WINNER Fintastic's Tag & Release Billfish Tournament, November 20-22, 2003 in Zihuatanejo, MX.


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Captain Santiago Valdovinos

The Gitana is a 25' Super Panga powered by a 75 HP Yamaha.  It cruises at 25+ knots.  It is equipped with GPS Navigation, cellular phone and VHS radio.  It is a handcrafted panga with two fighting chairs and two "siesta" bench on the opposite sides.  It features a hard top for shade over the bench area.



Ranked #3 tag and release Captain in the world in 2002

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Sail on a FLY!!  No Problem

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Mate Adan with angler John Wilkinson and Capt. Santiago
First Sail on a fly, Cam Sigler custom 16 wt. with Ross BG-8 reel

Blue Marlin in all sizes

Estimated at 20#, tagged & released, one of the smallest seen by several worldwide captains.

International Fishermen

Capt. Santiago & family recently visited Canada

In so doing he set a NEW Catch & Release record for White Sturgeon in the Fraser River of British Columbia.

Santiago's Pink Salmon

280# White Sturgeon

Fred Helmer & Diego with 45# White Sturgeon, one of 4 for Diego with Fred of Fred's Fishing Adventures, Chilliwack, BC

Tuna of the summer. As the winter season closes and the summer heats the water, the Yellowfin move closer.

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First of the day

3:30 hours, 140#

Santiago has an ability to find some of the larger Sails that prowl the waters of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.  He practices Tag & Release totally for Sailfish. The top tagging Capitan in ZIH in 2000, 2001, 2002 and well on the way for 2003.   Dorado, Tuna and yes, sharks are taken for your table.  Filleting, packaging and freezing your catch are included in his service.

November 19, 2001

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Diego on #1

Chad on #2

Two young men on their first Sailfish, two Sails tagged and released, Diego Santiago of Mexico and Chad Abrahamson of Canada  --- The Results--

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Amigos por sus vidas, Friends for life

The Gitana is equipped with Shimano TN50, TLD20 reels and Penn TW30 reels matched to Custom rods.  Capt. Santiago prefers the Shimano TN50 series and TLD20's as he says they are easier on the new anglers and ladies.

Captain Santiago Valdovinos post consistent catches of Sailfish and Marlin.  Santiago has over 25 years experience fishing the waters of Zihuatanejo.

The Gitana may be booked by calling Captain Santiago 011-52-755-554-7812 after 7 Central time or cell phone 011-52-755-558-1923.    Charter rates are $190.00 US per day which includes entire boat, bait, license, 12 sodas, water and 7 hours fishing time.

Local calling is 554-7812 or cell phone # 044-755-558-1923.



One of his best catches was that of "El Diablo", the Dorado shown with Adan, his brother & mate, below:

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Here is the story of "El Diablo"

Zihuatanejo, MX -- 17 Nov 98 -- 10:00 AM -- Panga boat--Gitana

El Diablo, the baddest Dorado I ever met.

We already had the first Sail at about 9:00, about a half hour later we saw a large branch with about 4-5 Boobies on it. Cruised over and spotted a large bait school, a few small Blacktip Sharks and one Bull Dorado. Caught two of the sharks flipping the bait around trying to find the Bull. Caught a glimpse of him and Adian flipped a bait in that direction but he didn't see him when he barely missed it and went under the boat. I told him throw it again and he did. Bam, and there went about 100 yards of line and three good jumps as he ran from the boat.

The fight was on! I don't think I have ever hooked a finer fish. This mother was BAD. Clock running, it took 20 minutes to get him to the boat the FIRST time. I had been to both sides of the cockpit twice, he had cleared the water by 4 feet another 19 times. The captain would get the leader in his hand 3 more times and the Dorado would clear the water 3 more times before I got him to the boat for the 5th time, time 25:30, captain reached with the gaff, just touching his back and he surges under the boat and wraps the outboard's prop, captain jumps on the fantail and the fish is six inches to far for the gaff. EL Captain jumps over board, gaffs the fish on the way into the water and grabs him by the tail, comes up about 6 feet behind the boat, gaff in one hand, fish tail in the other.

Baddest, meanest and most beautiful 45# fish I'll ever tie into. Never caught a Marlin that came close to that fish. It was the fight you dream of, the one that never happens, never be another one like it. I'll watch that fish the rest of my life and I'll never forget that captain, Santiago, leaping off the fantail.

You just should have been there!!!

Paul Phillips

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