Science behind Guatemala’s Fishery

We have the sailfish, and have been able to prove it to all anglers that have enjoyed our fishery.  But why is there such a concentration of sailfish has always been the first question that is asked upon arrival.  Let us share with you what the experts have learned about Guatemala’s prolific Pacific Ocean:

1. The Pocket
We enjoy the many natural benefits of having a canyon – called “the pocket” – going from the Continental Divide towards the coast of Iztapa, best described on the image below:

This canyon offers depths of 3500 – 4000 ft all within 12 Nautical Miles of our Marina.  The width is only around 40Nm, so we can fish on both sides of the drop within the day.  Now, it is not that the billfish like the depths found on the pocket, but rather the fact that the walls within it are constantly being hit by the ever changing currents and therefore nurturing the waters for the bait to grow and proliferate.

2. The Currents
Guatemala’s Pacific Ocean has no predominant current system.  Within a week we can see the currents moving from east to west (we refer to them as coming from El Salvador) or from west to east (coming from Mexico).  The activity from the currents changing so drastically from day to day means that the bait will stay within our fishing grounds longer.  As the water hits the walls within the canyon, rich nutrients are scattered within the ocean.

3. Levels of Oxygen Concentration
As stated by the research team from the Rosenthal School of Marine Sciences, University of Miami, the concentration of oxygen within Guatemala’s Pacific Ocean is primarily and particularly found on a very shallow level, closer to the surface than in many other destinations.  This fact implies that both bait as well as predators will swim closer to the surface and not go too deep on a regular basis.  The closer we have the billfish to the surface, the easier it is for our fleet to use their teasers more effectively and attract them towards the boat.

4. Temperature barriers
During the peak season of October to May, the Tehuantepec winds in Mexico and the Papagayo winds within Nicaragua and Costa Rica blow stronger and bring in colder temperatures.  Once they reach the Pacific Ocean, they tend to cool the waters on both sides of the Guatemalan Pacific Coast, creating a significant temperature barrier for the bait.  This means the bait will remain within the warmer waters off Guatemala and not migrate nor mitigate throughout the region.  And if the bait is here, the billfish will stay here as well!

5. Guatemala Fishing Laws
By protecting the species and not permitting the commercial fishing of the sailfish, we are guaranteeing future generations that the fishery will be here.  Enforcing the law is an ongoing process, but Guatemala is definitely discouraging industrial fishing fleets to fish our waters.  Not only are we protecting the sailfish from becoming a direct target, but we are also protecting the bait by not having the international fleets within our waters.