Why Grand Bahama Is An Angler's Dream | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
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A man holding a mahi in a kayak. Photo Courtesy: Extreme Kayak Fishing

Island paradise and bluewater fishing are closer than you think.

Mention the Bahamas, and people picture tan lines, tiki bars and endless buffets. But it’s what lies beyond the breakers that makes Grand Bahama an angler’s dream destination.

Paddle a mile from the beach and the bottom drops 1000 feet. Deep ocean currents carry nutrients close to shore where marlin, dolphin, tuna, wahoo and king mackerel wait.

Slow trolling live baits or diving plugs is deadly on surface-feeding tuna, marlin, dolphin and wahoo. Drop a vertical jig on any of the reefs or sea mounts to hook up with grouper and snapper.

Want a break from the open sea? Head through a series of man-made canals to the sand flats on the lea side of the island. Grand Bahamas is a world class sight fishing destination for trophy bonefish. Grab the fly rod or light spinner and stalk grey ghosts in the crystal clear shallows.

There are plenty of options for food and lodging on the island. Fresh fish is worth it’s weight in gold, use your catch to barter for goods and services.

Looking for world class offshore and inshore fishing on an island paradise, look no further than Freeport, Grand Bahamas. It’s closer than you think.

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WHAT’S BITING

Mahi mahi, Atlantic sailfish, blackfin tuna, kingfish, wahoo, grouper, snapper and marlin.

SEASONS

With a very mild and stable climate, Grand Bahama offers a year-round offshore fishery.

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.

KAYAK

The seas can get nasty when the wind blows from the southeast. Bring a stable kayak that can handle moderate surf. A pedal drive will cover water faster and more efficiently, especially for trolling. A high-quality depth finder and GPS combo will keep the boat on the reef and on the fish.

GAME PLAN

Fishing Grand Bahama can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. If you aren’t in the mood to work hard or think too much, simply rig up a live goggle eye and slow troll just past the main ledge, where it drops from 100 feet to 300 feet. Stay in deeper water to avoid the army of barracudas that prowl the shallows. For grouper or snapper, look for any blip of structure on the bottom. Just about any structure will hold fish. Drop a vertical jig to the bottom, give it a few hard bounces, and then speed jig it to the boat as fast as you can. 

Score grouper and snapper on the bottom or get attached by a tuna, wahoo, king or dolphin on the speed jig to the surface. In the shallows, look for bonefish riding the tide on the bars and sloughs. Cast a crab imitation and finesse these finicky fish to bite.

PLANNER

OUTFITTERS AND GUIDES

The Strike Zone www.fishinthebahamas.com

KAYAK GEAR

Bring your own kayak and gear on The Balaeria ferry that departs every day from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

FISHING GEAR

Bonafide Fishing Tackle Shop

242-338-2035

www.bonafidebonefishing.com

FOOD

For grub and night life, your best bet is Port Lucaya, a hub of shops, restaurants and bars. For upscale dining, check out Luciano’s Restaurant. Agave Latin Fusion Restaurant offers a laid-back vibe with killer seafood and latin cuisine.

Seahorse Road

Freeport, Grand Bahama

242-373-8446

www.portlucayamarina.com

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