Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Back for another overseas adventure! Guatemala has stolen my heart. I always seem to find a reason to come back sooner than planned. This trip is no exception. This trip was not on the books, not scheduled for a Hook the Future shoot, and nothing planned. Then I get a call from my friend Julio with an invitation to hang out at Atitlan Villas on Lake Atitlan, and take a side trip to San Jose for a blue water shoot..... Not hard to make that call. We're in! Book the flights let's go!
Oh, yea! I know where this bridge leads...just get me there!

Hard to beat the black sand beaches in Guatemala. It feels good to be back!

Discussing the days strategy with one of the very best in the business, Capt Chris Sheeder aboard the world famous Rum Line. 
Please ignore the pink wrist band.... a whole nother story.... I'm obviously not so good at cropping photos for my blogs, or remembering to remove such things before walking down a marina filled with tough, salty crews. 
Chris has been a running trips out of Casa Vieja Lodge for years. I love fishing with the guys from Casa Vieja! They know the game and can accommodate world class anglers looking for fly records or big numbers, but they also know how to make a trip very special for first time anglers like we have on board today. You have to bring your family to fish out of Casa Vieja.Lodge, and fish with Capt Chris. Just do it and mark the Guatemala billfish adventure off your bucket list now!

Every once in awhile you just know it's gonna' be a good day.... Today is one of those days.

 Mario has never been fishing, so we gave him a crash course in the fundamentals on the way out "Rod tip up, facing the action, belly button facing the rod tip.... keep you feet wide, athletic stance.... Keep the line tight.... always keep the line tight... when you get to a stalemate, pull the rod up slowly and reel as you dip the rod tip down... repeat as necessary... and it will be necessary a lot!"

I love the ocean! You never know what you're going to encounter. Dolphins are always a nice start.

Hmmm, floating structure twenty miles out in the Pacific.... 
I wonder what's under there?

It's an underwater party! Can we come in?
Watch out for the trigger fish.... they bite!

                           You never know who you're gonna' run into at these kind of get-togethers.
                                                         This time, a very inquisitive turtle. 
                                                  I wonder who's coming to the party next?

That's right, high flyin' Dorado on! It's time to get in the game and see if the practice pays off for Mario.   

I'd say so. Textbook! "Way to put 'em in the boat! Give me a Slimy 5!"
Now we're livin' the Salt Life .... Guatemalan style!

Not bad for your fish fish! I'm so proud of Mario. I'm not sure who was happier! 
What a first catch ....What a memory!

It's time to repeat as necessary and do it again!

Two at a time! The teamwork on the boat is paying off now!

Anthony get's his first Slimy 5 of the day.... 
as the mates work hard, behind the scenes, to keep the bite going....

Another nice fish for the table! Hard to find a more colorful fish in the ocean.

And another..... this one has a blue ring around his upper lip.....
Now we're having fun!

That's what you do for lunch with fresh dorado aboard the Rum Line.

Showing Mario the features on a small Blackfin that make them so fast and agile.

Showing Anthony the features of a Blackfin that make them so valuable to anglers...  fresh Sashimi!

The warm up is over! 
It's time for the main event... Big Pacific Sails!

Mario knows what he's doing! Perfect technique! 
"Keep the rod tip up, face the fish, wide stance, reel, reel, reel, keep it tight... great job!"

Slimy 5 on Mario's first sailfish!  Not a bad first trip so far.
 The crew of the Rum Line make it look easy.

Gotta' love Sails!

Talk about a couple of happy anglers! Anthony and Mario each landed their first bill fish today.

What a day! To be back in the big game again fishing with new friends, passing on the sport I love so much to two guys that have definitely caught the fishing fever now. I'm so blessed to be here! Big thanks, to the folks at Atitlan Villas and Casa Vieja Lodge for making this Guatemalan adventure so epic for us all! On to one of the most picturesque places on the planet, Lake Atitlan. 
This Guatemalan adventure doesn't end here.....
Until next week,
Livin' the Salt Life..... Guatemalan Style,

Capt Don