Mindelo, São Vicente (CV)
The fishing season in Cape Verde spans across the entire 365 days of the year. It’s true that in January and February the winds can be strong which can make it difficult for fishing in Cape Verde, but the rest of the year this archipelago offers excellent conditions.
Also commonly referred to as the world's capital for Blue Marlin fishing, the months of March, April, May and June provide the best time for Atlantic Blue Marlin big game fishing in Cape Verde. From June to October the marlin fishing is still very good, with calmer seas and you can also target popular fishing species such as Wahoo, Yellowfin tuna, Dorado and Sailfish.
Cape Verde is also a great place for jigging, especially between July and December when the winds tend to drop a little. Jigging produces huge Amberjack, Black Jack, Grouper, tuna and many other species.
As mentioned above, big game fishing in Cape Verde is renowned for being the best fishing site in the world for the prized Atlantic Blue Marlin. This predator lives here all year round, but the best time of year to fish for them is from mid-March to late June. In summer these pelagic fish migrate north towards the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores for example. There are fewer of them found in September and October but the ones that stay tend to be larger. From September to December, the waters of Cape Verde are extremely interesting for fishing, as they are offering for example Yellowfin tuna up to 150kg.
Trolling you can also catch fish such as Wahoo, Dolphinfish and Barracuda.
The northeast coast of Santo Antão is especially effective for this technique because this is where the greatest concentration of Wahoo can be found. The rocky and volcanic seabed is an ideal habitat for Amberjacks, and here they can reach a weight of 60kg. Jigging is also very popular and this technique can help to catch Blackjack, Barracuda, Grouper and Oilfish.
Around Cape Verde, fishermen practice a lot of deep-sea fishing in depths of 100m and this can bring excellent results from areas that are practically untouched. Cape Verde is also a great place to fish for sharks such as Tiger sharks, Bull sharks, Hammerhead and Manta Grande, which can reach up to 300kg.
Top species in Cape Verde
Atlantic Blue Marlin: Cape Verde is known as the best place in the world for fishing Atlantic Blue Marlin. They live here all year round, but mid-March to late June is the best time to find them.
Without a doubt, the best island for fishing in Cape Verde is São Vicente and dozens of fishing boats depart from its port every day in search of marlin. The islands of Santiago, Santo Antão, Sal and Boa Vista are also great places to catch a marlin. In fact, there are so many fish here that fishermen often complain if they "only" catch two Marlin in one day. Times are tough hey!
White marlin: White Marlin usually move in small groups in waters deeper than 100m, feeding on a variety of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. The best time for fishing white marlin in Cape Verde is between July and November.
Yellowfin tuna: From September to December, the waters of Cape Verde are great for fishing Yellowfin tuna, which can weigh up to 150kg. The Yellowfin tuna is renowned and prized for its speed and strength whilst fighting with fishermen and this fish is very popular for sport fishing in many parts of the area.
Wahoo: Wahoo can be caught at any time of year by trolling with lures. This technique can also help to catch Dolphinfish and Barracuda. The northeast coast of Santo Antão is great for wahoo because there is a large concentration of them.
Amberjack: The best way to fish for Amberjack in Cape Verde tends to be with live bait or trolling, whilst some may use jigging techniques with large, elongated jigs ("blades"). The rocky, volcanic seabed is an ideal habitat for Amberjacks and they can be massive, sometimes impressively exceeding 60kg. Due to the winds and strong currents, it is advisable to fish with heavy jigs (over 300g). Other fish you can catch jigging are Blackjack, Grouper or Oilfish just to name a few.
Autumn and winter: Fishing in Cape Verde from September to December can prove very interesting as you can catch Wahoo and Yellowfin tuna with the latter weighing up to 150kg. These are caught by trolling with artificial lures. This is also the most recommended season for vertical jigging in Cape Verde. Since there is less wind, there’s less drift and the jig falls more vertically. Using this technique, you can catch big Amberjack of up to 60kg, Blackjack, Barracuda, Grouper and Oilfish during your day trips.
Spring and summer: Cape Verde is the mecca fishing area for catching Atlantic Blue Marlin. Although they live here all year round, mid-March to late June is the best time for big game fishing in Cape Verde. July, August, September and October are also very good months for marlin, there might be fewer marlin than May and June, but those that are caught tend to be much larger. For White Marlin, July to November is a very good time to fish.
There’s more than just the sea fishing around Cape Verde Islands to keep you busy. You can also go kitesurfing, windsurfing, Mountain biking, snorkelling & diving, sailing, horse riding, hiking and much much more.
Be sure to also visit the pier in Santa Maria (Sal Island), São Vicente or Santo Antão and watch as the fishermen bring in their freshly caught fish.
Enjoy the local food in the bars & restaurants in the area. The Cape Verdean cuisine has a Creole, Portuguese, African and Brazilian influence and is known for rice, fried potatoes, cassava and vegetables, and of course the great fish: fresh wahoo, tuna, dorado...
You need a fishing license for your fishing trips in the Cape Verde Islands. The fishing charters normally have the fishing license included in the price, so you don't need to buy one if you're chartering a boat.