The Azores, Autonomous Region of the Azores officially, are an archipelago and an Autonomous territory from the Portuguese Republic, located in the Atlantic’s northeast, gathering 9 islands: Corvo, Flores, Terceira, Pico, Faial, São Jorge, Graciosa, Santa Maria and São Miguel. The last one is exactly 36º 44.1’ north latitude and 25º 40.3’ west.
São Miguel is the biggest island of Azores’ archipelago and also the biggest island of all of the Portuguese territory. It has a 746,82 km2 surface, measuring 64,7 kilometres of length and 8 to 15 km wide, has 131 609 inhabitants (2001) and assembles the following municipalities: Lagoa, Nordeste, Ponta Delgada, Povoação, Ribeira Grande and Vila Franca do Campo.
In São Miguel the climate is temperate-oceanic. The Atlantic and the Gulf Stream work moderating the temperature, the sea influences the island which causes an increase of relative air humidity and this sea proximity softens or mitigates temperatures, resulting a mild temperature. Air temperature shows average figures which vary between 13,6ºC, minimum, and 22ºC maximum all year. However, the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream makes the sea water temperature steadier, showing average temperatures of 16ºC in the winter and 20,5ºC in the summer, and possibly reaching maximum temperature peaks of about 24ºC – 25ºC.
The wide coast line of São Miguel Island related to de adjacent islander (Vila Franca Islander, Mosteiros Islander, São Roque Islander, Rosto do Cão Islander) form important habitats for migrating waterbirds. There are currently known about 46 bird species in Azores, 33 of which frequently do their nest in the region.
Some bird species become particularly important such as the Cagarro (Calonectris diomedea borealis), of which 65% worldwide population reproduces in Azores and Garajau-rosado (Sterna dougallii), of which about 59% of European population also choses Azores to do their nest.
Fishing in São Miguel Island, as well as in the other islands, the sea of Azores is characterised by several types of habitats from coastal zones to tilted flank of the islands, seamounts, ocean ridges, hydrothermal fields, corals aggregation y cold water sponges, water cannons and the big abyssal plain. This diversity of ecosystems and habitats foments the great biodiversity of species that feature the region. Seamounts serves as aggregation points for the open ocean migrating species, such as tuna, sharks, cetaceans or turtles, linking the deep to the surface of the sea. In this part of the Atlantic and, as crossing point of the Golf Streams, there are mackerels and squids which are fed by huge specimens of blue and white Marlins, Wahoo (Aconthocybium solandri), Common Dolphinfish, Bluefin tuna, among other species of tunas and sharks, and that is why it is such a preference destination for Big Game Fishing lovers.
Atlantic blue marlin - Makaira Nigricans
Espadim azul / Makaire bleu de l’Atlantique / Aguja azul del Atlântico
Atlantic Blue Marlin: In general the season is between July and October when water temperatures are higher. Azores are known from catching big specimens of Blue marlin and usually in a season can catch some “granders” (over 1000LB/450Kg).
White marlin - Tetrapturus albidus
Espadim branco / Makaire blanc / Aguja blanca
White Marlin: The season is usually between July and October. Azores are known for having a great quantity of White Marlins and the fishing is quite regular. It is smaller than the Blue Marlin but very feisty and it is a very entertaining fish to catch once he puts on a show by jumping out of water.
Longbill spearfish - Tetrapturus pfluegeri
Espadim bicudo / Makaire bécune / Aguja picuda
Swordfish - Xiphias gladius
Espadarte / Espadon / Pez espada
Spearfish and Swordfish: They show up about at the same time as the other billfishes, but usually in a smaller quantity. The Swordfish is usually caught by night using alive fish baits or ideally dead.
Bluefin tuna - Thunnus thynnus
Rabilo / Thon rouge du norte / Atún Rojo del Norte
Tunas: Tuna strongest season in Azores is from May to October, although some years it is possible to fish tuna all year. We can find a variety of sub-species, such as the Bluefin tuna, the Yellowfin tuna, the Bigeye tuna or the Albacore.
Yellowfin tuna - Thunnus albacares
Galha-à-ré / Albacore / Rabil
In a good year of tuna we can find some schools eating nearby the surface, which allows catching several at the same time.
Bigeye tuna - Thunnus obesus
Patudo / Thon obése / Patudo
Bluefin tuna: The biggest and strongest of all tunas can usually be found in our waters. In general it is found in deepest waters, which makes the alive fish baits the most suitable fishing technique.
Albacore - Thunnus alalunga
Voador / Germon / Atún blanco
Bigeye Tuna: In greater numbers they can reach a good weight, being usual to fish specimens with over 250Lb/110Kg.
Skipjack tuna - Katsuwonus pelamis
Bonito / Listao / Listado
Albacore and Yellowfin tuna: Caught in lower numbers when compared to Bigeye tuna.
Wahoo - Acanthocybium solandri
Cavala-da-Índia / Thazard-batard / Peto
Common Dolphinfish and Wahoo: Less common, therefore caught in lower numbers.
Common Dolphinfish (Dorado) - Coryphaena hippurus
Dourado / Coryphène commune / Lampuga
The shortfin mako shark, Hammerhead shark and Blue shark are quite common in our waters and they are frequently caught.
There are excellent fishing grounds around the islands featured by a coastal shelf rich in seamounts. These shallower areas of greater productivity are rich in several premium fish species, which make this areas outstanding for Bottom fishing and Jigging practise.
Trolling is also rich in Longbill spearfish, anchovies, Skipjack tuna, largetooth sawfish, mackerels and others.
Azores is known for having a very rich biodiversity. Fishing lovers will be amazed not only by the fish wealth but also by beautiful landscapes and sea life. While fishing it is common to see several kinds of dolphins, turtles, whales, such as the Sperm Whale and, the Flying Fish flying in the sea surface.
At Azores Fishing we are very concerned about the sustainability of the species. We fish according to the rules of the IGFA and we tag and release all marlin, except when they are potential records.
We also have minimum sizes for all types of fish that we catch on different types of fishing, freeing all those that do not reach these same minimum sizes. All other fish that have minimal size we keep them and share with our clients, friends and family giving everyone the chance to enjoy the best we have in our waters.
It is important to note that sport fishing vessels can not sell fish on the market.