Guatemala’s Spectacular Fishing — Atlantic and Pacific!

Great Action and Scenery on Both Sides of the Country Through the Lens of a European Pro

December 7, 2012

Airborne Sailfish

Antonio Varcasia was born and lives on the Italian island of Sardinia. He works at Sassari University as veterinarian researcher. But he’s addicted to angling and is a well-known sport-fishing journalist and video producer who has fished around much of the world. He contributes to monthly fishing magazines in Italy and several European countries. Varcasia is also a longtime consultant for Shimano and Rapala. He runs his own video-production facility, producing fishing shows for European markets. Varcasia has for years worked with scientists on tagging and other projects. For more on Antonio Varcasia, visit or The calm offshore waters off Puerto Iztapa provide unique scenery and plenty of fish like this airborne sailfish.
Sailfish Walking on Water
The experienced Pacific Fins crew and the sheer number of fish make it possible to catch fish on flyfishing gear or spinning rods.
Close up of the Daiwa Saltiga Z 5000 saltwater spinning reel
A great chef paired with an international menu helped us to try fresh fish prepared in several ways. We found that dorado and yellowfin tuna make for excellent Japanese sushi, South American ceviche, and Italian carpaccio. Here you see grilled tuna with soy sauce.
Puerto Iztapa sits next to a channel paralleled by a sandy shore that allows boats to dock very close to the shore and provides a quick and safe exit to the ocean.
A sailfish broke the hook really close to the boat! This can be caused by an angler using too much pressure or setting the hook in the bill.
Is this an Antoni Gaudi style painting? Nope, it is a closeup of the beautiful livery of a dorado.
Another close up of a dorado.
Here Antonio Varcasia fights a sailfish with spinning gear. It is harder than using conventional gear but thanks to the experience of the Pacific Fins Lodge crew, we got it done. Each of the boats at the lodge catch about 1,200 sailfish each season. This is an incredible sailfish heaven!
Locals call her Lora. This pretty bird can imitate a human’s voice. (as well as car alarms and other stuff.) Be careful if you come across one of these because they are known not to be very nice!
This is the texiles market in Antigua. If you go to Guatemala, you must visit here. Antigua, the former capital of Guatemala, was moved to Guatemala City after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. Antigua is located between three beautiful volcanoes: Fuego, Agua, and Acatenango. Antigua is also famous for its production of jade jewels. The Mayans discovered jade and used it to make beautiful masks. Their technique for working this hard stone was a mystery for many years.
Bindy Borrayo of Jades Imperio Maya, one of the most important factories and shops in Antigua. Bindy will show you the process of working Jade, from raw stone to jewels. Here, she shows off a replica of the world famous Tikal Mask, dated 527 AD. The original mask is now on exhibit in the Museum of Antropology and Ethnology in Guatemala City.
The Cam Sigler Tube Fly, one of the best choices to target sails.
The Rapala Countdown Magnum in a fire tiger pattern is one of the best lures to use in the green waters of Lake Izabal and rivers connected to it like the Rio Oscuro (where this baby was caught). Local anglers like the steel lip for its resistance to the hard mouths of fish.
Tarpon up to 230 pounds have been caught in this beautiful river in Rio Oscuro.
Another view of the tarpon caught in Rio Oscuro.
El Mundo Perdido is part of the old Tikal. Only a few structures of the old Maya buildings, which are older than 4000 years, have been rescued from the wild forest. You must take a trip here if you are in Guatemala. There is a local daily fight from Guatemala City to Flores airport. It takes nine to 11 hours by car.
The Maya depend on jade extracted from the Las Minas Mountains, which makes them the most important mountain range in Guatemala.
The Temple of the Great Jaguar in Tikal is one of the most preserved.
The crocodiles here are not as big as in the Everglades but they are great for photos!
A crocodile lurks in the shallows.
Coati Mundi are very common in Tikal.
Capt. Francisco Miranda, who guides in Rio Dulce and Izabal Lake, is also an expert angler.
Daniele Macis, a cameraman and editor of a reality fishing show in Italy, shows off a nice tarpon.
Silver and gold colors enhance the beauty of these prehistoric fish.
Tarpon scales.
Snook and tarpon like to hunt prey around the roots and bases of trees.
A local fisherman in Lake Izabal fishes for mojarra and guapote.
Nature in action off Iztapa!
Another leaping sailfish.
Imagine waking up with this on your stomach!
Here a Mexican red rump tarantula (Brachypelma vagans) crawls over my arm! They feed on insects, lizard and rodents. Their leg span can reach 5 inches! These tarantulas are not aggressive and have a mild poison, so if you handle with care it could make a nice pet.
A statue of a Mayan holding a big tarpon.
And here I am capturing the moments!

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