Yet, according to Richard Howell, Madeira Sportfishing’s Manager, out his catches 1 out of every 10 is what could be considered a catch of a lifetime for the angler: a grander.
Considering the furious activity of machine cranes swinging Marlin catches in the marina last year (1996), it seems that there are more bigger catches than less. It is pretty astonishing how nature always amazes one with its surprises and yield.
Fortunately, only when absolutely necessary the Marlin are brought in and hung for photographs and recording. Otherwise, they are tagged and released back into the water. This is a policy followed by most of the operators, if not all, in Madeira.
The Blue Marlin fishing took off on a high after Roddy Hays came to Madeira and pioneered and virtually monopolised the big blue marlin fishing industry here. Through his high profile presence here he was able to develop the now strong American and English markets for this type of sport. He has now ventured off to the Midway Islands near Hawai, in the Pacific, to test the waters there. In his place other operators, especially from the USA, filled the vacuum.
The Madeiran operators include MADEIRA SPORTFISHING, COSTA DO SOL, LDA, TURIPESCA - Madeira Game Fishing Centre, and the ALBATROZ. If you look carefully in the Marina of Funchal you will find stands or cubicles that can promptly serve you.
The other operators, many from beyond the European Union, all seem to operate on what is presented as obscure “private” fishing anglers. It is absolutely impossible to get more information on these “private” operators. Some local operators are concerned that they are willing to admit that they think these anglers are more than just “private”, that there might just be some competition in busines working here. Especially since lots of television and video crews visit them... Private anglers do not suffer the surcharges placed on commercial and charter deep sea fishing operators. There are, however some very respectable visitors that permanesce here in Madeira doing their fishing in real privacy: like Don Tyson, and members of the Spanish Royalty, amongst others.