Funchal, Madeira (PT)
Due to its geographical location, Madeira is a paradise for lovers of sport fishing. The most emblematic and popular species here are the blue marlin, bluefin tuna, white marlin, short bill spearfish, albacore and wahoo.
Fishing in Madeira is focused on the Portuguese islands located less than 400km to the north of Tenerife (in the Canary Islands). The islands consist of Madeira, Porto Santo and Desertas. Discovered by Portuguese sailors in 1419, today Madeira is a popular tourist destination known for its wine, flowers, landscapes and its famous fireworks.
Blue Marlin: the blue marlin is one of the most respected and well-known species around the world for its size, strength and struggle. Known for performing impressive jumps during combat, the blue marlin can reach a size of 4.3m and weigh more than 1200 pounds (500kg). Fishing blue marlin is full of emotion and action, attracting thousands of fishermen from around the world to try their luck with catching the "Big".
Fishing in Madeira has earned much fame since the ‘70s, when fishermen began to capture specimens of over 1000 pounds (450 kg). Every May, the blue marlin reaches the waters of this archipelago and fishermen go to these islands each season to put their skills to the test.
Responsible fishing is practiced with these predators: after their capture, they are tagged and released alive to ensure the preservation of the species. The best place to fish them in Madeira is the south of the island. Protected by high cliffs, the sea here is protected from the prevailing winds from the Northeast and North.
White marlin: The average weight of the white marlin is about 20 to 30 kg and they usually moves in small groups in waters more than 100m deep. The white marlin feeds on a wide variety of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. The best time for fishing white marlin in Madeira is between July and November and these summer months can also find species like the short bill spearfish.
Tuna: Tuna grow up in summer and can weigh 80kg in spring. The bluefin tuna makes his entrance at the end of summer, along with the wahoo. Large Wahoo shoals pursue mackerel or other small fish.
Dorado: The dolphinfish is highly sought after not only for its meat, but also for its acrobatic leaps and its intense yellow colour. In Madeira, the method most used for fishing the dolphinfish is trolling with light equipment – but there are exact sites where you can find this species, through methods such as chumming and spinning, which can bring very good results.
Wahoo: This predator has teeth like razors and is found around the world in tropical and subtropical waters. Sport fishers know the wahoo for its speed and prized meat. Wahoo are two and a half meters long and can weigh 83kg. Wahoo are mainly caught by trolling with artificial lures.
The Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans) is probably the most wanted fish in the sport fishing world. The magnificent fighter usualy feeds during day time on fish, octopuses and squids. Blue Marlin is mainly caught trolling with artificial lures or with dead bait (bonito, mackerel...).
Also known as Mahi Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus)
Little tunny or False Albacore (Euthynnus alletteratus)
Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) are one of the finest sport fishing species. One of the best techniques used to fish them is trolling, especially using artificial lures and natural bait such as small barracuda or garfish. Another technique to try is to fish using a boat in well-known areas, trying to provoke the fish to take a bite with stick baits, lures or poppers.
The Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is a pelagic fish that can grow up to 500kg (1000lb). The biggest Bluefin Tuna every caught was 780kg (1496lb). These great fighters can be caught trolling, jigging, casting or drifting mainly in off-shore.
Autumn and winter: During the winter months when there is not much activity in deep sea fishing, you can have excellent sessions of bottom fishing or jigging in Madeira. The wildly irregular and rocky bottoms are an attractive habitat for red snapper, pink dentex, amberjack, grouper, mackerel and other sedentary species. From January, fishing in Madeira is characterized by the arrival of the patudos (big eyes tuna) that are usually catch by trolling.
Spring and summer: Fishing in Madeira in late May is characterized by the arrival of the marlin, which can be fished by trolling until the end of summer. In summer, albacore and tunes are excellent fighters and you can capture them with lighter material. The bluefin tuna makes his entrance at the end of summer, as well as the wahoo. The large Wahoo shoals pursue mackerel or other small fish in coastal waters.
Shopping in Madeira, Eating out, Walking & Hiking, Whale & dolphine spotting safaris, Scuba Diving, Sailing, Beaches & Swimming pools, Surfing, Canyoning.
Enjoy the local food in the hundreds of bars & restaurants of the area.
You need a fishing license to fish in fresh water and salt water. The fishing charters in Madeira normally have the fishing license included in the price, so you don't need to buy one if you're chartering a boat.