Author: Mike Milewski
We just got back on Sunday (11/30/2020) from another successful Bahamas run to West End!! This time of year it is critical to watch the weather and plan accordingly. Of course, Crossing over to the Bahamas during the winter months can be difficult with Northerly winds and constant fronts coming in. However, if you take advantage of a quick weather window it can easily be done in a smaller center console for sure!!
I typically look at multiple apps and forecasts to determine the weather windows. Some of the apps I use are windfinder, windy, WindAlert and the NOAA marine forecast. Keep in mind it is important to evaluate the conditions from the port you are leaving from and your port of arrival. For this trip we saw an opportunity that looked promising on Monday. Once we saw the window, we made sure to go get a COVID 19 PCR swab test which is a requirement for entry into the Bahamas for private vessels. We got our test results back with 36hrs, which was in plenty of time for a targeted arrival date. Currently you must arrive within 5 days of taking your COVID 19 test. This was not our first trip over since the new COVID procedures, so we knew what to expect. Even tough there are 2 extra steps to make the run over we feel it is a very simple and straight forward process and you should not be discouraged to make the trip over!! The fishing is fantastic and as they saying goes “It's Always Better In The Bahamas”!!
Bahamas Entry Requirements:
· Negative COVID PCR Test within 5 Days of taking the test.(Example: Test is taking on Tuesday the last day to clear customs will be on Saturday)
· Approve Bahamas Health VISA( Link-https://travel.gov.bs/_
o New as of 11/1/2020 Cost is $40.00 per person if staying less than 5 days. If staying over days the cost is $60.00 and you will be required to get another COVID 19 test in the Bahamas.
· Normal Customs Boat Paperwork (No Changes)
· Individual Customs Forms (No Changes)
· $150.00 Customs Fee if your vessel is under 35ft.
o Note: 2 entries (Cruising Permits)into the Bahamas within a 90 day period. Also New as of July 1, 2020 you will need to check out from customs prior to your departure. Takes 5 mins and one signature.
Once you have cleared customs its time to enjoy the island and go fishing!! We had exceptional flat clam conditions once we arrived and for our run back home. The deep dropping was on FIRE!!! We filled our boat both days with our favorite “Groceries” !! Also this time of year the wahoo fishing is exceptional!! Unfortunately, with limited time we kept our focus on deep dropping. We did troll for a short period of time and got one bite, however we popped off our Hoo!! The good news is there were a bunch of wahoo caught by the other boats at the marina.
If you do have the ability to head over PLEASE, PLEASE head over!! With all the restrictions and ports closed until June 15 from March, then an additional closure to ports on Grand Bahama Island in late August our friends and their family could sure use some visitors!!
We will head back over on the next weather window for sure!! I am going to include my contact information if you have a specific question regarding your travel plans, fishing questions, or places to stay.
Hope to see everyone in the Bahamas!! Tight Lines!!
Thanks as always to Bullbuster for your amazing products and keeping our lines tight!!
Team Reel Dreams
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