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All About Fishing in Bimini Bahamas

Based on article by Marinalife.

 

Viewed from above, the cobalt blue water of the Gulf Stream quickly gives way to the gin-clear flats of North Bimini and South Bimini islands. Located a scant 49 miles from Miami, Bimini’s rich heritage in big-game fishing dates back to the 1930s, when the likes of Zane Grey, Tommy Gifford, Howard Hughes and Michael Lerner ventured here to battle giant blue marlin and huge schools of bluefin tuna that prowled its western shores.

 

Ernest Hemmingway's love of Bimini began in 1935, thanks to his friendship with Lerner, and he wrote many of his famous novels between fishing trips and drinking binges here. Aboard his beloved Pilar, Hemingway is said to have developed his aggressive fishing techniques. In pursuit of blue marlin and bluefin tuna, he sought to land them before the area's plentiful shark population could devour his catch.

 

The Bimini twist, the haywire twist and the first ballyhoo rigs are said to have been developed on the Bimini islands by pioneering mates and captains. World-class tackle company Fin-Nor field-tested the sport's first lever drag reels in these waters.

 

WHAT’S BITING AND WHEN?

Often called the birthplace of Atlantic big-game fishing, Bimini's reputation quickly gathered attention from anglers the world over. Soon big-game tournaments became a regular occurrence here. The eastern edge of the Gulf Stream laps at the islands, where in just a few boat lengths, depths plunge from 60 feet to 600 feet, and the 100-fathom curve lies just two miles offshore.

 

All the Atlantic's billfish species including blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish and swordfish can be found here. In between billfish bites, look for wahoo, dolphin (mahi mahi) and yellowfin tuna to provide action offshore. Although species numbers have fallen dramatically worldwide, giant bluefin tuna always present a possibility. Along the reefs and shipwrecks on the irregular seafloor, various species of snapper, grouper and jacks supply an alternative to offshore action.

 

Flats anglers are in their glory here as bone fish reign supreme, and several International Game Fish Association world records (including one dating back to 1961) have been set in Bimini. Permit can also be found along the flats, while ever-present barracuda and sharks produce drag-searing runs.

 

The fishing calendar in the Bimini area spans the entire year, and several species are always willing to cooperate. In November through March, take your best shot at big wahoo, but keep in mind that winter's winds can make for a sporty day offshore. The March through July window gives a good chance of catching white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish and dolphin. Look for swordfish from June through September.

 

Bonefish and permit can be found year-round, although March through May is the best time for both. The flats warm quickly in the summer months, sending both species to cooler, deeper water. Sharks, barracuda and near-shore species like jacks, snapper, and grouper swim plentifully year-round.

 

WHERE TO STAY?

No visit would be complete without a stopover at the world-famous Bimini Big Game Club on North Bimini Island. Opened as a formal dinner club in 1936, when tuxedos and evening gowns were the dress of the day, the club moved to its current location in 1954. In 1963, the Bacardi (rum) family acquired the club, investing heavily in the property. Following several more ownership changes, the Bimini Big Game Club stands today as a popular fishing destination.

 

A short walk from Government Dock, the Bimini Big Game Club is located in the center of historic Alice Town. An inviting blue gate and overhead sign summon fishermen to enter the club’s charmingly patinaed stone walls. The 3.5-acre boutique resort comprises 51 guest rooms, suites and cottages, complemented by a picturesque 75-slip marina.

 

Onsite activities include Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center, where guests can suit up for diving and snorkeling trips to swim with dolphins and sharks or explore reefs and wrecks. For authentic Bahamian clothing and gifts, shop at the Bimini Craft Center. From the marina, anglers can set out on bone fishing trips to pristine flats or offshore adventures to track snapper, tuna, marlin and swordfish.

 

Also located on North Bimini, the 230-slip Bimini Bay Marina can accommodate vessels up to 200 feet. Visitors can access amenities such as multiple restaurants, an infinity pool, a private beach, a fitness center and more. Their staff can also arrange guides for bone fishing, deep sea fishing and big game fishing excursions.

 

South Bimini is home to Bimini Cove Resort & Marina (formerly Bimini Sands).  Their marina offers first class amenities for boats and yachts up to 100 feet and is Bimini’s closest marina to prime fishing grounds and scuba diving sites.

 

Whether you catch your first blue marlin or a world-record bonefish, Bimini offers a chance to reflect on big-game fishing's exciting and colorful history.


Bimini Fishing
Wahoo Fishing at Bimini Big Game Club

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