Nine volcanic islands comprise the Azores, one of two autonomous regions of Portugal (another big-marlin spot, Madeira, being the other). The scenic islands rise to more than 7,700 feet (Mount Pico). “During a short three-month season (July-September) and with relatively few boats, the small, picturesque and remote island Port of Horta in the Azores, provides some of the world’s finest blue marlin fishing,” says Capt. Les Gallagher with Oceanic Fishing, who has been fishing the Azores since 1987. His best season in the Azores totaled 112 blues; he has caught a 1,310-pound blue. Gallagher cites these waters as accounting for 25% of current blue marlin conventional-tackle world records and five granders since 2016. Gallagher is also an accomplished photographer, as these images of action from boats in the Azores Fishing fleet show.