Ecuador fishing in the sea can be simple, just for fun (and dinner) when one catches a day trip with a local fisherman. Boats like this one just outside the hotel are dotted along the coast.
The fishermen handle the boats through the surf.
Then they head out to sea! Merri and I meet the fishermen when they return with shrimp and fish. The shrimp are large enough that two provided a meal!
We immediately take them to the hotel chef and enjoyed dining with this view.
Dedicated anglers can find sports fishing at its best.
The Humboldt Current creates one of the world’s most productive nutrient-rich waters that rise along the coast. This is a perfect condition for abundant plankton which leads to an eco region that teems with huge schools of small fish like anchovies and sardines.
Sportsmen of course are thinking bigger than sardines but the little Ecuador fish are the basis for the big Ecuador fish. The cool waters of the Humboldt Current provide a constant supply of food for big fish such as Dorado (coryphaena hippurus – also called dolphinfish), barracuda (sphyraena indiastes), blue and black marlin, yellow-finned and long-finned tuna (thunnus albacares, thunnus alalunga), snook and many other species.
Here I am with a Dorado from north of Manta.
How Big? There are big fish in the Ecuador coastal waters. Four world-record Pacific bigeye tuna (similar to yellow fin tuna) catches come from Ecuador ranging in size 236-pounds taken on 30-pound line – 375-pounders on 80-pound, 304-pounds on 50-pound line and 240-pounds on 50- pound line.
Here is a picture from the internet of a record Bigeye tuna caught near Manta.
Five IGFA world records for Pacific sailfish come from Ecuador including a 221 pounder. Sailfish are not as common as striped marlin and blues, but the ones in Ecuador often border on the 200-pound mark. Though most of Ecuador’s Blue Marlins average 300 to 400 pounds, some can be huge such as the 1,014 pound Blue Marlin caught out of Manta that held the world record for 17 years.
Ecuador’s coastal fishing however runs hot and cold. The fishing depends on the Humboldt Current coming up from Antarctica, as a flow of chilled nutrient-rich water. This current collides with the warmer equatorial El NiÒo. These currents change continually sometimes pushing the perfect 75-degree fishing waters further offshore. When the Humboldt Current is dominant the fishing shuts down. The warmer water brings fishing that can be excellent.There are two main areas from which to fish Ecuador’s coast, Salinas and Manta. Salinas is a Miami beach type beach resort with a full infrastructure to fill an angler’s needs. Salinas was a pioneer sport fishing destination. Several World Records have come from this area for Stripped Marlin, Tuna, Grouper and a Wahoo caught from Salinas holds records.
Manta has also always been an important angling destination. The waters around Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), about 25 miles offshore have delivered many world fishing records, including several bill fishes, groupers and mackerel. The Manta area tends to provide the best fishing around the end of the year. The beginning of the year is generally better in Salinas. Manta is a steadier area and almost every month of the year there is a period of good fishing.
When the fishing lights up off Ecuador, few places can match the opportunity to catch so many different species. Striped marlin, blacks, blues and gigantic sailfish commonly pounce on the huge horse ballyhoo the local boats use. For example, the 2001 Salinas Yacht Club tournament saw 29 boats raise 367 bill fish, catching and releasing 158 in three days.
Professionals recommend fishing at least five days in Ecuador. If you get two days of bad current, you are also likely to have hit a couple of incredible days. There are experienced outfitters that practice tag & release with all billfish providing exclusive Hatteras and Bertram vessels, first class hotels and accommodations at affordable prices and very experienced crews.
Top equipment is used, Penn International, and Finn Noors reels. Ecuador Fishing Conservation Billfish are caught on a catch and release basis. A huge part of the fishing area is a marine reserve which does not allow industrial fishing. Ecuador’s fishing fleet help watch for illegal vessels fishing.
Ecuador Living subscribers can read our full report on Ecuador fishing including Galapagos fishing , trout in the high Andean lakes, peacock bass and nine feet long, 400 pound Arapaima in the Amazon.
Please note that the offer of 50 fresh Ecuador
roses free expires July 31,2008.