View Full Version : Cat Island Bahamas
06-03-2005, 03:42 PM
Do any of you out there have any experience diving Cat Island in the Bahamas? I'll be over there for the 4th of July weekend, and was hoping I could get some inside info...
Thanks in advance
06-03-2005, 04:12 PM
Do you mean Cat Cay that is south of Gun Cay on the western side of the Bahamas? If so, I don't thing you will be diving much on the banks to the East of Cat, as it is pretty much flat as a pool table. There is some good diving south of there and north of there, above Bimini. I have done some diving on the eastern side of Cat, where it drops off and did well with fish and lobster, but that was several years ago.
Do not take any guns over there. You can only use pole spears or Hawaiian Slings, and you will be freediving to spear, no scuba allowed for hunting. Also, it is a very good idea if you have the required fishing permit.
06-03-2005, 04:49 PM
Thanks for the quick reply,
Nope, It's NOT Cat Cay, it's actually called Cat Island, its has the Exuma Sound on the west, and the open Atlantic to the east... It's a very large island, and has the highest hills in all of the Bahamas. A client of mine has a resort there and is comping my stay... Figured I'd take my longfins and a pole spear and try my luck... I'll have a small boat to my disposal while there...
I read in some of your previous post you spent a lot of time in the islands, so any general info on the area would be appreciated...
06-03-2005, 04:59 PM
On the west side of the island, and I am assuming you mean the Cat Island in the eastern Bahamas that is the last stop before the long trip to San Salvador, on down toward the southern tip of the island about Ĺ mile off shore is a mountain peak that comes up to within 45 feet of the surface. Hundreds of fathoms all around it. It is a spectacular dive because of all the sharks that come in and patrol. I saw hammerheads, tigers, Caribbean reefs and others on the same dive. You want to have a buddy or preferably two so that when the action gets really heavy you can set up a triangle back to back and make sure that you donít get blindsided. These are huge sharks like you find in the open ocean and they are not skittish! The sides of the peak are so steep that if you drop a sinker it may roll down into the abyss. Carry something that you can poke them with if they get too close. The viz may be unlimited. Not a good place to spear because like I said they have little fear of divers but if you have the nerve it can be spectacular.
06-03-2005, 08:10 PM
Yep, that's the Island I'm talking about. Sounds like a fun dive. I'll ask the locals about it.
06-03-2005, 08:20 PM
I agree with Mr. Bill. If you look on a chart you will see the seamount he is talking about. We will be diving there this year with Sharkshields to see how they work out because I would love to eventually spearfish there. We wouldn't think of doing it before, but the Sharkshield might open the door just wide enough to give it a shot.
Also, look at the reefs on the south and south/west end of the island. We have had very good luck there.
There used to be good diving north of Cat Island, between there and Little San Salvadore, but I have not been there in about 6 years so my info is not up to date.
If you have never spearfished in the Bahamas before, be aware that the sharks are much more aggressive than they are here. When you spear a fish, put it in your boat immediately, do not carry it around with you, even for a little while. We always either tow the boat (if it is my 15ft inflatable) as we swim, drift dive with the boat by having it drifting with a sea anchor while we criss/cross in front of it while it is drifting, or have someone running the boat who will come in and take the fish from us when we hit the surface. We usually don't spear more than one or two fish in an area before we move.
Take the largest, strongest polespear you can get your hands on and if you get into some big fish be prepared to have to straighten it out a number of times after they bend it. If you are not going to be there for lobster season then take either a slip tip or a tip with two wings that will rotate (I like the tri cut tips). If you take a tri cut or any double wing tip that is not a slip tip, take a couple of extra wings, a couple of extra pins (that hold the wings to the tip), and some material to replace the rubber piece that goes through the shaft to make the wings spring out. I would take both types of tips.
If you are going to be there during lobster season (you can spear lobster in the Bahamas) take a tip that does not rotate for shooting the lobster out of the holes and a rock-hardened pencil tip is probably the best for spearing bugs; rotating tips will not give you the best leverage and slip tips would be a poor choice.
If you get good conditions, it will blow you away. Good luck. I hope you will post the results with pictures when you get back.
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