Best Fly Fishing in The Bahamas

Clear, turquoise waters of the Bahamas, surrounded by palm trees and a vibrant coral reef
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The Bahamas offers an exceptional venue for fly fishing enthusiasts with its crystal-clear waters and abundant shallow flats. As an angler, you’ll find a diverse range of challenging and rewarding conditions across the archipelago’s 700 islands and cays. Whether you’re on your first bonefishing trip or you’re an experienced fisher looking for tarpon and permit, the Bahamas’ marine habitat provides a vibrant and rich experience.



Andros Island

Andros Island, renowned as one of the premier fly fishing destinations in the Bahamas, beckons you with its expansive ocean flats and an impressive array of marine life. Notably, the island is a haven for bonefish, an illustrious species that offers a thrilling challenge for both novice and seasoned anglers. The bonefishing adventure here is enhanced by the presence of knowledgeable local guides who will navigate you through the intricate mangroves and sun-drenched sand flats.

Exclusive Lodges and Accommodations:

  • Mangrove Cay Lodge: Offers a blend of comfortable beachfront cottages and is known for its exceptional hospitality.
  • Andros Island Bonefish Club: Boasts over 35 years of guiding experience and easy access to the West Side National Park.

Prime Fishing Spots:

  • Mangrove Cay: Ideal for flats fishing, with a chance to spot tailing bonefish in their natural habitat.
  • West Side: Famed for larger bonefish and opportunities to catch tarpon, permit, barracuda, and even sharks.

When planning your trip, remember that fly fishing in Andros is subject to both weather and wind conditions. The best time to visit is during the non-hurricane season, which spans from October to May. During this period, you’re likely to find calmer seas and clearer waters, perfect for spotting bonefish.

Abaco Islands

When you consider the premier fly fishing destinations in the Bahamas, the Abaco Islands invariably rise to the top of the list. Known for its exceptional bonefishing, the Abaco Islands present a blend of challenging and rewarding flats for both novice and experienced anglers.

The Fishery:

  • The Marls: Boasting over 200 square miles of prime bonefish habitat, the Marls of Abaco are a must-visit. You’ll navigate the flats with expert guides well-versed in the behavior of the local fish species.
  • Marsh Harbour: Situated conveniently, it serves as a central point, providing you access to various fishing locations, including the coveted Marls.

Tides & Techniques:
Understand the tide patterns as they play a crucial role in the movement and feeding habits of bonefish. Your guide will likely prefer a flats skiff to stealthily approach the bonefish schools.

Accommodations:
There’s a diverse range of lodgings tailored to anglers’ needs. From full-service fly fishing lodges to more modest stays, you’re bound to find a place that feels like a home away from home.

Targeted Species:
While bonefish are the stars of Abaco, the islands also offer opportunities to catch permit and tarpon, thus completing the coveted flats fishing “Grand Slam.”

Grand Bahama Island

Known as a premier destination, Grand Bahama offers a rich fly fishing experience. Here, you are able to pursue a variety of game fish, including the elusive bonefish. Bonefish thrive in the island’s extensive network of flats, providing an exhilarating challenge for any angler.

When you visit Grand Bahama, you have the chance to encounter more than just bonefish. The waters here are home to tarpon and barracuda, as well as various species of sharks that add a thrilling dimension to your fishing adventure.

If you’re new to fly fishing or simply wish to enhance your skills, you’ll find numerous guides eager to share their expertise. These local experts can take you to prime spots, such as the famous West Side National Park, where the flats and mangrove creeks offer a picturesque backdrop to your pursuit.

Lodges on the island cater specifically to anglers, from beginners to the seasoned. Prominent accommodations include names like H2O and North Riding Point — both known for their exceptional service and proximity to top fishing locations.

For your next winter escape, consider the adventure of fly fishing in Grand Bahama. Conveniently accessible from Nassau and with several direct flights from the US, the island invites you to cast a line in search of the iconic Crazy Charlie fly or simply to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Long Island

When venturing to Long Island in the Bahamas, you’ll find it to be an extraordinary locale for saltwater fly fishing. The island’s expansive flats and serene beaches offer you a chance to reel in bonefish, tarpon, and permit.

  • Bonefish: Long Island’s flats provide the perfect hunting grounds. With crystal clear waters, your pursuit of this elusive fish is as rewarding as it is challenging.
  • Tarpon and Permit: Though less common, tarpon and permit can also be found, providing an additional thrill to your fishing adventure.

Ensure you have the correct permits for a smooth fishing experience, as regulations help protect the island’s unique ecosystem. Licenses are affordable and accessible, backing the promise of a hassle-free fishing trip.

Accommodations range from private cottages to villas with pools. On Long Island, you can expect a blend of comfortable lodges and the opportunity for tranquil privacy, presenting a perfect balance for both avid fishers and their families.

If you need a break from fishing, take time to snorkel amongst vibrant marine life or relax on the sandy shores. Long Island’s ocean is as inviting for underwater exploration as it is for angling.

In summary, Long Island strikes the perfect balance for a fulfilling fly fishing expedition. Choose from various flats, seek expert guides, and indulge in your passion for fly fishing with the added benefit of a Caribbean paradise as your backdrop.

Eleuthera Island

When you set foot on Eleuthera Island, your fly fishing adventure begins among some of the most sought-after waters in the Bahamas.

Fishing on Eleuthera:

  • Bonefish: Wander the endless sand flats, wading into the shallows for the island’s star attraction, the elusive bonefish.
  • Permit and Jack: Thrill as you cast for the challenging permit and the energetic jack.
  • Grouper and Mutton Snapper: The coral reefs surrounding Eleuthera teem with grouper and the flavorful mutton snapper.
  • Barracuda and Shark: For those seeking a heart-pounding experience, the barracuda and shark provide an unforgettable chase.

Beaches & Ocean:

  • Serene turquoise waters lap against powdery white sand beaches, creating a tranquil backdrop for your fishing endeavor.
  • The ocean presents a diverse fishing habitat—from the deep blue for big game to pristine flats just perfect for fly fishing.

Lodges & Accommodations:

  • Select from boutique lodges and personalized accommodations, many catering specifically to anglers and their needs.
  • For an integrated fishing stay, seek out lodges offering guided services or contact local fishing guides who can provide insider knowledge for the best fishing spots.

Yellow Dog: Should you desire an organized itinerary, consider reaching out to agencies that specialize in fly fishing trips, such as Yellow Dog.

Prepare to be awed by the beauty of Eleuthera Island, where the promise of a prize catch is matched only by the breathtaking environment. With your rod in hand and glistening flats ahead, you’re set for an unparalleled fly fishing journey.

Bimini

When you’re targeting the elusive bonefish, Bimini’s flats provide a thrilling challenge with clear, shallow waters. The flats are not only abundant with bonefish but also house mangroves that serve as natural nurseries for a variety of species.

Tarpon fishing in Bimini is prominent, with these silver kings often found in the same flats as bonefish. For the thrill-seekers, sharks and barracuda are also prevalent around the mangrove habitats—providing a test of skill and nerve.

Venturing beyond the flats to the cobalt ocean waters, you’re likely to encounter tuna, wahoo, and dolphin (mahi-mahi). These species offer exciting deep-sea fishing opportunities. Bimini’s proximity to the Gulf Stream ensures a rich diversity of big game species.

Your fly fishing journey in Bimini isn’t just about the catch. It’s about the experience of being one with the environment and understanding the delicate balance of this marine ecosystem. And with Bimini’s historic reputation as a fishing paradise, your adventure here is set to be memorable.

  • Best Times: Year-round for bonefish, spring to summer for tarpon, and late spring to summer for ocean species.
  • Guides: Local experts like Ansil Saunders can enhance your fishing experience.
  • Top Tips: Be prepared for quick, clear shots when flats fishing. For big game, sturdy tackle is a must.

Remember to respect the habitats you’re fishing in, ensuring Bimini retains its natural beauty and biodiversity for generations of anglers to come.

Cat Island

Crystal clear waters surround a small island with lush greenery. A lone cat lounges on the shore, while a fisherman casts his line into the sparkling blue sea

When you set your sights on Cat Island for your fly-fishing adventure, expect picturesque beaches coupled with a vibrant ocean teeming with life. This Bahamian gem offers a unique fishing experience with a blend of tranquility and thrill.

Accommodations:

  • Beachside cottages and resorts
  • Family-friendly inns
  • Remote lodges for more isolation

Fish Species to Target:

  • Bonefish
  • Barracuda
  • Triggerfish

The ocean surrounding Cat Island invites not only fly fishers but also snorkelers. Venture into the waters and you might spot barracuda and even sharks, adding an element of adventure to your stay.

The island’s beaches offer serene retreats post-fishing, where you can relax and reminisce about the day’s catch. With activities ranging beyond fishing, like snorkeling in clear blue waters, every day at Cat Island can be as action-packed or tranquil as you desire.

Acklins Island

When you seek pristine fly fishing environments, Acklins Island should top your list. Situated in the Bahamas, this locale is synonymous with exquisite flats fishing, particularly for bonefish. Synonymous with serenity, you’ll find yourself surrounded by miles of sand flats—the ideal habitat for the elusive trophy bonefish.

Prime Fishing Seasons

Spring emerges as the optimal season for fly fishing. During this time, mild weather conditions create ideal circumstances for you to pursue the quintessential bonefish experience.

Accommodations

Prepare for comfort at Soul Fly Lodge, among other options, where amenities align perfectly with the needs of avid anglers.

AccommodationsHighlights
Soul Fly Lodge– Proximity to prime fishing spots
– Expert guides available
Local Cottages– Budget-friendly
– Authentic island feel

Varied Fishing Opportunities

Acklins Island, along with nearby Crooked Island, offers more than just bonefish; resident tarpon and permit are also in abundance. Surrounding waters and mangrove cays are teeming with opportunities for both novice and seasoned fly fishers.

Target SpeciesLocations
BonefishSand flats
TarponMangrove cays
PermitMixed flats

Natural Beauty

Acklins isn’t solely about the fish—you’re also immersed in stunning natural beauty with untouched beaches and clear blue waters. This island’s remoteness contributes to its low fishing pressure, allowing for a truly tranquil pursuit of fly fishing.

Don’t miss this island gem for your next fly fishing adventure. With its blend of natural beauty and rich fishing grounds, Acklins Island could be the backdrop to your next remarkable catch.

Crooked Island

When you’re considering the top locations for fly fishing in the Bahamas, Crooked Island should firmly hold a place on your list. Situated in the southern Bahamas, this island provides a serene and almost untouched paradise for anglers craving flats fishing.

  • Availability of Species: Crooked Island’s shallow-water habitats are teeming with bonefish, making it a premium spot for fly fishers. In addition to bonefish, there’s the exciting possibility of encountering permit, adding a challenging twist to your fly fishing adventure.
  • Fishing Seasons:

    • Bonefish: Peak seasons are March to July and October to November, optimizing your chances.
    • Permit: Present year-round, but more consistently from February to June.

Your experience on Crooked Island is accentuated by its vast lagoons and protected areas, which provide the perfect conditions for fish populations to thrive. If you are looking for guidance or a more structured trip, consider reaching out to the BAHAMAS FLY-FISHING GUIDE for detailed information on lodges and local guides, who can elevate your fishing excursion.

  • Accommodations: You will find places like Crooked and Acklins Trophy Lodge that cater directly to anglers and offer a comfortable stay after a long day of fishing.

Exuma Cays

In the Exuma Cays, fly fishing is an art form perfected by both time and tide. These islands offer a plethora of environments that are ideal for targeting various species, including the elusive bonefish, formidable tarpon, and challenging permit. The flats of Exuma are world-renowned, boasting a diverse landscape of sandy bottoms and seagrass beds teeming with marine life.

When planning your fly fishing adventure, consider the fishing season, typically the cooler months offer the best conditions. Make sure to have your fishing licenses in order; regulations are in place to preserve this pristine environment. You will find a variety of fishing lodges throughout the Exuma Cays catering to your needs, some featuring their own spas for relaxation after a day on the water.

Fishing in the Exuma Cays:

  • Bonefish: Best found in the shallow flats.
  • Permit: More challenging to catch, often found in deeper flats.
  • Tarpon: Typically targeted in deeper channels and blue holes.

For the adventurous, the deep blue holes and the open ocean around Exuma provide a thrilling fly fishing experience. If you’re seeking the ultimate fly fishing destination, Exuma will not disappoint.

Great Harbour Cay is one spot you shouldn’t miss, known for its large bonefish population and crystal-clear flats. Adventure is part of the fly fishing experience here, with each cast being both a question and an answer as you explore these breathtaking waters.

Remember to respect the environment and practice catch and release, ensuring future generations can enjoy fly fishing in the Exuma Cays as you have.

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