The Algarve’s extensive coast is the perfect place to go fishing. The weather is very pleasant with more than 300 days of sunshine a year at this Portuguese region, temperatures during Winter average 11/12ºC, meaning that it never gets too cold, and the sea in the south of Portugal is warm due to influences of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans, the Gulf Stream and the continental shelf, and quite safe, allowing you to embark on a ship and be at ease in high sea while fishing, or, if you prefer, to fish straight from the beach, harbours or cliffs.
There are more than 200 fish species at the Algarve sea, including 300kg marlins! The most common fish you can catch are: Tunas, Congers, Sea Bass, Sargos, White Hake, Mullet, Beetroot, Redfish, Snapper, Sardine, Mackerel, Sole, Golden, Horse Mackerel, Scabbard Fish, Roosterfish, Trout, Largemouth, Barbell, Carp, Sturgeon and even sharks such as the Hammerhead Shark, the Blue Shark or the Mako.
This 3 hour boat trip departs from Albufeira’s Marina and is a great way to experience fishing in the deep seas. The professional and experienced crew is at your disposal and will teach you everything you need to know, regardless of your age or experience. Passengers are taken out to a location about ¾ of a mile from the main coast of the Algarve, where the water is 20 to 30 metres deep, in a location especially sourced by the crew.
Alvor started off as a small fishing town precisely due to the abundance of fish in its waters. There are a bunch of fishing trips you can embark on from Alvor, depending on your preferences, time and budget:
Family fishing: The shortest trips are designed for the whole family to have fun together. The most common trip for people wanting to go fishing in Alvor takes 2 hours, is conducted in an area around 1,5 miles away from the coast, and you’ll be able to catch Sea Basses, Stone Basses, Squids or Cuttle Fishes and then take it home with you and cook it yourself.
Reef fishing: There’s also a reef fishing type of trip that lasts 4 hours and takes you to the best spots to catch Mackerels and Garfishes. The fishing is done at 2/3 miles from the coast, and for that you use light fishing rods and the type of bait is usually shrimp.
Shark fishing: If you’re feeling more adventurous why not try to catch some of the most fearsome sea creatures? The shark fishing trip from Alvor usually takes around 6 hours and will take you as far out as 8 miles from the coast. This type of deep-sea fishing requires squids and sardines to be used as bait, and a more robust type of fishing rods with 50 pounds. This is a catch and release kind of fishing.
Jigging fishing trip: There is also another 6 hour trip, in case you and your friends prefer to do jigging and have a little competition to see who catches the biggest fish, which will take you to 8 to 14 miles away from the coast, depending on the number of people on the boat and the conditions of the sea. The jigging fishing trip is quite physically demanding and allows you to catch corvinas, snappers, rooster fishes and mackerels.
Big Game Private Charter: Finally, the Big Game Private Charter provides you with a private boat for six people and will take you far off coast so you can experience deep sea fishing and where you will be comfortably amongst your friends catching the biggest fishes in the ocean. This type of fishing allows you to catch (and release) tunas and marlins that can weigh up to 400kg. The best time of the year for this type of fishing is between August and October and the fishing rods used are robust ones and the baits are squids or sardines.
Fishing in Vilamoura is one of the favourite activities for the thousands of tourists that visit Vilamoura every year, something which is not a surprise considering that the biggest marina of the Algarve is built precisely in Vilamoura.
Reef fishing trip: From Vilamoura’s Marina you can go on a reef fishing trip, which has the option to be last for 3 hours or 4 hours. The 3 hour trip is designed for more inexperienced people with kids. The boat travels for 15 minutes to a location situated 1.5 miles away from the coast, while for the 4 hour trip the boat travels for 20/30 minutes to a spot located at 2/3 miles away from the coast. On the reef fishing trip the fishing rods used are light ones, which are 1.65 to 1.80 metres tall, of short range. Calamares and squids make for robust baits that can last a lot of time inside water. The most common types of fish caught are: Mackerels, Groupers or Snappers.
Shark fishing trip: In Vilamoura you can also o shark fishing. The trip to catch sharks lasts for 6 hours and the fishing is done 8 miles away from the coast, in an area where the sea is 80 metres deep. More robust fishing rods of 50 pounds are used for this deep-sea fishing type.
Tuna and dorado fishing trip: Big shoals of tunas and dorados swim on the deep waters of Vilamoura. To catch them you will have to use 80 pounds fishing rods and sardines or mackerels as bait.
Marlin fishing trip: From Vilamoura you will also have the chance to embark on a trip to catch marlins. These majestic creatures that weigh over than 400kg require 130 pounds fishing rods, specifically designed to catch large fishes. The activity lasts for 8 hours. After catching them, the marlins will be released.
Fishing from the beach – Fishing in the Algarve doesn’t necessarily entail that you have to go on a boat fishing trip. In case you prefer to fish from the beach, then we recommend the following beaches: Praia de Faro, Praia de Olhão, Praia da Fuseta, Praia da Ilha da Culatra, Praia da Ilha de Tavira, Praia de Alvor, Praia de Armação de Pêra and Praia dos Salgados. Fishing from beaches is best when the sea is rough (during winter for example) and you will be able to catch larger fishes such as dorados and sea basses However, you should take into account that during high season (from June to September), most of these beaches get crowded with visitors, making it illegal to fish where there are people swimming.
Fishing from harbours – It is forbidden to fish in most harbours in the Algarve apart from the one in Ferragudo (called in Portuguese “barra de Ferragudo”).
Fishing from cliffs – The Algarve has some beautiful cliffs with breath-taking sceneries, perfect for a relaxing afternoon fishing while watching the sunset. Best spots for fishing from cliffs would be the cliffs at Vilamoura of Praia da Falésia, the cliffs in Lagos, Portimão and Carvoeiro. These cliffs are ideal for when the sea is calmer, especially during summer or spring, and normally you can catch small fishes like breams.
Fishing in rivers – In case you would rather fish in rivers and catch freshwater fish we recommend Rio Guadiana, Rio Arade and Rio Séqua (also known as Rio Gilão).
Fishing in lakes – Even though the Algarve doesn’t have lakes per se it has small rivers (ribeiras in Portuguese) which are considered by locals as being equivalent to lakes and where you can catch freshwater fish. Best small rivers for fishing would be Ribeira de Aljezur, Ribeira de Odelouca, Ribeira de Odeleite, Ria de Alvor and Ria Formosa (Ria Formosa has so much abundance in terms of fish and crustaceous that is used by many bird species to feed themselves).
Be advised that in case you decide to fish from a beach, harbour, cliff, river or lake, you still need a licence (in case you decide to go on a fishing boat trip, the licence will be provided to you at the boat for the price of 5€ so make sure you bring your ID with you to the boat). In case you don’t have a licence, police is likely to take away your fishing equipment and you can be subject to a fine (children under the age of 14 are exempt if accompanied by an adult with a valid licence).
Best times of the year to catch the following fish species:
Trout: 1 March to 31 July
Largemouth Bass/ Barbel / Carp: 1 July to 14 March
Shad: 1 February to 14 July
Sturgeon: 16 January to 14 July
In case you need help with your equipment or bait, please be aware that the Algarve has plenty of shops, which sell and rent the proper fishing equipment, spread out across cities and small towns.
Have fun preparing your ideal fishing trip to the Algarve and in case you need help feel free to contact our team of experienced professionals at Algarve Fun.