An Exclusive Look into the Walker’s Cay Fishing Tournaments

An Exclusive Look into the Walker’s Cay Fishing Tournaments

By Kimberly Smith   June 21, 2023

Nestled 100 miles off the Florida Coast, Walker’s Cay is a small island in the northern Bahamas. For five decades, it’s been a premier destination for fishing, but has seen its share of challenges in past years. Yet, the island has beaten the odds and is now home to two up-and-coming tournaments: Walker’s Cay Blue Marlin Invitational and Walker’s Cay Blue Marlin Qualifier. Two of HMY’s own brokers, Scott Levin and Mark Mitchell, participated in this year’s Invitational and already have the event circled on their calendars for next year. Here’s a look into the unique fishing destination and some of the highlights from its most recent tournaments.   

Drone image of boats coming in to Walkers Cay Marina

Photo credit: Allen Exploration

What Sets Walker’s Cay Apart 

Some of the best sportfishing in the world takes place in the Bahamas, so what is it about Walker’s Cay that’s so special? Much of it has to do with owner Carl Allen’s unique touch and dedication. 

Carl first fell in love with the island in 1976, when fishing for blue marlin with his stepfather who lived in Stuart, FL. Shortly after he purchased it from the previous owners in 2018, Hurricane Dorian swept through Walker’s Cay in 2019. Any progress Carl had hoped to make in building up the island was further impacted by the pandemic and its subsequent supply chain issues.

Drone image of Walkers Cay Marina at sunst

Photo credit: Allen Exploration

Still, he didn’t let these challenges stand in the way of realizing his vision for Walker’s Cay. The marina has now doubled in size and can accommodate 85 to 100 boats. Prefab hurricane-resistant casitas are being built in Stuart, and the first 16 are set to be delivered this summer. Carl also has his sights set on a restaurant, bar, bait and tackle shop, as well as other features to bolster the island’s comfort and convenience, making it a family-friendly destination for all to enjoy. 

For now, Walker’s Cay is well-supported for fishing tournaments. The blue marlin events in late May were limited to 45 boats, and with inshore fishing that has gone virtually untapped for over a decade, there was no shortage of excitement, even during the downtime, when Scott, Mark, and others would hit the reefs and enjoy some of the best spearfishing around. 

Highlights from the Blue Marlin Invitational & Qualifier 

Part of the draw of Walker’s Cay is its incredible location. Just 100 miles from Stuart, FL, the island is pristine, with beaches that showcases its natural beauty. And because it’s an out island with minimal locals, and no fish traps like other spots in the Bahamas, the ecosystem is still very much intact making phenomenal fishing conditions possible. 

The marina is likewise first-class, with a floating dock system, large berths, and well-equipped fuel areas and cleaning stations. Superb fishing rounds out the experience for tournament participants: Scott and Mark hooked into their share of gamefish throughout the event, from sailfish to the coveted blue marlin, which landed Scott third place on day one. Recognizing the diversity of the island’s aquatic population, Carl offered different rewards for prize fish beyond blue marlin, including wahoo, tuna, and dolphin. 

HMY had many clients participating in both events at Walker’s Cay this year. We’d like to take a second to recognize a few HMY Clients that placed in the Invitational and Qualifier in 2023.  Congratulations to HMY client “Old No. 7” for finishing second overall at the Walker’s Cay Invitational and congratulations to HMY client “Sandbob” for placing third overall in the Qualifier. 

Some of the best sportfishing vessels in the world found their way over to Walker’s Cay.  

Scott Levin fished on the legendary Sea Lion, a completely refit 1963 Whiticar 54’ Sportfish that is a fixture on the island and a vessel that has hosted many famous people on board over the years, including Richard Nixon. 

This vessel is currently listed for sale with HMY Yacht Sales and more information can be found online here. 

Photo of Sea Lion Sportfish Boat in Walkers Cay

Photo credit: Allen Exploration

Mark Mitchell fished on Mr. LTD, a 70’ Viking that is also very familiar to the Bahamas, having helped in hurricane relief efforts in late 2019 by bringing loads of supplies over. 

Photo of Viking 40 Mr. Ltd bringing relief items to Walkers Cay after hurricane

With so much going for it, the draw of the invitational has only amplified. In fact, the response to the original event has been so overwhelming that the new qualifier was created, and it’s unlikely that the Walker’s Cay tournaments will remain a best-kept secret among competitive anglers for much longer. In Carl’s eyes, that’s likely a good thing. His desire to create a welcoming atmosphere for everyone shines through his interactions with visitors to Walker’s Cay and the meticulous care that’s going into its development. 

The legend and lure of Walker’s Cay strike interest in many. If you’re looking for your next sportfishing yacht to dominate in the Bahamas’ sportfishing scene, we can help. Browse through our extensive inventory and connect with an HMY Sales Professional online today.  

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