Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Thanks so much John for a most enjoyable couple of days fishing and also for all your help in connection with my recent visit to the Algarve. Although being an avid angler for many years up until the millennium, I now consider myself very much a novice and have to learn the art all over again. The accommodation arranged for me was absolutely first class, in every way, and my apartment was equipped with everything I could ever need. The facilities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gymnasium, sauna, massage and pool table were superb and the local restaurants o!ered great food at a very reasonable price.

The fishing trips were very much the highlight of my trip, tremendously helped by the fact that all the tackle and bait that you provided was spot-on and the weather, although not suitable for sun bathing was absolutely perfect for fishing with an average temperature of around 23 degrees centigrade. The lake we fished, just a fifteen minute drive from my apartment, was absolutely delightful with the local goats, pigs, horse and a variety of birds that came to have a drink further enhanced the experience. I must admit that my day one catch of thirteen carp, up to 7lb, including a fabulous looking fully scaled mirror and a bonus barbel of 4lb, eclipsed my wildest expectations.

I am sending you a copy of the short video sequence that I did of you playing and landing one of your fish together with a few random pics that I took. However, I think that I should mention that although they show you dressed for a British winter, I was fishing next to you in my T-shirt and shorts. My second day turned out even better, with fourteen carp, up to 6lb, plus four barbel, all around the same size as the one I caught the previous day, providing me with a similar tremendous feeling of excitement that I used to experience when I first started fishing some ffty years ago. Just as it was all those years ago, I cannot wait for my next fishing trip and I am planning to return next February.

Thank you again John for making it all possible.

Eddie Mears

Trip booked with John Bates at Tightlines-Portugal for some Shark fishing in the Algarve. John met us at Faro Airport and transported us to our hotel accommodation.

Hotel was bed and breakfast. There was a swimming pool and all staff spoke English.   On Fishingday’s breakfast was easily arranged for early start.

Fishing days; John would accompany us and transport us to the boat, where his partner Mario was ready and waitng. If the weather/sea was rougher than expected (which happened on our first day) there was a back-up plan of a 50+ acre lake where you could fish for wide mouth bass.

The remaining 3 days we maaged to go out to sea, where we caught 5 blue sharks up to 50lbs, Red Snapper up to 7 lbs, bream up to 3lbs, and plenty of huge Garfish, Mackerel Groupers and Conger Eels.

John and Mario certainly put us on to the fish.  

The equipment and bait was provided and excellent.

Overall the trip was definitely for fishing, in which they care about you succeeding, and not the rip of tourist charters.

Will definitely be booking again, and hopefully soon, watch this space

Clive Dawson

17th – 24th June 2017

I’ve just spent three days of freshwater fishing magic with John Bates in the Algarve.

On the first day, to get us started, we used floats and feeders to catch 20 carp up to 9 lb in a heavily stocked lake.  We had to wait for a while until a shoal of carp appeared and muddied a large swath of the lake by feeding on our ground bait.  Once the action started it was non-stop excitement and fun.

Next day we used poppers and spinners to catch 30+ largemouth bass.  We began in John’s boat on the largest lake and explored the numerous, picturesque bays.  We finished by stalking bass on a small lake that also contained some tempting carp.  Day 3 was the climax.  We tied up the boat in the marginal reeds of a small bay where we'ed seen large carp patrolling in the deep, crystal clear water on the previous day.

Using sliding floats, 2 lb test curve rods and light bait runner reels with boilies as bait we set our ambush.  After an hour of quiet, patient waiting my float shot off and the reel screamed as a 19 lb carp went on a blistering run.  After struggling to keep it away from the rushes  I manoeuvred the fish into the open water and after many hard-fought minutes John landed it - a scale perfect common and my biggest float-caught carp. After I’d caught another big common,  John’s float suddenly rocketed off and mine followed seconds later- a double take!  John’s fish headed straight for the margins and, having thought the fish was lost, he skilfully coaxed it out and into the net - a 21 lb beauty.  I landed my double a few minutes later. 

To complete a marvellous day, I had three more runs and landed two more commons edging 20 lbs.  The excitement of clearly seeing large carp feeding around your bait in the depths only a rod length away from the boat takes some beating.  If you get a chance, why not experience the breathtaking fun accompanied by John in sunny Portugal.  My only warning is: don’t forget the suncream and take plenty of drinking water!

June 2017

Stuart, Rob, Jay celebrate one of the sharks they caughtEarlier this year two friends and I decided on a long weekend break to escape the gloomy April showers, but not just any break, we wanted something a little active, something with an edge. Unanimously we decided on a shark-fishing trip.

We searched through various websites, but there is always a degree of hesitation when dealing with individuals or organisations that come with no personal recommendation. What would we get for our money, if anything at all? We have all heard the stories before, and that always sticks in the back of your mind when parting with hard earned cash. Tight-Lines read well, but could it deliver? We made contact with John Bate who promptly replied offering various bespoke packages to suit our needs. We very soon felt very confident John was our man and left the rest to him.

We arrived at Faro airport on Friday 22nd April 2005 for a four day break on the Algarve, the shark fishing was scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday, giving us time to settle in and prepare for the challenge ahead. John was there to meet us and we immediately set off for the 40-minute transfer in his trusty pick-up to the historic town of Silves.

Our accommodation was at the Colina Hotel Resort; we were settled in our apartment by midday and enjoyed the far-reaching view from the balcony to the elevated focal point of Silves, the Castle. John provided a guided tour of the town and recommended the places to eat and drink. Joining us for lunch he briefed us on the game plan for the weekend.

Many differnt species of shark can be caught off the Algarve coastNext day, we arrived at Portimao harbour for the first of our shark trips, and as you would expect the adrenalin was already pumping with the thoughts of what was in store for us. Scenes from the film Jaws came to mind along with the famous words, ‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat’. John chartered the ‘Nitucha’, a well maintained 15m trawler with an experienced crew, a big sigh of relief, the boat was big enough and we were in capable hands.

We set out and reached some 8 miles from the coved shoreline of Portimao, the engine was cut and an eerie silence fell upon us as we began the 6-mile drift in search of the ultimate predator. This was our moment.

Through the course of the day several species of bottom fish were caught, including Mackerel and Grouper. As the day began to disappear, only the echoes of the westerly wind forcing the Atlantic Ocean against our hull could be heard, then suddenly, the click of John’s multiplier began to scream, a positive bite well hit and battle commenced. The crew and others on board came to life with the immediate kick of adrenalin, after some time the beast was landed, subsequently tagged and released to fight another day. Though not before several camera shutters went into overtime to capture the moment Here it was before us, the sight we wished for many months earlier, an immaculate Blue shark. This predator exceeded 2m in length and topped 60 kilo’s on the scales. The hours of inhaling the stench of chumming (or rubby dubby), as the locals prefer to call it, had finally paid off

By the second outing we understood the drill, we headed out 8 miles to a depth of 52m, immediately rigged and baited up and commenced our drift. Several bottom feeding rigs were set up for some lighter fishing which proved successful as we landed many Atlantic Mackerel, colourful Grouper fish and the small but poisonous Weaver fish with quite a reputation! Towards the end of the day bait was taken on one of the heavy rods, as line stripped from the spool the tension bent the rod double, then went slack, unfortunately the line was bitten. Still you can’t win them all, but we will certainly get some mileage from the old fisherman’s adage, ‘the one that got away’. A well-earned coffee and Brandy back on shore, a real favourite of John’s, rounded off each day.

Our final night was a stay in the neighbouring resort of Carvoeiro, our spacious apartment was in the exclusive Colina Do Lapa complex and again we enjoyed a fabulous outlook. John went out of his way to provide the usual guided tour and the weekend was finished off with an excellent meal and one too many pints of Sagres.

We were sad to leave behind the last few days, a few days that had given us some good laughs along the way not to mention the 60 kilo Blue. The whole weekend was well organised and gave us the chance to get away from the stresses and strains of home life.

As for John, well fishing has become his life over the years and he is keen to share his wealth of experience and knowledge to those wishing to chase a dream. In our opinion John is a genuine and passionate individual who is sure to keep you informed and entertained. The ‘personal touch’ he adopts is a real credit to him, something of a rarity in this day and age.

We have no hesitation in recommending John for freshwater or sea fishing, he knows the game he probably invented it!

Though the Blue’s and the Mako’s escaped us three on this occasion, there will be a next time,

So until the next time

Rob, Stuart and Jay

Essex, England

If you would like to get to grips with some superb shark fishing in Portugal, then the following are some more of the sharks taken by Tightlines Portugal clients over the last couple of seasons, fishing from one or two of our charter boats, which might wet your appetite?

Why not book a Shark Fishing Week, find out more on our Shark trips page.

Read Coarse fishing visitor testimonials

When can we expect to be entertaining you, your family or friends?

John Bate

Steve with a Moray eel caught from one of the reefs off the coastIf variety is the spice of life, then we've had a spicy angler visit us indeed. California-based angler Steve Wozniak has fished across the globe, having caught over 390 species of fish in 31 different countries. He spent two days fishing with us in Faro over January 22 and 23, and apart from experiencing our normal excellent Winter bottom fishing, he also showed us a few tricks of his own.

The saltwater fishing in our region can be excellent. We are certainly known for summertime shark and big game, but the wintertime reef fishing is a relatively untapped bonanza of outstanding table fish - and a few outsize surprises as well. The January weather was relatively stable, and on both days, we were favoured with little wind and eminently fishable seas. After breakfast in Silves, we met up with the boat in port and made the short run out to our first reef.

Typical gear for the bottom fishing is relatively light, especially in the tips. Detection of light bites is critical, and this is aided by using the newer braided lines, which have minimal stretch and can telegraph the lightest tap from 150 feet down. While the commercial fishermen use longer rods to 3m or more and braid in the 20+ pound range on revolving spool reels, Steve was quite successful with rods in the 7 foot class and 14 pound braid. Terminal rigs consist of a paternoster with 2-4 hooks in the #2 size, plus a 1-2 ounce sinker to reach the bottom. Baits are many and varied, but pile worms, clams, and shrimp all seemed to be effective on the reef fish.

On our first day, we had to move around to a couple of different reefs before we found active fish. But when we hit the right rockpile, sea bream and other assorted reef-dwellers, such as besugos, bogas, and choupas, began to come in one after the other. Most of these fish were in the 500g range, but give an excellent account of themselves on light tackle. This action was steady and continued through the day, but the real fun started when Steve pulled out some heavier tackle in the 10-15kg class and rigged up some large live and dead baits. Sardines, mackerel strips, and live bogas up to 20 cm were put on the bottom on a sliding sinker rig, with the reel left in free spool and the strike alarm set.

In less than 30 minutes, the big gear got hit. Steve let the fish run, then set into something that was obviously not a bream. After a spirited battle than included several hard runs, he boated a solid conger eel well over a meter in length. Over the next few hours, the big gear was hit several more times, and in the afternoon, Steve landed a 3 kg skate, considered by some to be the best table fish in the area.

Some of the fish Steve caught on his trip with Tightlines.

On the second day, we explored some reefs to the east of the harbour. It was a bit windier than Saturday, but still easily fishable with no discomfort. We found the biting fish fairly quickly, and again filled our sacks with a variety of bream and other bottom fish. The big rods came out again, and Steve pulled in 2 congers quickly - quite a meal for someone. The real surprise came at the end of the day, when a big slab of mackerel at 140 feet got hammered. Steve struggled to get the rod out of the holder, and the battle was on. The fish made several tough runs at the bottom, then slowly began to come up. After about 10 minutes, it came into view - a moray eel, over 10 pounds. Landing it was a bit of excitement, but Steve had brought an excellent lip-grabbing device and we finally got the creature under control. In your own fishing, though, be careful - these eels have tremendous teeth and jaws, and are much slipperier and more manoeuvrable than a regular fish.

An excellent weekend on the water, and we're looking forward to having Steve (now it's 32 countries and counting!) back in the future for some shark, offshore, or any of the excellent freshwater fishing we can offer here in Portugal.

If you would like to get to grips with some superb sea fishing in Portugal? Do as Steve did, he made the most of a Sea Fishing 3 Day break you could do the same or come for a full Week

Read Coarse fishing visitor testimonials

John Bate

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Copyright 2015 John Bate - Development David Batten

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If you wish to get more info on any of our trips then use our online booking einquiry page and tell us what type of fishing you want, how many will be coming, and when. We will then contact you to confirm your dates before you start booking flights and insurances etc. This gives us an opportunity to fine tune your trip and cater for your personal needs.

We look forward to hearing from you and organising a full holidy trip out to the Algarve or catering for you on a day out whilst out here on a family holiday.