BONEFISHING AND SPORTFISHING JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER IN THE BAHAMAS
Renowned as the sportfishing capital of the world, the waters of The Islands of The Bahamas are home to many gamefish including marlin, swordfish and barracuda, but none provides quite the challenge of the bonefish. Diminutive by comparison to its muscular brethren, the bonefish exudes cunning and finesse.
Known as the “Grey Ghost,” bonefish can be found in flat areas covered by as little as one foot of water. Their fair coloration is perfectly adapted as camouflage against the sandy ocean bottom, making the bonefish difficult to spot in spite of the clear Bahamian water. Anglers “goin’ for bones” stalk their prey, often looking not for the fish, but rather its shadow on the shallow bottom. Locating the fish is no guarantee of landing one. Constantly on the alert for danger, the bonefish remain very aware of their surroundings and while the clear water makes sighting the fish easier, it makes taking the fish by surprise very difficult.
Anglers may employ spin-cast reels in pursuit of this elusive creature, but more often opt for fly-fishing in their hunt. Poling small skiffs along the flats or wading in the shallow water, fishermen create as little disturbance as possible. Luring the wily bonefish to strike at flies with names like Gotcha, Pink Puff and Crazy Charlie is a matter of some skill. Cast too near the fish and they scatter in fear. Success requires casting with a light touch and a keen eye for reading water so that the current carries the fly into bonefish’s field of view. The multiple challenges of locating and landing this fish prized for its fight lure casual anglers and professionals to The Islands of The Bahamas.
Bonefishing is excellent year-round in The Bahamas, but reaches its peak during March and April. There are many bonefishing lodges where fishing enthusiasts may arrange solo adventures or enlist the help of a guide to locate legendary fishing holes like Bonefish Boulevard, Land of the Giants and The Promised Land off Andros Island. With over 50 fishing records, The Islands of The Bahamas are considered one of the premier destinations in the world for sport fishing. From chartered boats to flats fishing, The Bahamas have just about every type of fishing for first-timers and fanatics.
For the best bonefishing, head for Andros, the bonefishing capital of the world. Andros, split and splintered by watery bights and cuts, has incredibly varied bonefishing. The best spots around North Andros include the Joulter Cays, while in South Andros, guides head to Deep Creek and Little Creek as well as the legendary west side and southern tip of the island where many of the prime fishing grounds have barely been explored.
For sport fishing, head to Ernest Hemingway’s favorite “island in the stream,” Bimini, just 50 miles off Florida’s coast. Hemingway lived on Bimini for several seasons in the 1930s, where aboard his boat Pilar, he trolled the deep offshore waters for huge marlin, tuna and swordfish. Sitting at the very edge of the Gulf Stream, the two small islands that make up Bimini are perfectly located for easy access to the tropical current, which creates an abundance of migrating fish and allows them to grow to record size.
Bonefishing guides and lodges are plentiful throughout all The Islands of The Bahamas from Nassau, to Freeport, to the Out Islands.
- Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina on North Bimini works with top local bonefishing guides and promotes sustainable tourism practices when fishing in the flats. For more information, visit biggameclubbimini.com
- The Andros Island Bonefishing Club on Andros Island has skilled fishing guides on staff, and will customize packages including meals, accommodations, boat and guide to suit any guest. For more information, call 242-368-5167.
- Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros also has local guides on staff for bonefishing, reef fishing and deep-sea fishing. This resort is also a great base for diving expeditions to explore the barrier reef and dramatic blue holes of the island. For more information, visit www.smallhope.com.
- The Peace & Plenty Bonefish Lodge in the Exumas covers the flats with expert guides who know just where to find the Grey Ghost. After fishing, guests will enjoy the posh accommodations the lodge offers. For more information, visit www.peaceandplenty.com.
- The Staniel Cay Yacht Club, also in the Exumas, has lured such fishermen as Malcolm Forbes and Robert Mitchum with its cottages, boats and guides. For more information, visit www.stanielcay.com.
- Stella Maris Resort Club on Long Island is convenient to wading flats for unescorted fishing or can arrange guide service for guests. Guests may take refuge in bungalows or villa’s (some with private pools) for an uncommon fishing trip. For more information, visit www.stellamarisresort.com.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- Fishing charters are easy to find on our islands and guests are able to book one out of nearly every other beach resort and hotel.
- Professional guides are friendly, knowledgeable and, most importantly, experienced. They are also more than happy to show visitors the best spots in The Bahamas to catch record fish.
- Please make note of Fly/Flat Fishing Regulations by clicking here.
- Download the Fly/Flat Fishing Application Form and License Fees by clicking here.
- For more information on fishing regulations in The Bahamas, consult local hoteliers and charter services before you travel.
For more information on, fishing charters, guides and accommodations visit www.bahamas.com.
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
With over 700 islands and cays, and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 55 miles off the coast of Florida offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.
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General Manager, Global Communications
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation