons. Hordes of Pacific sailfish roam the vast Pacific in numbers that can be mind-boggling. The country’s waters are also home to blue, black and striped marlin as well, species that often don’t receive the notoriety that the sailfish do just because of the numbers. But in recent years the marlin fishery, especially for blue marlin, seems to be coming on stronger than ever before.

guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
While best known for the insane sailfish numbers, the country is also home to some excellent blue marlin fishing.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures

Capt. Brad Philipps, at the helm of the 40-foot Gamefisherman, Decisive, capped another incredible season in 2016 with an amazing 3,602 sailfish, 66 blue marlin and three striped marlin releases. His best day was catching 84 sailfish from 107 bites. On another day, his anglers went four for four on blue marlin, with one over 500 and one over 600 pounds. Decisive had 31 days where they released over 40 sailfish, and they also let go 281 sailfish on fly. Here's a photo gallery showing just some of the incredible Guatemala billfish action.

guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
Philipps released over 280 sailfish on fly like this one in 2016.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
Decisive gets after a hot blue marlin.Courtesy Capt. Jason Brice
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
While many of the marlin are relatively small, some will top the 500-pound mark and larger fish have been seen.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
A nice blue crashes away across the calm Pacific.Courtesy Capt. Jason Brice
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
The ultimate light-tackle adversary, Guatemala's blues are as acrobatic as any fish that swims.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
Another look at this greyhounding marlin.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
Captured in light and shade, this blue marlin is a study in photography.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
Striped marlin like this one are welcome guests on any fishing expedition.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
Philipps and the team ended 2016 posting some truly incredible release numbers.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures
guatemala billfish marlin sailfish
With the picturesque volcanoes in the background, Decisive heads out for another day of offshore adventure.Courtesy Guatemalan Billfish Adventures