Captain Zak Conde is the top Blue marlin skipper in the world. Operating out of Mindelo harbour on Sao Vicente. Zak has many World records for blue marlin fishing including the most caught in one season, 329 in 2012 and the biggest six blues caught in the Atlantic. To most people, they are a fish of a lifetime and rightly so and Zak has more experience than anyone so over to the Captain now…
Hi Zak, Where did you grow up, and what was your introduction to fishing?
I was born in the Azores and I first went marlin fishing when I was 19, so that was 23 years ago now.
Can you tell us about your first ever marlin catch?
My first blue marlin was caught with my first captain and boss Les. I remember seeing the strike, what an experience. When I finally had the leader I remember saying to Les that’s a big one! He smiled and said to me thats just a little one, it was 250lb. It was a small blue but to me it was enormous.
You have fished all over the world, what makes Cape Verdes a special place for marlin?
The Cape Verdes are the most consistent place in the Atlantic for blue marlin. There is a spawning area not too far from us. If you want to catch your first blue marlin this is the place no question…
You have caught many many marlin, Whats the biggest marlin you have ever had?
The biggest blue I ever had on the leader was over 1400lb, and the biggest on the deck was 1309lbs. As a Captain though I have seen some monsters out here.
You have broken many IGFA world records, what one were you most happy with?
Probably the best memory was 1189lb fish caught on 80lb line, which is still the world record for that class line.
If a visitor wanted to catch their first marlin, what would be the best times to visit?
For the blues its March to October with April to July being the peak months.
Whats the tuna fishing like in Cape Verdes?
If your after Tuna the Azores is far better, though we do have some. And also some of the best amberjack fishing in the world.
You also fish for the many large sharks, can you tell us about fishing for these?
We have tigers, nurse, a couple of bulls and some black pointers, all good fun if you put the time in.
If you were going on a fishing holiday, where in the world would you like to go?
If it was for blue marlin I would stay here! If it was big black marlin it would have to be Australia and Brazil is another good place from November to March, great fishing.
And finally Zak, what are your hopes for 2014?
I hope to get a grander this year and win our fourth World cup in July.
Well thanks for talking to us Captain Zak and hope you have a great year.
No problem Paddy I hope you also have a good year…