Guide to Fishing in The Bahamas
Posted by: Nassau Paradise Island on May 18, 2016
The postcard-perfect turquoise waters of The Bahamas aren’t just perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Teeming with marine life, they’re also the perfect place to test your angling skills.
The waters surrounding Nassau Paradise Island are home to many different species of fish. Combined with warm breezes, sunny skies, and plenty of fishing charters available for short trips and longer excursions, Nassau Paradise Island is great for both experienced fishers and beginning anglers.
Thinking about making a fishing trip part of your Nassau Paradise Island vacation? Here’s our guide to fishing in The Bahamas: what kind of fish you might catch, what to bring on board, and where to book a fishing charter.
What kinds of fish can I catch in Nassau Paradise Island?
There are plenty of fish in the sea – and depending on how far from shore you venture and what time of year you visit, you might get lucky and catch the following fish.
Blue Marlin: The marlin is the national fish of The Bahamas and is even featured on our Coat of Arms! This highly prized game fish is a popular choice in sushi. Female marlins grow much larger than males – as much as four times as heavy as their male counterparts, reaching weights of more than 1,000 pounds.
Red Snapper: The red snapper is a bottom-feeding fish typically found around rocks, reefs, and wrecks. Red snappers are recognized by their distinctive pinkish color, and they generally weigh less than 10 pounds and are between one and two feet in length. Due to overfishing, they’re now a protected species in The Bahamas, so fishers can only catch two per day in state waters and one per day in federal waters.
Blackfin Tuna: Approximately 40 inches long and weighing up to 50 pounds, the blackfin tuna is one of the smaller tuna species. They’re commonly fished during the summer months. Keep in mind that in The Bahamas, only six tuna species per boat can be caught and kept – any extra fish must be caught and released for conservation purposes.
Bluefin Tuna: The largest of all tuna species, Bluefin tuna can weigh more than 500 pounds and stretch more than six feet in length. Due to overfishing and their tendency to be fast swimmers, Bluefin tuna are hard to catch. They’re prized for their meat, which is considered a sushi, and a single Bluefin can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Sailfish: With a long, pointed bill and dorsal fin, the sailfish resembles and is related to the swordfish and marlin. Sailfish can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh 200 pounds. If you want to catch a sailfish, patience is a must: it can take many hours to land a hooked fish!
Wahoo: To catch a wahoo, you need to be speedy! Growing up to eight feet long and weighing more than 100 pounds, the long, slim wahoo can swim as fast as 50 mph, making it a challenge even for experienced fishers. If you’re up for the challenge, set out early in the morning – fishers report having the best luck catching wahoo around dawn.
What should I bring on the fishing boat?
Most fishing charters in Nassau Paradise Island provide everything you need to catch a fish, such as bait and equipment, and some even provide lunch. When you book your excursion, ask if there are any necessary items you need to pack.
Make sure you bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Bottled water and snacks are also a good idea. And don’t forget to bring a camera to capture your catch of the day!
If you suffer from seasickness, plan ahead. Pack some anti-nausea medication and consider picking up a pair of Sea-Band wristbands to help alleviate motion sickness.
You’ll also want a light sweater or jacket as well as a towel, and flat, non-slip shoes – preferably not flip-flops or sandals.
Where can I find a list of fishing excursions in Nassau Paradise Island?
All of our partner fishing charters are listed here. Choose from half-day and full-day charters, some of which offer a “guaranteed fish” policy where you only pay if you catch fish!
Do I get to keep the fish I catch in The Bahamas?
Bahamas Fisheries Regulations allows visitors to take up to eight pounds of frozen fish fillets back home, so if you’re able to get your fish frozen, you can share the ultimate tasty souvenir with your friends and family! Some guests like to have their fish mounted as a trophy. Others leave their fish with the crew. Ask your fishing charter what your options are for your catch.