Ultimate Fishing Guide for Azores
The Azores archipelago are a group of 9 volcanic islands located almost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Sao Miguel, the largest island, is about 2 hours by plane of Lisbon in Portugal mainland and 4,5 hours from New York city in United States of America.
With the Atlantic Ocean around the islands the most popular fishing in the azores is definitely salt water so I will be focusing about it only. However in all the lakes that volcanoes craters gives place to fresh water lakes you will find fishes such as Pike, Carp, Perch...
The volcanic origin and the location of the islands gives some great fishing attributes: Rocky seabed, great fishing banks not far away from land and nice currents and streams specially the Golf Stream.
In Sao Miguel island you can go fishing with fishing charters boats all year around although some species have specific season as they pass trough these magnificent islands with the Golf Stream in their Atlantic crossing migration route.
In Sao Miguel island you can do two kinds of fishing mainly: Coastal and Big Game.
For Coastal fishing you can do bottom fishing, trolling and slow or speed jigging. In Big Game fishing in Azores you can do trolling mostly.
COASTAL FISHING IN AZORES
Bottom Fishing: This fishing technique is done with the vessel adrift on rocky bottoms at depths that vary between 15 meters and 50 meters and usually is very effective throughout the year, mainly, due to the great diversity of demersal species that exists around here. It's done with the use of a light fishing rod and reel with two hooks at most and the use of natural baits such as shrimp, mackerel or sardine.
Best months: All year round
Trolling: Technique performed with the boat when underway at low speed and is designed for various pelagic fish seeking for food. There are used four rods fitted with reels, with artificial baits that imitate squid or other small fish. This is a technique that often provides good moments of adrenaline to the anglers, not only because of the size of the specimens but also for their nature - fighters till the end!
Best months: June, July, August and September
Slow/Speed Jigging: A great technique that has plenty of followers, mainly due to its effectiveness and probability of prime specimens of considerable size and weight. This technique is intended for pelagic fish that can be found on rocky bottoms at depths between thirty meters and one hundred meters, where metal jigs are dropped down until the sea bed and reeled all the way up to the surface, imitating a wounded or running away fish that became very eye-catching for their predatores, causing them to attack decisively.
When this happens, the fight is fantastic and full of adrenaline.
Expect battles that require great attention, speed and strength from the angler to not be deceived in the skillful and strong dip of the fish.
Best months: June, July, August and September
BIG GAME FISHING IN SAO MIGUEL
Most of the fishing charters in Sao Miguel go for the big fish on trolling using heavy rods and reels tackle (80/130 lbs) and lures that are basically artificial squids rigged with 2 big stainless steel hooks. The boat trolling speed is adapted to species target - Tunas around 6,5 kph, Marlins 8kph and Wahoo around 9kph.
Blue Marlin- The average size of the Blue Marlin is around 500lbs but I already released some with 600lbs and 800lbs. I'm still looking to release a "grander" (>1000 lbs) so every time I got out my thought is: It's gonna be today! In 2017 I released the first Blue of the season in all Azores islands in July 3th with 650lbs.
Best months: Mid July, August, September and first half of October
White Marlin - Smaller than the Blue Marlin with sizes around 60 lbs but full of energy that won't give for free the fight until the end. In 2016 season my catch average was 4 to 5 in just one trip but we also had in a 4 hours trip 0 of 18 strikes... I will see that white marlin once again!
Best months: July, August and September
Tunas - The most common Tuna is the Bigeye with sizes around 150lbs but we already captured some with 250+ lbs. In 2013 I caught 6 Bigeyes with 4 of them hooked at the same time and the biggest weighed 265 lbs... all of this in a 4 hours trip, Crazy!
Best months: May, June, July and September
Always bare in mind to have success on Big Game fishing one of the most important thing is the crew and their teamwork. You can go out on the biggest boat of the fleet but if the crew are not experienced and passionate your chances drop very low.
With all that number of options for fishing in the Azores can be difficult to choose the one that better fits your expectations. If you prefer to spend a good time aboard with more fishing action and the size doesn't matter for you my recommendation is for you to go in a Coastal fishing trip. In the other hand, if are looking for the fish of your life you are in the right place for it. The Azores islands have several World records and I can assure you that the feeling of having a huge fish on the end of the line, taking away of the reel 500 meters of line in a few seconds, is a lifetime experience.
For videos about fishing in Sao Miguel, Azores: https://www.youtube.com/user/seazores