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July in Bahamas, Bimini or West End

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:37 AM
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Default July in Bahamas, Bimini or West End

Going over for the first time for fishing in early July. I hear good and bad on both locations but wanted to know what the THTers think is better at that time. We are out of Jupiter which makes it a straighter run to WE but what's a better place to fish for first timers? Also does anyone know detailed fishing maps that have numbers. Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:17 AM
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what do you intend to do? fish? swim/snorkel? family? no family? nightlife?
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by alacrity View Post
what do you intend to do? fish? swim/snorkel? family? no family? nightlife?
We are looking to fish. Never did deep dropping but we have the gear to do it. Do some trolling and some other bottom fishing. Pretty much just wanna go where the best bite is happening that time of year. From what I gather is tuna, mahi and some marlin as well as deep dropping snapper and shallow reef fishing too. Like I said we don't know a lot about it over there so lookin for advice.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:46 AM
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Try Bootle Bay at WE. July is a tough month for trolling in the Bahamas but there will be plenty of bottom fish.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:53 AM
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Really need to develop a game plan on what you want to catch. If it was me I target yellow fin and DD fish. Id head to Lucaya and fish the channel and DD off of gingerbread and is sac

John If you still have my number you can call me and ill give you more info, I hate typing.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:17 PM
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My understanding that the fishing is a bit better at West End, and you only go there for fishing/diving--not much else to do. I was in Bimini last June, and will be again this July. Last year was my first trip over as well. I would treat it as an exploratory expedition as it's hard to fish an area for the first time and get good results. Heading to other spots, Lucaya, Isaacs, etc. may be a bit much for your first trip...but it seems that is better fishing. I would call Hatter3 as he clearly knows more than I. I trolled up all the cuda and kings you would ever want while there, but didn't really have the spots to nab the bottom fish I wanted. It was right after Sandy so that supposedly messed the fishing up a bit too.
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatter3 View Post
Really need to develop a game plan on what you want to catch. If it was me I target yellow fin and DD fish. Id head to Lucaya and fish the channel and DD off of gingerbread and is sac

John If you still have my number you can call me and ill give you more info, I hate typing.
given what you want to do, i would go with this advice.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:04 PM
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Thanks all I was leaning towards WE. I really do have to get a better game plan down some we are not just running around. So far from what I have gathered would be tuna/ mahi early and late then bottom fishing in between. Thanks
Hatter u have mail? Tx
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:49 AM
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If you are fishing primarily you might want to consider going up to Walkers/Grand. Excellent deep dropping and overall fishing. Easy run from Stuart and much less touristy than WE or Miami east umm I mean Bimini.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:06 AM
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it takes a few trips to figure out the bahamas and since west end is closest that gets my vote. you can catch everything over there. good luck
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:57 AM
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I think I would go with WE and maybe if I was there long enough to justify it I would consider Walkers/Grand Cays, or maybe Spanish Cay. You can clear at WE and at Spanish. I don't know about Grand Cay. Spanish is a private island with a jet airstrip and clearing is quick and painless, though the island charges an extra $50 service fee, iirc.

Bimini is a bit of a dump, imo, though not too crowded during the week, especially if the weather favors your boat over the smaller cc's. If you choose to go there, I can get you some numbers off my boat's machines for big yellowtails shallow and for good grouper in about 115' or so.

I have heard that the Bahamas was going to offer pre-clearing in the US so that you do not have to clear customs and immigration before fishing. If they do offer it, then I would take advantage of it and then run to Mantanilla Reef on the NW corner of Grand Bahama Bank and fish my way to Walkers/Grand Cays. [If they don't offer it, don't succumb to temptation, clear customs and immigration first.] Mantanilla is fantastic, and not visited by hoards of boats since it is ~20-30nmi out of the way, though well within the range of your boat.

Spanish Cay is a nice, quiet place, doesn't have the crowds some places see (partly because it is pricey) and the pelagic and reef fishing is great, so is the diving and spearfishing. There are an abundance of sharks, so get speared fish in the boat quickly. I can get out to or through the reef and into the deep at half tide from the harbor via the SE pass in my boat, going slow, reading the water and being careful crossing the shallow flats between the marina and the SE end of the island (and following the Bahamas Guide.) My boat draws a tad under 5'. Once the SE end is rounded there is a substantial, reasonably protected "lagoon" inside of the reef where you can anchor up for snorkeling or spearfishing.

I rounded the north end in our dingy, and wouldn't try it in a deep draft sportfish.

Lucaya is relatively crowded and noisy. Not what I go to the Bahamas for.

Hope this helps in your planning.

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Old 04-26-2014, 05:52 AM
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Thanks guys I think WE looks like the deal for our first trip over. I'll save the other info you guys gave me for the second trip probably some time in August. Funny all we are thinkin about if running over there when the bite is going off over here. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by johncdbass View Post
Thanks guys I think WE looks like the deal for our first trip over. I'll save the other info you guys gave me for the second trip probably some time in August. Funny all we are thinkin about if running over there when the bite is going off over here. Thanks for the advice!
LOL. We are the same in that we almost never stick around Florida; the allure of the islands so close is just too tempting for us!

As usual, JPK is spot on IMO. West End is very nice and super easy. If you are bringing wives and kids they will love it there too. It is beautiful and there is a very nice pool, paddle boards, a hobie cat, ping pong, work out room, tennis courts, kayaks, etc. The rooms are really nice if you need them. And if you want to go past there the Dodge cruising guide will keep you out of trouble.

I also agree that Bimini is kind of a dump but I still like it anyway. I think the fishing may be a little better, especially for marlin. The Sapona wreck just south of the island is definitely worth anchoring next to for a few hours of snorkeling and swimming. There is also something kind of cool about staying at the Big Game Club or one of the surrounding marinas. Get a cart and check out the rest of the island and stop at the conch salad stands between the marinas and resort world. If you want a cultural experience (and like looking at super super super skimpy thongs) drive into resort world and take a look at the pool up by the ocean. Once the sun goes down I prefer to be safely tucked away at the boat having cocktails and thereby avoiding most of the sketchy locals and even sketchier Americans (and we usually are with family and kids anyway).

You really can't go wrong at either place. You will have a great trip!
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by slipkid View Post
LOL. We are the same in that we almost never stick around Florida; the allure of the islands so close is just too tempting for us!

As usual, JPK is spot on IMO. West End is very nice and super easy. If you are bringing wives and kids they will love it there too. It is beautiful and there is a very nice pool, paddle boards, a hobie cat, ping pong, work out room, tennis courts, kayaks, etc. The rooms are really nice if you need them. And if you want to go past there the Dodge cruising guide will keep you out of trouble.

I also agree that Bimini is kind of a dump but I still like it anyway. I think the fishing may be a little better, especially for marlin. The Sapona wreck just south of the island is definitely worth anchoring next to for a few hours of snorkeling and swimming. There is also something kind of cool about staying at the Big Game Club or one of the surrounding marinas. Get a cart and check out the rest of the island and stop at the conch salad stands between the marinas and resort world. If you want a cultural experience (and like looking at super super super skimpy thongs) drive into resort world and take a look at the pool up by the ocean. Once the sun goes down I prefer to be safely tucked away at the boat having cocktails and thereby avoiding most of the sketchy locals and even sketchier Americans (and we usually are with family and kids anyway).

You really can't go wrong at either place. You will have a great trip!
Well I was leaning towards WE then I get pulled back in with the land delights, lol. Only kidding I think we will probably do WE for early July and I think Bimini in early July will be crazy anyway from what I have heard. I have been keeping my ears open for fishing locations and wrecks ect. I have not seen any maps out the like we have in fla that shows prime spots. I have some time and will keep looking and talking to the shops.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:04 PM
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Your question is the same I raised last summer taking my teenagers over from Jupiter for a few days. My review of OBB is on trip advisor so you may want to check it out. Doing it again, I would book a 2bdr. suite at OBB, take your own food, drinks of choice and cook dinner on the grills provided by the docks. They have ice and charcoal but carry everything else. The deep drop within 600 yards of the resort is/was so fun, all the yellow eye snaps you can catch/eat. We met some really nice folks, ate together in the evening, shared food, wine and big stories. Make sure you carry an epirb and life raft! Don't want to take any dumb chances with the kids. Holler if I can help. Maybe we can run over together on the next trip.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:45 PM
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Thanks Slade we are planning to go July 5th. I'm thinking the OBB too. I see the island behind you so the drop is pretty close. Did you do any other type fishing? PS that grin on your kids face is what it's all about!
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:19 AM
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The restaurant isn't what it used to be but it is hard to find great food over there anywhere. And it's expensive. We typically will go to to the tiki bar down by the beach for some cracked conch and goombay smashes (they make great ones) and then go back and eat dinner on the boat. The fishing isn't really a "numbers" game in my experience. For trolling you work the edge and most go north towards memory rock and then white sand ridge. Both are well marked on all the charts and are decent spots to key in around. For deep drop pretty much pick a place is what I do but I'm admitedly no good at reading my machine to find the little ledges and clouds of shrimp people talk about. It's easy to load the boat with more deep drop fish than you can eat anyway. For yellowtail, bring a chum block and pick your spot; the little cay just to the north of West End is as good as any IMO (but again, I'm more of a trolling guy anyway).
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:33 AM
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What time of the year would give you the best chance of raising a blue marlin off West End, guys - and would your chances off Bimini be significantly better? thanks in advance

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Old 04-27-2014, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Patudo View Post
What time of the year would give you the best chance of raising a blue marlin off West End, guys - and would your chances off Bimini be significantly better? thanks in advance

patudo
If you google Bahamas fishing spots you will see a yearly chart that shows what's running and what are the best months for each fish. I believe that they are in Bimini now and even closer to chub cay. They can also be found near WE now thru end of June chasing tuna. Of course this is what I have gleamed from numerous pages I've read online, I really don't know jack crevalle.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:41 PM
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When you goes run over for the day to troll and not actually going on the islands are you checking through customs? I'm on the west coast of Florida and want to trailer the boat over and run arcoss for the wahoo bite this year!

thanks
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