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SMALLTOOTH SAWFISH & SHARK SAFARI ANDROS ISLAND

 

Sawfish and Reef Shark Diving

 

Expedition:

Diving with smalltooth sawfish, silky sharks, oceanic whitetips, bull sharks, reef sharks and more.

Location:

Andros Island, Bahamas.

Accommodation:

Fishing Lodge on Andros Island.

Experience Level:

Open Water Certification.

   

2016 Dates:

May 21-27, 2016 FULL

Price:

$3495 per person double occ. $3995 single occ.

Trip Leader:

 Andy Murch

 

READ THE ANDROS ISLAND 2016 TRIP REPORT

 

This trip includes:

Two days diving with sawfish and other estuarine species of sharks (experimental).

One day diving with bull sharks and Caribbean reef sharks.

One day of blue water chumming for oceanic whitetip sharks.

One day of diving with silky sharks.

Experienced captain and crew / shark wranglers.

Shark attractants including chum and hang baits.

Tanks and weights.

Six nights accommodation at a fishing lodge on Andros Island.

All meals.

Not included:

Personal diving equipment, flights, land transfers, alcohol, gratuities.

 

Silky shark diving Andros Island

 

Dive with the Sharks of Andros Island

The Bahamas has long been a shark diving mecca but some of the best shark islands are still relatively undiscovered. Andros Island incorporates the third largest barrier reef on the planet. Not surprisingly, it has some of the most diverse shark diving you will ever do. From blue water encounters with silky and oceanic sharks to inshore chumming sessions with Caribbean reef sharks, blacktips and bull sharks. Not to mention, unique estuarine encounters with enormous sawfish, and tiny sharpnose sharks, bonnetheads and more. So join us for a Shark Safari you will remember forever!

 

Caribbean reef shark diving at Andros Island

 

The Hunt for Smalltooth Sawfish

Not so long ago, the smalltooth sawfish almost became extinct due to overfishing and bycatch in fishing nets. Fortunately, after a long fought campaign, sawfish received complete protection and they are finally starting to rebound. Andros Island contains some large, rarely visited, coastal lagoons where sawfish are relatively common. Finding them is still tricky but your chances of seeing them around Andros are very good.

Note that sawfish can reach enormous sizes - potentially up to 6m/18ft long so encounters with them have an element of risk.

 

Smalltooth Sawfish

 

Snorkel with Blacknose, Caribbean Sharpnose and Bonnethead Sharks

In the areas where you will look for sawfish, there are mangrove and sea grass flats that are home to many small shark species. The inshore rivers are sometimes teeming with small sharks and stingrays that migrate up and down the rivers with the tides. If we encounter these species we will slip in on snorkel to document as many species as possible.

 

 

Dive with Silky Sharks

Andros Island is surrounded by very deep water. There is a navy buoy suspended at the surface above a canyon that is 6000ft deep. The buoy attracts all manner of pelagic fishes from tiny snappers to enormous tuna, there is always something taking refuge or looking for a meal under the buoy.

Where there are fish, there are sharks. In this case the sharks are mostly silky sharks; a beautiful open ocean species that shows little fear around divers.

If you want to get very close to one of the most photogenic species in the shark world, you will love this dive site!

 

A school of silky sharks

 

Dive with Bull Sharks and Caribbean Reef Sharks

Andros Island has always been a bit of a backwater. It dwarves all of the other Bahamian Islands but there has never been that much infrastructure especially in the area that we will be based for this expedition. Consequently, it is very much an untouched wilderness; a wilderness filled with sharks. By chumming on the shallow reefs, we expect to encounter many Caribbean reef sharks and bull sharks. Our operator ran a dive shop on Andros for many years so he is very aware of all the shark hotspots.

 

Caribbean reef sharks at Andros Island

 

Bull shark diving at Andros Island in the Bahamas.

 

Dive with the Sharks of Andros Island!

info@BigFishExpeditions.com

 

And chum up Oceanic Whitetip Sharks

As if all of the above wasn't enough already, we will also spend a day in deep water in a region called the Tongue of the Ocean. There we will chum for Oceanic Whitetip Sharks. Oceanics are skilled open ocean predators that spend their entire lives hunting in bottomless blue water. Although this area does not have as large a whitetip population as Cat Island, there are still plenty of sharks here if we can find them.

 

Oceanic whitetip sharks at Andros Island

 

Tentative Itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrive from Nassau (flight not included) and check into your room at the lodge. Go for a snorkel or relax at the bar and prepared gear for day 2.

Day 2 - First day of shark diving. We will head out to an inshore reef where smalltooth sawfish are most commonly seen. Initially we will try to attract them with bait. If that is unproductive we will head onto the shallow sea grass flats adjacent to the river estuaries to look for them there. We have a very good chance of locating them there but the visibility is usually lower than out on the reefs.

Day 3 - After a quick breakfast we will head far offshore to the Navy Buoy to attract silky sharks. Returning by late afternoon to enjoy a supper at the lodge.

Day 4 - This day we will likely do some shark diving on Andros' inshore reefs to attrack bull sharks and Caribbean reef sharks. There is a chance we may also see other species including tigers and lemon sharks.

Day 5 - Our second day out in deep water. This time chumming for oceanic whitetips in the Tongue of the Ocean.

Day 6 - Last chance to bag some unique shots of Smalltooth Sawfish. We will also try to head into shallow water to look for some of the smaller shark species that call Andros home.

Day 7 - After a leisurely breakfast and some fond farewells, check out and  fly home.

Offshore chumming days will be scheduled during the best weather windows

 

Silky sharks at the navy buoy at Andros Island

 

READY TO SIGN UP OR HAVE A QUESTION?

CONTACT BIG FISH ABOUT THIS EXPEDITION:

 

 

 

SIGN UP FOR THE ANDROS SAWFISH & SHARK SAFARI!

 

A nurse shark at Andros Island.

 

Join me on a Shark Safari you'll never forget!

info@BigFishExpeditions.com

 

Sawfish diving

 

 

 

A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS FUNDS

THE PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT

predatorsinperil.org

 

 

 

Snorkel with Japanese Giant Salamanders

American crocodile diving

 

 

READ THE LATEST:

Sardine Run Trip Report

 

Andy Murch Trip Leader

Andy Murch

EXPEDITION LEADER

Andy Murch is a fanatical big animal diver.

He has photographed and dived with more sharks than most people on this planet and he's very good at it.

Andy's images and shark stories have appeared in hundreds of books and magazines around the world from titles as varied as Canadian Geographic, Scuba Diving, FHM, Digital Photography,  and the Journal of Zoology.

Andy is the Creator of the ever expanding Shark and Ray Field Guide on Elasmodiver.com 

 

When not running big animal expeditions or on photographic assignments, Andy lives and dives on Vancouver Island, Canada

 

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Predators in Peril

Andy is also the driving force behind the PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT which shines a spotlight on many endangered species of sharks and rays that are largely overlooked by mainstream conservation groups. Predators In Peril is entirely funded by Big Fish Expeditions.

 

Find out more here:

PredatorsInPeril.org

 

Predators in Peril Project