Skip to main content

Fishing in the Bahamas Everything You Need to Know

a small fishing boat on the blue bahamian waters

The Bahamas Islands are a paradise on earth, especially if you enjoy fishing! Start with picturesque landscapes, palm tree-lined beaches, and warm Caribbean waters. Then add to that an impressive number (over 50) of world records for largest sportfishing species catches. The Bahamas offer a never-ending list of locations for anglers to enjoy. From deep-sea experiences to saltwater flats fishing, you’ll find it all. Furthermore, there is never a bad time to fish in these tropical waters, although certain seasons may be even better than others. Come for a week or a month and you might find yourself looking to relocate permanently. The chase of elusive species, such as the difficult-to-spot bonefish, and the lure of a bigger catch have trapped more than one angler!

The Best Locations

Just as there is no bad time of the year to fish in the Bahamas, you would be hard-pressed to find a sub-par location. The Bahamian waters, almost anywhere you go, are teaming with fish. We recommend that you NOT limit yourself to just one island, move around and make the most of multiple locations and the diverse range of fish. If you are in need of comfortable and convenient inter-island transportation, look no further than Tropix Air Ltd. We are a family-owned business of Bahamas natives who would be happy to transport you to your next fishing destination. In the process, we’ll be happy to chat about fishing and pass along some local knowledge. The official Bahamas Islands Fishing Map also has great information about the best locations around the islands.

Bimini Island

The waters surrounding Bimini Island are an ideal jumping-off point for anglers looking to experience the thrill of Bahamas fishing! Many of the world records that the Bahamas Islands are known for were set in the warm, royal blue waters surrounding Bimini Island. This island paradise is a world capital of sport fishing! Bimini Island offers easy access to The Stream, a tropical current that carries warm water and plenty of oversized fish including marlin, tuna, and swordfish. It is little wonder that Ernest Hemingway selected this as his island home when he temporarily relocated to the Bahamas in the 1930s.

Exuma Islands

If you are looking to try your hand at a little of everything, the Exuma Islands may be the perfect spot for you. From deep-sea fishing to fly-fishing, reef fishing, and bottom fishing, you’ll find it all in the stalked Exuma waters. The Exumas’ saltwater flats are home to the illusory bonefish, a tempting lure for any seasoned angler. Meanwhile, the plunging depths of the nearby Exhuma Trough can be fished for exorbitant numbers of wahoo, mahi-mahi, tuna, and more.

Furthermore, Exuma is an ideal vacation destination for the whole family. Away from the cruise ship crowds, these islands provide a delicious glimpse of local life in the Bahamas. While you are there make sure to check out the world-famous Exuma swimming pigs. These animals have become a national mascot and it won’t take you long to discover why. Take a day-long excursion to see the pigs, swim with gentle nurse sharks, and pet Bahamian rock iguanas! It is a day that you and your family won’t soon forget.

Grand Bahama

Freeport on the Grand Bahama is the Nation’s second most popular fishing destination and it’s no wonder why! Like Exuma, this destination serves up a little of everything from saltwater flats to deep-sea excursions, with a side of sun and sand. The northernmost of the Bahamas Islands and fourth-largest is an ideal vacation spot for those looking to cast a line. First-time fishers and deep-sea veterans alike will find what they are looking for in this location. The Northshore of the island features mangrove-lined coasts and extensive salt flats. Meanwhile, proximity to the Gulf Stream makes Old Bahama Bay a perfect location to pursue larger blue-water catches.

The Fish

Bonefish

For many a fishing fanatic, the mysterious bonefish represents the ultimate prize catch. This hard-to-spot, silvery, salt-water fish can move up to 40 miles an hour and is sensitive to the clumsiness of a human approach. All these elements make catching a bonefish an undeniable demonstration of mastery in the sport of fishing. They live in inshore tropical waters and often accompany tides to the mudflats for lunch. Fly-fishers can cast in pursuit of these slippery treasures from the saltwater flats or out of a shallow water boat. Bonefishing is an extremely popular sport across the Bahamas Islands, South Florida, and Puerto Rico. The average catches in the Bahamas are around five pounds. Although it’s not unheard of for people to eat bonefish, the majority of bonefishing is a catch and release game. As the name implies, they are boney and not the most flavorful fish in the sea, but still great fun to fish!

Deep Water Catches

The exacting technicality of capturing a five-pound bonefish isn’t for everyone. Perhaps it is the thrill of going head to head with a boneless chum that either matches or bests your own weight that gets your blood pumping! These confrontations on the open ocean can last hours and we promise you’ll never forget a single moment of the heroic battle. As we have alluded, the Bahamas is a key destination to fulfill this fantasy. The deep, aqua-marine expanses surrounding the Bahamas Islands are home to an impressive round-up of gigantic white and blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, and even sharks!

Some of these species are capture and release prizes that fishers pressure for the pure thrill of the hunt. Others provide a delicious victory feast back on land. Whatever game you are after, we encourage all anglers to closely adhere to the fishing laws of the location they are in. This means securing permits when necessary. In that way, we ensure that future generations also can take part in this captivating sport.

On this note, not all the Bahamas’ waters are fishable. An extensive national park system encompasses land, wetland, and marine environments. If you are interested in purely observing the extensive species diversity of the Bahamian waters, we recommend a trip to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The world’s first, and one of the most successful, land and sea parks. 

Day Dream of a Vacation in Paradise Previous Article