Bonefishing in Bimini, Bahamas
Bonefishing is an exciting fly fishing sport that tests fishermen's tactics, stealth and strategy as well as their ability to appreciate and enjoy the speed, strength, alertness and beauty of this olive and silver fish. Catching a bonefish, considered the king, gray ghost of the shallow waters, which will use its many playful tricks to escape from you, and rated by many as the toughest and scrappiest of any species to capture, requires great expertise and know-how and the Bahamas is home to the highest quality set of bonefish guides in the world.
Why Bimini is a Bonefish Paradise
Bimini, Bahamas is known for being a world-famous, deep-sea sport fishing, bonefishing and diving spot. It is the perfect habitat for bonefish since they dwell inshore tropical waters, moving onto shallow mudflats to feed with the incoming tide. Bimini has almost endless flats, as well as seagrass and mangroves, that are natural hatcheries of the marine species bonefish prefer to feed on. There are so many bonefish that you have a great chance to fish a large number of them every day, in the 5 to 12 pound category.
Bonefishing, as an international activity, started in Bimini around 1920, when some North Americans chose to escape from the frantic pace of their big cities to go fishing there. At that time, Biminites were primarily interested in fishing around the reefs with hand-line for scale fish. They knew very well their waters and how to catch bonefish, so they chose to offer their services as bonefish guides. Thus started, not just a job but also a way of life, which they accomplish with mysticism, passion and love on a win-win relationship that has lasted for generations as a family legacy they are very proud of. So, if you go bonefishing to Bimini, trust your guide with your eyes closed since he will give you the casting techniques and tell you where to cast your artificial "fly" to catch this wonderful fish, for a moment of glory, and then release it back into the water.
Bonefish are powerful and run very fast and hard once hooked. When fishing them, you’re either wading on foot on tidal flats using clams, conch, crabs, or similar baits or balancing on the casting deck of a small boat designed for shallow water. This special boat, used for catching bonefish, is called ”Bimini Bonefisher” and was designed and built by bonefish World Record holder Ansil Saunders, a fishing guide for more than three decades and a fifth generation boat-builder. This boat is unique to Bimini, Bahamas and has proven to be the most effective on the bonefish flats for its durability and shallow draft.
Apart from Ansil Saunders, who is still guiding a bit these days even though he’s well into his eighties, there are many famous bonefish guides like Ebbie, who is a tall, large middle-aged man, very sweet, friendly, smiley and talkative. He learned how to catch bonefish from his father and two brothers, as well as from other famous local bonefish guides. Like a box full of surprises, another of Ebbie’s responsibilities is to teach youngsters how to be bonefish guides He’s not selfish with his knowledge; he passes it on to others like a pastor who wants to transmit to his congregation his love for Bimini, bonefishing and mankind. Two other veteran flats guides are Fred “Eagle Eyes” Rolle and Tommy Sewell who, like Ebbie, are always willing to share their bonefishing secrets and expertise.
Plan your Bonefishing Trip
Experiencing the wonders of bonefishing in Bimini is very easy from Miami, where FRS offers its superb ferry service to take you there in just two hours. Once in Bimini, Bahamas you may either hire the services of Bonefish Ebbie, at his bar/restaurant called Ebbies & Pat´s, or head to the Bimini Big Game Club dock, where you may hire the services of Fred “Eagle Eyes” Rolle or Tommy Sewell.