Two things are required in The Berry Islands: a boat and a love of water. This cluster of cays totals no more than twelve square miles of landmass. They’re bordered by the Tongue of the Ocean, a deep underwater trench that draws in all sorts of marine life, making these waters some of the most bountiful in The Bahamas.
Appropriately called “The Fish Bowl of the Bahamas,” the Berry Islands is a haven for big game fishing. The fish that you can find there include king mackerel, wahoo, yellowtail snapper, tiger fish, grouper, tuna, billfish, and many more.
Sailing in shallow water has become our specialty in the Bahamas, occasionally pushing ourselves a bit beyond our comfort depth. Navigating between small islands requires taking into consideration the chart, currents, tides and friendly advice by fellow boaters who have been there already! And on we sailed, to Hoffman’s Cay.
The northern side of the Berry Islands is a port for many cruise ships. During our passage, we spotted one at the port, while the other ten, or fifteen of them, were anchored nearby. A cruise ship ghost anchorage – brightly lit at night, but without any passengers.
Through the shallows we arrived at Hoffman’s Cay and its famous Blue Hole! As we were picking out an anchoring spot, we heard someone yell a greeting from another boat nearby. A kid-boat!? Out came the binoculars, “Quick, let’s spy on them and see if they have kids aboard!” And they certainly did, spying with their own binoculars right back on us – boat kid minds think alike!
If wade fishing over hard white sand in shin deep water floats your boat, look no further than this lodge located in the Berry Islands of the Bahamas. Sight cast to the most popular of flats species, the bonefish, aka the “ghost of the flats” while fishing a variety of habitat that ranges from the hard white oceanside sand flats to the grassy marls within expansive salt “creeks”. Fish here will average a very healthy three pounds with opportunities daily at fish pushing up into that magic ten-pound marker. Permit also call this place home, and while not as widespread and plentiful as the bonefish are, you should come prepared with your A game, because you never know when that opportunity is going to present itself.