Heather Oblaczynski and Jamie Hayes on the docks of Nassau Yacht Haven with a nice set of tuna captured fishing offshore of Nassau, Bahamas while fishing aboard Fish Head with Capt. Teddy Pratt. (Heather is the daughter of Misti & Gary Guertin, co-publishers of the Treasure Coast and Bahamas editions of Coastal Angler Magazine.).
As summer passes and we move into fall, the tuna and wahoo bite is still strong, especially at Ginger Bread Ground and Great Isaac. Recent catches include five wahoo and three tuna right on Memory Rock. The largest was 75 pounds. For those early risers, the morning bite is good but the evening to late bite is always the best time to get the big ones. Mutton snapper are very plentiful one mile off West End in about 20 to 30 feet of water. At the end of September a 50 pound yellow fin grouper was caught right out in front of Blue Marlin Resort & Marina in 30 feet of water. Lastly, the mahi-mahi bite will begin to heat up in October.
Lots of turbulent weather and big waves during September kept all but the most adventurous anglers in port. Snapper and the occasional grouper and barracuda have been the majority of landings through September. The October bite promises to continue with snapper and feature jacks, mackerel and grouper as the waters stay warm. We look to welcome back some of the larger offshore species later in the month as the water temperatures begin to cool. After the last couple of months of hot summer weather we are looking forward to the air temperatures cooling down and the fishing “heating up”!
The cooler temperatures are certainly a big welcome. There is great action on the reefs with yellowtail and other bottom fish including grouper and snapper and more. The offshore action really heats up with sailfish biting in the 700 to 1700 depths and the beginning of wahoo season is firing up. Huge wahoo is what brings most anglers to Bimini in the fall and early winter. They will be caught in 400 to 700 feet of water using surface lures as well as diving plugs and lures down deep on heavy leads trolling up to 15 knots. Head to Bimini enjoy the nice fall weather and excellent offshore fishing.
October is believed to be one of the best months for bone fishing on Grand Bahama. The flats are teeming with fish. Many of them are moving out of the larger schools and into smaller groups. The larger fish, nine to ten pounders and up, like to move by themselves in more of a solitary fashion than be in large schools. For anglers who love to sight fish and cast a fly at a single fish, this is your special time. It is more “sporty,” if I can use that word, to cast a fly about two feet in front of the nose of a large bonefish and watch him go down and pick up your fly! Just thinking about it gets my heart pounding. Visit Grand Bahama for an adventure on our flats!
The water temperature in October starts to cool off a bit, so you will see more schools of smaller fish going back up into the creeks. These fish are easier to catch because they are smaller 1 to 3 pounders. Out on the flats that are closer to deep water, you will still see the schools of bigger fish in the 6 to 8 pound range on the flats. Once the water temperature drops a little more, the bigger fish will start to move onto the flats in the creeks. In October, you will still have chances at catching barracuda, sharks, tarpon and permit on the deeper flats.
With the arrival of October, we are officially in the best time of the year in Bimini. The sun is lower in the sky, average daytime temperatures are slightly cooler and with the shorter days the water temperature is starting to drop. This will be affected by the occasional north easterly fronts that will push off the U.S. mainland with increased frequency. October means larger fish. The way the fish are biting you would think that they have not eaten in months! There should be no trouble finding fish in the 7 to 10 pound range (and lots of them). On spinning gear, cut shrimp, sea turkey meat (sand fleas) and crab work well. Incoming tide morning or evening is best. At lower tides the fish will be long the edges of the channels. Don’t forget to seek your share of tarpon and permit.
Northern Bahamas Fishing Forecast Compiled by CAM Staff with contributions from our Bahamas “on island” fishing forecasters. For complete forecasts and those from the Central and Lower Bahamas, visit www.coastalanglermag.com/bahamas.