If you ask any serious offshore angler where the best billfish action in the world is, chances are Casa Vieja Lodge (CVL) and Guatemala are one of the first answers you’ll hear. With captains releasing literally thousands of billfish in a single season, fishing in Guatemala is the experience of a lifetime for anglers. Fortunately for TBF, CVL has shown their commitment to billfish conservation by coming on as a Tag & Release sponsor and reporting all of their billfish data to us. However, their support goes far beyond that.

Ron Kawaja of Pelagic and Tony Ludovico stand by as the crew of “Finest Kind” get ready for the tag shot.

Earlier this month, CVL generously hosted TBF staff to work with the lodge to help promote TBF’s Tag & Release Program and highlight the world class fishing in the waters off of Guatemala. Together with TBF conservation partners, Ron Kawaja, president of PELAGIC GEAR clothing company and underwater photographer, Tony Ludovico, TBF was able to capture some amazing footage to help spread the message of billfish conservation and the importance of tag & release. Proper tagging procedure, healthy releases, and adrenaline pumping fishing action are just some of the great footage captured during the trip and will be invaluable to TBF’s outreach efforts.

The captains and anglers fishing out of CVL are some of the best in the world and are regularly in the running to win TBF’s annual Tag & Release Competition. The sheer number of billfish that are tagged each season means that CVL also provides a tremendous amount of invaluable data to TBF. This information all goes toward better understanding billfish stocks and ultimately ensuring that this amazing resource is protected for future anglers. This is especially important to Guatemala given the abundance of sailfish in the region as well as the tremendous socioeconomic benefits that sportfishing brings to the area.

CVL, PELAGIC, and Tony Ludovico coming together highlights the importance of support from industry leaders that is invaluable to work TBF does. TBF would like to thank David and Kristen Salazar and the rest of the CVL staff for their tremendous hospitality and support to make this all possible. Special thanks also go to Captain Michael Barry and cameraman Jeff Aderman for their assistance. See related articles for more information on TBF’s Tag & Release Program. For more information on TBF’s new Tag & Release Database, click here.