In The Bahamas, Savoring a Secret Corner of Exuma

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“So how’s the fishing here?” I ask.

Trevor Bethel slowly lifts up his thumb without moving his hand, showing his agreement without letting in anyone else on the secret.

Of course, there’s not another soul that would even notice, not for miles in any direction.

And that’s the point.

These are the flats of White Bay, just off the southwestern coast of Great Exuma in The Bahamas, home to some of the most sought-after fishing, bonefishing and otherwise, in the hemisphere.

“[The fish] all come here,” says Trevor, one of the top fishing guides in Exuma. “It’s no competition. We just have the most beautiful water.”

But here, the fish don’t even really matter.

bahamas exuma cover
White Bay, Exuma.

Because White Bay is one of the most miraculous places you will ever see in the Caribbean universe, a jaw-dropping outdoor cathedral where the scenery is matched only by the serenity.

As Trevor speaks, a diver looks for a meal a few feet above the surface; the water is so blue it beams off the bird’s belly.

It’s so quiet you can almost hear his wings flap.

It’s hard to believe you can find this kind of precious isolation, just a mile or two off the coast of Exuma, a few more miles away from Georgetown.

Trevor Bethel is one of the island’s top fishing guides.

It’s part of the reason bonefisherman do what they do — it’s not just about those toughest of shallow-water fish; it’s about the quiet; it’s about the joy of finding sheer stillness.

White Bay an ethereal destination, one where you measure the distances in spongy footprints on sandbars, where the electric, innumerable hues change your definition of “blue.”

The centerpiece sandbar in White Bay.

After an hour, it’s hard to perceive where the sky begins and the water ends, or is it the other way around?

It’s all just a spectrum of aquamarines and turquoises, punctuated by the thinnest planes of sand.

And yet, for all its beauty, most travelers to Exuma head to Georgetown and then venture to the north, toward that remarkable chain of Exuma Cays.

But it’s here, in this hidden collection of cays and sandbars off the southwest corner, you find something else.

Where some of the world’s greatest fishing is done with eyes and ears; not lines.

See more in the latest CJ Video at the top of the page.