Fishing on the Billfish Highway
Yellow Dog is excited to offer the fishing-focused Blue Bayou Lodge as one of the newer destinations in the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Chris Starrs is the owner and head Captain at the Lodge. This destination offers an experience similar to many other bluewater destinations but at a fraction of the normal package price. We consider this lodge to be one of the best values in the entire world of bluewater fishing. Chris and his crew have been sport fishing in Guatemala for more than ten years and they have a deep passion for putting anglers on billfish. Guatemala has such strong bluewater fishing because of the Equatorial Counter Current, a well-defined west-to-east ocean flow that creates a type of “billfish highway” which gathers most of the billfish just off of Guatemala’s coast. With numbers like “85 sailfish released in a single day” and “35 on the fly in one day,” it’s hard for any other region in the world to compete with this year-round bite. In addition to the great sailfishing, Blue Bayou’s fleet is getting more and more blue, black, and striped marlin releases on both conventional and fly tackle, making Iztapa, Guatemala the premier billfish location of the world.
Nestled along the coastline of Iztapa, Guatemala, the Blue Bayou Lodge is located just five minutes from La Marina Pez Vela in a secure and private residential complex built on a series of water channels leading out to the Pacific. The Lodge can hold groups as large as 15 guests, and all rooms feature air conditioning and private bathrooms. Amenities also include a beautiful pool, decks overlooking the water, and lots of shade from the exotic plant life surrounding the property. The Lodge’s bar is set up just a few paces from the temperature-controlled pool, which is great for post-fishing swims. The Lodge also offers Wi-Fi for those wanting to keep in touch throughout their trip, as well as a Skype phone line for unlimited internet phone calls.
Food and Beverages
Every morning before your departure, the Lodge serves a family-style Guatemalan breakfast (juice, coffee, eggs, fruit, and beans). A packed boat lunch features both a hot meal and – usually – fresh ceviche (depending on the Dorado bite). Ice-cold beers, plenty of iced-down sodas and water, and rum on the boat will keep you lubricated and hydrated throughout the days. The evenings consist of a cocktail hour, appetizers, and the main dinner course. Local seafood is typically on the menu, but a variety of quality meats are always available for those who want to mix it up.
Typical Length of Stay
The most popular trip package at Blue Bayou Lodge is four (4) nights / three (3) fishing days, although longer trips can certainly be arranged. Contact Yellow Dog for more details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
For non-anglers, Guatemala is an interesting and diverse country. Side trips can be arranged to Antigua, Tikal, and the Lake Atitlan region. These areas offer national parks, ruins, biosphere reserves, incredible wildlife viewing, Mayan temples, shopping, horseback riding, and more.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available at the Lodge and some cell phone providers may have service that works in this part of Guatemala.
How To Get There
Fly from your home city to Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airpot (GUA). After processing through immigration and customs, you will walk outside the arrival lobby where a Blue Bayou representative will meet you. You will then be transferred to the lodge 90 minutes away.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Upon arrival in Guatemala City (GUA), guests will be transferred by private vehicle to the Lodge, a trip that takes under 90 minutes. To accommodate early flight departures at the end of the trip, clients will typically spend their final night at the first-class hotel in Guatemala City. These are true five-star hotels located in the heart of Guatemala City’s most popular restaurant and nightlife district. Located ten minutes from the airport, these are among Guatemala’s finest hotels. When making your flight arrangement, we suggest not departing Guatemala City before 12:00 PM.
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Guatemala and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the U.S., the British Commonwealth, and Canada are NOT required to have Visas.
Minors Travelling To Guatemala Without Both Parents
If you are planning on traveling with minors, remember that all children 18 years of age or younger entering Guatemala accompanied by only one parent or legal guardian must have a NOTARIZED letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to enter the country. Single parents need a notarized documentation of divorce decree or death certificate of spouse. Minors unaccompanied by either parent require a NOTARIZED letter of consent signed by both parents. Please visit the Embassy of the United States website for Guatemala to obtain more information.
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help with booking airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you prior to sending quotes.
Guatemala has gained an international reputation as having one of the highest year-round concentrations of billfish, particularly Pacific sailfish. In fact, scientists who have studied the large numbers of sailfish off the coast of Guatemala have concluded this region may be the largest breeding ground for Pacific sailfish in the world. While the prime season in Guatemala is November through May, sailfish can be caught twelve months a year. The coast in this area of Guatemala forms a giant bay with strong rotating currents flowing west-to-east from the Mexican coast having turned back after hitting the coast of El Salvador. This creates an enormous “ocean eddy” – rich with bait and pelagic fish. Sailfish, dorado, tuna, blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, and a large number of other species congregate in this area in great numbers. Inshore fishing in the region offers good action for roosterfish and jack crevalle as well.
The sportfishing fleet in this area is fairly small, meaning that overall fishing pressure is light. It is a rarity to see another boat while fishing offshore and you will usually have Guatemala’s calm ocean all to yourself. Depending upon water conditions, fishing may be as close as eight miles from shore or as far as fifty miles out. You will find captains and crew to be educationally focused, so no matter if you are a veteran bluewater angler or someone who is completely new to this exciting style of fishing, they will teach you how to be successful. The Lodge carries a variety of top-notch fly equipment, and lightweight conventional tackle is available onboard as well. The Lodge also offers a unique snook program in the channels around the Lodge. After your bluewater fishing day, guests can often use smaller panga-style boats to blind cast around structures in the inland canals.
Boats and Equipment
Blue Bayou’s fleet consists of 28 to 38-foot, twin-diesel yachts. Bertrams, Albemarle, and Hatteras are what they typically run. All the boats are well-maintained, consume minimum fuel, and have a very experienced crew for all tackle approaches (fly, light conventional, inshore, live bait, etc.). In addition, the head Captain is a USCG-certified 100-ton master captain with seven-plus years in Guatemala and lots of personal fly fishing experience throughout the US. This will make communication easy! The equipment on board for those renting includes Tibor, Abel, and Penn 12 to 13-weight reels and Temple Fork rods.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy and quoted in US dollars
Please contact Yellow Dog for custom package rates.
- Captain & 2 deckhands for number of days fishing
- All fishing tackle and natural bait, either for conventional and/or fly fishing
- Beer, rum/vodka, sodas, and bottled water
- Fresh fruit and snacks
- Hot lunch prepared fresh onboard by Blue Bayou mates
- Fishing from 7 am to 4:00 pm (Blue Bayou tends to pull out at 6:30 am)
- Transportation in a Luxury Van with an English-speaking driver to and from the airport
- Full breakfasts
- Locally influenced meals & appetizers with an international menu for your culinary delight (Blue Bayou can tailor any meal for dietary needs)
- Laundry service daily
- Wi-Fi Internet service throughout the lodge
- Digital cable with English Programming- NFL Sundays and College Football
- Flat Screen TV’s
What’s Not Included:
- Airfare to/from Guatemala City
- Meals or beverages while in Guatemala City (if necessary)
- Items of a personal nature
- Gratuities for the lodge staff and captain/mates
- Top shelf spirits, wine, cigars
- Lodging in Guatemala City (if necessary)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking to hold both space and guides on all packages. No space or guides will be held without receipt of deposit. Full pre-payment is due 90 days prior to date of trip. All cancellations must be received in writing, sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. For cancellations outside of 30 days prior to trip, 50% of payment amount will be refunded only if Blue Bayou and/or Yellow Dog are able to resell the trip dates (minus a $500.00 trip cancellation fee charged by Blue Bayou and a $100 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog Flyfishing) Inside of 30 days from start of trip, deposits and/or final payments are non-refundable and no credits will be issued. Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for your trip. Blue Bayou will not refund payments in the event of a hurricane or poor weather, or for unused portions of any package. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance these Guatemala packages.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment within 10 days of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.