Whether you're planning to experience the thrill of reeling in the big one while deep-sea fishing, or to peacefully explore the passing of the tide while surf fishing on one of your next cruises to the Bahamas, these tricks of the trade will ensure that you bring in the catch of the day.
Deep-Sea Fishing: It's All About Location and Dedication
Fishing for apex predators (such as marlin, tuna, and sharks) is an exercise in patience. Once hooked, the fight to pull them in can last hours, leaving your aching muscles to question whether the beach was a better idea after all. However, the feeling of deep satisfaction you'll gain as you master a predator and release him back to the ocean is second to none. Remember these critical tips about deep-sea fishing in the Bahamas:
- Time of year. Timing is everything in fishing. The time of year in which you head out on one of your next cruises to the Bahamas will largely determine the locations you should fish in. Wahoo (a very large, stealthy game fish) is best fished during winter — from November to February. Most of these fish range in the 50- to 100-pound range. From March to May, anglers will have the chance to experience the magnificent acrobatics of mahimahi, fish that range in size from 10–70 pounds.
- Safety. Protect your body from the elements. The sun can be very intense, even on cloudy days — so bring sunscreen, and apply liberally. In that same vain, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your day out fishing. In addition, be sure that you don't eat a big breakfast before going out on boat. Seasickness is a real possibility for everyone, so give your stomach a break and eat light until you know how boating in deep water will affect you.
Beyond the Surf: Understanding Surf-Fishing Techniques
While surf fishing, it is important to decide what technique you prefer, and what fish are available to you for that technique:
- Fly Fishing is a great way to catch bonefish, barracuda, and tarpon while on your western Caribbean cruise. A special note for anglers: If you are going after the barracuda, make sure you're using strong wire!
- Bottom Fishing will give you access to snappers, groupers, moray eels, and sharks. Proper live and cut baits include crabs, squid, flying fish, and sprats. Remember that the hook size depends on what species you are after.
- Lure Casting is a fun way to go after jacks, bonitos, permits, barracuda, and mahimahi. You might be in for a ride, so make sure your reel is filled with a 20-pound, test-braided line.