Christopher Starrs stepped off his flight from Guatemala into Detroit last Wednesday and quickly had to adjust himself from 90 degrees and sunshine to 25 degrees and a howling wind.
Starrs, a Linden native, is used to the warmth and sunshine of Antigua, Guatemala, his home since 2007. He had fallen in love with Patricia Gonzales, a Guatemalan native whom he met while she was attending Michigan State University.
They married and he launched a sport fishing charter company in Guatemala, Blue Bayou Sport Fishing Charter, with his brother-in-law 12 years ago.
This company was the first specialized broker designed for the angler who wants to “fish like a pro” for a fraction of the cost of chartering an expensive yacht on the Pacific coastline. The main attraction is sailfish, though some anglers pursue roostertail or other coastal species.
While the fishing is obviously the area’s number one “catch,” volcano views and hikes also make this area in Guatemala a destination for travelers.
Known in Guatemala as “Captain Chris,” Starrs has updated his fleet to bigger yachts, up to 35 feet. “They’re a lot more comfortable, and anglers can even hang out in air conditioning down below,” Starrs said.
He has also renovated a waterfront lodge for his guests to stay, “a 24/7 secure and safe complex with a beautiful pool,” he added.
Starrs estimates he hosts about 400 guests per year with his charter business, taking advantage of the prime fishing season from November through May, “although fishing is good year ‘round,” he said.
He and his wife, Patricia, now have three children, Gwynne, 7, Marian, 5 and Christina, 2 months old.
Starrs came home to Linden to be a vendor at the Novi Fishing Show last weekend Jan. 10-13, then flew to Dallas, Texas to participate in the coveted Dallas Safari Club annual convention. “This is a huge show and I’ve been on the waiting list as a vendor for a long time,” Starrs said. “The Texas market is really good for us.”