Bahamas Fishing Forecasts: October 2016


Grand Bahama Offshore

“October is the month for bottom fish,” says Capt. Billy Black of Duchess Sportfishing. “Anchor up or drift for snapper and grouper. Use heavy spinning rods, circle hooks, and lots of squid and chunks of barracuda, my favorite because it’s a tough skinned bait so the fish can’t easily steal your bait. Look for flocks of birds working the schools of migrating fish, and don’t forget size limits and quota.”

Abaco Offshore

Capt. Travis Kelly at Gusto Charters and Guide Service in Marsh Harbour, reminds us that October will launch the 2016-2017 wahoo season. He recommends that as cold fronts begin to push through south Florida to fish the drop-off in the 180-to-500 feet zone. High speed trolling in the 12-to-15 knot range with big gear—50-to-80 weight reels, heavy leads from 24-to-48 ounce, and multi-colored artificial lures like Islander, Blackbarts to Bost lures will get the job done. You can also slow down to save fuel and troll 7-to-9 knots with rigged ballyhoo or split tail mullet under your favorite skirt or trolling lures, still keeping the leads 24-to-48 ounce or planers in the spread to help get the baits down deeper.

Bottom fishing will still produce snapper and groupers. Chum bags will bring in the yellowtails. Squid will work well. Vertical jigging in 100-to-200 feet of water with metal or buck tails jigs can also get you on grouper, mutton snapper, and some other species.

Long Island Offshore

Per Capt. Luke Maillis at Reel Addictive Charters, “October brings the change of seasons from summer into the wahoo winter.” Still a quiet month for pelagics, they do start appearing, and when the timing is right, three or four days before a full moon, expect a few wahoo and mahi. Bahamas stone crab season opens on October 16. “Long Island offers colossal size crabs,” says Capt. Luke. “Venture out into the commercial banks on the southwest side of the island and check in small reefs and ledges. They can also be purchased from our local fishermen.”

Spearfishing continues to be productive just a few miles offshore, with a variety of fish to choose from. Hogfish tend to spawn and congregate in certain areas and you are likely to bet a dozen at a time on each reef.

Exuma Offshore

Capt. Doug Rowe expects October’s cooling waters to bring in the wahoo. “The first run is usually in the 15-to-30-pound range, so this is a great time to lighten up to the 30-pound class rods, or even lighter, for a little more action. Cooler water should also perk up reef action. Look in the 30-to-50 feet range and move a little deeper if action is slow.”

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