Go Deep Sea Fishing in Guatemala for $100

One good rule of the road is to remember that in this world, the rules are made by people and people used to be kids and kids are crazy

Luke With Fish

Could we have entered the ocean in a crazier way? Yes. Sure, for what limits hath insanity but that which we impose upon it? Left to the imagination, we could have entered the ocean in a variety of less sane ways. We could have built a gunpowder fueled rocket painted blue and used it to propel us over breaks capable of hurling a dinosaur into a building. We also could have usws palm trees to construct a catapult to hurl us into the ocean. We could have just swam and been drowned by the monster waves.

As it was, we waited. Waited and watched. The middle-aged Guatemalan fisherman eyed the ocean for an entrance to the sea. In the front of our 20 foot lancha skiff sat the boy, wearing a Justin Bieber T-shirt. Matt and I exchanged a significant glance—this was f*cking crazy—our eyes ashen from late night beer guzzling on the beach. Then, sensing this was our interval between waves, the old man yelled “Dále!” as four men, acting like a finely tuned Guatemalan bobsled team, pushed our boat into the sea. The old man pulled the outboard motor’s cord. He was facing the shore. Matt turned and mumbled, “who is going to drive the boat,” since the man lay on his back facing the shore.


We had maybe 15 seconds to get over the wave before it crashed and flipped our skiff. The outboard was raised in the air like a torch leading a battalion into a battle with the sea. His first pull didn’t catch. The sea stormed in front of us. His second pull didn’t catch. He pulled with his whole body, making it parallel to the horizon. A few more failed tries and the engine caught, the boy in the Bieber shirt jumped and hurried the shove the outboard into the sea and steered our vessel over the wave before it flipped us. And there we were, sunrise heating the horizon, a few pelicans swooping towards the water, peacefully out at sea and ready lure and ocean of fish.

Old Man and the Sea - Deep Sea Fishing Guatemala

My friend Matt had mentioned to me before his visit to Guatemala that he would like to go deep sea fishing, so I started asking around for prices. The prices were so absurdly high, that I was embarrassed to even quote them to him, since quoting them would carry with it the assumption that I thought that thousands of dollars was an acceptable price to present him.

“We’ll just go to Monterrico’s beach” I said, and ask the locals what options there are for deep-sea fishing in Guatemala. Walking along the beach the night before, I asked a fisherman leaning against his boat how much he would charge to take my friend and I out to fish the next day. He eyed us, and offered to do it for 700Q (about $100). We wouldn’t be on a commercial fishing boat, but we’d be fishing the way the locals do, an experience carrying with it the adrenaline rush of charging the ocean with an outboard. If that doesn’t wake you up, you sir are dead.

Deep sea fishing in Guatemala need not cost thousands of dollars if you don’t have qualms about going the loco way. “We have two poles,” the Guatemalan fisherman told us, “But one is broken.” They also only had one lure, which meant a broken line would mean fishing trip over.

Fishing in Guatemala Monterico

Soon the sunrise paved the way for the morning. Matt manned the fishing pole for the first shift. After a few hours, the line stiffened and he reeled until he landed a five pound yellowfin tuna named Delicious.

Matt and His Tuna, Deep Sea Fishing Guatemala

I was up next, and while I had something, it slipped away, likely he had some urgent business to take care of that day and did not have time to be caught. Around noon, we pointed the skiff towards Montericco’s shore and surfed over a wave onto the sand, a thrilling end to the endearingly insane experience of deep sea fishing in Guatemala, the loco/local way. The kitchen at Johnnies Hostel cooked the tuna for a few dollars and lunch was served.

Tuna Plated

Whether it is deep sea fishing in Guatemala, or hiking up a volcano in Panama, one good rule of the road is to remember that in this world, the rules are made by people and people used to be kids and kids are crazy. So when you can’t find the tour you want at the price you can afford, it does not mean that that’s where your possibilities end. Possibilities begin and end with people. So just keep asking. Chart your own course, design your own tour. Talk to the locals in Justin Bieber t-shirts and not just the travel agencies. You may find yourself with a local on a loco tour, but all things being equal, I tend to prefer, and would even pay more for the loco tour.

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