Bahamas Fishing Reports and Forecasts: September 2016

Martine Wardill, from Freeport, with her first wahoo. Caught off of Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Wardill.
Martine Wardill, from Freeport, with her first wahoo. Caught off of Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Wardill.

Abaco Offshore

If you like it hot and wet, Capt. Travis Kelly of Gusto Charters and Guide Service in Marsh Harbour, said Abaco is the place to be! “Many anglers are taking to the water for great spearfishing action of hog snapper, grouper and lobster. However, on the 200- to 500-foot drop off, bait trolling may produce an early season wahoo, or mahi mahi. Billfish can still be found offshore, but you have to put in the time for them. Big teaser and lures that create lots of action will help. Radar fishing offshore, looking for flocks of birds, and trolling some cedar plugs may produce some blackfin or yellowfin tuna action.  Chunking in these flocks can also work.” He also reminds us that September is definitely the month for deep dropping.

Grand Bahama Offshore

The best mode of fishing tactic this time of the year per Capt. Billy Black of Duchess Sportfishing is to cut the engines, drift and break out the spinning rods. “Best bait is squid, tuna belly strips, and barracuda chunks. Nothing more satisfying and fun as sitting in a quiet cockpit with friends and family reeling in bottom fish. Be prepared with the fry daddy and peanut oil to cook up a huge plate of mutton snappers, strawberry groupers, and yellow tail snappers.  Does not get any better than that. “

South Eleuthera Offshore

Capt. Calvin “Cali” Jolly in South Eleuthera reports South Eleuthera continues to produce a strong pelagic bite as yellowfin tuna and mahi-mahi are running around the areas between Bamboo Point and north of the Bridge along the Atlantic.  “We even witnessed a large school of mahi-mahi running in the middle of the Exuma Sound about 13 miles south of the Bridge.  The mahi also raised a blue marlin that we hooked up to but got off. “ This time of year lends itself to bottom fishing while chasing schools of jacks and yellowtails.  The bottom fishing for groupers and snappers are best at about 60 feet just off of Bamboo Point and use squid for best results.  Also consider the reefs just north of Bannerman Town on the Exuma Sound side. Drifting these reefs at 50 to 70 feet has been productive.

Long Island Offshore

Capt. Luke Maillis of Reel Additive Charters shares that September can be a tricky month to predict the migration of pelagics around Long Island. “Some years, the fish migrate through early in large numbers and sometimes they are late to arrive. The only way to know if they have arrived is to get out there and test the waters. It is always a good idea to take an electric reel to make deep dropping the backup plan if the bite is not on.  The spearfishing is great year-round and September often provides beautiful flat calm days to get out to the good spots. You can easily fill the boat with a variety of seafood just within a few hours of diving, working patch reefs for the lobster, hogfish and grouper. Or venture out to the drop off and dive for some kingfish and permit.”