I thought this was a fishing report forum (?) ... and yes I have a "vested interest" but if somebody is already down there wanting info I will provide it as a professional courtesy. The captains or boat owners down there know where the call or booking originated from and so my "interest" is protected.
Anyhow, here's the report on the Playa Grande Yacht Club Blue Marlin Classic held May 5th & 6th:
20 boats fished the two days - 24 blues & 2 sails were released.
This is a private club tournament. I was invited to fish on Team Calypso and only had one shot at a blue on day two which I royally sancochoed. 1st Place Boat/Team Plastika - 2nd Place Palozano - 3rd Place Catch 22 - Individual anlgers 1st Place Bernadro Bastardo aboard Catch 22 - 2nd Place Rafael Párraga aboard Palozano - 3rd Place Juan Carlos Bellini aboard Kichitica.
Regards to all,
"Marlinhunter. You may, or may not, have interests in Ven, but you surely come across like you do. Again - no offence meant - just the way it sounds."
I don't, never have, never will. Commercial truck driver 44 yrs over the road. What do you do?
"If you are indeed saying that you don't like the idea of anglers getting all this free information because it affects the businesses of agents, your attitude is part of the problem imho."
I know quite a few travel agencies, used them on occasion and have had good rappor with them.
They cringe everytime, someone sez they heard someone, someplace heard something derogatory about a locale, esp since they were never there.
"The internet was always going to see this information published sometime and it’s been long overdue."
The internet has allowed a lot of people, with limited knowledge an outlet from which they can possibly expand their minds, but instead waste it on porn. Over 50% of the websites are devoted to same.
"You have seen the future. I'll bet that more people will fish Venezuela as a result of free objective info - not less. Many of them will still book through agents = more business, not less."
Since they legal inception of the internet, the airlines have gutted commissions to travel agencies. They no longer need them to fill the seats. The future of travel agencies is growing dimmer, as I write.
The internet was originally developed by the US Army by MIT grad students for communication between battlefield and HQ. It was never meant to be what it is today. It's a blessing and a horror at the same time.
I spend six weeks a year fishing someplace in the world, whether it's Venezuela, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico or Oz. I've travelled all over the world, driven road trains in Oz, livestock in 49 states, 7 Provinces + Mexico. I don't claim to know everything about every truck and engine, but know which one's work and don't. Nor do I claim knowledge as an expert on every fishing and travel subject. Just 55 years of travel exposure.
When Chavez stops ranting, that's when I stop going to Caraballeda.
Four Swedish guys fished La Guaira banks with captain Ernani Handelman on "El Diablo" in late october 2006.
Day by day report:
Saturday, oct 28:th
Arriving at Simon Bolivar at about 4.30 in the afternoon leaves us time only for checking in to our rooms at Marina portofino lodge and having a good dinner with Nani at Caraballeda golf and yacht club restaurant. More than 24 hours of travelling made us tired but we were certainly full of expectations.
Sunday, oct 29th
Lines in at two since Nani used the time before lunch to educate us in the art of fighting billfish. That means connecting us and a 30 lb gear with his toyota. We liked the session. After some steaming from Caraballeda we started fishing in the western part of La Guaira bank. Rough seas. A triple strike of dorado generated three of the same as a start. After two hours of trolling we started to run for Puerto Maya (where we spent all the nights while fishing). When almost there, something grabbed the artificial lure (squid) that we were trolling in high speed. According to the crew it must have been billfish since the leader looked like it had been worked over with sandpaper (=the bill). The dolphins introduced themselves to us, and we saw them almost every day.
We installed ourselves in the lodge and had a good dinner including the dorado we caught earlier.
Monday, oct 30th
We fished well offshore, about 28 miles north of Puerto Maya. Nothing today except for four wahoos cutting four leaders close to our home port.
Tuesday, oct 31:th
Before heading out we passed the wahoo area with metal leaders. We caught three wahoos ranging between 15 and 20 kgs.
We fished a little west of La Guaira bank and caught 2 dorados.
Wednesday, nov 1:st
Today we fished western La Guaira bank (outside the power plant). The action for the day was a blue marlin between 100 and 150kgs crashing into a ballyho on the left outrigger. It stole a good deal of line but did not stick. The bait was separated in half.
Thursday, nov 2:nd
Fished about two hours this day in front of the power plant. Nothing. We went to a marina for diesel this day. We saw the back of a whale, exhausting water several times but we could not tell the species.
Friday, nov 3:rd
Today we ran far offshore north from Puerto Cruz. Since we saw no birds or baitfish, Nani said to me; you decide when we start fishing. I said "now" and David started to rigg 5 lines. Before the second ballyho was in the water Nani saw a blue marlin behind the first bait, and David tried to feed the fish but it would not take it. After a few hours of trolling a blue ran into the pattern and took a ballyho (I was asleep, but the noice from my friends and the crew woke me, adrenaline running) but again it did not stick. Probably had the leader wrapped around its bill.
Saturday, nov 4:th
We headed for the power plant, and as we steamed I suddenly saw some foam on the surface not far from the boat. I pointed it out to the mate, David, and in the same instance a big blue jumped through the patch of foam. I guess there was baitfish... We stopped and fished for it for a while but it did not show itself again. Instead we saw the back of a whale again. Possibly the same animal because it was more or less in the same area as last time. Nothing today either... The guys and me has given up the thought of billfish...
Sunday, nov 5:th
We fished ourselves all the way from Puerto Maya to the airport, then we had to steam to Caraballeda to make it before nightfall. Nothing except one barracuda. The baracudas had by the way destroyed more than one bait during our fishingdays.
In the marina we hear that some boats had a good day northwest of la guaira bank, the same area we fished friday where we had one of our few blue bites. We checked in to our rooms in the marina portofino lodge and had dinner in the restaurant. Since we had only fish for dinner in Puerto Maya we ordered red meat in the restaurant...
Monday, nov 6:th
Nani drove me and Jonas in his car to the golf part of his club at the foot of the mountain. Beautiful colonial style buildings very much contrasting with the buildings outside the walls... Contrasting was also the gardens and the tidyness. Then he drove me to Puerto Azul Marina, he thought it would be a nice place for me to stay with my family. A beautiful place! Again, inside the fences and beyond all the security you begin to wonder if you are in the same country. At 13.00 we left for the airport, a good idea to be there early ( the flight was 18.05) since the national guard decided to check everyones (!) baggage (even the check in baggage) twice, and especially ours...
So to summon things:
We caught seven dorados (we tried to avoid them after the first few days),
three wahoos (we tried to avoid them after the first few days) and one barracuda.
We had two bites from blue marlins, one from unidentified billfish and we saw two more blues that did not bite.
Oh, and I caught a bunch of cutlassfish in the lagoon of Puerto Maya on my fly rod. But I need a marlin...
Finally, we had a great fishing vacation with good people, sun, blue water and good food and drink. Thanks Nani!
Jan 15th the Impetuous, a 55ft Hatteras with Capt. Josh Howe on the bridge fished the banks. Raised six sails, four whites and one blue marlin. Released two sails, one white marlin, and one blue to complete the slam.