Meet Julio Castañeda, IGFTO member with the widest smile you’ve seen in years. Scientist, husband, father, captain, observer, conservationist … and a great fisherman. He was born and raised in the fertile fishing grounds of Guatemala and developed a passion as a child after visiting the Club de Caza, Tiro y Pesca de Guatemala fishing club, where he saw an impressive mounted tarpon. The wheels began to turn. Later, while fishing in the Rio San Juan, Nicaragua during a tournament, he beat a Tarpon beast to win both the Tournament and the largest fish award.
An expert in aquaculture
Julio’s family included many doctors and lawyers, but he was more drawn to nature. Attending the University of San Carlos de Guatemala, CEMA, he specialized in aquaculture and graduated to become one of the first aquaculture professionals in the Central American Region. Aquaculture (sometimes known as aquaculture) is the controlled farming of various aquatic species to improve their populations. Currently, the Julio operation focuses on marine shrimp, tilapia, algae and bacteria culture. He is one of the most respected aquaculture experts in the hemisphere.
“Push the drag until sunset”
Julio’s fishing adventures could fill a book, but one of his favorite stories is a tournament fished at the Tropic Star Lodge in Pinas Bay, Panama. His team hooked a “monster” black marlin and while fighting the fish, the control wire snapped. Now they had to land the fish on an engine, it wasn’t fun, actually. Jury tampering with the transmission, while holding the engine hatch cover, were in danger of fishing past the lines’ deadline. So the decision was made to “push the brakes until sunset” – “break or win!” At the last second, the spinner touched the tip of the rod and they released a fish that earned them a well-deserved trophy at the awards banquet.
An IGFTO Observer
Living in Guatemala and Nicaragua, Julio has had the opportunity to meet countless marlins on his travels, leading him to join the IGFTO a few years ago. As a fish farmer, he was drawn to IGFTO’s conservative ethics. As an IGFTO observer, he has attended the Los Sueños Signature Series, the Flor de Cana tournaments, the Presidential Series in El Salvador and the International in San Juan, PR. He has even organized local sport fishing tournaments.
Member of the IGFA Conservation Committee
Julio owns Captain JACC Charters in Nicaragua, a charter operation dedicated to both offshore and inshore fishing. He is married to Carla Abarca and calls her “the girl from the sea with the best fishing luck.” He is a member of IGFA, IGFA Certified Captain-Guide, IGFA Observer and was recently appointed by IGFA President Nehl Horton to be a member of the new Central American and Caribbean Regional Council of the IGFA Conservation Committee. .
When your travels take you to one of the Pacific Tournaments, be sure to look for Julio, you can’t miss him with his infectious smile!