The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year, and our #10 Billfishery goes to the Canary Islands. Criteria for our Top 10 include fish numbers, variety of billfish species, average size of fish, length of season and number of boats fishing. With over 11,000 Billfish Reports submitted to us in 2014 from around the World, to even be considered for our Top 10 makes a fishery one of the best!
From Grand Canary to La Gomera to Lanzarote these waters are known for Blue Marlin in the “large variety”. The Canary Islands have been absent from our Top 10 since 2009, but the drought is over! The Canaries produced thirty-eight (38) Blue Marlin over 500 lbs in 2014 with eight (8) of those over 700 lbs. including three beasts for Cavalier, Bocinegro & Belduca all estimated at over 900 lbs. You have to make every bite count here with most boats only seeing 1-2 fish a day, but when they pop up they tend to be quality fish.
The Canary Islands enjoy a nice season length, often lasting as long as 6-Months. While White Marlin certainly are caught here, they are not caught in great numbers as most boats are targeting Blue Marlin. We did get a couple nice reports on White Marlin being hooked with both Belduca and Reel Time hooking up on five (5) in a day. On the Blue Marlin side, we had two very special days out of La Gomera with Pecado going 7-12 on Blue Marlin and certainly the best day we heard of all season from Rigel IV who went 7-14 on Blue Marlin, with three (3) of those over 500 lbs.
Even with the great fishing, there are really only 6-7 boats that are consistently targeting billfish in these waters, making their averages look even better. In fact, the Canary Islands were the 4th best place to catch a Marlin over 500 lbs. in the World in 2014 and the 3rd best place to catch a Blue Marlin over 500 lbs. Pretty impressive for a small group of Islands in the Eastern Atlantic. While there were no Granders released from these waters in 2014, they were certainly seen.
Congratulations to the Canary Islands, our #10 Billfishery of the Year!
La Gomera – Bocinegro 2-2 on Blue Marlin (650,500)
La Gomera – Pecado went 7-12 on Blue Marlin.
La Gomera – Rigel IV went 7-14 on Blue Marlin, three over 500 lbs.
Grand Canary – Cal Rei went 2-2 on Blue Marlin and 2-2 on White Marlin.
Grand Canary – Fish On went 2-2 on Blue Marlin and 1-1 on White Marlin.
Grand Canary – Cavalier released a 900+ Blue Marlin.