Casting your line upon a turquoise sea may be just about the perfect use of unhurried hours. No wonder people who love to fish set a course of The Bahamas. You can reel in a red snapper, while still on terra firma, just steps from your island home. Cruise less than a half hour to find yourself in blue marlin country. Or give the day over to adventure, indulging in the adrenaline rush of chasing sharks.
What makes fishing in the Bahamas such bliss is that you set the pace. Whether you drop anchor from your own yacht or charter a Bahamian vessel, it’ll be you and the sea and possibility.
Inshore Fishing in Nassau
Inshore fishing is one of the most popular types of fishing in Nassau and throughout The Bahamas. All too often, people think that fishing either happens on land or miles out at sea. Some of the best fishing in The Bahamas is somewhere in the middle, and inshore fishing is the perfect middle ground.
Typically, inshore fishing is defined as fishing in water that is less than 30 meters deep, or about 90 feet. This means you’ll need a boat. If you didn’t cruise into port under your own steam, there’s no need to worry as you’ll find many options for boat rentals and fishing charters.
You can go inshore fishing in Nassau with smaller vessels and slightly less equipment. It is also possible to set out for just a few hours rather than for an all-day fishing expedition.
One of the highlights of inshore fishing in Nassau is Bonefish season. This is when you can catch Bonefish, a plentiful and exciting pastime that definitely increases your adrenaline levels!
Reef or Dry-Ground Fishing
For those land-lovers who prefer to cast a line from solid ground, reef fishing is a fantastic option. There are plenty of spots around Nassau where you can use light-weight tackle and cast off right from the shoreline.
A fun tip from the locals is to use squid as your bait when fishing from the shore. Many of the smaller fish swimming in the reef around the shoreline love squid, and it is both plentiful and affordable from local grocery stores in Nassau. Although the smell is a little stronger than those plastic lures, squid also leads to far better results.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to bring in a Red Snapper right from the shoreline. Keep in mind that since Red Snapper are popular and sometimes over-fished in The Bahamas, you’ll be limited to catching two per day. Grouper can also be caught right from the shoreline, but there are enforced Grouper seasons you should be aware of before you start casting.
Perhaps the best-known type of fishing in The Bahamas is deep-sea fishing. If you’re interested in catching the biggest trophies in the sea, then deep-sea fishing is undoubtedly the way to go. Of course, in order to head out to water that is more than 100 feet deep, you’ll need a sea-worthy vessel.
If you have your own sport fishing boat, then you’re way ahead of the curve. Less than 30 minutes out from Nassau, you can start to fish for everything from Sailfish to Yellowfin Tuna and even Wahoo and Blue Marlin.
The Blue Marlin is the national fish of The Bahamas, and you might recognize it because it has a place of pride on the country’s Coat of Arms. Female Blue Marlin can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, and The Bahamas is a great place to snag some of the biggest fish anywhere in the world. Mahi Mahi is another popular catch out at sea, but it will require that you head even further out away from the island. As you get closer to the Tongue of the Ocean Trench, which gets to depths of 6,000 feet in places, you’ll be in a prime spot to catch huge Mahi Mahi.
Deep-Sea Shark Fishing
The Bahamas is one of the few spots in the world where there is still an overabundance of sharks. Because the shark population is so large, shark fishing is still a frequent practice in the area.
Just a few of the sharks you can fish for in and around Nassau are Lemon, Hammerhead, Bull, and Reef. Although you’ll be able to spot sharks in the water throughout the year, the best time of year for shark fishing in The Bahamas is during the summer, or roughly between the months of May and September.
If you’re interested in shark fishing, keep in mind that it has to be done offshore. Most shark fishing is done at least 20 miles off the coast, so it is often a full-day excursion. This is a good opportunity to try for other fish in addition to shark.
Many fishing charters now encourage catch and release for sharks, so have an open mind about the local practices and what your fellow anglers support when you set out for the day.
Charters and Guides for Fishing in Nassau
If you’re comfortable captaining your own boat, then you can head out to sea from Nassau on your own. However, a lot of anglers want to take advantage of the local knowledge, so charters or guides can be a smart choice.
There are many fishing charters to choose from, and it is worth investigating which options are right for you. The biggest decisions you’ll need to make include whether to have a full- or half-day excursion and whether you want to head out to deep seas or stick closer to the reef and shoreline.
You might also want to consider bringing a local fishing guide right onto your boat with you. They can recommend the best places to find your preferred fish because the so-called “hotspots” can change seasonally or even after heavy rain.
Fish at Your Leisure in Nassau
While it’s never the same day of fishing twice in the Bahamas, one thing never changes: when you’re good and ready to return home to Margaritaville Beach Resort, Nassau, Bahamas you can bank on a warm welcome. And if you’re bearing more tall tales than true trophies, you always have tomorrow… and the day after, and the day after that…