If you’ve even envisioned yourself being on a fishing boat with Dr. Guy Harvey, you can now make that dream a reality. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has organized several epic aquatic adventures to Panama, Mexico, and Guatemala, and the good news is — you’re invited to come along for the ride.
Tropic Star Lodge, Panama
Known as one of the hottest fishing destinations on the planet (Guy has been there more than 50 times), the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Panama is prolific with blue and black marlin, tuna, dorado, sailfish, roosterfish and many more sportfish. It’s also home of several GHOF research projects aimed at protecting this amazing fishery. In September 2021, Guy and daughter Jessica, who is also a marine biologist, hosted 25 anglers at Tropic Star Lodge (TSL) for fishing, camaraderie and scientific marine research. As expected, the fishing was off the charts, and dozens of billfish were raised and reeled in. All of those fish were released safely, and some were tagged with satellite tags for tracking (see GHRITracking.org). The fish-tracking concept has proven to be effective in protecting these majestic species because scientists can determine where they roam and then write regulations to restrict those areas from commercial fishing. Sometimes it’s a battle keeping commercial fleets from catching sportfish, but without the data collected by GHOF, the fight would be much harder.
The September trip was so successful that the GHOF quickly planned another TSL trip, open for 25 more anglers. This expedition is scheduled for Nov. 9–14. Space is limited, so if you’re interested, contact GHOF as soon as possible (see contact info at the end of this article). The price is $9,800 per angler for five days of fishing, dining and hanging out with Guy and Jessica. The money raised from these expeditions helps to fund the vital scientific research conducted by the GHOF.
If this coming November is too soon for you to make plans, dates for 2022 have also been reserved at TSL. See ad on the back cover for more information.
Pacific Fins Resort, Guatemala
(Sailfish Capital of the World)
In 2002, the Guatemalan government implemented some of the world’s strictest fishing regulations. That’s a good thing for us fishermen. Marlin and sailfish used to be sold as food in local markets and exported to other countries. These days, any commerce of billfish is highly illegal in Guatemala and can result in massive fines and even jail time. In other words, it’s 100% catch and release for offshore anglers.
What prompted the government to take such dramatic conservation action? Well, the leadership of the sportfishing resorts in the country, such as Pacific Fins, took action. They explained the economics of fishing tourism to the government officials in these terms: each one of the live blue marlins can inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the economy via fishing tourism, whereas a dead blue marlin may only fetch a few hundred bucks at the fish market. It’s hard to refute that kind of logic. This is why fishing offshore in Guatemala is sort of like being in a giant aquarium surrounded by sailfish. They are swimming around everywhere along with billfish, dorado, tuna and their cousins. It’s not unusual to raise 40 sailfish in one day of fishing.
If that makes your hands sweat and your heart race, you can come join Guy Harvey at the Pacific Fins Resort April 19–23, 2022 with 18 other anglers. The GHOF group will take over the entire five-star resort for four days of amazing fishing and fun. Cost for this expedition is $5,100 and is all inclusive — fishing, food, adult beverages and time spent with Guy. As with all of the GHOF expeditions, the money raised helps to fund the vital scientific research conducted by the GHOF. For more information, see the ad on page 11.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
(Whale Shark Extravaganza)
Each summer, hundreds of whale sharks come to Isla Mujeres to feed and breed. It’s a bit like clockwork because they return in massive numbers and lumber along peacefully offshore feeding on plankton. July and August are the peak months for the migration and set the stage for the GHOF to study these gentle giants of the sea. Over the past decade, the GHOF has tagged some of these behemoths (see GHRITracking.org) and discovered that they travel thousands of miles before returning to Isla Mujeres. Using this knowledge of their behavior, the GHOF is lobbying for greater protections for whale sharks.
Don’t be mistaken however, this is NOT a fishing trip but simply a life-changing snorkeling adventure. There’s nothing quite like swimming next to a 40-foot-long fish that seems to be unconcerned with the tiny human trying to keep up. For the record, whale sharks are sharks but do not have flesh-ripping teeth like their white shark cousins. Whale sharks are filter feeders like humpback whales, and they eat tiny krill and plankton instead of humans.
The dates for this trip are mid-August, and the cost is $4,500 per person, which includes everything — lodging, meals, drinks and three days mingling with the whale sharks. Guy and Jessica will be there along with a GHOF film crew on location filming for a future documentary. This expedition is limited to 20 people. Remember, the money raised from these expeditions funds the vital scientific research conducted by the GHOF.
For more details on these expeditions, contact Brian Rowland at [email protected].