Pescadores, Spanish and Portuguese for "fishermen" (also perscatori in Italian), is a term used to refer to voices on the pirate bands speaking non-English languages, often Spanish or Spanish-sounding. The original assumption was that these were fishermen from Mexico, the Caribbean, and points south, on boats in the Gulf of Mexico, talking to each other or to bases on land, but this has never been proven. Normally these stations are a random annoyance to pirates and pirate DXers, but occasionally they seem to be making an effort to interfere with pirate broadcasts. Vice versa, pirate stations will sometimes attempt to interfere with the pescadores' conversations.
For current pescadores/peskys/peskies/fishing fleets/fishery radio/UNID two-way QSOs in Spanish, Portuguese and other languages/etc logs see the "Peskies" forum on HF Underground here:
Not all pescadores appear to be marine radio stations operating outside the ITU standardized marine HF bands. Some of them have been confirmed to be land-based transmissions, particularly Spanish speaking stations centered around 6900 kHz.
Several English speaking fishing fleets have been logged in the 6-7 MHz region as well, especially those with New England or Boston accents, which have been logged on 6095 kHz, 6212 kHz, 6215 kHz, 6516 kHz, 6953 kHz, 6956 kHz, 6985 kHz, 6993 kHz and other frequencies, all in USB mode.
One of the most common frequencies to hear "peskies" is 6925 kHz LSB, followed by 6900 kHz USB/LSB and many others. Peskies are known to use "cute" or "easy to remember" frequencies such as 6969.6 kHz, 6666 kHz, 6666.6 kHz, , 6767.6 kHz, 6767.7 kHz, 6777.7 kHz, 6789 kHz, 6888 kHz, 15151.5 kHz, etc. Peskies don't follow rules relating to use of USB vs. LSB or frequency steps. As a result, it is not uncommon to hear peskies interfering with each other during good propagation. In the Eastern Hemisphere, peskies are Asian fishermen (and possibly also land based transmissions) found all over the 3-30 MHz range. There is some overlap between legal HF marine communications and pescadores, as fishing fleet communications are found in the 6200 kHz to 6525 kHz 6 MHz marine band as well as the higher frequencies (and lower frequencies!) above and below the MF/HF maritime bands.
Pescadores will also use LSB and AM modes in the legal marine bands and/or operate on non-standard frequencies (using offsets, operating between channels, using 5 kHz steps instead of 3 kHz steps like freeband CB, etc).
HF Underground contributors have logged pescadore traffic on various frequencies throughout the HF spectrum.
Freebanders on HF
HF freebanders, sometimes known as "EC" or "Echo Charlie" operators (mainly in Europe) tend to operate on/near the following frequencies:
- 200 meters: 1600-1800 kHz - AM mode (used in Russia and Eastern Europe)
- 150 meters: 2000-2200 kHz - AM/SSB modes (common in Russia and Eastern Europe, mix of land based and marine mobile AM traffic)
- 120 meters: 2300-2500 kHz - AM mode - Russia and Eastern Europe (see also: 100 meters or 3 MHz region)
- 100 meters: 2900-3500 kHz - AM mode (old military radios and marine radios) with some SSB - very busy in Russia and Eastern Europe CIS - "Troyka"
- 90 meters/85 meters: 3300-3500 kHz
- 70 meters: 4000-4100 kHz
- 45 meters: 6400-6700 kHz - 6.6 MHz band, EC, Echo Charlie band or 45 metros/45 meters
- 43 meters: 6765-7000 kHz
- 41 meters/39 meters: 7300 kHz + up into the 8195-8815 kHz marine band
- 22 meters: 13500-14000 kHz
- 11 meters: 25000-28000 kHz freeband frequencies, often the same operators found on lower frequencies (see also: CB)
Commonly logged Pescadore pesky peskie or freeband out of band frequencies
Updated August 2020
please see the Peskies forum here: https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/board,34.0.html for the latest logs and to contribute logs of your own
- 14654.5 kHz USB - Spanish
- 10400 kHz USB - UNID unknown language
- 10222.2 kHz USB - Spanish
- 10022.2 kHz USB - Spanish
- 10008.8 kHz USB - Spanish
- 9779 kHz USB - Spanish speaking fishing fleets using frequencies in the 31 meter shortwave broadcast band
- 9373 kHz USB - Spanish speaking fishing fleets using frequencies in the 31 meter shortwave broadcast band
- 9191.9 kHz USB - Spanish language - another "cute frequency" (easy to remember)
- 9182 kHz USB - Spanish language
- 9161 kHz USB - Spanish language (also logged on 9161.3 kHz USB)
- 9055.5 kHz USB - Spanish
- 9015 kHz USB/LSB - Portuguese heard
- 8989 kHz USB - Spanish, busy
- 8959 kHz USB - Spanish
- various frequencies in the 7300 kHz to 8000 kHz range (8000 kHz to 8815 kHz is the 8 MHz SSB marine band)
- 7000 kHz - 6200 kHz - USB/LSB, mix of Spanish, Portuguese, English and Italian have been heard
- 7000 kHz LSB - often used (sometimes 7000 kHz USB as well)
- 6980 kHz USB - "Island Peskies" - possibly out of Jamaica mon
- 6970 kHz USB - "Island Peskies" - possibly out of Jamaica mon
- 6966 kHz USB - "Island Peskies" - possibly out of Jamaica mon
- 6959 kHz USB - "The Angry Bahstads" Fishermen out of New England (possibly Boston or Gloucestermen), on numerous other freqs
- 6925 kHz LSB - Portuguese
- 6919 kHz LSB - Portuguese
- 6900 kHz LSB - Spanish - North American "home channel" (also 6895 kHz, 6905 kHz, 6910 kHz, 6915 kHz, 6920 kHz, 6890 kHz)
- 6900 kHz USB - Spanish
- 6885 kHz USB - Spanish
- 6870 kHz USB - Fishing fleets out of Gloucester, MA (English language, one of many frequencies)
- 6868 kHz USB or LSB - Spanish/Portuguese
- 6858 kHz USB or LSB - Spanish/Portuguese
- 6838 kHz USB or LSB - Spanish/Portuguese
- 6800 kHz USB or LSB - Spanish - usually
- 6790 kHz USB and LSB, as well as nearby frequencies such as 6789 kHz USB/LSB
- 6780 kHz USB and LSB - Spanish, Portuguese and English speakers have been logged here
- 6695.5 kHz USB and 6696.6 kHz USB - Spanish (similar to 6666.6 kHz)
- 6670 kHz USB - alternate to 6666.6 USB
- 6666.6 kHz USB - 45 metros calling frequency - home channel similar to 6900 LSB
- 6666.6 kHz LSB - Spanish bootleg traffic here in addition to 6666.6 kHz USB
- 6612 kHz USB - English language heard here, appears to be Caribbean fishermen or marine operators (with QRM from Spanish on 6610 kHz USB)
- 6548.5 kHz USB - English language heard here, appears to be Caribbean fishermen or marine operators
- 6516 kHz USB - English language heard here, US based fishing trawlers (ITU HF marine channel 606)
- 6400 kHz USB and LSB - 6400 kHz is used by PBS Pyongyang out of North Korea but is also a favorite of fishing fleets
- 6212.2 kHz USB - The Angry Bahstads - New England fishing fleets, very "salty language" (also 6212 kHz USB, 6095 kHz USB, 6959 kHz USB)
- 6212 kHz USB - New English fishing fleets - "The Angry Bahstads"
- 6095 kHz USB - New England fishing fleets (operating out of band, outside the 6200 kHz to 6525 kHz 6 MHz marine band)
- 5555.5 kHz USB - Spanish
- 5555 kHz LSB - English
- 5515 kHz USB - Spanish
- 5500 kHz USB - Spanish
- 5430 kHz USB - Spanish
- 5000 kHz USB - Pescadores noted in January 2019, mixing with WWV, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian speaking
- 4438 kHz - 6200 kHz - fixed mobile and broadcasting allocations, pescadores have been found on all these frequencies
- 4000 kHz - 4438 kHz - heavily used, 4000-4063 kHz is fixed mobile shared with marine, 4063 kHz to 4438 kHz is a legit marine band
- 1600 kHz - 4000 kHz - the 2-4 MHz region is home to legal marine allocations, but many bootleg operations may also be found here, sometimes in AM mode (especially in Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS countries/former Soviet Union).
- Return to List of Pirate Radio Frequencies
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