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It’s highly arguable there’s no destination within close proximity to the United States that holds as many world-class angling opportunities as The Bahamas. This fertile barrier reef archipelago encompasses more than 700 islands, roughly 100,000 square miles, is home to numerous IGFA World Records, and at its closest point lies a mere 50-miles from Florida’s East Coast. The waters of The Bahamas do indeed offer fast and furious action with highly desirable species both inshore and offshore, however, like every angling destination there are transitional periods when connecting with highly migratory species can be hit or miss. If marlin are long gone, the yellowfin tuna schools are fickle or the wahoo haven’t yet arrived, what’s going to be your next island endeavor? If you were a passionate seafood aficionado in search of the ocean’s top bounty you would have already overlooked the aforementioned species for the mystical demersal that resides in the dark depths of the sloping continental shelf affectionately known as Queen of the Deep.
Queen snapper have the magical ability to put huge smiles on anglers’ faces. Maybe it’s the anticipation of retrieving over 1,000-feet of line and finally seeing color materialize in the cobalt blue depths, or it could be the fish’s brilliant red coloration and deeply forked tail. On another hand these snapper, which live deeper than any other species of the family Lutjanidae, make five-star table fare and grow to epic proportions. Whatever the case, these super predators have been known to bring grown men to tears so it’s no surprise productive GPS coordinates are highly guarded secrets. While queen snapper are relatively common along the Florida Keys, the real action takes place in The Bahamas where there are prime stretches of bottom that have likely never seen a baited hook. With this being said, deep-dropping for queen snapper is not as easy as one would think. Sure, even novice anglers can put together a limit of yellowtail, but if you hit the dock with a catch of beloved queens—you’ll be regarded among angling’s elite. Ask anyone who consistently targets queen snapper and they will likely tell you the same thing—go deep or go home. Of course, you will catch the odd few when fishing shallower spots, but in The Bahamas most of the sizable fish will be found roaming the jagged bottom 1,100 to 1,500-feet below.