C-MAP HOT SPOT #2 - ELBOW CAY
by Carolina Gentleman Sportfishing
The area straight off of the Elbow Cay Lighthouse in the Abaco’s has some of the most diverse bottom I have ever fished. Within a few miles, depths vary from 900 to over 12,000 feet. This is not just a drop off, but a series of trenches, ridges, and various other bottom structures unique to this spot. Areas to the North & South have just steep drop offs, making these areas not worth spending the time.
The Elbow Cay area is the furthest point east and the coastline turns to the Northwest from here on out. Due to the shape and bottom topography, eddies will form almost all the time during any tide. South of this spot, the contour runs toward the Southwest and then a small point comes out again known as the North Bar. The depths in this area are 200 feet with drop offs to 900 and 1200 feet. It is a favorite spot for pelagics as well, trolling in and out of the shallow water. I have had days where we’ll raise a White Marlin each time we make the turn on the shallow end!
As the Northerly currents sweep around the outer islands of the Abaco’s, this area turns alive with eddies and upwelling’s. Within these eddies you will find multiple types of bait fish from Flying Fish to Bonita which the large Marlin can be seen feeding on. Studies of tagged Marlin show that many of the Marlin are migrating up this coast to the North and meeting back with the Gulf Stream just north of the Bahamas, making this a Billfish highway in the spring and early summer.
I prefer to pull natural baits (Ballyhoo) during this time of the year as there is such a wide range of fish to be caught. Anglers need to be ready for everything from Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) and Sailfish to Blue and White Marlin with a Tuna mixed in here and there.
My typical spread would consist of my smaller baits being pulled on the long riggers, some naked, some with small Mold Craft Chuggers, while my larger baits, almost always with larger Chugger heads to be pulled from the short riggers, naked baits off the flat lines behind the dredges and teasers and a way back shotgun (bridge-pole) with a Horse Ballyhoo behind an Islander. Many times I get a fish up in the spread looking at everything but it will not eat. As she fades away and that one single bait passed way behind the rest, by from the bridge pole, I will get a hook up and the game is on!
Fishing this area with my C-MAP High Res Bathy Fishing charts makes it really easy to stay in the fishy areas, by working select depth ranges simply by shading the exact range I want to fish in.
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