Where's the best February billfishing? Follow the tournament locations

The period between December and February can be one of the slower times on the calendar for world billfishing.  Without a doubt this season sees the lowest number of big fish – to wit, there hasn’t been a grander caught in the world yet this year – and there are fewer places seeing big numbers of billfish than in other seasons.

But that’s not to say fish aren’t being had.  Taking a look at the billfish tournament calendar gives us a good look at where some of the best billfishing is this February…

FLORIDA – for sailfish

  • Gridiron Greats Billfish Bowl, Key Largo.  February 4-6.
  • Sailfish Open at Hawks Cay.  February 7-9.
  • Islamorada Women’s Sailfish Tournament.  February 12-14.
  • Poor Girls Sailfish Tournament.  February 16-17.
  • Sailfish Challenge.  February 18-21.
  • Billfish Challenge – part of the Miami Open Billfish Series.  February 25-28.

GUATEMALAfor sailfish, blue marlin

  • IWFA Annual Billfish Release Tournament.  February 6-9.
  • Fishin’ Blue Tournament.  February 15-20
  • Elite Sportsman Series.  February 15-May 2.

AUSTRALIA – for black marlin, blue marlin

  • Sunshine Coast Game Fishing Classic.  FEbruary 4-7.
  • Luhr’s Billfish Shootout.  February 20-21.

AFRICA – for black marlin, blue marlin

  • Marlin Masters Mauritius.  February 5-8.
  • SADSAA (S Africa) Billfish Classic.  February 10-13.
  • IV Big Game De Aniversario Do CNIL.  February 13-20.
  • South Indian Ocean Billfish Competition.  February 14-21.
  • Marlin World Cup.  February 25-March 3.

Some great fishing – without tournaments – coming out of Panama, with seasons heating up in Ascension Island, Venezuela, and New Zealand as well.  And Kona and Cabo, of course, have the daily shots at striped marlin.

Some great clues on where to catch your February billfish!

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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  1. Bill Elliott says:

    Hello, my wife and I are planning a deep sea fishing trip to Mauritius and Seychelles later this year (or early next year) and we are in the information gathering stages. We are avid marlin fisherman; although armatures, we have been marlin fishing for nearly 30 years and hold a record in Bermuda for catching the first/only 1100-pound blue marlin in May (captain Allan DeSilvia; aboard the Mako); considered very early in the marlin season. We have fished with literally hundreds of different fishing captains/boats and have learned a few important things about improving your odds of having a successful fishing trip; with that said we would appreciate it if you could help us gain the following information:

    1. When is the best time (month) to plan a fishing trip to Mauritius for large Black and Blue Marlin? We have caught a lot of blue marlin/strip/white marlin over the years but have yet to catch a big black marlin. Our goal is to catch another grander (1000+pounds) in Mauritius or Seychelles.

    2. Is the chance for catching bigger marlin (1000+pounds) better in the early, middle or late summer? I have heard from one source that November through May is the best and I have heard from another that June through September is the best? What would the best month be? We were thinking the end of November or the end of December; would you recommend one over the other would you recommend one over the other such as June or September?

    3. What is the weather like in the end of November and the end of December? Does it rain every day-all-day? When it is not recommended to visit due to weather (cyclones)?

    4. Can you recommend a boat; we would prefer a larger boat (40+feet) with air conditioning if possible and a boat that has 130-pound fishing reels; I have learned if you don’t have the larger equipment/reels (and big bait-lures) the chances of successfully getting a large marlin to the boat are greatly reduced.

    5. Is there a boat (Captain-mate) known (by reputation) for catching large (1000+) marlin that you could recommend?

    5. What side of the island do you recommend we stay on for marlin fishing? What fishing marina should we go out of-why?

    6. Do you have any contacts in Seychelles (both Island; boats-captains); or Mauritius we plan to fish a couple of days in each location; do you have any recommendations?

    7. Can you please send (e-mails) us details (e.g. booking procedures; availability; costs; specials; etc) on your boat(s), thank you.

    We are not sure which islands to stay at yet (Mahe, Praslin, Dennis, Desroches) I place my priority on the possibility of catching a large marlin but we also want to experience the most/best islands; do you have a recommendation? Thanks

    Regards

    William (Bill) & Leslie Elliott

    Dallas (Carrollton) Texas
    billleslie@verizon.net

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