As the billfish season starts to slow down and the daylight hours lessen, the wahoo begin to bite hard in the Bahamas. Around this time, crews with high-speed trolling on their mind put away the stand-up gear and bust out the wire-line setups. Some of the Bahamas' best wahoo action lies a few hours south of Port Lucaya in the areas known as Gingerbreads and Little Isaacs. Here you'll find crews motoring along at 12 to 16 knots with 80-wides spooled up tight with wire.
Heavy black-and-red jet heads trolled behind 48 ounces of lead pull some fat 'hoos out of their winter hiding spots. Boats work the drop-offs and ledges in 150 to 400 feet of water, zigzagging their offerings across the high and low spots. This fishery isn't for the faint of heart as winter cold fronts often push through and kick up the chop, but the fish seem to bite better in snotty conditions.
|The wahoo bite never disappoints in the Bahamas. Crews use wire line and push up the throttles to score consistent action along the many drop-offs and ledges.|
Port Lucaya hosts two legs of the Bahamas Wahoo Championship each season. On my last visit this past November, I fished the first stop of the 2004 series, and a passing front made conditions somewhat interesting. The heavy seas did little to curtail the bite, and the crew of the Scatterbrain won with a 64.5-pounder on the last day of competition. The fact that Port Lucaya even held the tournament was a testament to the marina's staff. After two direct hits from hurricanes damaged scores of homes and resort properties, not to mention cutting off power to thousands, the marina crew pulled together and got the facility up and running in just a few weeks. The sound of banging hammers could be heard all over the island. But the hard work paid off, and the marina and nearly all other properties are now fully operational (with many improvements to boot).
The final leg of the BWC came back to Port Lucaya in early 2005, and once again the big fish made an appearance. The team aboard Anthony Comparato's Salt Shaker reeled in the largest wahoo taken in the history of the tournament, a 101-pound torpedo. The triple-digit fish beat out two other monsters taken in the series, a 96- and a 95-pounder.
The waters off Port Lucaya might not produce a blue marlin every time out, but you'll always find something to tug on your line. Bring the family and check out everything this great resort area offers.
Getting There Port Lucaya Marina Port Lucaya Resort and Yacht Club
Most visitors making their way to Port Lucaya come via their own vessel. It's only a 56-mile direct shot from West Palm Beach, Florida, to Grand Bahama Island's West End. Port Lucaya Marina is another 25 miles or so from West End. Crossing the Gulf Stream can get interesting if the current comes up against opposing winds, so watch the weather closely before departing. Thousands of boaters, however, make the crossing each year with no incident. Port Lucaya Marina offers everything the transient boater could need. Make your first stop at the official Port of Entry, next door to the marina office, and clear customs. The marina has two wings offering over 100 slips for boats up to 190 feet. The active Marketplace Wing sits adjacent to the lively Port Lucaya Marketplace (www.portlucayamarketplace.com). For ease of loading, the docks on the Seagarden Wing back up to the Port Lucaya Resort Hotel. If you need some extra space, you'll want to dock here and book a room next to your boat. The marina can get special rates at the hotel for visiting boaters. Travelers arriving by plane should book a flight to the Grand Bahama International Airport and hop a cab to Port Lucaya (about 20 minutes away).
Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort
Port Lucaya Marina
Port Lucaya Resort and Yacht Club