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Top Fishing Charters in Portugal

Fishing in Portugal

Portugal has been the gateway to the Atlantic since the earliest voyages of Christopher Columbus. People have been fishing in Portugal since they first invented boats, and some trade routes pre-date the Roman Empire. They’ve have had a long time to perfect the art of working these waters and they sure have gotten the hang of it!

Known For

Portugal is best known for its beautiful beaches, fine wine, and ancient architecture. But among those in the know, there’s one big, blue reason to visit the country: Marlin. Grander Blue Marlin are caught every season in the deep blue waters around Madeira and the Azores and they’re joined by a huge range of top big game fish. 
 
They’re only part of the picture, though. Food fishing can be productive for anything from Cod and John Dory to Snapper and Amberjack. You can also find freshwater fisheries as rewarding as anything the open ocean can throw at you. There’s something for everyone.

Where to Go

 

Madeira

“The Pearl of the Atlantic” really is the crowning jewel of Portugal’s many great fisheries. Sitting north of the Canary Islands, around 500 miles off the coast of Morocco, it has some of the best deep sea fishing Portugal can offer. More than that, Madeira regularly ranks alongside Kona and Cabo as one of the best Billfishing spots on the planet. 
 
The bluewater season runs throughout the summer months, with Blue and White Marlin, Longbill Spearfish, Bluefin, Bigeye, and Albacore Tuna, and so much more. During the rest of the year, the island has productive reef fishing for delicious Red Snapper, Amberjack, and Grouper. You can also find big Barracuda and Bluefish here, which can even be caught from shore.
 
Almost all Madeira charter boats launch from the towns of Funchal and Calheta on the island’s southern coast. Funchal, the region’s capital, blends ancient gothic and Romanesque buildings with a bustling bar scene and some great museums. Calheta is essentially a harbor with a town attached, but it has some of the island’s only sandy beaches and access to the stunningly isolated north of Madeira.
 

Azores

Not to be outdone by their southern counterpart, the Azores also offer unbelievable big game action. The season doesn’t last as long here, peaking in August and September, but when it’s good, it’s really good. Three grander Blue Marlin were once caught here by one boat in a single day and the island is home to the same mix of Marlins, Tunas, Swordfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and more that you’ll find in Madeira. 
 
Longbill Spearfish are something of a local specialty in the Azores. This is one of the few places in the world that they show up in big enough numbers to actually target. Add them to the awesome Marlin bite, and throw in some swordfishing as the sun goes down, and you’re looking at a Billfish Super Grand Slam. Even if you’re not in town during Billfish season, you’ve still got a huge range of bottom fish to target!
 
You have lot more options of where to fish in the Azores. The island of Sao Miguel has the majority of the charter boats, especially in the capital, Ponta Delgada. Faial and Pico islands also have some great boats, though, and most of the larger islands will have at least a couple of quality captains happy to take you out.
 

Mainland Portugal

We haven’t forgotten the country’s heartland. In many ways, we’ve saved the best for last. Mainland Portugal doesn’t get the same Billfish bite you’ll find elsewhere but it’s still good enough to put most anglers through their paces, especially when combined with the Bluefin Tuna and Blue Sharks which show up every summer.
 
These waters hold a real who’s who of Europe’s best food fish. Dusky Grouper, John Dory, and Dentex meet Seabass, Seabream, Cod, and Mackerel to make for one of the tastiest fishing trips you could hope for. The mainland also has hands down the best freshwater fishing Portugal can offer. Salmon and Shad run in the rivers in spring, while Trout, Carp, Barbel, Perch, and Largemouth Bass can be caught year-round.
 
Most fishing charters leaving from Lisbon go after coldwater species like Cod or Blue Sharks, while towns along the Algarve target Marlin, Tuna, and warmwater reef fish. Both of these places are on every tourist bucket lists, out there. Now you have even more reasons to visit! Freshwater fishing is excellent in lakes and rivers throughout the country. The northern rivers are best for Salmon and Trout, while the south has Shad, Perch, and much better Bass fishing. Carp and Barbel can be found everywhere.

Need to Know

You don’t need a license to fish aboard Portugal fishing charters. If you want to fish from shore, or explore the country’s freshwaters, things get a little more complicated. 
 
For saltwater, you need a Sport Fishing License (Licença de Pesca Desportiva), for freshwater, you need an Inland Waters Fishing License (Licença de Pesca Desportiva em Águas Interiores). These can be National, Regional, or Local, depending on how many different places you’re planning to fish in. To buy one as a foreigner, you need to email the email the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
 
From family groups out to catch some dinner to die-hard sportfishers looking for the world’s top predators, you can find the fish of a lifetime fishing in Portugal’s rich and varied waters. So take some time out from sightseeing and working on your tan and climb aboard for a day of adventure!
Portugal
4.12
Based on 8826 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Portugal Fishing Seasons

Start the new year in a frenzy of screaming drag! Albacore Tuna show up in the Azores, making for big battles and a real feast. Otherwise hit the reefs anywhere in Portugal and bring in some dinner.

Cast out the February blues by reeling in delicious bottom fish like Cod, Seabass, Dusky Grouper, Amberjack, and Dentex! What you catch will depend on where you go, but it’s sure to taste great!

Bigeye Tuna show up in Madeira this time of year. They’re one of the tastiest Tunas out there and they put up a real fight, too. Largemouth Bass are biting hard Portugal’s rivers and lakes.

The Albacore bite draws to a close in the Azores as Swordfishing heats up in the Algarve. Salmon and Shad kick off their spring runs, while Bigeye Tuna go from strength to strength in Madeira.

Blue and White Marlin arrive in Madeira, joined by good numbers of Longbill Spearfish. Bigeye Tuna show up in the Azores as the first Bluefin show up off the mainland. Shad and Salmon are in full force!

Billfish season really comes into its own around Portugal’s islands. White Marlin and Longbill Spearfish arrive in the Azores, while all the Atlantic’s top predators hunt around Madeira.

The Blue Marlin World Cup is a unique tournament where teams around the world compete to bring in huge fish, The Marlin fishing Portugal is blessed with has won them the crown in the past!

Blue Marlin finally arrive in the Azores, meaning it’s all action everywhere in Portugal. The mainland’s seasonal freshwater fish have all moved on, but you can still find enjoy the great Carp fishing Portugal is home to.

The Azores Big Game Fishing Tournament offers epic bluewater action in Sao Miguel while Bluefin Tuna join the lineup of deep sea species in Madeira. Otherwise, there are always plenty of reef fish!

This is your last chance to land monster Blue and White Marlin wherever you are in Portugal. If you’re more interested in rivers or reefs, Portugal fishing trips are great whenever you come!

Big game season is over in most places but the reef fish are always on form. Head out on a bottom fishing trip and bring in anything from Amberjack to Monkfish, depending on where you go.

Escape the cold and head to the Algarve to enjoy the Bass fishing Portugal is so rightfully proud of. Otherwise, spend the holidays on the Azores and catch some delicious bottom fish for a festive feast.

Portugal Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Portugal

"Fishing trip (half day)"

Michelle Iseman fished with Dreamboats - Cinco Pestinhas on October 5, 2018

Yes. The experience was great. The water was flat and we didnt go far offshore so it was an easy, smooth ride.

"Full day fishing"

Damian Desmedt fished with Ratinho Sportfishing on September 14, 2018

Prey for good weather. Book accomodation well in advance. It's very hard to get of your on a budget.

"Madeira fishing is OK."

Guenter Konderla fished with Madeira Marlin - Balancal on August 31, 2018

You can try everything you like. The captains always will ask you what you want to fish and how. I have chosen trolling but there is also bottom fishing,... We rent an appartement near the harbour. So it was an easy walk in the morning (5 minutes)to the boat. And as you leave very early in the morning you can get breakfast at the harbour promenade. There is a nice Cafe which was open at 8 when I arrived.

"Fishing with Ricardo"

John Artley fished with Madeira Sight Casting on August 21, 2018

To go with an experienced crew and just enjoy the day.

Top Targeted Species in Portugal

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (White)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Top Portugal Destinations