Isabela Island: Take A Shot At The Biggest Blue Marlin To Swim The Pacific

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Isabela Island is the largest island in the archipelago with 4,640 square kilometers and almost 100 kilometers long. It was named after the queen of Spain Isabella but originally it was known as Albemarle. The population is around 3000 inhabitants and Puerto Villamil is the main port. The island is home to Sierra Negra Volcano and several others making it one of the most active volcanic hotspots on Earth.

Home to some of the largest blue and black marlin in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Isabela Island’s waters are fast becoming amongst the best to target giant marlin. The large amounts of tuna, bonito and squid added by the deep water drops not far from shore make this habitat prime feeding grounds for large female marlin. Fishing can start just 8 miles from port and rarely will runs be more than 20 nautical miles out.

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Most of the time you are fishing while viewing the shore line. Although we have had days with double digit raises of billfish in the past this is not a numbers destination. This is the place you come if you want to increase your chances at large marlin. A typical day of fishing you can expect 0 to 5 bites from billfish. We recommend minimum 5 to 7 days fishing to increase your chance of large marlin out of Isabela Island. However, if you put the time in to fish these waters you more than likely will not be disappointed.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Over 90 miles of fishable coast line drops from 600 to 9000 plus feet on the South and Western sides of the island.
  • 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.
  • Virtually no crime in the Galapagos to tourist. Puerto Villamil is the main town of Isabela with a population of about 3,500 people.
  • 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.
  • If you want to experience fish that will test and push 130 pounds tackle to and over the limit then this is the place.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.

Giant Marlin Fishing Season Isabela Island

Blue and black marlin seem to prefer 74 to 84 F water generally. However, some of the bigger females have been caught in water 72 to 76 F and probably depends more on bait that water temperature. We recommend January 15th to May for warmest water each year to fish Isabela and calmest seas. However, we do find large blue marlin July to November in rougher seas and colder water. When planning a last minute trip to Isabela Island consult with our staff about water conditions and bite.

Galapagos Giant Marlin Fishing Techniques & Tackle

While many of our anglers are true stand-up tackle fishermen the waters off Isabela Island require the sturdiest of tackle. In the past anglers were outgunned using standup and conventional 80 pound tackle which proved to be inferior for fish we encounter regularly 700 to over 1000 pounds here.

Ecuagringo has moved to 130-pound conventional tackle because they don’t make 200 pound reels. Most of our captains and crews prefer to troll large lures and teasers which work well for giant marlin. However, we are prepared to pitch large baits when available for those who prefer to pull teasers and pitch circle hook rigged baits. Pulling the best daisy chains, teasers and dredges by Fishrazr will increase your chances at a big blue marlin.

Isabela Island Fishing & Adventure Vacations

Isabela Island is our favorite to fish and explore because it is very different than any of the other islands in the Galapagos. Being the largest island it offer quite a variety of land tours, volcanoes, hiking, snorkeling and something for everyone. With several different lodging options from economical to luxurious you can make your stay as memorable as you desire. The island is safe with virtually no crime. Activities and beaches are abundant and fishing is close by.

Rare animals such as the Galapagos penguin are found on the coastlines and bays of Isabela. Some of the best snorkeling, hiking and exploring tours are on Isabela Island making your stay one of a kind. This is really a great place to bring the spouse and whole family with beaches and activities for all ages.

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Getting To The Galapagos Islands

Traveling to the Galapagos Islands is easier than most people realize. The Galapagos are located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador and belong to Ecuador in the Northwest corner of South America just under Colombia. Direct flights daily from Fort Lauderdale and Miami (Florida, USA) arrive in Guayaquil/Ecuador in just under 4 hours.

Most guest are overnighted in a city hotel by our company and then transferred to airport for a direct 1 hour and 50 minute flight to Baltra Island, Galapagos the next day. If you are coming from Europe most guest fly Madrid direct to Guayaquil or Quito, Ecuador. Baltra Island is closer to Isabela Island and offers island hope flights to connect or a speed ferry boat to get you there. Baltra is located next to Santa Cruz Island which is considered a major tourist hub of the the Galapagos. From Santa Cruz, Isabela is located 45 nautical miles away.

Where To Stay On Isabela Island, Galapagos

Ecuagringo takes care of all the aspects of your trip. We provide a range of local hotels that go from economic, standard, platinum and even super platinum for guest to choose depending on availability. If you are and avid angler and just want a clean place to rest then we have the budget lodging option. If you are looking to charm the spouse in luxury we also offer options. Isabela is unique in that some of the hotels are right on one the beaches.

Hotel Iguana Crossing

Comfort Level: Ultra Platinum

Hotel Albemarle

Comfort Level: Platinum

Hotel Drake Inn

Comfort Level: Standard

Testimonials of some of our previous guests

I lost count of how many blue marlin we raised during out trip. If you want to catch giant blue marlin Isabela Island is the place to go.
Rick Riggle

I caught my first grander blue marlin out of Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Fishing for large fish is my passion and I cannot think of a better place to try than the Galapagos. Ecuagringo makes it enjoyable and that is why I plan to return every year.

Steven Hurt