Casa Vieja Fishes
Casa Vieja Lodge located in the billfish-laden waters of Guatemala believe that only the best will work for their clients. This theme is applied to their accommodations, their charter fleet, their crews; even their bait!
Well preserved and freshly caught bait can make all the difference on the days when the fish are being a little picky. It also makes for confidence that your spread of baits is holding up to the pressures of the troll, waiting for a black shadow to appear.
Casa Vieja has taken advantage of the availability of local ballyhoo teaming in their local waters.
Capt. Nico Melendrez who runs the charter boat, Affinity, owes his fresh bait to his wife. She and her crew go out at night in a panga, hang a light over the water and proceed to cast net ballyhoo as they gather around the boat.
The ballyhoo go straight into a saline slush on the boat, which immediately immobilizes the bait so they don’t beat themselves up; preserving them to make optimum bait for offshore trolling and pitching.
The ballyhoo are brought to the lodge where they have set up and in-house bait processing center.
The ballyhoo are sorted and bagged by the dozen in vacuum sealed bags destined for the deep freeze right away.
Each night, the Casa Vieja sportfishing fleet is resupplied with bait from the CVL freezers.
“With that many boats fishing so many days, we go through some serious quantities of bait”, said Kristen Salazar, Director of Marketing & Business Development/Owner of CVL. “We pack about 75,000 ballyhoo each season, but we also get a lot of bites so we go through them. We are also experimenting with waxed boxes as an alternative packaging to go along with Costa‘s Kick Plastic program that we are proud to be implementing throughout the lodge and the fishing fleet.”