For the third consecutive year, the Guatemala Billfish Invitational has not only showcased Guatemala’s terrific sailfish action but has also brought together the scientific community and recreational fishing interests for a mutually beneficial event. The tournament’s pro-am format invites celebrities to fish with anglers from around the world, with the proceeds benefiting the country’s national commission for the protection of sailfish. The winning team has their name engraved upon a beautiful perpetual trophy displayed year-round at Pacific Fins as well.
This year’s winner was team Danmark. Anglers Lisa and Sam Russo, David Bowman and celebrity chef Terry French released 52 sailfish and two marlin in three days on the water. Team Chechos — Ozzy Delgado, Scott Walker, Raymond Douglas and Josh Greene — were second with 45 sailfish and one marlin, and team Maverick was third with 48 sails for anglers Johnny and Stacey Powers, Julio Mansilla and Peter Miller. For the tournament, six boats released 226 sailfish and five marlin in three days of intense action.
Dr. Nelson Erhardt from the University of Miami was on hand to present sailfish research information and offer teams the opportunity to sponsor satellite tags; during the event, 10 PSAT tags were deployed.
This year’s celebrity lineup included television personalities Peter Miller and Scott Walker, Food Network star chef Terry French, actor Kris Mohandie and NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.