Published On: May 31st, 2024Last Updated: May 31st, 20245 min read

Harbour Island, Bahamas Private Fishing Charter 2024

Have you ever dreamed of visiting the Bahamas? While we don’t offer charters there, Captain Marty Lewis occasionally gets the chance to fish in this tropical paradise. Captain Marty operates a 60-foot Viking for a private client who loves to explore new waters.

Last year, they ventured to Bimini in May and had an incredible time, catching a giant Blue Marlin estimated at 450 pounds and a large Yellowfin tuna. This year, the owner was eager to explore a different island, and after careful consideration, they chose Harbour Island, renowned for its pink sandy beaches and luxurious resorts.

Captain Marty Lewis and his son and Alex Lewis take a photo with a big Yellowfin they caught last year near Bimini.

Preparing for a trip to the Bahamas involves extensive planning and preparation. Captain Marty and his mate meticulously checked the boat’s engine room, ensuring all equipment was in top condition. They stocked additional oil and supplies, anticipating any potential issues. They spent several days catching and storing live bait in the boat’s live wells. They also re-rigged and switched out all the tackle to suit the Bahamian fishing style.

Captain Marty and his crew made sure the 60′ Viking was prepared and ready to fish as soon as they left the marina.

During the trip, a well-structured routine was followed to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone. Boat supplies were ordered ahead of time, and a comprehensive grocery run ensured they had everything needed. While the owner and guests enjoyed their stay at the resort, Captain Marty and his crew lived on the boat, preparing dinners onboard and serving breakfast and lunch while fishing daily.

Captain Marty’s wife Katie Lewis made sure all of the necessary customs paperwork was submitted online before his departure, streamlining the process upon arrival in the Bahamas. Despite the cumbersome online system, it significantly reduced the time needed to clear customs and immigration.

On Tuesday, May 7th, Captain Marty was up at 3:30 a.m. and at the boat by 4 a.m. to commence the 250-mile journey. An early start was crucial to ensure ample daylight for navigating the challenging Bahamian channels, especially for first-time visitors. Captain Marty navigated with precision, arriving at Harbour Island by 4 p.m. He enlisted the aid of a local guide boat to navigate the tricky entrance to Valentine’s Resort. He appreciated the expert guidance from a beach just 50 yards away on one side and rocks at the same distance on the other.

Bahamas Beach

The Bahamas did not disappoint, it was as beautiful as ever.

After docking at the resort marina, the customs agent praised Captain Marty for his flawless paperwork, officially clearing them to fish in the Bahamas. Although the boat owner was scheduled to arrive Tuesday afternoon, pressurization issues with his plane caused a delay. This setback allowed Captain Marty time to refuel, check the guests into their hotel rooms, and arrange their golf carts.

On Wednesday, May 8th, one of the mates went to the airport to pick up the boat owner and guests, assisting them through customs and guiding them to Valentine’s Resort. After settling in, they embarked on their fishing adventure. The first day was slow, with only a shark and a jack caught, but they remained optimistic, knowing they had more days to fine-tune their strategy. The crew prepped for the next day, speaking with local fishermen for tips and arranging to get live bait the following morning.

On Thursday, May 9th, they met early at the boat and set off at daylight, loading live bait to target bottom fish, Yellowfin Tuna, and possibly billfish. They caught Black snapper, Jack, and Mahi, with a late-morning Tuna bite that resulted in three nice-sized Yellowfin Tunas.

A pretty Mahi-Mahi (Dolphinfish) caught aboard the ‘Freedom’ off Harbour Island.

Friday, May 10th, began with an early start in search of more Yellowfin Tunas. Despite advice that there were better times to try for billfish, they tried for several hours anyway. The day they yielded additional Yellowfin Tuna, with perfect weather and crystal-clear waters enhancing the experience for everyone on board.

The first few days of fishing led to a wide variety of species being caught.

Saturday, May 11th, started later due to fuel pump availability. They caught several Yellowfins, including a 100-pound tuna that put up a tough fight before the leader chafed through, losing it at the boat. Each night, the crew worked long hours cleaning fish, re-rigging, prepping for the next day, and vacuum-sealing the day’s catch.

Sunday, May 12th, was their final fishing day. Captain Marty revisited a productive spot from the previous day, securing live bait and firing up the Yellowfins. They caught nine Yellowfin Tunas, though the Sharks claimed one of them as a meal.

The 60′ Viking dubbed ‘Freedom’ landed 9 yellowfin Tunas on the 4th day of fishing.

On Monday, May 13th, Captain Marty began the journey back to Marathon, fueled and ready. The return trip was rough due to increasing winds, but the 60-foot Viking managed it easily. They even stopped to fish a few Mahi out of the waters along the way. After arriving safely in Marathon in the afternoon, the guys were grateful for the experience and happy to be home. It was time for Captain Marty to return to the charter business and his family life. After all, there’s no place like home and nothing like sleeping in your own bed!

If you are interested in fishing with Captain Marty aboard his 49-foot vessel, Main One, or on any of our other great charter boats in the Florida Keys, call us at 305-289-0071 or visit our contact page.

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