Are you a salty sea person or just an aquatic enthusiast fascinated by the call of the ocean? Do you enjoy the great outdoors, the companionship of your friends and maybe a sizzling pan of freshly caught fish? If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes!”, the stunning Islands of The Bahamas are the perfect place for you. This Caribbean archipelago of over 700 islands is one of the ultimate destinations in the world to experience the many kinds of recreational fishing. Whether you are a novice casting a line from a pier or a deep-sea fishing fanatic, the legendary waters of The Bahamas are stocked with thrilling escapades for all.
The Bahamian fishing experience is a rite of passage for any ambitious angler and the pinnacle of any memorable vacation. Picture yourself sailing the crystalline waters, wind in your hair, always just one cast away from a potential world record. These islands offer some of the richest fishing waters in the world, home to hundreds of recognized records for dozens of different species, from the elusive bonefish to the graceful marlin.
Let’s have a look at some of the top catches and types of fishing activities this magnificent destination has to offer:
Reef fishing is compelling for many reasons but deserves special acclaim for the high catch rate it offers. The highly fertile waters of The Bahamas are lined with coral reefs and ancient wrecks that provide the perfect home for an abundance of snappers, groupers and more. The islands of Nassau, The Exumas and Eleuthera stand out as prime reef fishing locales, which is convenient as all three are desirable tourist destinations as well! The reefs surrounding these islands are notable for their warm water and incredible fish density, making them a highly desirable venue for the sport. The Andros Barrier Reef, the third largest of its kind in the world, is just off the shore of its namesake island and remains a must-visit destination popular for its grouper and snapper populations. From March through June, keep your eyes peeled for blue and white marlin, dolphin and yellowfin tuna.
These islands have so many things to offer the visitors, it might be hard for you to concentrate on only fishing, but don’t miss out: the reefs truly have something different to offer every single day. As with other types of fishing, do keep in mind that the winds, weather and waves play a significant role in the dynamics of reef fishing. These coasts offer both veterans and beginners the world’s most thrilling, exciting and diverse ecosystem of reefs, which draws thousands of adventurers from all over the world.
If you’re looking for big thrills, deep-sea fishing in The Bahamas is the ideal activity for you. With an abundance of the ocean’s top gamefish like the white/blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, dolphin (mahi-mahi) and sailfish, The Bahamas provides an unmatched variety of aquatic game for the sportfisherman. Deep-sea fishing in The Bahamas is an adventure into the unknown as well as a test of knowledge and patience. The fun really starts when you feel the tug on your line: the ensuing battle and adrenaline rush can last for hours and make for a truly legendary tale. Anyone who has fished in The Bahamas will never forget a moment of the experience as there is nothing more rewarding than catching the sea’s most spectacular species.
The mecca of sportfishing in The Bahamas is undoubtedly Bimini, its coral reefs home to everything, from mantas to sea turtles. Follow in the footsteps of famous author Ernest Hemingway who was lured here by tales of incredible fishing. Locals believe his spirit lives on in these flourishing waters, where more than 50 world record catches have been recognized. Bimini consists of two main islands: North Bimini Island and South Bimini Island, but both feature a verdant aquascape teeming with stunning sea life and captivating sunken wrecks in equal measure.
You can try out deep-sea fishing in The Bahamas by renting a charter boat or on your own speed boat. Some of the best islands for this activity besides Bimini are the cays of the Exuma Sound and Rum Cay. Each island has its own go-to experts who will be happy to take you on a fishing trip you will never forget.
Fly fishing is as much art as hobby, which is exactly what makes it so much fun. If you are looking to get your feet wet and dive into the world of fly fishing, there is no place better than The Bahamas. This island nation has been drawing anglers from around the globe for decades. And for good reason: its tropical climate, fun-loving people, laid-back pace and prolific bonefish population have made it a prime location for fly fishing.
With a plethora of ocean-side inlets, mangrove cays and stadium-size flats, fly fishing in The Bahamas is convenient and affordable. One of the best places to catch a five to ten-pound bonefish is in Abaco. Considered the perfect tropical hideaway, Abaco has stunning deserted beaches, idyllic wilderness, brilliant birding and world-class bonefishing. The aforementioned Andros Island, the largest of the Bahamian islands, also has spectacular flats to fish for bonefish. Its surrounding waters are the perfect habitat for bonefish due to their mangrove stands, patches of turtle grass and a myriad of cays and inlets.
The aspiring or experienced fly fisher should also make time to visit Ragged Island, known for its unparalleled white-sand flats flush with bonefish. It is not uncommon for visitors to go home with more grouper, snapper, barracuda and kingfish than they know what to do with. You may feel as though the fish are practically jumping onto your hook! The island is believed to have been a pirate safe house at one point, with its rocks and caves offering ideal cover from the naval authorities. Don’t miss the mostly unexplored beaches and coves perfect for picnicking, relaxing and combing for shells. While exploring, you will find several historic landmarks, quaint towns and authentic, handmade Bahamian crafts.
Not only does The Bahamas have world-class fishing, but the guides are friendly, down-to-earth and highly knowledgeable. So, for your next vacation, visit The Bahamas and have an inspiring fishing expedition.
Source: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism