The ninth annual Jake Jordan Invitational Sailfish Fly Challenge tournament took place on January 7 (practice day) 8, 9, 10, (tournament dates), at the world-class Casa Vieja Lodge in Guatemala. This time for the first time ever, the fishing was slow for Guatemala standards, seems like some cold water moved in and pushed the fish off of their feed for a few days. That said each of the 7 teams in the tournament caught sailfish on 20# tippet on the fly. We had several adjustments which changed some of our teams around. Rufus Wakeman was scheduled to fish aboard Intensity with his partner, Jed Dempsey. Dempsey was unable to make the trip so Wakeman sent his son Marlin to take his place. On the practice day, Marlin hooked, fought , and landed his first ever blue marlin on fly.
Chris and Diane O’Neill were scheduled to fish aboard Makaira. Chris was also unable to make the trip, which caused Diane to bring a different partner, their 13-year-old son Ryan. Ryan caught and released the first 2 sailfish he’s ever seen. He released them on 20# class tippet on the fly, then he got to watch his mom, cast a fly to a blue marlin, and catch that it on Fly. This was her 6th blue marlin since she started fishing with Jake Jordan 4 years ago.
The next three days the cold water moved in and caused the fishing to be slow, with Danny Cline and Nat Harris fishing aboard the vessel, Finest Kind with Captain Chris Sheeder, catching five sailfish on fly on the first day to take the lead. Day 2 and day 3 were slow until the afternoon of January 10, when everyone got some sailfish bites late in the day.
In the end, the final score had Anglers Diane and Ryan O’Neill finishing with 450 points aboard Makaira, with Captain Jason Brice, finishing in third place. Second place went to angler George Maybee who fished aboard Affinity with Captain Nico, with 450 points, and the World Champion team for 2018 is Danny Cline and Nat Harris fishing aboard Finest Kind, with Captain Chris Sheeder, they scored 850 points.
Congratulations to all who participated!
Enhance your Trip
Already coming down to Casa Vieja Lodge this season? Complement your fishing vacation with a day to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Antigua. Reserve a tour in advance with our Miami Office and see culture in this colonial capital city. Available tours consist of a guided walk through Antigua, a Guatemalan coffee plantation, orchid & macadamia nut farms, the Jade museum, a round of golf, waterfall rappelling, or even a hike up Volcano Pacaya. You let us know what your interest are, and we will add even more excitement to your trip!
If you are only coming for the amazing fishing, think of enhancing your trip with a helicopter tour to/from Guatemala City Airport. From above, you can tour the active Volcano Fuego or see ancient Antigua.
Casa Vieja Lodge now consists of 10 private charter boats and is the only fleet in the business that posts their daily fishing reports online for the world to see great, good, or average, because they like to believe there’s nothing below average when you are out on the water!
The Billfish Foundation
Each year The Billfish Foundation (TBF) recognizes top anglers, mates, and captains for their contribution to conservation through the Tag & Release program. Casa Vieja Lodge has been a a proud sponsor of TBF for the past 5 years, and encourage all of our anglers to tag their billfish. Annually, thousands of billfish are added to the TBF database by those tagging or releasing.
TBF will be holding the awards ceremony to recognize the contributions of these top anglers, mates, and captains on Friday, February 16, 2018 at Jungle Island, in Miami FL. Tickets can be purchased here. Proceeds benefit TBF’s tag & release program.
A big CONGRATS to the captains, mates, and anglers of Casa Vieja Lodge!
Top Overall Tagging Captain: Chris Sheeder – Rum Line
Top Overall Tagging Youth Angler:(tied) Charles Gaddy (NC)
Top Overall Release Captain: Jason Brice – Makaira
Top Overall Tagging Lady Angler- 2. Connie O’Day (TX)
Top Overall Release Youth Angler: 2. Brown Gaddy (NC); 5. Marc Monti (RI)
Top Pacific Sailfish Tagging Anglers: 2. Connie O’Day (TX); 5. Charles Gaddy (NC)
Top Pacific Blue Marlin Release Anglers: 5. Charles Gaddy (NC)
Top Pacific Sailfish Tagging Captains: 1. Chris Sheeder- Rum Line; 5. Chico Alvarenga– Release
Top Pacific Sailfish Release Captains: Jason Brice- Makaira
Top Youth Tagging Anglers Ages 13-15: 2. Aidan Burke (CA)
Top Youth Release Anglers Ages 9-10: 1. Brown Gaddy (NC); 3. Charles Gaddy (NC)
The billfish had a slow start to 2018 but they have made a steady come back with double digit raises and releases this past week. Since this season had a late start, we are expecting it to last longer! Book your Summer trip before its too late.
Below are a few fishing highlights and you can check out our daily fishing report HERE.
January 11th-24th, the Release (37′ Merritt) with Capt. Chico Alvarenga, had 212 raises, 171 bites, and 94 sailfish releases. They also had 4 marlin raises, 3 marlin bites, 2 marlin releases, & 22 mahi-mahi.
January 12th-20th, fishing a total of 5 days, the Pez Raton (35′ Contender) with Capt. Franz Hoffman, had 44 raises, 30 bites, and 9 sailfish releases. They also had 1 marlin raise, 1 marlin bit, 4 mahi-mahi, and 3 groupers.
January 12th-24th, the Makaira (37’ Rybovich) with Capt. Jason Brice, had 172 raises, 141 bites, and 84 sailfish releases. They also had 3 marlin raises, 1 marlin bite, 1 marlin release, and 15 mahi-mahi.
January 13th-20th, the El Cadejo (35′ Contender) with Capt. Efron Rizzo, had 61 raises, 34 bites, and 17 sailfish releases. They also had 1 marlin raise, 1 marlin bite, 1 marlin release, 1 tuna, and 4 mahi-mahi!
January 13th-24th, the Spindrift (38’ Stolper) with Capt. Nicho Alvarenga, had 255 raises, 214 bites, and 124 sailfish releases. They also had 6 marlin raises, 4 marlin bites, 4 marlin releases (1 striped marlin release), and 10 mahi-mahi
January 14th-24th, the Afinity (39’ Billy Knowles) with Capt. Nico Melendrez, had 123 raises, 82 bites, and 37 sailfish releases. They also had 2 marlin raises, 1 marlin bite, 1 marlin release, and 11 mahi-mahi!
January 14th-24th, the Finest Kind (40’ Whiticar) with Capt. Chris Sheeder (Capt. Benji Bairez on the 23rd & 24th), had 159 raises, 114 bites, and 67 sailfish releases. They also had 3 marlin raises, 2 marlin bites, and 6 mahi-mahi!
January 14th-24th, the Intensity (37′ Gamefisherman) with Capt. Mike Sheeder, had 124 raises, 57 bites, and 30 sailfish releases. They also had 1 marlin raise and 10 mahi-mahi!
January 23rd & 24th, the Poco Loco (44′ Kincheloe Nickerson) with Capt. David Salazar, had 26 raises, 22 bites, and 16 sailfish releases. They also had 7 mahi-mahi.
Catch us on the road, Stop by and say HOLA!
2018 Houston Safari Club
January 26-28, George Brown Convention Center
2018 Safari Club International
January 31- February 3, Las Vegas Convention Center
2018 Great American Outdoors Show
February 3-11, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex
2018 Miami International Boat Show
February 15-19, Miami Marine Stadium
If you are looking to book a last minute trip please call 1-800-882-4665 and speak with Kirsten Thomas to check availability or visit the Casa Vieja Lodge website for more info.