Fishing the CAPE VERDE ISLANDS with the Billfish Club

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in Cape Verde as a fishing destination. Fishing here for almost 15 years we will do our best to ensure you have a successful, enjoyable, and comfortable holiday.

Situated 950 miles south of the Canaries and 300 miles west of Senegal on the African mainland, Cape Verde is rightly regarded as one of the top destinations to catch Atlantic blue marlin, and among the best marlin destinations worldwide. We operate from the town of Mindelo on the island of Sao Vincente in the northwest archipelago.

The biggest marlin landed (and first Grander) in Cape Verde was caught aboard one of our boats and weighed a staggering 1,093 lbs.  This fish was also the biggest marlin worldwide of 1998 (IGFA, 1999). The average weight of marlin you can expect to catch is between 200-350 lbs, though we regularly catch fish in excess of 500 lbs. There are large numbers of marlin here too: we regularly exceed a hundred marlin per boat for the season and on occasion have achieved double figure catches in a single day’s fishing. We have won the prestigious AFTCO Captain of the Year Award for Atlantic Blue Marlin a total of five times. This award is presented annually for the most number of fish tagged and released. In 2006 the Happy Hooker 1 took first prize in the annual worldwide Fourth of July Blue Marlin Tournament. The main season for marlin is from March through to October although marlin are regularly caught during the winter and increasingly we are fishing during these months, weather permitting.

Other fish frequently caught are wahoo to about 80lbs, and yellowfin tuna in excess of 200lbs. Later in the season, you may also catch white marlin, longbill spearfish, shortbill spearfish, Atlantic sailfish, and Dorado. Shark fishing is also good here, especially for tiger shark, and we can make special arrangements for shark fishing trips.

On request, for any billfish caught and released you will receive a release certificate for your achievement from the Billfish Club Cabo Verde. Members of The Billfish Foundation will receive a release certificate from the organisation. The Billfish Club Cabo Verde advocates the catch and release of billfish. Fishing pressure on billfish is enormous, especially from industrial longlining. For more information on this threat see »Info → Tag&Release« in the menu above.

Customers have a choice of two boats: a Bertram 33’ and a Bertram 35’. Both boats are fitted with state of the art navigation technology, colour depth sounder, VHF maritime radio, 8-person life-raft, outriggers, and tournament quality fighting chair. You are provided with two deckhands to assist in the cockpit. Fishing equipment consists of 50 lb and 80 lb Penn International 2-speed reels, Shimano Tiagra 80Ws, as well as quality Penn International II rods. We also have a range of equipment for light-tackle fishing. This includes Shimano TLD reels which have seen three world record catches aboard the HAPPY HOOKER. All tackle and bait is included in the charter, though you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. With advance notice we may be able to find anglers to share the cost of the boat with you if required.


Travel Information.

You require a visa for Cape Verde and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months. If the booking is on short notice a visa can be issued in Sal/Praia on arrival for ~25 Euro. The currency is Cape Verdean Escudos and can only be exchanged on the islands. Banks accept credit cards, most other businesses do not. The recommended travel currencies are the US dollar, Euro, or traveller’s cheques. The exchange rate for the Euro is 1€/110 Escudos.

At present the cost of flights vary considerably depending on seat availability. Tuifly are a common choice combining low prices with frequent services to Sal from Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hannover (and Hamburg during the winter). Flight duration is approximately 6 hours. From the UK there are weekly flights to Sal from London Gatwick with Thomson. Additionally there are daily flights from Portugal to Sal or Praia (Santiago Island), and frequent flights from Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France direct to Sal.

On 22/12/2009 the Sao Vincente international airport opened with non-stop flights from Europe (direct flights from Lisbon to São Vicente with TAP and TACV are now available). Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details.

Useful Information.

There is a good, well-equipped hospital in Mindelo. There are also a number of good private clinics and the pharmacies are of equal standard. However, we do recommend taking foreign travel insurance for your trip. There is no malaria in Cape Verde. The daytime temperatures are between 22°-27°. Until April, a light sweater is advisable as the evenings can be chilly. July and August temperatures are often accompanied by high humidity. It is recommended that you bring your own sunscreen as it is expensive in Cape Verde.

Exchange rate 2012: 1 Euro = 110 Escudos.