Azores fishing guide
Here you will find tips, the best fishing spots and top fish in Azores. If you are looking for a fishing charter or skipper to go fishing, please visit our list of fishing charters in Azores or search a fishing trip using the box below:
A string of nine beautiful volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean forms the archipelago of Azores. These islands are divided into three groups based on their geological positioning into the Eastern Group, the Western Group and the Central Group. These Portuguese islands are breathtakingly beautiful and are set in the calm blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. With beautiful white sand beaches and harmonious blue water all around them these islands are sort of a paradise on earth. Beautiful landscapes, volcanic lagoons, hot water springs these islands are replete with some of nature’s best sights. Here you can enjoy the sights of whales and dolphins in the ocean, enjoy a great time fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. You will find some of the best big game species like Bluefin Tuna, Dorado and even Sharks if you are one of those dangerously adventurous anglers. It is a haven for scuba divers with unique underwater rock formations, anchor graveyard and a great variety of marine life.
The Azores has an old world charm to it that you will not find anywhere else in the world. Travelling to Azores has been made easy by a various flights from different parts of the world. The islands are easily accessible from one another as they are quite close to each other with an average distance of 6 km from the adjacent ones. There are local airlines that connect all the islands, you can also use the ferry services. Travelling within an island is made convenient with taxis, buses and hire cars.
The Azores is blessed with a mild temperate climate that is subjected to changes. This temperate climate is benefitted from the warm currents of the Gulf of Mexico heading towards these islands. The water temperatures around Azores range from 15 to 25 degree Celsius over the year with land temperatures ranging from 11 to 25 degree Celsius. Rains can be expected during any time of the year and this is perhaps one of the reasons that these islands have such lovely flora. With an average temperature that ranges between 11 to 17 degree Celsius Azores sees some bright and sunny days with rains here and there during the months of November to March. The summer however starts by April and extends till October. This is the time when the skies are the brightest and the air is the warmest. June and August is the peak summer time with temperatures rising up to 26 degree Celsius. You may not be able to bask in the sun with bright sunny days here in these beaches, however this is a great location for big game fishing and scuba diving.
Fishing in Azores:
As you might know that the Atlantic Ocean is abundant in marine life. It is home to a wide variety of big game fish species. And Azores being located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean makes these islands a great destination for deep sea game fishing. These pristine waters are popular all over the world for its Blue Marlin population. In addition to the Blue Marlin you will find species like the Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Swordfish and many more.
The official fishing season in Azores begins in April and lasts till the end of October. Jaime Pereira, Captain of the Sinbad Boat operating in Velas Azores further explains that the peak of the fishing season in Azores is reached during the months of June to August. A giant Bluefin Tuna of not less than 250 kg was one of the biggest fish ever caught on this boat the Sinbad. Mr. Pereira has years of experience in fishing around the Azores and he says that usually they go out to over 5 to 10 km into the ocean to locate and fish for some of these big sportfish species. It takes close to 20 to 30 minutes to reach these fishing spots. On a regular fishing day on the Sinbad boat they fish from depths of 100 to 250 m below the ocean surface.
To know more about Captain Pereira’s Sinbad Boat and to book your trips with them online click here.
Top 5 fish
One of the most respected and celebrated of the big game fish species, the Blue Marlin is undoubtedly the reigning king of the oceans. These powerful fish are sought after by ardent fishermen for its size, power and fighting ability. The Blue Marlin are tough to land as they battle hard and don’t give up easily. The average length of a Blue Marlin is 11 ft and they are said to overgrow even 14 ft at times. These fish are huge and they have immense strength and when hooked you will see them leaping out of the water and plunging right back into the blue ocean. The thrill and action involved in Marlin fishing keeps bringing the fishermen back to these water again and again. It is considered a great feat to land a Marlin, the famous Robson Green rightfully calls the Blue Marlin the Holy Grail of Sport fishing.
Blue Marlin Fishing Season in Azores:
The Marlins begin to get spotted in the Atlantic waters around Azores during month of May. The best time to fish for these fabled fish in Azores is during the months of July, August and September.
Blue Marlin Fishing Technique in Azores:
Depending on the charter boat you hire the fishing method can vary however, the most common technique used to land a Marlin all over the world and in Azores is trolling with live baits and Marlin lures. This is the sure shot method to hook and land a Blue Marlin.
“Raging bulls of the sea”, this is how sportfishermen prefer to describe the Bluefin Tuna. They are the largest among the Tuna species and the strongest. A Bluefin will never tire and will never run out of stamina. If you happen to hook up with a Bluefin be prepared to end up with aching arms and a broken back. An average Bluefin can grow to reach lengths of 2.5 m and the largest recorded is one with 3.7 m in length. They can weigh close to 250 kg on an average and the heaviest caught weighed a whooping 679 kg. Now do you think it is easy to reel in a powerful fish that weighs over 600 kg? It is definitely not easy but it is a lot of excitement and once you land one you will have achieved one of the pinnacles of big game fishing.
Bluefin Tuna fishing season in Azores:
If you are planning to land a Bluefin Tuna from Azores then you should be travelling to Azores during any of the months between April and June. This the time when you will be able to spot and land a tuna of considerable size.
Bluefin Tuna Fishing Technique:
As for any fast moving predatory fish the most loved and successful technique is trolling. To land a Bluefin Tuna baits like sardine, squid and other small fish can be used. Feather jigs and drifting with dead or live baits has also proven to be successful in Bluefin fishing.
The White Marlin though smaller than the Blue Marlin is still a great catch in terms sportfishing. They are just smaller in size, the power, stamina and aggressiveness are qualities that runs through the family of Marlins. Fishermen catch them on a lighter tackle. The average weight of a White Marlin found in the waters surrounding Azores ranges from 22 to 45 kg. These fish are acrobatic and will aggressively leap out of the water several times to unhook themselves from the fishing line.
Fishing season of White Marlin in Azores:
The White Marlin is spotted in the Atlantic ocean near Azores during late June to September. Make sure to book your fishing trip during these months if the White Marlin is your next target on the fishing list.
White Marlin Fishing Season in Azores:
Trolling with a light tackle and bait like squid, anchovies, mullet, mackerel and artificial lures like spoons and feathers can also be used to hook a White Marlin.
The Swordfish is yet another billfish that is found in abundance in Azores’ Atlantic waters. These fish are distinguished by other billfish by their broader and longer bill. The Swordfish’s bill is almost as long as its body unlike that of the Marlins. These swords are used to impale the prey while feeding. Swordfish are strong fish, they are elusive and are one of the most prized fish in Big Game fishing. Fishermen who have landed a Swordfish consider that they have achieved the greatest triumph of sportfishing. A Swordfish can grow as long as 4.5 m and can weigh over 650 kg. Another interesting characteristic of the Swordfish is that these fish are fast, they can reach speeds of 97 kph in water.
Swordfish Fishing Season in Azores:
The months of May to December are considered the best time to go Swordfishing in Azores.
Swordfish Fishing Technique in Azores:
The Swordfish are rarely spotted during the day as they prefer to stay in deeper waters and come to the surface to feed during the night. Hence the best technique used to fish for these legendary fish is night drifting where you drift with bait fish on the line.
The energetic and acrobatic Dorado is next on the list of fish species in Azores. These fish are distinguished by their peculiar shapes and their colorful bodies. Green, yellow, golden and blue, the Dolphinfish is hued with all these colors. This is what makes them stand out from all the other fish in the ocean. The Mahi Mahi is fast, agile and they are game for a battle. Once you hook a Dorado you will see that they will continuously leap from the water in an attempt to free them off the hook. an average Dorado will weigh anywhere between 7 to 13 kg.
Dorado Fishing Season in Azores:
If the Dorado is your target, you can fish them off the waters in Azores during the months spanning from July to September.
Dorado Fishing Technique in Azores:
When you spot a Dorado you can use chumming to get the fish to the surface. This will bring up any more Dorados that are schooling around. Once the fish is spotted on the surface then you can lure the Dorado using live baiting. Some anglers prefer trolling to catch Dorados it mostly depends on the charter captain’s discretion.