Fishing in Madeira

At the beginning of discovery: Madeira is a great spot to discover fishing opportunities of the Eastern Atlantic.
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About Madeira

Situated some 2,000 km. off the coast of Northern Africa, and apparently uninhabited until the discovery by the Portuguese in 1419, Madeira is an enchanting archipelago that serves as a beautiful retreat with its mild climate, scenic vistas, and friendly locals. And it’s also a premier destination for both casual tourists and dedicated fishing enthusiasts. Subtropical climate and nutrient-rich waters make it an ideal spot for year-round fishing adventures. For the casual tourist, a fishing trip in Madeira is a delightful way to diversify your vacation. You can enjoy the thrill of catching fish while taking in the island's breathtaking scenery. Many local charters offer half-day and full-day trips, ensuring a fun and memorable experience for families and groups. For the dedicated angler, Madeira is a destination worth traveling for. Its reputation as one of the best big game fishing spots in the world, particularly for blue marlin, draws enthusiasts from far and wide. The island’s fishing infrastructure, including well-equipped charters and knowledgeable guides, ensures that your fishing adventure is both challenging and rewarding. Historical anecdotes of record-breaking marlin catches further enrich the angling lore of this Atlantic paradise. Apart from fishing, Madeira offers an opportunity to visit its world-renowned vineyards, primeval laurel forests, and enjoy its rugged landscapes and stunning coastline. Thousands of tourists, mainly from Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Germany, visit the islands each year. Discovery of Madeira is often regarded as the beginning of the Age of Discovery, and for many of these tourists Madeira marks the personal discovery of deep-sea fishing. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of excitement to your vacation or seeking an extraordinary fishing experience, Madeira promises an unforgettable journey.

Fishing Types

Madeira being a volcanic island, there are practically no shallows around it, and seas around Madeira can drop off to great depths very close to shore. With deep sea beginning right at the exit from the harbor, Madeira is a second-to-none destination for offshore fishing trips, where you can have a chance of hooking one of pelagic giants such as marlin and tuna within a few hours if not minutes from the port. For those preferring a more relaxed experience, the coastal and reef areas around Madeira offer great opportunities for inshore trips and light tackle fishing. Here, you can catch a variety of species while enjoying the scenic views of the island. The coastal shelves and underwater structures are ideal for targeting species like grouper and snapper. This type of fishing is available year-round, with different species peaking at different times.

Targeted Fish Species

Madeira's waters are home to an impressive variety of fish species that cater to every angler's dream. Offshore, the deep Atlantic waters are famous for big game fish such as blue marlin, white marlin, and several species of tuna, including the powerful bluefin and yellowfin tuna. These species are known for their size, strength, and the exhilarating fight they offer, particularly from May to October, which is the peak season for these pelagic giants. Wahoo is abundant in certain periods, usually between September and January, with numerous catches of record-pushing fish one after another reported. The clear waters of Madeira are also perfect for catching the vibrant and delicious mahi-mahi (dorado). Closer to shore, the rocky coastal areas and reefs are teeming with smaller game fish. Anglers can target amberjack, barracuda, red snapper, triggerfish, scorpionfish, grouper, and a myriad other species.

Fishing Techniques

Trolling with heavy tackle is the preferred method for targeting big game fish like marlin and tuna. Madeira's deep waters make it an ideal location for this technique, especially from May to October. Bottom fishing is ideal for catching species like grouper and snapper around the rocky seabeds and reefs. Spinning is great for inshore and coastal fishing, allowing anglers to target a variety of fish species near the surface or around structures. Although Madeira is not the first choice for most saltwater fly-fishing enthusiasts, its calm bays and coastal waters are perfectly suitable for this technique as well.