Targeted species run the gamut from slammer dolphin, tackle-testing wahoo, and big blue marlin. Legendary Capt. Skip Smith holds a handful of tournaments in Abaco from the end of April through the first week of June. If he’s there, you should be too. Pull your favorite spread during those months and expect to see consistent numbers of white marlin, in addition to small- and medium-size blue marlin, including a sprinkling of some very heavy fish.
In 2011, David Albury, aboard the Double Dog — a 66-foot Hines-Farley — boated a blue marlin that weighed an impressive 1,119 pounds. If you are traveling by boat, aim for either Boat Harbour marina — with full amenities and more than 198 slips for vessels up to 200 feet — or Treasure Cay, another excellent option, with 164 slips and its own private airstrip.
Got a plan for how you’ll punctuate your days of marlin fishing? There’s little better than sipping a Nipper Juice while live music and the ambience of crashing waves soundtrack the evening at the famous Great Guana Cay haunt.
If waiting for the first sailfish push in Florida isn’t your bag but big wahoo are, scribble San Salvador on your calendar in November. San Sal, while secluded (approximate population 1,000), is home to some of the best wahoo fishing, some argue, in the world. Many near record-breaking fish have been caught there, including George Poveromo’s 143-pound brute. The fall/winter push of wahoo often produces multiple bites from fish averaging 50 pounds. Riding Rock resort and marina is one of only two waterfront resorts on the island. A full-service marina, the 25 slips can accommodate vessels up to 140 feet. Spots fill quickly, so book early. In addition, there is a charter boat that runs half and full days out of the marina.
If the aforementioned scenarios don’t pique interest, picture eight or 10 black figures swimming over sandy bottom in gin-clear water. Cat Cay — granted, not the same fishery it was in the 1950s — still sees migrating bluefin. When the conditions are right, you might get a shot at feeling 55 pounds of drag melt off a 130W.
Bimini, Crooked Island, Chub, Rum Cay — any and all of these destinations have something for everyone. The best part about the Bahamas fishery: It’s year-round.
For more information and to plan your trip, visit bahamas.com.