Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sailfish in Guatemala

I flew down to Guatemala to film a segment for Fly Fishing the World. We arrived in Guatemala City and drove about an hour and a half to the Guatemala Fishing Lodge (that might not be the exact name). The lodge was 5 stars with an open bar, pool, AC rooms, excellent service, and the list goes on. I've been to Guatemala before, but I was always staying in $10 hostels living on a budget. This was a completely different experience. Even the plumbing worked like it does in the US. Every other hostel I've stayed in in Central America, the toilet paper does not go in the toilet or it will clog it. I felt totally spoiled.

Our host didn't arrive until day two, so day one we went out on the boat to just film some b-roll of fishing. We needed some underwater shots and some close up shots of sailfish jumping out of the water. In order to get those shots someone had to catch the fish.  Meaning, Bill (cameraman), Justin (producer) and myself got to trade out catching fish all day. Running a camera all day can be pretty tough, but running a camera and catching tuna and sailfish all day...that's a hard day at the office. I caught about five 30+ lb tuna. That is by far the largest fish I've ever landed. Bill was the only one to catch a sailfish, but man was he psyched. I've never seen such a big smile on his face. Bill said it was the best day of work he has ever had. It would have been the best day of work I've ever had except I eventually got sea sick. I've never spent that much time out in the big seas and my stomach couldn't handle it. I hardly ever vomit, but once I started feeling nauseous, I couldn't hold anything down. It also doesn't help being glued to a viewfinder and filming on a rocking boat.
Day Two: Conway arrived, but we decided give the fishing a rest and tour the historic city of Antigua. I have been to Antigua on vacation before, so it was weird being there for work. I remembered it being beautiful, but we went to a couple newer, higher end places, and I was just blown away by the beauty.  This little city has everything going for it. It has great people, culture, food, history, hiking, biking, great coffee, mojitos...

The rest of the trip we were out at sea, but this time I was prepared with sea sickness medicine. Conway caught some amazing sailfish. The sailfish fight hard and jump clear out of the water trying to get loose. I think we were able to make a pretty awesome show. To top it off, the wind calmed, the ocean became glassy, and we were surrounded by dolphins and porpoises for hours.

It's going to be hard to top this shoot.
Next up: Gigging for Suckers in Missouri in the dead of winter. 

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