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West End, Bahamas, For All Seasons

The entrance to Old Bahama Bay Resort, you'll feel right at home.

Spring, summer or fall, even winter, if you can make it to West End, you'll find fish for any season. Winter is best for wahoo and grouper on the reefs. Summer is the month for diving: snapper, grouper and lobster topping the list. Leaving Spring and Fall for Gold, Yellowfin gold. After a very successful September yellowfin trip a few years ago, while fishing with the owner of Blue Marlin Cove, I told him he needed to rename his recently built resort “Tuna Cove.” "We've had very good days for blue marlin too,” he said with a smile.

As many have said in the past, and I'll say again, it's better in the Bahamas. For good fishing, not always great, but good if you pick your time of year and gear up properly, you won't be disappointed. We've written several articles in the past on fishing in and around West End, Bahamas. And the one thing that still stands out in my mind on what makes it so special is the lack of fishing pressure. You just don't see many other boaters while either trolling a weedline, bottom fishing on a shallow reef or anchored on an island beach.

And the best thing is you're never too far from your hotel room. Last summer I loaded my family of four, and my brother in-law's family of four into my 30 foot center console and spent four fun-filled days fishing and diving while staying at Old Bahama Bay. We've spent several summer fishing vacations in West End. Old Bahama Bay, with their richly appointed suites, white sand beaches, and tropical island feel make it an instant hit for the women. The deep wide slips, fuel, customs location in the marina, and closest hotel to fishing grounds to the north make it a hit for the men.

Blue Marlin Cove is under new ownership and is making lots of changes, both structurally and culturally. New owner Joe Rieger has dredged and marked the channel from the ocean. He's adding 30 and 50 amp services to several slips. He's adding a full service bar and restaurant and is in the process of making the resort more family friendly.

Bootle Bay Fishing Lodge has been, and is, the go to option for the under 30 crowd, under 30 foot center consoles that is. Vida Hepburn keeps his cottages and hotel rooms clean and your boat safe. It has the reputation as the “guys trip” destination, but meals served in a home like setting make the guests feel like they're all part of the family.

West End is one of the closest Bahamas fishing destinations from Florida, if you haven't been, pick a season and head over.



Old Bahama Bay

(954) 763-6382

www.oldbahamabay.com

Rates:

$250 a night for Jr. Suite, including slip (with instant credit from Out Islands Tourism)

Nightly Stay - $2.99/foot per wet slip

Small Boat Package - %20 off a room, $2.50/foot per wet slip, 3 night stay minimum

Blue Marlin Cove

(242) 349-4101

www.bluemarlinecove.com

Rates:

Rooms from $199 a night, includes slip

Bootle Bay

(242) 349-4010

(561) 283-3891

Bootle Bay Fishing Lodge Facebook

Rates:

FRI-SUN - $180 suite includes dockage, taxes, water; $150 regular rooms

MON-THURS - $150 suite; $125 regular rooms

Below, a photo gallery of what you can expect in West End, from fishing to lodging. *Hover over gallery to see titles and captions.

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