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Spearfishing Pico Island

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
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Hello Spearos,
could anybody please help me out?
I booked a flight and a room on Pico Island for 4 weeks in May. Hopefully, I will be allowed to do the trip. But due to the coronasituation, anything can happen...
But anyway, how is the possibility of a shore dive on Pico. Is the shore accessible all over the island? Which are the places, where I just don´t need to try, where it is too dangerous? Where is it easy to enter the sea? I hope someone can help me out on this.
Thanks a lot and stay save!
Boris
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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First of all as of now Azores are open to fly in just with a virus test so you should be OK getting there.
Secondly May is not the best month but most certainly not the worst - the closer to summer the better
Thirdly there are plenty of places on Pico to go from the shore but NOT all over the island - any small marina has stairs and/or a ladder to get in and out of the water.
So just study the map to find marinas and go there. I went once from the rocks to avoid swimming extra 500m from the marina and got banged up a bit.
Unless you already rented a car I strongly suggest to rent one. You have to study wind/waves (windy.app for example) and go to the more protected area. Conditions can change daily.
Also try to rent a boat a few times. It is not expensive and there are a lot of people who will gladly arrange for that.
 

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
11
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Thanks a lot for your advices! Just got the windy.app, it looks pretty good to me. And yeah, I definitely wanted to rent a car. Still looking to find an affordable rental company. Cheers
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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Thanks a lot for your advices! Just got the windy.app, it looks pretty good to me. And yeah, I definitely wanted to rent a car. Still looking to find an affordable rental company. Cheers
Last year on Azores all rentals where half price - under 20 Euros a day. It is more expensive now - see here a sample quote for 4 weeks: https://www.azoresrentalcars.com/re...date=28 May 2021&return_time=10&referral=AZRC. Usually the prices are around 35 Euro a day. But for 4 weeks you might want to arrange a private car rental if you have contacts on the island.
 

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
11
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I have no contacts on the island. But my Airbnb host is super friendly and helpful. I will ask him the next days, if he knows some private car rental. Maybe he knows some people for boat rental too, or I will ask around at the harbor...
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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I have no contacts on the island. But my Airbnb host is super friendly and helpful. I will ask him the next days, if he knows some private car rental. Maybe he knows some people for boat rental too, or I will ask around at the harbor...
If you are there for 4 weeks and can get a private car - negotiate to 20 Euros a day. Or at least try. Also I suggest to get in touch with this guy: https://www.facebook.com/paulo.gaspar.14473 Paulo Gaspar lives on Faial which is 30 minutes by ferry from Pico. He is a world record spearfishing holder - 300 kilo bluefin tuna. He knows the island EXTREMELY well and can give you some suggestions. He also runs a Katamaran Charter from Horta Faial which is VERY expensive but if he likes you he might help you to arrange something. Regardless he knows the island inside out and despite living on Faial he spearfishes on Pico. I can not be of much help since I did not hunt on Pico that much. But there are places where you are almost guaranteed to get nice trevallies going from the shore (in summer). I know some other guy who runs an Okeanos freediving school on Pico but he can not speak English :(
 

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
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No worrys, you really helped me quiet a bit so far! I am not on facebook anymore, but I found Paulo´s webpage. I wanted to visit Faial, too, so I might stop by at his rental and ask a question or two.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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No worrys, you really helped me quiet a bit so far! I am not on facebook anymore, but I found Paulo´s webpage. I wanted to visit Faial, too, so I might stop by at his rental and ask a question or two.
Yes, when you are in Horta on Faial you can buy a Princess Alice Banks trip or a whale/dolphin watch trips. Just do not talk spearfishing to those tour operators - they are not fond of it :) But you can talk to Gaspar obviously about spearing - he is crazy about it! Faial is more of a scuba diving destination anyway - most of the island is a nature reserve. Pico is much better spearfishing-wise.
 

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
11
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Good point. Same here in Berlin. Not a good idea talking in a bar (before corona hit) about going fishing at the weekend. Random people could listen and get mad.
 

baliste

Active Member
Jul 30, 2011
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Hello,

I did spearfishing in the south of the island in 1996-1997! I was living with two friends in a villa near the shore south of San Caetano. The people are extremely nice. Diving is not easy ... sometimes the sea is hard and you have to be able to move along the coast (rental car essential) to find a sheltered area to get in and out of the water. But the sea is clear and beautiful fish are present ... beware the grouper, although confident, is prohibited ... except the badèche . In one hunt I caught mullets (large), amberjack (19kg), parrots, sars, red mullet, and 2 scyllarus latus !!! (miam, miam !!)and I saw a huge Manta ray pass !!! 100m from the shore !! Have a good time there, the country is beautiful and the people welcoming
 

baliste

Active Member
Jul 30, 2011
23
3
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I forgot...
I also went fishing on the Princess Alice bench (this name makes you dream and it was a dream ... (it's still 4 hours drive from Horta I think I remember) ...
and there at the top of the peaks, 30m from the surface, which we can hardly distinguish, a school of large amberjack (20-30kg - S. dumerelii) patrolled ... with a large circle of hundred big barracudas... a vision of hell with a shark wandering around on the sector ... atmosphere, atmosphere !! I filmed this memorable outing ... a rather rare moment of happiness!
 

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
11
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Thanks for your reply. Those are some awesome stories of yours. I have heard about the Princess Alice bank, but imagined, that it is a nature reserve. Maybe I can make it there, if not for spearfishing, at least for some freediving. There is a spearfishingmovie on youtube called "Inhale". Beautifully shot and very informative (I highly recommend it). They also mention that the grouper is protected. I hope to find some divebuddies over there, as I am traveling alone.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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Thanks for your reply. Those are some awesome stories of yours. I have heard about the Princess Alice bank, but imagined, that it is a nature reserve. Maybe I can make it there, if not for spearfishing, at least for some freediving. There is a spearfishingmovie on youtube called "Inhale". Beautifully shot and very informative (I highly recommend it). They also mention that the grouper is protected. I hope to find some divebuddies over there, as I am traveling alone.
PAB is not a reserve. The locals split the week - fishing/spearing some days and scuba/freediving/snorkeling tours another. The shallow point is at 32 meters and on a good day you can spot an amberjack from the surface and dive to it. There are also huge schools of fish - I saw a 45 kilo amberjack. But you need a gun with a 6 meter killing range. 3 hours from Faial on a Zodiac
Dusky groupers are forbidden to spear but not on line and hook. Island groupers are allowed.
 

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
11
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Well 32 meters are not my depth yet, and I don´t have a 6 meter killing range with my 100cm. Nevermind, freediving there would be awesome, too I guess. Can´t wait to go on the plane.
 

vrokhlenko

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2002
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Well 32 meters are not my depth yet, and I don´t have a 6 meter killing range with my 100cm. Nevermind, freediving there would be awesome, too I guess. Can´t wait to go on the plane.
Like I said, May is not the best month but I hope you will get lucky. Talk to Gaspar about your trip - you can get there as a hunter or a freediver. As a freediver it is easy - like I mentioned before plenty of operators in Horta on Faial. As a hunter - Gaspar might help.
 

baliste

Active Member
Jul 30, 2011
23
3
43
Hello BKO,
thank you very much for this information about the Azores ... i just downloaded the movie ...
beautiful pictures ... the work is excellent ..
what I filmed at the time with the super8 obviously does not have the quality of current videos !!!
if you are interested I will give you the address of my film which may still be on Youtube
cordially
 

BK80

Member
Jun 30, 2019
11
1
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Hello baliste,
thanks for sharing your video! I like it, and I like the music you used. One must consider, that cameras of today are far more photosensitive than old cameras like your Hi8 I think it was. Besides the HD solution of today. It is the only spearfishing video of the Princess Alice Banks, I found so far, very cool. What a giant you shot there, congrats! Which kind of shark is it at 4:36?
 

baliste

Active Member
Jul 30, 2011
23
3
43
Hello,
je pense que c'est un requin soyeux (C. falciformis... bande sombre sur la partie postérieure de la queue)
Mais c'est difficile à préciser sur ces images floues
I think it's a silky shark (C. falciformis ... with dark band on the back part of the tail)
But it's hard to pinpoint on these blurry images !
Sincerely
 
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