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!

About John

John Harmeling is the co-founder of billfishreport.com and granderwatch.com. Having traveled to and fished the major billfisheries across the globe, he counts Kona and Cairns as his favorites, and the black marlin to be the ocean's supreme pelagic specimen. He believes the very best and most enjoyable place to find tuna is in a marlin's stomach.

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