Bonefishing in Exuma

Sunday, October 16, 2016

(Video source:  JL Powell.  Exumas Youtube. (2012).  Great film capturing imagery and philosophy of fishing in the Exumas)

 

Exuma is an angler's paradise.   The bonefishing, in particular, is probably  the best in the world.

 

Bonefish live in shallow water - the Exuma flats.   They are a sleek and muscular silver fish that usually weighs between 2 and 5 pounds with the world record currently at 19 pounds.   While they are very common around the Exumas, they are not easy to catch. Especially for beginners.     Conventional fisherman can use a rod baited with fresh shrimp or conch.   Most enthusiasts prefer fly fishing from shallows or from a boat.  

 

It is best to go with a guide who can give you the local tips and who knows how to catch bonefish in various tide and weather combinations.  Bad weather is not necessarily an obstacle! Guides will usually pick you up at your beach house/hotel or meet you at the dock.    Not suprisingly, the best bonefishing guides in the world also call Exuma home.  (See the links and numbers section of this site for a list of guides.)

 

A key part of bonefishing is learning to spot them (bring good sun glasses).   They can travel alone or in schools.  They are often seen "mudding" or "tailing" as they move across the shallows burrowing in the sand for food.  As a result, the most common way to spot them is to look for their tail fins or disturbances in the shallows.    Be warned, they are timid and are easily spooked.  But if you can hook one, they are famous for their incredible speed and fight.    Bonefish are not great fish to eat - they are as bony as their name suggests - so it is important that you carefully released after a quick photo opportunity.

 

 

Here are some additional helpful references:

 

One of the many legendary Exuma guides:   Bonefishstevie.

 

Checklist for bringing your own gear:  Angleradventures.com bonefish article

 

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