The Billfish Report reports every day on the notable catches on marlin, sailfish, and swordfish from around the world. January presents a slightly less active season – Central and South America, along with a few other isolated fisheries, present the only real activity this time of year – as well as a perfect time to reflect on 2009.
For the last month we’ve counted down the top 10 billfisheries of the year and identified the best 2009 fishery for each species of Pacific billfish. Pacific billfish include the Pacific blue, the striped marlin, black marlin, Pacific sailfish, shortbilled spearfish, and swordfish. Today we call out the best places to catch each species of Atlantic billfish last year.
Atlantic blue marlin – the best place last year to catch blue marlin in the Atlantic was the Cape Verde Islands. Boats can have a shot at a blue almost every day of the year – but in their primary season, April through July, last year boats averaged catching two blue marlin a day. Many fish of size last year as well, up to 1,000 pounds. St. Thomas also had phenomenal fishing, but the bite was restricted to the moons.
Swordfish – South Florida has distinguished itself as the most consistent and reliable swordfishery on the planet. Last year boats saw both numbers – captains routinely report multiple shots a night – as well as size, with two clearing the 500-pound mark.
White marlin – while one could make the case that some blue marlin fisheries don’t target white marlin as much, and therefore don’t see the numbers, the U.S. East Coast (defined as New Jersey Canyons down to NC coast) still saw huge numbers of whiteys last year. A very long season – started in April this year – combined with some huge runs of whiteys (late September had some boats catching 40+ white marlin a day) meant an extraordinary white marlin bite last year on the East Coast.
Atlantic sailfish – though there is a lot of fisheries in the Atlantic that see sailfish, none sees the consistent bite and numbers that South Florida and the Keys do. Sailfish can be caught year-round in this fishery, with the season at its best between November and May.
Longbilled spearfish – a seldom-targeted species, and a hard-to-find one nonetheless, we get the most reports on spears in the Atlantic out of Madeira and therefore count that fishery as the best to find a spear last year.
Stay tuned to the Billfish Report as 2010 heats up – all the billfish news from around the planet, in one spot!