Balancal Madeira Marlin

Salomao Lopes Portugal
Salomao Lopes
19. 08. 2019

Big Game Fishing in Madeira

The Madeira Island Fisheries have a rich but relatively short history. Fisheries were discovered some 30 years ago and visiting anglers have traditionally targeted blue marlin, bigeye tuna and shark. Dr. Antonio Ribeiro was supposedly the first person to catch a blue marlin off Madeira bringing ashore a fish of 740 pounds in 1973. His sons Roberto and Joe to this day religiously fish for blue marlin and carry on in their father's footsteps.

Madeira has over the past years produced some of the world's largest blue marlin, which is also reflected by the results of the annual July 4th Blue Marlin World Cup. Madeira was World Cup winner in 1995, 1996, 1997 and narrowly missed the World Cup fish in 2000. This year's result was a second place.

The marlin season in Madeira runs from May through to October, with a fish average of about 700 lbs. About one in every ten is that fish of a lifetime, a grander blue marlin. These huge creatures swim in its predominantly calm blue waters, with the run to reach these leviathans being practically non-existent. In fact it is not uncommon to catch fish within 1 kilometre of leaving the marina! Add to this a delightful temperate climate in which to fish, and all of this set in a safe, civilised European environment you'll see why there is no finer Atlantic Blue marlin fishery. For these reasons some of the most famous names in fishing such as Stewart Campbell, Jerry Dunaway, James Roberts or Tracey Melton now regularly make their way to Madeira for the summers and those world record fish!

As Madeira's warm blue waters change to a cooler green the fishing also undergoes a transformation. The marlin gradually leave, replaced by shoals of bigeye tuna and albacore. These pelagic migrants provide the angler with some truly world class tuna fishing from February to May. Bigeye tuna of 150 lbs+ are regularly caught with fish in excess of 200 lbs being far from uncommon. Albacore whilst not reaching the weights of the bigeye tuna do provide the angler with worthwhile sport on lighter tackle.

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