Monster Bonefish of the Bahamas: Fly Fishing the Bahamas for Huge Bonefish

Although the islands do not hold as many fish as does much of the rest of the Caribbean, fish are usually much larger in the waters around the Bahamas. Monster bonefish of the Bahamas will take many different types of flies, and these large fish may be caught by even inexperienced fly fishermen. That is why the area is one for the best places to catch big bonefish.

Fly Fishing the Bahamas for Huge Bonefish

Anglers who go fly fishing in the Bahamian Islands for huge bonefish are rarely disappointed. Fish average around four pounds, and eight, nine, and ten pound fish are often spotted, or hooked and caught daily.

Bonefish are found throughout the waters surrounding the islands, though the flats and cuts are the best places to fish. Andros Island, the Abaco Islands, and the Exuma Islands are some of the best places to go to fly fish for bonefish.

What to Use when Fly Fishing for Huge Bonefish in the Bahamas

Seven weight rods, equipped with saltwater-capable reels lined with floating line are ideal, but for windier days, it may be a good idea to have eight or nine weight setups. As bonefish are very "spooky," (a fly fishing term meaning that they are spooked easily, or timid), long leaders with light tippet are best, because they help anglers to avoid blowing shots at huge fish by frightening the fish.

Light flies are great in shallow water, because the splash from heavier flies often scares the fish away. However, there are a number of heavy, bushy flies that land lightly, making hardly noticeable splashes. Large shrimp patterns in tan and olive colors, as well as crab flies are often very productive for monster bonefish in the Bahamas, in addition to traditional patterns, like the crazy charlie.

Monster Bonefish in the Bahamas: What to Expect

For anglers who have fly fished elsewhere in the Caribbean, or have been to the South Pacific or Seychelles, where large numbers of fish are found on a regular basis, the Bahamas may seem sparsely populated with bonefish.

Usually only small groups of fish swim and feed together, and single fish are just as common as fish in small groups. However, the size of Bahamian bonefish makes up for their lack of abundance.

At times, catching huge bonefish in the Bahamas on the fly can be challenging. Tailing fish are usually very finicky, and are easily frightened, so it is best to cast a little ways ahead of tailing bonefish, rather than directly in front of them. As many of the fish are going to be feeding near mangroves, expect a number of fish to break the line by heading into these trees.

Fishing a falling tide, when fish move out from the protective mangroves is often most productive.

Although fish are not as abundant as they are in many other places, and schools of smaller fish are seldom found, monster bonefish of the Bahamas are perfect gamefish for saltwater fly fishers.

Fly fishing for huge bonefish in the Bahamas is exhilarating and often very rewarding, and with shots at double digit (weighted) fish, there is no better place to catch tremendous bonefish in the Caribbean than the Bahamian Islands.

Donald S. Cochran

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