Madeira Mix

Madeira island news and views.

Archive for July, 2013


Photo from left to right: Me (Paul Watson) of, Luke Kilgour and father Neil Kilgour.

Madeira Island: 14 Year-old LUKE KILGOUR takes the decision to release potential junior world record Atlantic Blue Marlin estimated at weighing 1100lbs.

Funchal, Madeira, July 13th, 2013 – Today was an epic end to a two-day fishing trip I booked for clients from England, Neil (Father) and son Luke Kilgour (14 years old). Yesterday we had a big blue marlin of around 800lbs come up on the short left and took a massive bite with head and shoulders out of the water, she took the lure and ran with it for 50 metres but that was it, she came free.

TODAY THOUGH, Luke who has never caught anything bigger than a small Pufferfish before and who was enjoying his first blue marlin fishing experience ever (as a Christmas present from Dad), was lucky to see another monster blue marlin come up in the spread. With head and broad shoulders out of the water she looked at the short left corner first and then crossed over to the short right corner. It was just after noon and it seemed an eternity as she repeatedly dived down and then came back again to the lure. After a minute had passed by she finally committed and went for the short right. What followed was a show by a pure ‘hollywood’ fish with ‘greyhounding’ across the surface and multiple jumps.

The crew onboard BALANCAL today were skippers Anibal Fernandes, myself (Paul Watson) and Claudio Agrela. Claudio and I were working the deck and we just looked at each other and exclaimed BIG FISH!!!!!! Luke was in the chair and after a two hour fifteen minute epic battle the blue marlin was alongside. Anibal who is well used to estimating weights on big blues put her at a solid 1100lbs, but for good orders sake we will report her as a ‘grander’ plus! The tail fin height alone was WELL OVER a metre! Even though this fish would have smashed the existing junior record (around 800lbs I believe), the decision was taken by all onboard to resuscitate and release the fish. We did this by attaching a rope to the snooter that we were already using to control the fish and by towing the big old girl for a period of 45 minutes before finally letting her swim off to fully recover. What a lucky boy Luke is! In the picture is from left to right, myself (Paul Watson of, Luke Kilgour and dad, Neil Kilgour.

Congratulations Luke from us all at BALANCAL and MADEIRA CHARTERS.

A 6-minute video is available at:


About Big Game Fishing on the M.Y. Balancal

The ‘Skipper’

Captain Anibal Fernandes is recognised as one of Madeira’s most experienced fisherman. Anibal spent twenty years fishing commercially in South Africa before returning to his native Madeira in 1982. It was at this time that he met Roddy Hayes and eventually became the skipper of ‘Anguila’. Their first season together was one of the most successful ever, with over 80 Blue Marlin caught and tagged. He went on to skipper both ‘Lara Jade’ and ‘Margarita’ and during this time guided anglers to almost 20 ‘granders’. He has now been the skipper of ‘Balancal’ for almost five years.

Motor Yacht Balancal

The Balancal is a British-built Lochin 333 Flybridge sportfisherman, launched in 2001. She was originally commissioned as a private sportfishing yacht and still continues to serve her owners in that capacity, but for the last three years she has also been placed in charter, taking her guests to sea in comfort and safety.

The 33-foot Lochin hull has proved itself in a variety of demanding roles, including that of RNLI lifeboat, and is renowned for its seakeeping and safety. The Balancal is powered by twin 300 hp Perkins diesel engines giving her both speed and manoeuverability. The interior is outfitted to yacht standards with a spacious open cabin and marine head.

A comprehensive ensemble of fishing tackle is carried. For blue marlin we fish with four 130 lb outfits comprising bent butt chair rods and Shimano Tiagra 130 reels spooled with dacron backing and hi-visibility nylon monofilament topshot. A range of lighter tackle is employed for smaller game fish. The lure box is equipped with a select collection of proven artificial baits.

Over the last seven years, despite spending relatively little time on the water, the Balancal has more than proved herself as a fish raiser with notable highlights including a fish of over 1000 lbs hooked and lost in September 2003, a giant fish estimated at 1100+ lbs released in September 2004, a double hookup with two fish estimated at 700 and 1000 lb+ in June 2005, and in July 2006 the successful catch and release of three blue marlin in a single day.

Captain Anibal’s unequalled experience at the helm, combined with the capabilities and equipment of the Balancal, provide her anglers with the best possible chance of success.

The boats’ videographer specializing in big game fishing can be booked by appointment to record your day’s charter.


Foto de esq. para dir.: eu (Paul Watson) de, Luke Kilgour e pai Neil Kilgou

LUKE KILGOUR com 14 anos resolve largar Espadim Azul, potencialmente o recorde mundial para juniores, com peso estimado de 1,100 libras (500 Kg).

Funchal, Madeira, 13 de Julho, 2013 – Hoje foi um final inesquecível para 2 dias de pesca grossa que organizei para clientes vindos da Inglaterra; Neil (pai) e filho Luke Kilgour (com 14 anos). Ontem tivemos um espadim azul grande com cerca de 800 libras que se lançou à amostra esquerda curta com cabeça e ombros fora de água levando-a cerca de 50 metros antes do peixe se conseguir soltar.

NO ENTANTO HOJE…Luke, que nunca tinha pescado algo maior do que uma cavala e que estava gozar a sua primeira experiência de pesca grossa (presente de Natal do pai), teve a sorte de ver mais um espadim enorme invadir o conjunto das amostras. Com cabeça e ombros largos fora de água, ela olhou primeiro ao canto curto esquerdo e depois cruzou para o canto curto direito. Era um pouco depois do meio dia e pareceu uma eternidade quando ela mergulhou repetidamente e voltou à amostra. Passado um minuto ela finalmente resolveu e atacou ao canto curto direito.  O que seguiu foi “Hollywood” autêntico – o peixe “galgando” através da superfície com múltiplos saltos.

A tripulação abordo do BALANCAL era o Capitão Aníbal Fernandes, eu próprio (Paul Watson) e Claudio Agrela. Claudio e eu estávamos a trabalhar o “deck” e olhamos um para outro exclamando “BIG FISH!!!” Luke estava sentado na cadeira e apôs uma enorme luta de 2 horas e quinze minutos o espadim azul estava ao lado da embarcação. O Aníbal que tem muita experiencia em estimar o peso dos espadins azuis calculou uns 1,100 libras (cerca de 500kg), mas vamos reportá-la como “grander plus”.  A altura da cauda era BASTANTE ACIMA de um metro. Apesar da possibilidade deste peixe demolir o recorde mundial de juniores (cerca de 800 libras creio eu), a decisão foi tomada para ressuscitar e libertar o peixe.  Fizemos isto amarrando um cabo ao “snooter” que estávamos já a usar para controlar o peixe e rebocando a grande senhora durante um período de 15 minutos até finalmente deixá-la nadar para se restabelecer. Que sorte para o Luke !

Parabéns Luke de todos nos no BALANCAL e MADEIRA CHARTERS.

Um vídeo de 6 minutos está disponível em:

Para mais informações, contatar: Jonathan Fletcher em 291 790 120



For Immediate release – 20thousand Strokes

Na passada 2ªfeira, 1 de Julho de 2013, dois corajosos canoístas alemães, na companhia do M.Y. Balancal participaram de uma aventura ousada: a travessia a remo num Kayak (caiaque) desde o Porto Santo até à Madeira.

Os protagonistas Veit Quack e Eran Davidson queriam provar que qualquer pessoa é capaz de fazer e atingir algo de extraordinário. “Não é preciso ser um campeão mundial ou um génio. Basta seguir os seus sonhos e trabalhar com determinação.”
Com esta aventura os canoístas quiseram também promover a consciencialização para a subida do nível da água do mar.
A aventura teve início da manhã do dia 01 de Julho no Porto Santo, mas infelizmente, e por razões atmosféricas adversas a travessia teve de ser  interrompida. O M.Y. Balancal acabou por trazer os dois canoístas em segurança até ao porto do Funchal.

20thousand Strokes

On Monday the 1st of July 2013, 2 courageous Germans used the Funchal based Motor Yacht. Balancal to accompany a daring adventure: rowing from Porto Santo to Madeira in a special designed Sea-Kayak.
Veit Quack and Eran Davidson wanted to prove one thing first and foremost: Anyone is capable of making a difference, of achieving something extra ordinary! You don’t have to be a world-champion or high-flyer. It suffices to follow your dreams and determinedly work towards them.
With this adventure the hobby kayakers also want to raise awareness about the consequences of rising sea levels.
The adventure started early in the morning on the 1st of July on Porto Santo but unfortunately due to weather reason the crossing had to be stopped. The waves were too high for the Kayak. The M.Y. Balancal brought them back safely to the Funchal harbour.

For further information please contact – Jonathan Fletcher

Jonathan Fletcher

Balancal Game Fishing
Rua da Estalagem, 23
9060-415 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
T. +351 291 790 350
F. +351 291 794 985