Jake Jordan's January 2011 report
Greetings from 85 degree, sunshine, calm, Guatemala:
The last couple of days, January 7, 8, 9, produced relatively slow fly fishing for sailfish and marlin for the Casa Vieja Lodge fleet and for my Sailfish School. This trip I had repeat fly anglers Bob and Charlotte Campbell from North Carolina, along with Charlotte's brother Tommy Thompson from Virginia aboard Rum Line with Captain Chris Sheeder. The other group in my Sailfish School included my friend and Tournament sponsor, Rick Pope (TFO Rods) from Texas, along with Bill Mandulak and Chris Freeman from North Carolina.
January 7, 2011; Began with a great breakfast at the Casa Vieja Lodge and then both Intensity and Rum Line leaving the "Sailfish Marina" at 7:00 AM and heading out into 2 to 4 foot seas for a short 45 minute ride out to the fishing grounds. Bill, Chris, and Rick, with me aboard to help with instruction, had a very slow start, we raised 9 very sluggish sailfish, of which only 3 bit the presented fly. Bill was the high rod with 2 bites, both of which he missed on the strike, while rick hooked a hot sailfish which put on a great show, and eventually formed a loop in the fly line and jumped over the line and tied a overhand loop knot in the tippet, which broke when the slack cane out of the line. That sailfish actually tied a wind knot into the leader to free itself, that is why it is called "The Sailfish School".
Aboard Rum Line with Captain Chris, Bob, Charlotte, and Tommy, had a better day, they raised 15 sailfish, teased 7 into rang to bite the fly and each angler, cast to, fought, and released a Sailfish on fly.
January 8, 2011: After a great Breakfast at Casa Vieja Lodge we left the Marina again at 7:00 Am aboard Intensity and Rum Line, and again headed offshore for less than an hour ride. I went out with Bob, Charlotte, and Tommy aboard Rum Line, and due to Captain Chris Sheeder being sick we had first mate Ricardo as our captain and my good friend captain Chico Alvarenga joined us as the second mate. The seas were flat calm, and there was lots of action but not many sailfish around, however Tommy and Charlotte took advantage of the two bites that we had from 4 fish raised, they both caught the only sailfish that they cast to, all before 10:00 AM. During the afternoon, we raised 2 blue marlin, one ate a teaser and never returned, the other teased in to the boat, Charlotte made a perfect cast, and the 350 pound monster Blue came completely out of the water and pounced on that Cam Sigler fly,. Unfortunately the fly hooked on the top of the bill instead of in the mouth and it was gone in 60 seconds, an awesome fish.
Aboard Intensity, Captain Mike raised 5 sailfish, three teased into casting range, Bill Mandulak, pulled the hook on the hook set, Chris Freeman, hooked his only bite, fought the sailfish through several jumps, and then the fly came un-hooked. Then Rick Pope, who was testing out my favorite Billfish fly rod, (TFO Bluewater Heavy Duty), made a perfect cast, set the hook on a big (110+#) sailfish, and then proceeded to kick the butt of that big sailfish. One release from 3 bites, pretty slow!
January 9, 2011; We got word that one boat in the fleet had raised 27 sailfish way offshore late in the afternoon yesterday, so at 7:00 AM we began our ride which got us in place to begin fishing around 8:30 AM. During the last several days all of the boats in the fleet has relatively slow fishing with the fly fishing boats having it harder as the fish were not teasing well.
Today, Intensity with Captain Mile Sheeder working hard to get the 7 fish that he raised to tease in, wound up getting 3 bites, all three were by angler Bill Mandulak, on two of the bites bill bulled the fly away from the sailfish on the bite, and on the other bite, he set the hook good, the fish ran 20 yards, and jumped back toward the boat. Bill raised his fly rod up high creating slack and the fly fell out of the fishes mouth.
Aboard Rum Line, captain Chris was still sick so Captain Ricardo drove the boat today, he did an awesome job. Rum Line raised 16 sailfish today, Charlotte, Bob, and Tommy got 9 bites, the trio caught and released 7 sailfish on fly today. Each angler aboard caught at least two sailfish on fly today.
After the 3 days of slow fly fishing the Rum Line team had 35 sailfish raised,got 18 bites, and caught 12 sailfish on fly. The Intensity team during the same three days of fly fishing for sailfish had some bad luck with 21 sailfish raised,9 total bites, and only Rick's 110+# pound fish caught and released. Of course the captains, mates, and Antonio's staff at Casa Vieja Lodge did an excellent job, the food, lodging, service, and boats are truly world class. Of course the Mako fly reels, TFO fly rods, RIO fly lines, and Cam Sigler flies from our Tournament Sponsors, preformed perfectly, I would like to thank these companies for building the tackle which makes this great fishery even easier for my students (Anglers) to have such a wonderful catch to bite ratio. Just remember this is still fishing, the animal,(Sailfish/Marlin) still have to cooperate and do what I have trained them to do!
Today, January 10 is the practice day for " The Jake Jordan, Invitational, Sailfish Fly Challenge" of 2011, the tournament starts tomorrow. Stay tuned for more fly fishing for sailfish and Tournament reports from Casa Vieja Lodge, I love my job, wish you were here.
Capt. Jake Jordan