Plan­ning a Trip to Casa Vieja

Sport Fishing - - ELECTRONICS -

If you’re hop­ing to ex­er­cise the kayak op­tion off Gu­atemala on one or more of your days fish­ing there, let the lodge know in ad­vance.

Be­yond the usual and rec­om­mended list of items to bring with you, any plan to fish from kayaks here en­tails some ad­di­tional, spe­cific gear. Sug­ges­tions: a re­li­able hand­held wa­ter­proof VHF ra­dio (I wouldn’t get in a kayak off­shore with­out mine, which hap­pens to be an ICOM IC-M25), an eas­ily ac­cessed quick-re­lease line-cut­ting tool, a pair of good fish­ing pli­ers (I al­ways pack a spare as well), Go­Pro or sim­i­lar cam­eras with ap­pro­pri­ate mounts/bands, and good fish­ing gloves (sail­fish bills can be pretty tough on bare hands).

I fash­ion lan­yards with cord and cara­biner clips to at­tach VHF, cut­ting tool and pli­ers ei­ther to me or to the kayak be­cause it’s all too easy for things to slide off the side of a kayak, plus it’s good to know ex­actly where such tools are when needed. I also pack along some ex­tra cord, cara­bin­ers and small bungee cords.

In this sort of a fish­ery, I pre­fer hav­ing just one rod to keep things as sim­ple as pos­si­ble. How­ever, if you plan to carry a sec­ond rod — and par­tic­u­larly if you have the co­jones to troll two rods — you should use a rod leash.

Also, as noted in the main text, Casa Vieja has lots of rods and reels, but you might want to bring one of the small “mini-mite” lever-drag reels that sev­eral man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer. The 400-size Ac­cu­rate Valiants we used with 40- or 50-pound braid seemed per­fect.

Since my feet and an­kles are prob­a­bly the most ex­posed parts of me all day un­der the sun in a kayak, I’ve taken to putting on a pair of light socks rather than re­peat­edly smear­ing my feet with sun­screen through­out the day.

Fi­nally, I have to men­tion what should be ob­vi­ous: a life jacket. The lodge has ’em. I can’t imag­ine they’d let a kayakero out on the Pa­cific with­out one. Keep it on and fas­tened.

As for Casa Vieja, it’s open year-round. Depend­ing upon tim­ing and con­di­tions, along with mu­chos sail­fish, you have a good shot — whether from a 40-foot sport-fisher or a 13-foot kayak — at three species of mar­lin (blue, black and striped), and at times, yel­lowfin tuna and do­rado (mahi). You can get more in­for­ma­tion on Casa Vieja, and its lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tions, at casavie­jalodge.com.

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