A brand-new tour service lets
anglers explore the Galápagos.
FITS THE BILL: A day with 30 marlin
strikes is not rare in the Galápagos.
The sun had just crept over the
horizon and four of the biggest trolling lures I have
ever seen left smoke trails through the wake of our
boat. In the distance, a beehive of seabirds hammered an
acre-wide patch of the surface. Then the port line
exploded from the outrigger and peeled off the reel. Not
long after the hookup we had a blue marlin that looked
all of 450 pounds at boatside—one of eight marlin we
released that day.
We were in the Galápagos—the last
great marlin frontier in the world.
I visited the Galápagos with IGFA
representative Pete Santini, who first came here in
2004. Santini joined forces with local fisherman Gustavo
Hernandez, and the two started Gustavo Tours, one of the
few charter operations that lets anglers enjoy this
practically untouched fishery.
Guests stay on the island of San Crist—bal,
in Ecuador, where hotels are abundant, clean and
moderately priced. From there, they board the Sea Hands,
a 33-foot "marlin-fishing machine," and head to the
waters where it's not at all uncommon to have 30 marlin
strikes in one day—250-pound stripies, 500-pound blues,
even near-grander blacks...and don't forget about bonus
shots at yellowfin tuna.
"There are so many fish and so many
places to fish, we're not afraid to experiment with
different lures and techniques," Santini says. "The
striped marlin are everywhere, but in some spots the
blues and blacks outnumber them."
For details, including charters,
accommodations and fishing seasons, visit World Explorer
— Andy LoCascio
TUNA SPECIAL: Yellowfin often show up
between marlin catches.