12 February 2010

I don't even like fish!

Today was one of those days where I got to check off one more thing on the "list of things to do in my life" list!
I was invited to join a couple of other missionaries on a trip out deep sea fishing! Their 3rd person had to cancel, so I was given the opportunity to go on a trip I could not have otherwise afforded! I even told them ahead of time that I was a "city boy" and know nothing about fishing. All they said was, "Boy are you going to have fun!" And I did!

We drove to Puerto San José, a little over an hour from home on the Pacific coast, where we climbed on our boat, "MANTARRAYA". I kept thinking of Gilligan leaving on a '3 hour tour'.

Our boat is the little one!

We were going to be fishing for Sailfish, perhaps a Marlin (unlikely I was told) and Mahi Mahi. They also occasionally catch Yellow Fin Tuna off the coast. I was informed that Guatemala's Pacific coast is maybe the best spot in the world for Sailfish!

Yellow Fin Tuna (top) Mahi Mahi (bottom) and Sailfish

We went strait out from the marina to a final distance of almost 30 miles off the coast. Within about 10 minutes we had already had 2 strikes but not hooked. About 5 minutes later I got the first one on!

It wasn't quite as easy as they always make it sound

I wasn't sure at first, until a minute later when about 150 yards out I saw it leap out of the water! That was an amazing sight!

Absolutely amazing to watch!

Well, I reeled like mad for what seemed like hours (probably more like 5 minutes) until I got it close enough to the boat.

He's not quite ready to give up!

Just about there!

Finally, with the help of the deckhand we pulled our first sailfish aboard and I got my picture!
Then, we put him back in the water and watched him swim away. All Sailfish and Marlin in Guatemala must be released, you cannot keep them.

My First Sailfish!

All told for the day, we caught 4 sailfish (I had two!) about 6 small Tuna (not yellow fin) we saw about a dozen dolphin, several that swam with us for awhile, 5 or 6 sea turtles and a MantaRay that was about 5 feet across!
Crazy Beautiful Day!

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