Planning a Trip to Casa Vieja
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.