Why Kayaking and Fishing in the Bahamas is An Angler's Dream!
Bahamas. Even the thought of it has people thinking tan lines, tiki bars and endless buffets. But what lies beyond the breakers is what makes Grand Bahama an angler's dream fishing spot and can make your kayaking dream come true.
Paddle just a couple of miles from the shore and the bottom can drop 1000 feet. Deep ocean currents carry nutrients where marlin, dolphin, tuna, wahoo and king mackerel wait.
Live slow-trolling baits and/or diving plugs are deadly on the surface-feeding tuna, marlin, dolphin, and wahoo fish. But just drop a vertical jig onto any of the reefs or sea mounts to hook up with a snapper or grouper.
Do you want to take a break from the open ocean? Then head through a series of man-made canals to the sand flats on the lea side of the island. The Grand Bahamas is a world-class fishing destination for trophy fish. Grab a fly rod or light spinner and stalk your prey in crystal clear shallows.
There are also plenty of options for food and lodging on the island. You can embrace the adventure of it all and camp, or you can find a luxurious resort to rest your weary body after a day of fighting the good fight. There are also plenty of options for kayak rentals throughout the archipelago.
What You Can Catch
- Mahi mahi - this common dolphinfish dwells near the surface off-shore in tropical, temperate, and subtropical waters all around the world.
- Atlantic sailfish - these blue-gray fish with their prominent dorsal fin (that give it its name) are found hiding in deep waters and give a world-class fight.
- Blackfin tuna - from July to October is a great time to catch this tuna in the clear waters of the Bahamas. While they are the smallest tuna species, they are still a big game fish.
- Kingfish - this migratory species of mackerel is often found in the Bahamas as the temperatures cool. Find them in the deep blue, just minutes off-shore.
- Wahoo - prized for its speed and tasty flesh, this fish can be found around the world in tropical and subtropical areas. Find it in the Bahamas when cooler temperatures reign.
- Grouper - this common catch in the Bahamas is a bottom feeder that is found around reefs, rocks, and ledges.
- Snapper - also a bottom-feeding fish found around coral reefs, wrecks, and rocks, this fish is distinct with its bright color.
- Blue Marlin - this might be the most popular gamefish to be found in the Bahamas. Endemic to the area, it offers all that an angler could want in an exciting battle.
Best Season To Go Kayaking
Grand Bahama offers a year-round offshore fishery with a very mild and stable climate. The best months to kayak (June - Sept) are great for grouper, snapper, tuna, kingfish and mackerel (April-September). While these are great months to kayak & fish, beware of hurricane season as well. However, many migratory fish will be found in milder temps of winter as the waters cool in northern regions. Wahoo in particular is popular from December to March.
Get All Rigged Up
Live bait is the easy ticket for catching just about any species in the gin clear waters off Freeport. Goggle eyes, pilchards and blue runners are all good choices. Leader choice depends on the target species. For toothy predators, like kingfish and wahoo, use 50-80 pound single-strand wire. For sure-sighted hunters, like tuna and mahi mahi, stick with a fluorocarbon leader between 30-60 pound test.
Kayaking Through the Bahamas
The Bahama seas may be nasty when the wind blows from the southeast, so rent a stable pedal kayak that can handle the moderate surf. A pedal drive kayak will cover the waters faster and more efficiently, especially for trolling. Also invest in a high-quality depth finder and GPS combination that will keep the boat on the reef and on the fish.
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