Olhão, Algarve (PT)
Situated in the south of Portugal, Faro is the main hub of the Algarve. It's the perfect destination to combine culture, beaches and fishing. The Atlantic Ocean offers excellent conditions both in-shore and off-shore sport fishing.
All year round inshore species such as gilt-head seabream - also known as dourada -, seabass, large snapper, flounder or grouper can be targeted.
Further offshore, especially between June and October, fishing charters target blue shark, bigeye tuna, skipjack tuna, albacore and marlin.
Faro and Olhão are the closest ports in the Algarve to the drop-off (only 5 miles), which makes this a great destination for big game marlin fishing in Portugal. The marlin hotspot "Picos" is around 35 miles from Faro.
Faro is a premium Big Game Fishing destination. The continental shelf is quite narrow in this area and the drop-off is about 5 nautical miles off Faro’s port. So, it’s a relatively short ride before you can start fishing. Many big game fishing charters in the Algarve operate in this area where they target large Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Swordfish, Tuna and Shark.
The famous Marlin hotspot Picos Herminios or simply Picos is around 35 miles off Faro. Here, the underwater mounts pass from about 1000 meters to 260 meters for its southern slope and 700 meters to 260 meters for its northern slope. It forms a table at its summit of about 4 nautical miles square. Picos is definitely a Marlin magnet, but you need very long days to come fishing here (12-14 hours).
May & June are the best months for tuna fishing (Bluefin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, Albacore…). July to October are the best months to target Blue Marlin & White Marlin; and it’s also a good time to hook tuna, wahoo, dorado and shark.
All year round one can do bottom fishing for all kinds of smaller species such as sea bream, gilt-head sea bream, sea bass, mackerel, grouper, conger eel or sole with natural bait (octopus, squid, sardines, worms, etc). Spinning plastic baits, minnows and jerk bait sea bass can be hooked, especially early in the morning and in the evening. You can also catch bigger predators like the Dorado (Pink dentex), grouper, amberjack and corvina with life bait or jigging around rocky areas or wrecks.
The Blue Marlin fishing season starts towards the end of june, when the ocean starts to warm up. They stay till the end of october. White marlin stay till end of november. Bluefin tuna can be caught between june and august.
Other great sportfish are albacore, dorado, spear fish, skipjack and amberjack. Blue sharks are the most common shark but you can also catch Mako and Hammerhead sharks. There are yearly marlin fishing tournaments run from Vilamoura marina and Tavira.
Inshore, bottom fishing, jigging, spinning and bait fishing can be done all year round.
Apart from fishing in Faro you can also go cycling, kite surfing, wine tasting experience, snorkeling & diving, sailing, hiking and much much more.
Visit the old city center (don’t miss the Faro Cathedral, Faro’s waterside gateway “Arco da Vila” and it’s bars & restaurants). Faro is surrounded by the “Muralhas”, pre-Roman walls that protected the city from attacks.
The Ria Formosa is a nature reserve home to many bird species such as flamingos, ospreys, spoonbills, just to name a few.
Enjoy the local food in the of bars & restaurants of Faro and nearby villages like Vilamoura, Tavira, Portimão, Albufeira & Sagres. Try the oysters from the Ria Formosa, the typical Portuguese fish stew Caldeirada, flounder, or seabass or sardines on the grill.
There are daily flights from all major European Airports to the Airport of Faro.
A Sports Fishing Licence (Licença de Pesca Desportiva) is required to go fishing in Faro and surroundings. Children under the age of 14 are exempt if accompanied by a parent who holds a valid fishing licence. Normally the fishing licence is included in the price, but not every fishing boat or fishing charter in Faro does included this in the deep sea fishing trip. When you're looking for fishing trips in Portugal in general, check if your days fishing includes the fishing license. The good news is that the licenses are really cheap and can be purchased on board. Whether you go reef fishing, full day deep sea fishing or big game fishing, the price for a license is the same. A Daily Fishing license will cost you 5€.