Fishing in The Out Islands of The Bahamas
The Out Islands of The Bahamas is home to the greatest fishing in the world
Zzzzzzzz! To a fisherman, the sizzle of a fish burning line off a reel is the most exciting sound in the world. And from monstrous blue marlin slashing at a ballyhoo trolled over the deep blue to those silver streaks of lightning known as bonefish zipping across sandy flats, the Out Islands offer year-round fishing vacation thrills. Including bonefishing, fly fishing, deep sea fishing and much more!
Fishermen are an obsessive lot, willing to travel the world in search of the ultimate angling experiences. Two very different fish top the list of the most sought-after – bonefish, the ghost of the flats, and blue marlin, the magnificent monster of the deep. Both, though, are available in the Out Islands, along with a veritable who’s who of other prized game fish such as tuna, wahoo, kingfish, mahi-mahi, permit and tarpon.
Dozens of record-breaking fish have been caught in the Out Islands and they’ve been fished by some of the most famous anglers of all time, including Ernest Hemingway and Michael Lerner, who started the International Game Fish Association – keeper of all fishing’s world records. Many of the most enthralling fishing scenes in Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream were directly taken from his experiences off Bimini.
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Anglers enjoy Bahamas fishing in their own boats, crossing from Florida, or fly over and enjoy the services of the many excellent fishing guides and deep sea fishing charter boats. Fly fishermen stalk the flats (shallow areas) of the Exumas, Andros, Acklins, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera and Long Island for bonefish, a species as wary as they are fast. The best thing about Bahamas Out Islands bonefishing, though, is that if you’re off target with a cast and spook the fish, there’s no worries: Unlike some other fishing destinations where you may only get one or two shots at fish a day, in the Bahamas another will be along soon. Your Bahamas fishing guide will gauge the conditions and tide and get you close enough to cast to plenty of fish, whether they’re cruising in a small group of two or three or gathered together by the hundreds “mudding” the water as they feed. Serious fly fishermen should also keep a crab fly close for shots at big permit, which can show at any time to get your heart racing.
In deeper water over the reefs and drop-offs available in all of The Bahamas Out Islands, local fishermen will put you right on top of the best spots for jacks and snapper, which offer a great day of Bahamas fishing vacation fun for the whole family. Further out, in the indigo blue of the Gulf Stream off Bimini, in the mile-deep Tongue of the Ocean alongside Andros, and off the Atlantic sides of the Acklins, Exumas, Eleuthera, Cat and Long Island, lies the sleek strong pelagic fish. Fishing out here is big game trolling when your senses are set to a hair trigger: eyes peeled for the electrifying sight of a marlin’s bill or tuna’s head crashing into the baits, ears tuned to the snap of an outrigger and zzzzzz of the line peeling off as the fish bites and runs. Hook up with a big blue marlin or tuna, or get a wahoo, kingfish or bull dolphin on light tackle, and you’ll have your own Hemingway story to tell when you get home.
Whether you fly fish, spin cast or prefer to troll big game gear – or want to do all three – every one of the Out Islands of The Bahamas has a selection of flats, reefs and deep sea fishing drop-offs with hungry fish waiting.