The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year with our #10 Billfishery the Azores. Criteria for our Top 10 include fish numbers, variety of billfish species, reports, average size of fish, length of season and number of boats fishing. While reports were down in 2020 as many fisheries had limited days fishing or in some cases an entire season cancelled, we still had over 4,000 Reports. We want to acknowledge and congratulate those who were able to fish in 2020 as there was still some amazing fishing to be had.
Azores, Portugal – Back to Back Top 10 finishes for the Azores, the first time since 2013. This fishery has always produced large Blue Marlin, year in and year out. Due to our criteria a fishery like the Azores has an uphill battle to be in consideration for our Top 10 given their small fleet and limited season. But, for those who were able to get over there and fish, they were rewarded with impressive Blue Marlin fishing in 2020.
This is the smallest fleet to make the Top 10 with reports from only five (5) Boats. But those boats packed a power punch on Blue Marlin, combining for thirty-nine (39) Blue Marlin over 500 lbs. with twelve (12) of those over 700 lbs. This placed them 1st in the World for 500+ Blue Marlin in 2020 and by far the best in the Atlantic Ocean. This is a very impressive achievement given most boats fished less than 30-Days on the season. We had two Captains and Boats pumping out the big Blue Marlin with Capt. Lukas Folk on Habitat finishing with sixteen (16) and Capt. Jose Furtado on Alabote finishing with fourteen (14). There were no Granders released or boated, but Alabote released one they called 900+ lbs.
Anglers don’t come here for numbers, but when they do it can be a very special day. Brasilia recorded four (4) Blue Marlin in a day, with three of those over 500 lbs. Habitat had five (5) days with 2+ Blue Marlin, with four (4) of those days releasing two Blue Marlin over 500 lbs. Alabote had six (6) days with 2+ Blue Marlin released with one of the finest days imaginable going 4-5 on Blue Marlin, with all of them over 500 lbs.
While White Marlin and Spearfish can be caught here, they are rarely targeted given the abundance of Blue Marlin. This is traditionally one of the shortest seasons we cover, however in 2020 the fish started to really show well in August and were still being caught into October.
Congratulations to the Azores, our #10 Billfishery for 2020.