2009 Billfisheries of the Year – #9…Canary Islands

The Billfish Report is counting down the top billfisheries of 2009 – and coming in at #9 is the Canary Islands.

Team Bocinegro releases a large blue
Team Bocinegro releases a large blue

Geographically, the Canaries share the same area of water as Madeira, which also had a tremendous 2009.  Located off the northwest corner of Africa, the Canaries typically have a consistent summer bite on three species of billfish: blue marlin, white marlin, and spearfish.

Where the Canaries stand out is in the consistent size of fish – and this year was no different.  Though there were a couple of granders caught this year, what remains striking about this fishery is that virtually every day a fish of size is caught – and often times there are multiples per boat.  This is why the Canary Islands ranked #9 in the Billfish Report’s Top Billfisheries of the Year – a consistent large blue marlin bite over the summer, with some variety mixed in with the occasional whites and spears.

Some highlights from 2009:

–          Two granders caught in May – on the same boat, on the same day! The Walhalla weighed an 1187 and released a 1000+ fish as well.

–          A striking number of large fish in the 400-600-pound range.  Our reports consistently reflected 400+ fish on a daily basis in June and July, on a relatively small fleet – making the return all the more impressive.  The “Cavalier,” for example, picked up 500+ blues on three straight days – and caught another 600+ a couple of days later – in mid-June.

–          Some days witnessed some prolific numbers on boats as well.  Team Bocinegro caught 63 blues in July alone – some days raising 5-7 blues a day.  A mid-July run of small males contributed…but the Bocinegro caught its fair share of larger girls as well.

The Canary Islands always see good size and are typically a reliable fishery for summertime blues.  2009 was no different: huge numbers of fish, consistent size, with some granders sprinkled in…making the Canaries the Billfish Report’s #9 Billfishery of the Year.

Stay tuned next week for #8!

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