Fishing Guatemala’s long-famed sailfish bite has drawn anglers from around the world for decades, but never could you do it in the first-class style that is now available thanks to the passionate, hard work of the crew at Casa Vieja Lodge. Their accommodations are both convenient and close to the marina where the jewels in their crown reside, ready to take you offshore to world-class fishing grounds.
The sportfishing fleet is like no other and a rare pleasure to experience in an exotic location.
“Casa Vieja has a fleet of classic custom-built diesel sportfishers and two fairly new 35’ Contender center consoles,” says Ali Hussainy of Local Knowledge. “For boat geeks like me, checking out these beautifully restored classics was worth the trip itself. Casa Vieja has its own boatyard where all the boats have been restored from the bones up and they are in amazing shape.”
“The stories these boats could tell of the endless miles of water they have covered while raising mind-boggling amounts of billfish and other sporty pelagics,” said Capt. Scott Goodwin. “During my visit to the lodge, we had awesome fishing and the boats are a huge aspect of the experience. Not just because they are rigged with all modern electronics, engines, and gear, but their storied history adds to the experience. The boat we were on had like 14 bills lodged in the hull from flying billfish, including a fresh one that was still sticking through the planks below decks. They just sand them down and polish over them as battle scars. I think that’s awesome!!”
Check out the fleet and the expert, friendly crews that run and maintain them. Every aspect is well thought out and the only way to tap Guatemala’s world-class billfishing.
Makaira – 1961 37′ Rybovich
The Makaira is truely a restored classic in the sportfishing world. She’s a Rybovich day boat, the company that invented the modern-day sportfisherman. This 1961 classic has been fully restored in October 2015 with brand new Cummins QSB6.7 Engines. At 37-ft offers the same day boat style that the traditionalist demand while fishing four anglers in comfort.
Makaira has always been one of Fins ‘n Feathers (Original lodge name) best fish raisers and most requested boats. She has held the record for most billfish caught in a single season for two years.
Capt. Jason Brice will be found at the helm continuing the fish catching legacy of this classic.
Release – 1961 37′ Merritt
The Release is a 37-ft Merritt built in 1961 by Buddy Merritt himself. He called the 37 “The Perfect Fishing Boat” and built her with one purpose in mind…to raise and catch fish. Since hull number 8 was launched, she was kept as a private yacht in Stuart, Florida.
She debuted at CVL on October 20, 2017, after a 2-year renovation, repowered with brand new Cummins QSB6.7 Engines, Simrad electronics, and a beautiful new teak deck.
Release is the queen of the fleet and is run by Capt. Chico Alvarenga. The boat is set up in the classic day boat style, which means plenty of comfortable seating in the shade but not out of the action. On March 11, 2006, the Release set the one day record for sailfish caught fly fishing – 57.
Spindrift – 1998 38′ Stolper Tournament Express
The Spindrift is a 38-ft Stolper 380 Tournament Express custom built in ’98 out of Stuart, Florida. She is the essence of a no-compromise fishing machine!Just repowered by twin Cummins diesels, Spindrift has been engineered to have a low-frequency hull signature said to attract fish. The Spindrift’s raised bridge deck gives anglers an excellent and unobstructed view of the baits.
The Spindrift is captained by Capt. Efrain Rizzo and has just undergone a full refit, hurtling this boat to become the fastest in the fleet top ending at 31 knots and a comfortable 25 knot cruise. Everything is brand new and ready to fish hard!
A-Fin-ity – 39′ Billy Knowles
The A-Fin-ity is a 39′ Billy Knowles custom boat has long been known in the industry as one of the premier gameboats from Stuart, FL, built for serious hardcore tournament billfish winning boats! She recently debuted a new teak deck and other quality enhancements in October 2018.
The A-Fin-ity is equipped with the latest Shimano rods and reels, light tackle spinners, custom fly tackle, electronics, quad electric teaser reels, and surround sound speakers for those anglers who love to listen to their music while fishing. The A-Fin-ity is captained by Capt. Nico Melendrez.
Rum Line – 1989 40′ Gamefisherman
The Rum Line is a 40-ft Gamefisherman built in 1989. Originally called the Jolly Roger and then the Jungle Rules while operating in Costa Rica, she arrived in Guatemala in 2008 and recently completed a total renovation. She debuted a new, beautiful, classically updated sportfish on October 25, 2018, with dual Cummins QSC 500HP Engines.
The Rum Line includes a SIMRAD NSS evo2 12-inch, Blue Water Desalination maker, cold AC in the cabin, and new mezzanine deck seating and is captained by Capt. Terry Brennan.
El Cadejo & Pez Raton – 2014 35′ Contenders
Casa Vieja Lodge added two custom 35’ ST Contenders to the fleet in Fall of 2014. Contender is respected as the leader in the center console market. These two 35’ ST Contenders will offer anglers the best in quality, reliability, fishability, performance, and comfort.
Perfect for small groups (2-3 anglers) and ideal for single anglers, the 35’ ST Contender will give the hands-on feeling of being on an offshore pro team. The walk-around feature also gives anglers the edge over conventional sportfishers for those multiple fish hookups on fly or conventional tackle.
Anglers will also have the performance ability to pick up and go to the fish at any time. The Contenders are captained by Capt. Benji Baires and Capt. Franz Hoffman.
No matter which boat you end up fishing at Casa Vieja Lodge, the resulting good times and incredible fishing will be the same. First-class service, a great crew and attitude, and lifetime memories will be yours after your CVL experience!