IT WAS ‘TEAM
ALL THE WAY
AT THE SOLERA OPEN INTERNATIONAL LA GUAIRA BILLFISH SHOOTOUT
La Guaira, Venezuela, March 12th,
2009 – Anglers Jaime Riveiro, Luis Millan Jr and David
Benzaken, fishing aboard the 51’ Riviera,
Captain Luis ‘Loro’ Millan jumped out to an early lead on
day one with four blue marlin and never looked back during
the prestigious all release Solera Open International La
Guaira Billfish Shootout held in La Guaira March 7th
thru 12th. By the end of the third and final
day, Team Release had amassed a total of 4,700 points with
nine blue marlin plus one sailfish releases in the three
days of competition marking the first time in its twelve
year history that the Shootout is won by a local Venezuelan
Despite strong challenges on
day 3 from the local anglers aboard
released 3 blues and 2 sails on the final day placing them
second in the overall team standings with a final tally of
3,400 points and the Puerto Rican team aboard
scored a thousand points on day three to finish third with a
total of 3,000 points for the 6 blues they released during
the event, Team Release managed to hold on comfortably even
though they only caught one blue on that last day.
The blue marlin action in this
year’s Solera Open Shootout was fast and furious where every
tournament boat, without exception, competing with the
official tournament line Sufix Supreme,
released at least two blues during the tournament, for a
final per boat average of almost five blues. This is the
second best per boat blue marlin average in the history of
the 12 year old event and is only exceeded by the 6.4 blues
per boat average recorded in the record breaking 1999
Shootout when a total of 256 blues were released in 3 days
in a field of
In the individual angler
category there was another first for Venezuela with one of
their favorite sons taking top honors for the first time in
Shootout history. Luis Millan Jr of Team Release posted an
impressive point total of 3,500 points releasing five
blues. He was followed by anglers Massimo Ortisi also from
Venezuela fishing aboard
2,200 points resulting from 4 blues and a sail, and American
Larry I’anson fishing aboard
2,000 points for the 4 blues he released.
There was yet another first for
Venezuela in this year’s Shootout. In the annual softball
game played on the lay-day pitting Venezuela vs All
Visitors, Venezuela prevailed for the first time in the 3
year tradition crushing the Visitors by a score 14 to 4.
The game had to be called on account of lack of equipment
after the Venezuelans knocked all game balls out of the park
with several consecutive home runs!!! We’ll see what
happens next year . . . Special thanks go out to our Title
Sponsors for making sure nobody went thirsty during the game
and the entire tournament for that matter by providing
plenty of Solera Premium Beer, Pepsi, 7UP, Gatorade and
Minalva Bottled Water. Also, special thanks are in order to
angler Luis Angel Rincon, owner of Mango Marina and his
staff for hosting and making the Pirates of the Caribbean
Rum Bash held on the night before the game another
tremendous success. Maybe the visitors partied a little too
much at the Rum Bash and that’s why they were so badly
defeated the next day?
Mark your calendars for the
International Super Slam scheduled
for September 27th thru October 2nd.
The tournament promises to be another great one. Observers
interested in participating please contact Michelle Zelones
firstname.lastname@example.org or 561 310 3474. For
charter boats and accommodation in Venezuela contact
Us | Check
out some of our testimonials!
The El Placer Bank is also home to a year-round population of
sailfish and blue marlin, as well as dolphin, Wahoo, and yellow
World-class anglers are fast discovering that
"seasons" means very little
in these fertile waters-
both bait and game fish abound all year long.
Well equipped boats.
Venezuelan captains have been recipients of the Billfish
Foundation and/or AFTCO "tag & release" awards for most white
marlin anywhere in the world in 1989,1990,and 1991.
The most Atlantic sailfish in 1989 and 1990.
The most Atlantic blue marlin in 1992.
The most billfish (all species combined) in 1990 and 1992.
Come catch your own trophy with us...
Add to the fast-action fishing the gracious populace, excellent
accommodations, good dining, and excellent night life and you've
got a complete vacation experience for with your friends or the
entire family, not just the hard-core angler.
And most important the Venezuelan people...............
Come and enjoy the real and virgin
fishing adventure in Venezuela.
Venezuela Fishing experience
I have had many great fishing
trips (12-15) with Capitan Gustavo's Black fin over the last three years. The crew has "eyes"
for locating fish that is hard to believe if you haven't had a chance to
experience it. We have caught fish on days that most came back empty handed
and have never, in my experience, not caught something. I personally caught
a beautiful Sail on a very slow day. I particularly enjoy catching Tuna and
always bring my soy sauce and wasabe in my kit. The mahi mahi are fun and
almost always part of the catch which is great as they make great eating on
the return trip - just add limon / lime juice and let ferment in onions and
Can't say enough good things about the experiences I have had aboard and
would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
CEO and President of Petroleum Exploration Mediterranean Inc
I'm a resident of Tivoli, NY. Through out the course of the last 3 years I have been fortunate enough to charter the Black fin and fish off the coast of La Guaira, Venezuela (roughly 40 times). The crew possesses a real talent for seeing the various game
fish chase and stab the bait. I caught several blue marlins, countless white marlins, dozens of dorado, tuna and occasionally,
Wahoo. A great boat always equipped with cold beverages, food, plenty of tackle and a good music selection. Always my first crew / boat choice when fishing in the area.
The trip began with me dreaming
away again about fishing for blue marlin, but where should I go. A quick search
on the web led us to
Venezuela, a tour and travel
company specialist in fishing, diving and accommodation; you name it they will
help you out.
Frank Diaz the General Manager
put things together for us via e-mail assuring us that Venezuela was where the
Frank, my fishing companion, and I
sorted the flights out from the UK and Frank met us at Caracas Airport on
Saturday evening. A thirty minute drive to the
Hotel Macuto and we were in a
safe friendly hotel with great food and wine.
It was early May and the Marina was
very quiet, the busy time is from October – December for a mixed bag. We were
here for blue’s and the quieter the better, less hassle on the La Guaira bank.
Frank introduced us to his
colleague Daniel who organised our fishing with two locals, Ely and Cesar, they
both knew their stuff. La Guaira Bank took about 1 hour from the marina as soon
as we put the lines out it just couldn’t get any better.
150lb blue, lost two. As well as the blues two big dolphins and I mean big in
the 90lb class.
trolling dead Ballyhoo rose a 350lb blue and on 30lb line was a handful. It
beat us up pretty good taking 2 hrs to the boat, Two more hungry big male
dolphins meant several Cuba/Libras at the bar in the Marina to recover
as soon as we got in.
business with four blues coming to the teasers together and crashing the four
lines. Chaos was the understatement as I, Cesar and Ely struggled to come to
terms with what was happening.
Trying in vain to keep the four
lines hooked up, we were left with two nice juvenile blues one lost at the boat
the other about 150lb which we got to the leader. It still wasn’t over as two
big dolphins could not resist a bite later in the day. A session in the bar
that evening with the crew brought the day to a close.
It just doesn’t get any better than
this, stick to the hassle of October don’t think about April or May will you.
Thanks to Frank,
Daniel, Ely, Cesar
and the friendly staff at the Hotel Macuto – was it a dream?
On day one we only managed to get
1/2 day of fishing in because our land loving guests got sea sick, and we were
forced to return to the dock early. But what a half day of fishing it was!. We
raised 3 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, and 5 white marlin. We managed to release two
of the blue marlin and one White Marlin. What made it special was that the blue
marlin release was double header of blues on 30 lb. tackle!! Both blues were in
the 250 lb. class! It always amazes me how calm Captain Luis remains, even when
we're about to get spooled. It seems he always has a trick up his sleeve, and
manages to save the day.
On day two, our sea sick compadres, stayed on the dock, and thankfully they did
because the weather was even sloppier than the day before. This brought in the
green water, and we all know that when the water turns green, so do your chances
of a great fishing day. But as usual Captain Luis was able to spin his magic,
and raise some fish. We raised a total of 5 sailfish, 4 white marlin and 1 blue
marlin. We managed to hook all the fish in pairs. First the two sailfish, then
again two more sailfish, and last we managed to hook a pair of white marlin but
pulled the hook on one of them. So we released a total of 4 sailfish and one
white marlin. Late in the day we did manage to raise a small aggressive blue
Marlin that jumped all over the bait, but never got a hold of it and just kept
Just another great fishing weekend in Venezuela!
I just wanted to write to say thank you for your help with our trip. It was
wonderful. The SeaFighter is a great boat and the captain and crew were just
outstanding. This was the trip of a lifetime. We raised 6 marlin and boated
a nice white marlin. We brought back to shore 8 Dorado, between 25 and 45
pounds. The Hotel Santiago, although not five stars, was very accommodating
and the food was some of the best. Tyler, the driver, was always there to
meet us in the morning and when we retuned from the boat. He is a very nice
If you ever need a reference, please feel free to use us. My phone number is
below. We would do it all over again next week, if we could.
Again, thanks so much for your help.
I have attached some pictures that you may use if you want.
National Account Manager
Enovation Graphic Systems