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Cape Verde Big Game Fishing

Off Santa Maria, Sal.

Wahoo, albacore, yellowfin tuna, grouper and dorado are plentiful close offshore in most of the Cape Verde islands. Tiger shark are around further out. Uwe and Julia a German couple organise fishing from Santa Maria in Sal. This is the easiest place to arrange fishing if you are a casual fisherman. Aficionados will want to go to the other islands, where there are more big game fish.

They will cook the catch at the Zum Fischermann restaurant.The best time for Tuna is August.A half-day trip costs £27. Longer trips into deeper water find sailfish, swordfish, kingfish and maybe even blue, striped or white marlin and cost £45 per day. Marlin are caught in May/June through to October.

Off Sao Nicolau or Sao Vicente

The best marlin run in the Cape Verdes is south of Sao Nicolau, which you can fly to from Sal. The channel between Sao Vicente and Santa Antao is also productive. Boats are based at Mindelo or Tarrafal. Fishing is organised by Didier, who started with bass and mackerel 30 years ago in Normandy. Whole day fishing boat hire costs £479, which can be shared by a large party (higher in April)or a full week's fishing including hotel, transfers and flights from Lisbon costs from £1400 for parties of four up to £2200 for couples (higher in April). The boat has four marlin and two swordfish rods. Marlin grow big here on a diet of tuna and wahoo. Some are as large as 800lbs. Another boat is based on Sao Nicolau and has caught ten marlin in a day, as the waters are relatively unfished. Here is part of Uwe's log from May.

"Everybody fished for blue marlin in the south today and we saw a lot of action! First we caught a double header! Uwe brought the first fish (350lbs) on an 80 pound line to the boat and after that Peter jumped in the chair and caught the 450 pounder that took the "Andromeda". Then we missed a 300 on a W.Range. A bit later Uwe caught a 550 pounder and it took the "Andromeda" again! Later we missed two more fish on W.Ranges. So 3/6 for us. The other boats results: Bebiche 4/5 (1 about 750), Happy Hooker I 1/1, Happy Hooker II 2/7( including 1 about 850 pounds), Nha Cretcheu 1/3 We have 3 Danish anglers on board at the moment. During their 4 day charter they released 6 blue marlin from 14 strikes and 10 wahoo. The marlin were estimated to be between 200 lbs and 450 lbs.

Andy from the USA had a huge catch.

"Had trip of a lifetime with Zac and Olaf. I went 19 for 37 on blues in eight days fishing. On last day on Andromeda we went 5 for 9. Fished with Calu on my last day as Andromeda had a new charter, went 3 for 8 on blues and 3 wahoo."

Dave West, as chairman of the Sport fishing Club of the British Isles is a recognised authority on game fish.

"Unlike the Canaries it's not somewhere you should contemplate going and expect to book an odd day on spec. Whilst we were there the 6 boats in the fleet were fully booked, mainly with Dutch, German and Austrian anglers. The boats varied from a 31' Bertram through to a 46 footer. Whilst the local boats are in the €500-€700 range, Andromeda is €1200 a day. Berno skippers one boat and a Brit Simon his other. We fished from Sao Vicente island and released 8 smallish Blue Marlin in the 200 to 450lb range in 5 days fishing - two on stand-up tackle. In the roughish waters - the Trade Winds, funnelling between the islands, blow fairly constantly at around 25 to 30 knots - most came on big lures. Hook-up rates were not good. On our best two days we went 3 for 6, and 2 for 8. And although we persevered with a couple of short teasers for the first 3 days the only fish we attracted wouldn't switch to the bait. He swam straight past it, still trying to eat the teaser!

As well as Blue Marlin which are present between May and October they also catch White Marlin and Spearfish. And Yellowfin Tuna and Sailfish also turn up in good numbers. It appears they're still catching Blue Marlin in numbers, including some big fish up to an estimated 750lbs. If you're seriously hoping to catch your first Blue Marlin and not wanting to spend a ridiculous amount of money this is where I would recommend. Last year two of our members had 16 Blues in 5 1/2 days fishing! "