El Salvador Billfish Tournament

Nov 2-5, 2023
Story by: Reese Bowles

The first week of November provided almost twenty observers from the IGFTO an opportunity to explore Central America. The 29th annual El Salvador International Billfish Tournament started November 2nd-5th 2023. Hosted by the Bahia Del Sol Marina 30; boats prepared for this event.


Day 1 found Observer Colleen Joyce in the envious position to call nine sailfish Releases and a Black Marlin release on the Monique. The Sailfish and Marlin bite was somewhat slow compared to the last few years catches due to a storm that passed two days before the tournament.


Every boat day 1 found Dorado. So many Dorado. Most of the day we went less than 10 minutes without a Dorado.

Day 2 found the conditions improving and Dorado again on the feeding frenzy all day. Billfish were hard to come by because mates can’t keep the dorado off long enough to troll.

Day 3 began with literally any boat having a chance to win. Dorado made it difficult to troll any Ballyhoo. Monique and the Hooker battled it out trading sailfish releases until noon. The Hooker rallied from five fish down to take the lead and pulled away catching a handful of sails the last three hours.

The awards ceremony was enjoyable, and the food was good! The fireworks presentation was excellent! Unfortunately, the sky opened up and a downpour chased everyone under cover. I had a blast observing and everyone was so nice. I can’t wait until next year.