If you are into bonefishing and a laid back lifestyle, the Bahamas are the place to be. This collection of easily accessed islands rests just off the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean. It is no secret that the Bahamas offer more productive bonefish flats and more large bonefish than anywhere else in the world. These highly specialized fish can be found in mere inches of water making sight-fishing to these ultra-wary speedsters an ultra-fun, though highly challenging game. Once hooked, these fish rip line from a reel at an alarming rate, making for a spectacular shallow-water experience.

Whether you prefer to fish from the bow of a skiff or wade hard bottom flats, the Bahamas have what you’re looking for. There are around 700 islands in the Bahamas chain, some developed, others tiny and uninhabited, seldom-fished flecks in a semi-tropical angling paradise. The island chain stretches nearly 500 miles from Abaco Island in the north, to Great Inagua Island in the south. The most consistent fishing runs from October through mid-December, and again from mid-March through June. Good fishing can also be found in January, February and early March as weather conditions permit.

You can catch big bonefish in other locales, but the Bahamas is the place to be for double-digit size bones. These fish often swim alone or in pairs, versus the big schools of smaller fish you can easily find throughout the islands. Large, older bonefish are more wary than their smaller, younger brethren and require extreme stealth and accurate casts to fool. Bonefishing is compared to hunting and that is never more accurate than when targeting fish that range between six and 10 pounds or more.

The Bahamas is not all about big bones, though; guides regularly put their clients on large permit, barracuda, and other flats species, such as jacks, snapper, sharks, and, sometimes, tarpon. If you want to test the big bluewater—like Hemingway did here—wahoo, dolphin, sailfish and marlin are also possible.

The Bahamas is a great option whether you have a week or two to play, or just a few days to escape. Direct daily flights from multiple locations service the Bahamas’ larger islands, and smaller planes deposit anglers on remote cays. Well-established lodges, and time-tested guides are found in abundance, catering to beginner and expert anglers alike.

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