2011 Top Billfishery of the Year – The Azores

For the last month The Billfish Report has been counting down its 2011 Billfisheries of the Year, and coming in at #1 is the Azores.

Criteria for our Top 10 list – taken from the daily billfish reports we receive from hundreds of captains around the world –  include the following: fish numbers, variety of billfish species, average size of fish and length of season.  These are then compiled, factoring in the number of boats regularly fishing that fishery, to derive a score.  The rankings of those scores yield this year’s Top 10 list.

An honorable mention pick in 2010, the Azores had just a stunning 2011.  With only about six boats fishing these waters, and the season only going about two months, the Azores killed it last year.  They didn’t kill many fish, mind you – they released all but the Habitat’s 1,188-pound blue – but the sheer numbers of large blue marlin were simply amazing. 

Beautiful blue the Xacara called 950+

Some highlights:

– the Habitat had nine fish over 800 pounds, including its grander

– Brasilia caught 30 fish over 500 pounds in the 60-day season – averaging a 500+ every two days!

– Xacara and Makaira both caught two they called 950 (and we know what that means!)

Blue being released behind the Brasilia

The Azores AVERAGED three blue marlin over 500 pounds every two days – meaning the large girls were thick in these waters, and stayed there the whole season.  To wonder how many could’ve been caught if there were more boats out there is only conjecture, but the numbers stand on their own: loads of huge fish in an extremely short season meant an action-packed bite every day. 

And winning the Billfish Report’s Top Billfishery of the Year.

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. Insane size and numbers… well deserved…… honorable mention ?

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