35 Fishing Charters
Top Fishing Charters in Nassau
Fishing in Nassau
Nassau fishing tends to be very downplayed in the context of the Bahamas. When you think of fishing in the Bahamas, chances are you imagine a week of wrestling bluewater monsters off Cat Island, or stalking Bonefish on Grand Bahama’s West End, but you don’t don’t need to go through all the stress of multiple flights or questionable ferries to find some awesome angling. Nassau fishing offers everything you need in an easy-to-get-to location.
The south side of the island is basically one long sand flat, and boasts some of the best bonefishing in the Bahamas (i.e, some of the best bonefishing in the world). During the winter the Wahoo are easily accessible, and in the summer there are plenty of Billfish tournaments within reach. And if you do feel the need to break out to one of the more remote islands, then why not? Nassau is the connecting hub of the archipelago after all, and you can find regular flights and ferries to all the top spots without being stuck in the middle of nowhere your whole trip.
Nassau is the capital city of the Bahamas, and serves as the cultural and trade hub of the commonwealth. The city joined UNESCO’s prestigious Creative Cities Network in 2015 due to the amazing creative and artistic expression the city overflows with. If you time your trip with the holiday season, you will be welcomed by the annual Junkanoo festival, a colorful and hypnotic mix of costumes, parades, dances and music the like of which you’ve never seen!
Throughout the year, though, the city is just a great place to wander around. Stroll down the bustling Bay Street Thoroughfare, or lose yourself among the stalls of beautiful wares in Nassau’s Straw Market (the perfect place for souvenirs). After that, you can relax at one of the city’s many great restaurants and enjoy a delicious plate of freshly-caught seafood - you’ll certainly have built up an appetite!
Alright, now that’s out of the way we can finally get into the fishing! Fishing in Nassau offers some of the most intense action in the archipelago, and the focus inshore is very much on Bonefish. Found in the area all year round, these “Silver Ghosts” are often near impossible to spot, and spook at the slightest provocation. Once hooked, they put up one heck of a fight, tearing away at up to 30 miles per hour. Even the most seasoned angler will need their A-game if they want to bring one in!
Of all the places for Bonefishing Nassau has to offer, the best is definitely along the southern side of the Island. At low tide, this whole area turns to sand flat, with mile after mile of wadeable water. Yamacraw, Adelaide and Coral Harbour beaches all offer great fishing, but honestly, you can walk the whole southern shore and you won’t find a bad place to drop a line. During the summer, the Bonefish are joined by large numbers of migratory Permit and Tarpon, because we’re not the only ones who like to vacation in the Bahamas. A good place to target Tarpon is in the canals and water channels which head into the island, where the biggest Silver Kings like to lurk.
It’s not all shallow flats and light tackle in Nassau, though. A huge part of the Bahamas charter scene takes place offshore, and the sheer number of tournaments ought to tell you how big the game fishing is. Late spring through mid-summer, offshore Bahamas fishing is all about the billfish. Yearly migrations of Blue and White Marlin, as well as giant Sailfish, make Nassau offshore fishing something you don’t want to miss out on! If you’re a seriously competitive sportfisher, the Bahamas Billfish Championship brings together anglers from around the world, fishing around the Bahamas from May through late June.
As the weather heats up, so does the fishing. Bluefin Tuna tag out the Yellowfin Tuna early summer, and just as the Marlin start to leave the Swordfish arrive to take their place. The winter in the Bahamas is dominated by Wahoo, who escape the cold to these warm Caribbean waters. Bahamas Wahoo fishing is some of the greatest in the world, so if you’re up to the challenge why not sign up for one of the awesome tournaments held on neighboring islands, like the Wahoo Smackdown, or the Blue Marlin Cove Wahoo Classic.
Rules & Regulations
The boat, not the anglers, needs the permits in the Bahamas, so all registered Bahamas fishing charters will have the paperwork sorted out for you. If you are fishing on your own, though, you will need a permit. You can either apply for these at the dock, or you can do it online and just pick up the stamp from the port authority upon arrival. The notable closed seasons are for Nassau Grouper (December 16 through February 16) Lobster (April 1 through July 31) and Stone Crabs (June 1 through October 15). There are also bag and size limits which your captain will be able to advise you on. Taking your catch back to the US is now allowed, but you should check all the details with the relevant authorities before doing so, just to be sure.
Types of Fishing
Across the Bahamas fly fishing dominates the inshore scene. If you’re wading the shallows we’d recommend a sturdy 8 or 9 weight rod with weight-forward line and a long, tapered leader. This will give you the range to not spook the fish, and really helps when the wind picks up. Offshore you will most commonly be trolling if you’re on the hunt for big game pelagic species, but on private Nassau fishing charters you’re normally welcome to break out your fly gear if that’s more your style
Nassau Fishing Seasons
The winter Wahoo fishing is at its peak, making for awesome offshore action. January is one of the driest months, and the temperature is in that sweet mid-70s range, so this is also a great time to hit the flats for some fly fishing.
The Wahoo are still on form, and February is the end of the annual Wahoo Smackdown, so grab one of the many Nassau offshore charters and get ready for some high-speed action.
The big game fishing really starts to heat up, with the first of the Marlin showing up, joined by large numbers of Amberjack and Yellowfin Tuna. The Wahoo are still biting, too, making this a great time to be offshore!
Permit arrive inshore, joined by the first of the Tarpon. April is also the last of the dry season, and the weather is just hitting 80°, making this a great time for wade fishing.
May is your best chance at bagging a Bluefin and a Yellowfin Tuna on the same trip. The last of the Sailfish are still around and the Marlin are heating up too, making May irresistible offshore.
Prime Blue Marlin season sees a number of tournaments take place, like the Abaco Beach Blue Marlin Invitational, the second half of the Bahamas Billfish Championship, and the Abaco Outboard Marlin Series.
The Swordfish are in full swing offshore, and Snapper and Grouper are filling up the reefs. Watch the rain though, because this is peak storm season, and maybe not the best for wade fishing inshore.
Grouper, Snapper, and Barracuda are still biting strong on the reefs. Inshore, the Bonefish are everywhere, and there are still good numbers of Permit and Tarpon as well.
The last few Billfish can be caught offshore, and the Swordfish are still at their best. Mahi Mahi are biting well, too, and the reefs are teeming with Snapper and Grouper, making for productive offshore fishing.
The heat and the rain finally start to drop off in October, and with them, so do a lot of the offshore species. The Wahoo are starting to arrive, though, and there are always plenty of Bonefish inshore!
The rain finally leaves as the Wahoo pick up. November is also the beginning of the annual Wahoo Smackdown, which is worth checking out. you've also got active reefs and great flats fishing if that's more your scene.
If you're visiting in December, you have to check out Junkanoo. This huge festival promises colorful parades, great music, dancing and loads of fun! Oh, and there's world-class Wahoo and Bonefishing, in case you get bored!