Look up any of top saltwater fishing destinations online and chances are you’re going to find Bimini on each list, and rightfully so. Out here in the Bahamas all you need to do is find a reef, throw the bait and wait for the fish to arrive, and when they do be ready because they come in all shapes and sizes. The horse-eyed jack, amberjack, king mackerel, cero, mutton snapper and yellowtail are just among the many fish you can catch. And yes the time will come when you’ll draw the attention of sharks too, so it’s really pretty exciting to fish here.
How Do I Start?
First things first, you need to purchase fishing gear from a reputable company like Eat My Tackle. You don’t have to buy expensive equipment but make sure they’re ohigh quality and meet your requirements. Once you’ve got the gear your first target should be the yellowtails because when they go after the chum, the other fish – king mackerel, horse-eyed jack, grouper etc.- will follow. The good news is you just need to look for a sizable reef as that should support a considerable number of yellowtails.
After you find a structure, anchor at 70 or 80 ft. and prepare the chum. You don’t have to wait long before ballyhoo, blue runner, triggerfish and other tropical and reef fish show up. The key here is the current: as long it is clear the yellowtails and its predators will show up. Also, you can get away with a 20 pound test for the yellowtails as there’s not as much pressure compared to the Florida Keys.
A small hook and shiny leader is great for tricking big snapper and other fish, but you have to use good bait too. A small chunk of dolphin belly or bonito should do nicely for large fish, and you could also try pieces of silversides or ballyhoo.
Allow the bait to drift with the chum at similar rates, and once you’ve dropped the bait just wait until the yellowtail comes. You might want to add a split shot if there’s a fast current to assist the bait. Once the fish is hooked, reel in straight and quick. Don’t hesitate because the fish will react quickly or worse it could get eaten by a predator nearby.
Big Grouper and Other Fish
The large black grouper is frequently seen in clear waters, and if you look under your boat they’re under the reefs as well going after the yellowtails. To catch one you’ll need 6/0 reel with a 100 lb. braid, plus an egg sinker, 9/0 hook, 100-pound-test fluorocarbon leader (10 ft.) and a 130 lb. stand up rod. Hook a live yellowtail and you’re set.
When saltwater fishing in the Bimini, it usually comes down to three levels: on the surface you go for the yellowtails, while at the bottom you hunt for the mutton snapper and the grouper. And finally you’ll want to get farther out for the cero and king mackerels, but be ready as they’re big. Happy fishing!