Ecuador is one of the world's great overlooked deep-sea-fishing destinations. The ocean is remarkably rich in marine life thanks to the Humboldt Current, which pulls nutrients off the ocean bottom through a process called upwelling, keeping the water full of plankton. A vibrant food chain ends in massive marlins, sailfish, sharks, and whales. The country has few sport-fishing operators, but their catch logs are as impressive as those of charter boats in the Caribbean, Mexico, or Costa Rica. The Galápagos archipelago and Pacific coastal waters hold abundant Pacific sailfish, tuna, wahoo, mahimahi, and blue, black, and striped marlin.
The calmest conditions are from December to May, but the fishing stays good from June to November, when it can be chilly in the Galápagos. Temperatures are more consistently tropical along the coast, where marlin and sailfish abound, especially around Isla de la Plata.
Galápagos Sport Fishing (tel. 305/663-3553 in the U.S.; www.galapagosfishing.com) will help you put together fishing trips to the Galápagos. Fishing is done with local, licensed fishermen. Rates run around $1,500 (£1,000) per day for a full day of fishing, on a boat that can hold up to four anglers, and include all gear, tackle, breakfast, lunch, drinks, and snacks. Hotel stays, transfers, and other incidentals are extra, but everything can be arranged and facilitated by these folks.
Machalilla Tours (tel. 05/2300-234 or 09/6109-185; firstname.lastname@example.org) operates sport fishing out of Puerto López and along the Manabí coast.
Pesca Tours (tel. 04/2402-504) offers sport-fishing charters out of the beach town of Salinas.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.