• Published:December 23, 2019
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Anglers came to Expedition FishTrack to learn angling skills in the world's best billfishing hot spot.

Not only did they learn how to hook billfish on circle hooks and tips to read satellite imagery, they put their new skills to the test, releasing 157 billfish in three days of fishing.
But the highlight of the fishing was a blue marlin...

Kris O’Bannon wanted to become a better offshore angler and learn more about how to use sea surface temperature charts, chlorophyll and the other tools offered by FishTrack to help him locate potential hot spots. Living in Seattle, Washington, Kris focuses mostly on catching albacore with lures, but he was curious about fishing with ballyhoo on circle hooks. So he and his wife Lauri decided to enroll in Expedition FishTrack held at Pacific Fins in Guatemala.
"Each guest hooked all of their own fish and were able to spend time with our instructors at the lodge and on the water"
-- Charlie Levine

On the first day of fishing, Kris and Lauri released 17 sailfish. On the second day, Kris pitched a bonito rigged with a big circle hook to a blue marlin that came into the spread behind the charter boat Gypsy. Kris had never pitched a bait to a marlin. He put his new skills to the test, hooked the fish and landed it.

“Catching that marlin was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Kris said. That is what Expedition FishTrack is all about!

Expedition FishTrack took place over four days during a very good billfish bite from December 7-11, 2019. The event drew 10 anglers, hailing from Washington, South Dakota, Florida, Texas and Tennessee. Upon arriving to the lodge, the guests were treated to an incredible meal and swag bags filled with gifts from Expedition FishTrack sponsors Pelagic, Yo-ZuriKing Sailfish Mounts and Spooled Up Tackle.

Each guest came with different intentions. Some were very curious about using satellite imagery to find fish, others wanted to learn more knots and rigging techniques and some just wanted to focus on their drop-back skills. Over the four-day event, the guests took part in rigging and angling discussions led by lead instructor Tony DiGiulian. Each student was able to receive one-on-one instruction and ask questions about techniques, gear or how to improve their fishing back home.

FishTrack editor and publisher Charlie Levine presented a seminar on how to better understand and utilize satellite imagery to pinpoint fishing hot spots on any ocean. Ozzy Delgado of Pacific Fins discussed the proper way to hook sailfish on conventional tackle with circle hooks. And Steve Dougherty, editor of Florida Sport Fishing magazine, recorded all of the action with photos and video.

The guests fished three days and caught a total of 156 sailfish, and one marlin.

“This event was really about helping our FishTrack users become better anglers,” said Charlie Levine. “We accomplished that in spades. Each guest hooked all of their own fish and were able to spend time with our instructors at the lodge and on the water. We had great fishing, and the entire staff at Pacific Fins was amazing. We will definitely be going back in 2020.”

If you’d like to take part in Expedition FishTrack, contact Charlie at clevine@fishtrack.com.