Isabela, Galapagos Island: The New Ultimate Grander Marlin Fishing Destination

Jun 10, 2021Blog

Ecuagringo Galapagos Marlin Fishing Newsletter

In this edition of our Newsletter we are going to dedicate it entirely to our brand new destination to fish for grander and giant blue marlin out of Isabela Island, Galapagos. Finally after 20 plus years of research and two limited seasons (2019 and 2021) fishing Isabela with incredible success we are ready to do this full time.

Keep in mind  there has been only one boat fishing most days. Don’t worry we will still continue to provide the world’s most consistent high volume striped marlin fishing out of San Cristobal Island.  That is not going anywhere. However, Isabela has now proved it may be on the way to being the world’s elite and top destination if you are looking to target grander marlin. 

Why fish Isabela

Isabela Island is the largest island of the Galapagos Archipelago.  It hosts some of the deepest drops in all of the Galapagos and Eastern Pacific.  The abundance of squid, bonito, tuna and small baitfish attract the biggest of marlin, swordfish, big eye tuna, yellowfin tuna, sharks, sea lions, whales and birds.

Large female blue marlin averaging 500 to over 1000 pounds are quite common here.  Considering most days we only are fishing one boat, the numbers of large marlin raised and released are still incredible. So if you are tired of spending money going to places that have not produced or rely on pictures of long ago to sell you a dream then you need to fish Isabela now.  The Galapagos Islands are where you will have the best chances of finding your dream fish today!

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Ecuagringo has been in the outfitting business since 1993 and we specialize in developing some of the best fisheries in remotes locations off the West side of South America.  Our company was the first to pioneer and offer charters out of the Galapagos Islands for the incredible high volume striped marlin bite.  Now we have finally developed what we believe to be the planet’s top giant blue marlin Mecca.

Yes there are other excellent places to fish like the FAD’s a 100 miles offshore from Costa Rica that you can rack up numbers of smaller blue marlin.  You have a vibrant and exciting high volume fishery for blue marlin out of Cape Verde Islands.  Let’s not forget world renowned Madeira where legendary captains like Peter Bristow and Gerard Frothy de Silva have laid their claim to incredible catches of grander blue marlin.

These are perhaps some of the best known fisheries for blue marlin in modern times.  However, Isabela has some of the best averages when it comes to size.  We are convinced without a doubt we have the best numbers of the biggest blue marlin to swim the Pacific Ocean.  Some days you may be staring at the waters for hours or even days waiting for a bite but usually when the bite happens it will be worth the wait!

10 Reasons you should make Isabela Island the top of your Giant Blue marlin fishing list:

  1. The blue marlin are really big with most fish averaging 500 pounds plus and many 700 to over 1000. Locals have pictures with fish caught from skiffs weighing over 1300 pounds without the head on.
  2. The migration of blue marlin put large females in the waters off Isabela to feed and spawn. Isabela Island is the last Island part of a long underwater mountain chain that fish use to migrate.
  3. Over 90 miles of fishable coast line drops from 600 to 9000 plus feet on the South and Western sides of the island.
  4. Fishing can start just 5 miles from port.  The waters 150 to 400 feet before the first drop are known to hold striped and black marlin. Most days you are fishing no more than 15 miles out.
  5. Virtually no crime in the Galapagos to tourist.  Puerto Villamil is the main town of Isabela with a population of about 3,500 people.
  6. Don’t need a visa to enter Ecuador and then head to the Galapagos.  The Galapagos Islands are a province and park that belong to Ecuador.
  7. If you want to experience fish that will test and push 130 pounds tackle to and over the limit then this is the place.
  8. The beaches, penguins, sea lions and vast marine life provide other activities to do with family and non-anglers.  Don’t forget the largest volcano crater close to sea level.  The volcanos are active as well!
  9. 4 hour direct flights from Miami or Fort Lauderdale will have you overnighting in Guayaquil or Quito, Ecuador making it easy to get to the Galapagos.
  10. Perhaps one of the few places in the world you can combine the best striped marlin fishing with arguably the best grander blue marlin fishing today.

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Here are some Isabela fishing stats that may interest you:

2019 was first giant blue marlin season that started as a test with clients.  We had one boat fishing for a total of 10 days but only 8 days were spent chasing blue marlin.
Blue marlin raised: 14
Striped marlin raised: 10
Blue marlin released: 7
Striped marlin released: 3
Blue marlin estimated under 500 pounds raised: 4
Blue marlin estimated 500 to 900 pounds raised: 7
Blue marlin estimated 1000 pounds or more raised: 3
Blue marlin estimated 1000 pounds or more released: 2

In 2021 we tripled our charters due to losing our 2020 season to Covid. This time we fished 29 days onboard 36 ft Patricia and 6 days onboard 36 ft Mantarraya.

Days fished: 29
Blue marlin raised: 36
Black marlin raised:1
Striped marlin raised: 18
Blue marlin released: 19
Striped marlin released: 6
Dead blue marlin: 1
Blue marlin estimated under 500 pounds raised: 10
Blue marlin estimated 500 to 900 pounds raised: 22
Blue marlin estimated 1000 pounds or more raised: 4
Blue marlin estimated 1000 pounds or more released: 2

Days fished: 6
Blue marlin raised: 6
Striped marlin raised: 5
Blue marlin released: 0
Striped marlin released: 0
Blue marlin estimated under 500 pounds raised: 3
Blue marlin estimated 500 to 900 pounds raised: 2
Blue marlin estimated 1000 pounds or more raised: 1
Blue marlin estimated 1000 pounds or more released: 0

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How we fish for blue marlin?

Fishing out of Isabela Island we have moved to all big hooks (12/0), the biggest of rods and reels with 130 pound Alutecnos reels standard on each boat.  Momoi Diamond line in 130# with 1000 yards of braid backing is found on every reel so you can fish with confidence.  We don’t play around or waste time trying to catch smaller fish like striped marlin so you our hookup ration on striped is quite poor.

Striped marlin are not the objective so we don’t mind not catching them.  Some anglers like using the lighter 80# gear but several have come to regret it when hooking into 1200 and even an estimated 1400 pound fish.  Our boats currently are twin and triple outboard 36 foot sport fishers that come complete with fly bridge, salon and fighting chair.  Fishing is done usually looking for birds and watching the fish finder for bait.

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When to fish?

We know that blue marlin are present from December to June because water is warmest and over 20 years these are the months we have found them in higher numbers.  However, we have not targeted blues from July to November very much. However when we have there have been fish there.  As interest continues to build to fish Isabela we will fish the “off-season” more and more. Local artesanal fishermen claim that there are huge marlin year round even when water gets colder off Isabela.

How many days should you book?

Obviously you want to increase your chances of hooking a giant fish and that usually takes time and patience.  We do not book less than 5 days and 7 to 10 are recommended and what most anglers book.  The number of people in your party should also determine how many days fishing as more anglers on the boat would call for more days in order to try to give everyone shots at fish. 

What to expect?

Isabela Island is for those who want to target the largest blue marlin.  It is not for those looking for 5 star accommodations, high numbers of small marlin or luxury. We can customize your package to stay in the best hotels if that is your priority. Our lodging may vary year to year but it will be clean, plenty of hot water and ac.  The Isabela experience is where one where you will lose track of time, fish most of the day and come to shore to have drinks on the beach.  Our in-house local chef will prepare dishes that will keep your mouth watering with Ecuadorian cuisine.

We do not have million dollar boats but the ones we have are adequate, kept as best as possible and will put you on fish. Crews are friendly and have helped catch thousands of striped marlin and now working on more blue marlin. Tackle is top of the line imported from Europe and the USA.  Our ground staff is friendly and will take the best care of you possible.

While fishing our waters you may have days with 2 to 8 raises between blues and striped marlin.  You may also go 2 days without a bite.  The marine life is abundant so whales, whale sharks, dolphins, sharks, tuna, boobie birds, sea lions and bait balls may be a daily ritual for your eyes to feast on.  If you hook into a huge blue marlin your fight could be 15 minutes or could be 7 hours.  This is not for the faint of heart.  You will be picking fights with the biggest billfish to swim the oceans.

Ready to book?

Call us 754-703-1991 in the USA or email us
Our staff is happy to explain and customize your experience from start to finish.  You can add tours, island hopping and even other countries to visit such as Peru and Argentina.  Ecuagringo has been an outfitter specializing in hunting, fishing and eco tours all over South America since 1993.

Drop us a line at ➤➤

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