Obsessive record-stalking anglers descend on this mountainous, vineyard-covered isle 320 miles north of the Canaries hoping to haul in a "grander"a thousand-pound-plus blue marlin, one of two things Madeira is famous for. The other is a sweet wine that's sure to ease your pain over the one that got away. Charter a boat and guide from Nautisantos (011-351-291-222667; www.madeirafishing.com).
Once a World War II battle zone, this U.S. National Wildlife Refuge 1,500 miles northwest of Hawaii began allowing visitors five years ago. Since then, more than 20 world-record catches have been hauled in, including a 78-pound giant trevally. Stay in Midway's only accommodations, the spruced-up (and surprisingly pleasant) former Army officers' quarters.Contact Destination: Pacific (888-244-8582; www.fishdive.com) to plan your trip.
This volcanic melting pot 450 miles east of Madagascar, with its Creole-speaking Franco-Anglo-African-Indian-Chinese population, offers superb fishing for black and blue marlin, sailfish, and sharks. Captains generally keep your catch and sell it; if you insist on catch-and-release, expect to pay about $75 for each fish you land in this not-so-green economy. Call Sportfisher (011-230-263-8358; www.sportfisher.com).
Marquesas Keys, Florida
Monster tarpon, permit, and bonefish loll in the turquoise shallows of this handful of uninhabited islands in the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. Work the Marquesas on daylong charters out of Key West.Call Key West Fishing Guides (800-497-5998; www.keywestfishingguides.com).