epic tiger shark diving expeditions
bahamas tiger beach shark diving

Day Trips to Tiger Beach: Bahamas Shark Diving

We are often asked if we offer day trips to tiger beach. The answer is yes! In fact, all we offer are shark diving day trips. We do not operate a live aboard dive boat at all. In all three locations, we make day trips to various shark diving hotspots. On Grand Bahama island, we head out each morning for our Tiger Beach day trips. In Bimini, it’s a short boat ride between the dive site and the hotel/marina. On Cat Island, we transfer to the boat each morning before heading out for a day with the oceanic whitetip sharks.

When do you run Tiger Beach trips?

We are located on the West End of Grand Bahama Island for our day trips to tiger beach.  Peak season is between the fall and spring months. During that time frame, we enjoy some of the best shark diving this planet has to offer. In addition to our regulars, we also find the fan favorites like Emma and Hook!

What is the dive boat for Tiger Beach like?

A typical day trip to tiger beach involves an early start to grab a bite to eat before boarding the boat for the ride out to the shark grounds. MV Thresher is fully equipped for comfort and safety to enjoy the whole day out on the water. In addition to all the seating space on the dive deck and up on the flybridge, there’s also a fully enclosed cabin to get out of the elements on some of those not so inviting winter mornings. Both the flybridge and inside cabin have stereo systems with Bluetooth connectivity to enjoy your favorite playlist.

What are day trips to Tiger Beach like?

Once we get up to tiger beach, we’ll scan the area and pick our anchor spot. As the chum makes it’s way into the water, divers can get their gear setup finalized and prep cameras while we wait for the sharks to show up. Reef sharks are usually the first ones to the boat, with lemon sharks following closely behind. Once the tiger sharks show up, we’ll gear up and head into the water. Technically speaking, our dives are not difficult at all. Our average dive depth is between 20 – 30 feet (6 – 10 meters) so dive times are generally over 60 minutes. Divers also usually arranged in a line on the bottom and remain stationary throughout the dive. We’re heavily waited to make it easier to stay put on the bottom and hold your position in the variable surface surge and current that is well known at Tiger Beach.

After the last dive has ended, we’ll pull the chum and anchor and make our way back to the resort. Our host accommodations are fully appointed with all the comforts you could need. Take a shower, grab a bite to eat, enjoy the hot tub or pool, or jump online and post your favorite photos from the day diving with tiger sharks.

How many days should you dive Tiger Beach?

We recommend no less than three days planned to be at tiger beach. Unfortunately, the winter season is known for occasional squalls of heavy winds and high seas, preventing us from making it out for diving at tiger beach. It is located far offshore and completely unprotected from any significant winds. We offer standard packages with either 3 or 5 days of diving planned. We know it can be really disappointing to lose a day of diving and we strongly recommend travelers secure some form of travel insurance specific to diving, such as the kind offered by DAN or DiveAssure.

What can we expect to see at Tiger Beach?

Sharks, lots of sharks! We are fortunate to have had a 100% success rate finding the tiger sharks on our day trips to tiger beach. We also always see reef sharks and lemon sharks and occasionally nurse sharks. More recently, we’ve been encountering a lot more bull and great hammerhead sharks than usual. We’re hoping that carries forward during future tiger beach shark diving seasons. We also love spending some time at the reefs in the tiger beach area. They are really lush, beautiful, and loaded with sharks. The reefs are much deeper than the classic tiger beach spots, averaging around 50 feet or so.

How do I arrange a trip to Tiger Beach?

Having such a short season, we generally book up in advance, so it’s best to contact us early. Our calendar is set and boat reserved throughout the season so we don’t have space for your typical open bookings. Contact us for dates and availability.

Day Trips to Tiger Beach

day trips to tiger beach

Check out some of our other great posts about Tiger Beach:

Tiger Shark Diving in the Bahamas – 5 Common Mistakes

Tiger Beach Shark Diving: Negative Entry

Tiger Beach Diving in the Bahamas – 2019!

Dive with Tiger Sharks: Best of Bahamas

Great Hammerhead Sharks at Tiger Beach!

Tiger Beach Bahamas: When Currents Rip

Bahamas – 1st Place Pick for Big Animals 2018

tiger beach diving cover shot

Tiger Beach Diving – Dive Training Magazine Cover

The most recent issue of Dive Training Magazine features an awesome cover shot by our friend, Michele Hall.  The image was taken during one of our Tiger Beach diving expeditions in the peak fall/winter season.

tiger beach diving shark cover

Dive Training has a very unique cover photo image style.  If you haven’t seen it before, it’s pretty neat.  Every one of their cover photos has a reverse image on the inside of the front cover.  Take a look at this issues:

tiger beach diving reverse cover

If you have thought about taking the plunge for some tiger beach diving, check out our Tiger Shark Diving Expedition page.

Take a look at another Epic Diving Magazine Cover.

tiger beach day trips

Tiger Beach Day Trips: Shark Diving in the Bahamas

We are often asked if we offer tiger beach day trips. The answer is yes. In fact, all we offer are shark diving day trips.  In Grand Bahama, we head out each morning for our tiger beach day trips and return to our host resort and marina each evening.

When do you run Tiger Beach day trips?
We are located on the West End of Grand Bahama Island for our tiger beach day trips between the fall and spring months. During that time frame, we enjoy some of the best shark diving this planet has to offer. In addition to some of the regular tiger sharks, we also find some of the fan favorite super stars like Emma and Hook!

What are Tiger Beach day trips like?
A typical day trip to tiger beach involves an early start to grab a bite to eat before boarding the boat for the ride out to the shark grounds. MV Thresher is fully equipped for comfort and safety to enjoy the whole day out on the water. In addition to all the seating space on the dive deck and up on the flybridge, there’s also a fully enclosed cabin to get out of the elements on some of those not so inviting winter mornings. Both the flybridge and inside cabin have stereo systems with bluetooth connectivity to enjoy your favorite playlist.

Once we get up to tiger beach, we’ll scan the area and pick our anchor spot. As the chum makes it’s way into the water, divers can get their gear setup finalized and prep cameras while we wait for the sharks to show up. Reef sharks are usually the first ones to the boat, with lemon sharks following closely behind. Once the tiger sharks show up, we’ll gear up and head into the water. Technically speaking, our dives are not difficult at all. Our average dive depth is between 20 – 30 feet (6 – 10 meters) so dive times are generally over 60 minutes.

Divers also usually arranged in a line on the bottom and remain stationary throughout the dive. We’re heavily waited to make it easier to stay put on the bottom and hold your position in the variable surface surge and current that is well known at Tiger Beach. After the last dive has ended, we’ll pull the chum and anchor and make our way back to the resort.

Our host accommodations are fully appointed with all the comforts you could need. Take a shower, grab a bite to eat, enjoy the hot tub or pool, or jump online and post your favorite photos from the day diving with tiger sharks.

How many days should you dive tiger beach?
We recommend no less than three days planned to be at tiger beach. Unfortunately, the winter season is known for occasional squalls of heavy winds and high sea, preventing us from making it out for diving at tiger beach. It is located far offshore and completely unprotected from any significant winds. We offer standard packages with either 3 or 5 days of diving planned. We know it can be really disappointing to lose a day of diving and we strongly recommend travels secure some form of travel insurance specific to diving, such as the kind offered by DAN or DiveAssure.

What can we expect to see in a day trip to tiger beach?
Sharks, lots of sharks! We are fortunate to have had a 100% success rate finding the tiger sharks on our day trips to tiger beach. We also always see reef sharks and lemon sharks and occasionally nurse sharks. More recently, we’ve been encountering a whole lot more bull sharks and great hammerhead sharks than usual. We’re hoping that carries forward during future tiger beach shark diving seasons. We also love spending some time at the reefs in the tiger beach area. They are really lush, beautiful, and loaded with sharks. The reefs are much deeper than the classic tiger beach spots, averaging around 50 feet or so.

How do I arrange day trips to tiger beach?
Having such a short season, we generally book up well in advance, so it’s best to contact us early. Our calendar is set and boat reserved throughout the season so we don’t have space for your typical open bookings. Contact us for dates and availability.

Tiger Beach Day Trips

tiger beach day trips

tiger shark diving on the reefs of tiger beach

Sharks Play Critical Role in Ocean Food Web | Pew

As apex predators, tiger sharks and other shark species play a critical role in maintaining the health of ocean ecosystems.

But shark populations are decreasing around the world, due to overfishing and the high demand for shark fin soup. When their numbers plummet, it can have a chain reaction on ocean food webs, impacting seabirds and commercially important fish species, such as tuna and jacks. This is only one example of how removing sharks from the marine environment may have other negative effects that spread through the food web.

Learn more at http://www.pewenvironment.org/sharks

 

tiger shark diving on the reefs of tiger beach

tiger shark attack

Tiger Shark: National Geographic Expedition

Make sure you take a look at the tiger shark article in the June 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.  We were excited to work with Brian Skerry and Glenn Hodges over 2 seasons as they worked to construct the article.

diver and tiger shark at tiger beach

We had some amazing Tiger Shark encounters at Tiger Beach as well as some interesting lemon and reef shark interactions.  Here’s a sample.  Find the full article here: He Went Face-to-Face With Tiger Sharks

This story appears in the June 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.

We’re terrified of sharks, thanks to their reputation as vicious killers. Shark attacks are rare but appear to be rising: There were a record 98 unprovoked attacks worldwide in 2015, six  fatal. Less known are the crucial roles sharks play in ocean ecology. This summer, we’ll look at three species with notorious reputations: tiger sharks, great whites, and oceanic whitetips. We’ll meet scientists who are shedding new light on these enigmatic creatures that are vital to the seas, and not as scary as you might think.

deep look into the mouth of a tiger shark

Tiger Shark

dead tiger shark

BNT Speaks out against the Needless Killing of Sharks

From The Bahamas National Trust:

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) has been made aware of the killing of a mature tiger shark in the Exuma Cays in early March. The BNT would like to remind the general public that the killing of sharks is currently illegal in The Bahamas. Although the BNT is sensitive to the needs to local people who may accidentally catch sharks and choose to consume it, the BNT does not condone the targeted culling and ruthless killing of such valuable, sentient beings. This shark was reportedly frequenting an area where stingrays were being fed. The targeted killing of this shark does not appear to be justified.

dead tiger shark
The Bahamas enjoys a great diversity and bounty of sharks, due to our relatively healthy marine environment, but these magnificent animals are considered threatened or endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is due to the fact that sharks are heavily sought after for their fins for shark fin soup and similar products. In areas of the world where sharks were fished out, there have been complete shifts in the ecosystems that they had previously been the “Apex” predators of, and as a result, the decline of other fisheries meant that they too had to close. The role that these creatures play at the very top of their ecosystems, means that they are influencing the balance of everything beneath them in the food chain.

In The Bahamas, we actually economically benefit from having such healthy shark populations, as tourists travel here specifically to swim and dive with them every year. Shark tourism generates some $78M per year in The Bahamas, and is responsible for countless jobs across the entire country, including and especially dive shop employees. Many film and documentary makers also travel to The Bahamas in order to capture sharks on film, and when their movies reach others it is, in a sense, a form of marketing our sharks and our country. In simpler terms, a single, dead shark is worth only about $60 for its meat and organs, while a single, living shark is valued at $250,000 over its entire life time.

The BNT strongly condemns the the needless, intentional killing of sharks.

14 foot tiger shark killed

14-foot tiger shark caught off Folly Beach

14 foot tiger shark killed

A group of local men were fishing Saturday morning when they snagged a 14-foot tiger shark.

Joe Morris and Mike Huff of Seasonal Seafood have been catching sharks for quite some time. According to the video below, the entire shark is used and sold with the majority of the meat going “to local restaurants looking for something special.”

WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 – Charleston News, Sports, Weather

It’s pretty ironic given the increasing knowledge of the pollutants and contaminants found in sharks, especially large ones this like this. In case you haven’t had the chance, take a look at our blog from July 27 – Scientific Paper: Toxic Sharks.  This paper was the result of scientific analysis of the meat from a large mako shark caught off the southern California coast.  The animal showed DDT levels were found to be 100 times the legal limit of consumption allowed by the EPA.  PCBs were over 250 times the legal limit.  Mercury, 45 times the legal limit for women and children to eat it.

Catching sharks is controversial. Worldwide, many species are considered to be in serious decline because of overfishing.

Tiger Sharks are thought to be fairly abundant in this part of the Atlantic Ocean. They are considered overfished by NOAA because they grow slowly. The catch is managed by permitting and gear restrictions.  For example, finning them, or catching to cut off the fins for sale, is illegal.

“I don’t like to see any large animal like that killed. But it is a legal fishery and (the boat) is harvesting a legal resource,” said Bryan Frazier, a wildlife biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

This fisherman caught another shark that same day, and another 11 foot tiger on the following day.

Source: 14-foot tiger shark caught off Folly Beach – WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 – Charleston News, Sports, Weather

strong currents at tiger beach

Tiger Beach Bahamas: When Currents Rip

Occasionally, the currents at Tiger Beach Bahamas can get pretty strong.  We try to plan our dives when the current is mild, but conditions have been known to change in a matter of minutes. Because the scent trail is moving fast, it can lead to some pretty amazing dives, but there are a few extra special considerations.

strong currents at tiger beach

Tigers line up in the strong current. Notice he sargasm on the bottom and how quickly the divers bubbles are carried away from them!

Weights.

extra weight tiger beach bahamasWe suggest packing on the pounds while diving at Tiger Beach Bahamas. It may be a strange concept for some, but an average of 20 – 30 pounds of lead is typical. Most of our dives are static, meaning that divers are positioned on the bottom and need to stay in place for the dive. When currents pick up, underweighted divers turn into tumbleweeds and can find themselves in some pretty precarious situations. Because the dives are shallow and subject to surface surge and occasional strong currents, there’s really no downside to carrying some extra lead. We know that once divers are done discussing how little air they breathe and how long a tank lasts them, the next thing to brag about is how little weight they wear. Forget that concept for diving Tiger Beach! Nothing will drain you tank faster than fighting against the current to keep your position on the bottom.

Moving Around.

As already mentioned, the dives at Tiger Beach Bahamas are generally static and divers should stay put once in position on the bottom. When it’s necessary to move, there’s definitely a right and wrong way to go about it if the currents are moving fast. We suggest dives stand and walk backwards along the bottom. This keeps your eyes focused down current which is where most of the shark action will be. It’s also very difficult to swim against the current in full SCUBA gear, wearing all that extra weight and possibly carrying a camera. This is especially true at the end of the dive, when your tanks are already low. Take a calm, leisurely stroll back to the boat rather than a tiring swim.

Ascending.

There’s two ways to do this: The easy way, and the hard way. Typically, the currents are running from the bow to the stern of the boat, especially when it’s moving fast. We suggest divers walk backwards along the bottom to about the midpoint of the boat. Once in position, make sure the dive ladder is free and begin your ascent from this point. While going up slowly, the current will pull you to the stern and you should meet the ladder as you surface. Nice and smooth! Ascending directly below the ladder, or worse yet, just popping up and trying to swim to the ladder, is a recipe for disaster. By the time you reach the surface, you could be quite a distance away from the boat. If this happens, hopefully you didn’t drain your tank in the struggle and can drop back to the bottom and start over. The boat will be anchored with other divers below and cannot simply unhitch to go pick you up. We always put out drift lines as a backup in strong currents, but divers should be aware of the proper technique for returning back to the boat.  Here’s a quick video showing the technique:

Tiger Beach Bahamas

tiger shark cape eleuthera study

Interesting Shark Study in the Bahamas

The Cape Eleuthera Institute’s Shark Research and Conservation program just published an interesting article detailing a single observation made in the Bahamas during one of their studies back in 2012.

ABSTRACT

Few data are available on interspecific elasmobranch interactions during predation events. This report describes and discusses empirical data from a single event in which four sharks (species: Carcharhinus leucas, Galeocerdo cuvier, Sphyrna mokarran and Carcharhinus perezi) competed for foraging opportunities on a fifth shark (C. perezi) caught on an experimental longline. Analysis of video footage suggested competition was enforced without agonistic behaviour and access to the resource was not governed by size. The singularity of the data set and the artificiality of the situation limit the strength of the conclusions. The rarity of such an observation warrants, however, a published description of the event to provide an example of the behaviour of apex predator interactions in the field.

While sampling sharks off South Eleuthera, the research team was using the gangion rig depicted here:

cape eleuthera shark fishing rig

In total, the study caught, sampled, and released 146 sharks, with the exception of one…the one this current publication is about. A Caribbean Reef Shark, Carcharhinus perezi, had just been hooked on the shark rig. For the next 90 minutes, a large Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, circled the shark and eventually attacked and killed the shark. This predation event resulted in a Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran) and Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) coming in to investigate. The entire event was caught on film and can be seen in this video:

 

While the great hammerhead was the largest of the three sharks, it only investigated the feeding opportunity briefly and seemed to be run off by the bull shark.  Once the tiger shark showed up, however, the bull shark – who was significantly larger – lost the opportunity to feed.  The tiger shark seemed to dominate every interaction it had with the other species, despite it’s smaller size.

The research group admits that complete interpretation of this single event, possibly swayed by the unnatural hooked condition of the reef shark, may be difficult.  It does show, however, a very interesting interaction between species and offers a very rare insight into this behavior.  Obviously, as the CEI group admits, replicating this to help better understand the interaction between species during predation would have some ethical issues.

To access the full text published paper, click here

Take a look at these interesting research articles:

Study says Marine Protected Areas can benefit large sharks

Prelim Research: North Carolina Attacks

Don’t bite the hand that feeds

SeaWorld announces end to captive orca whale breeding

NOAA 2015 Coastal Shark Survey

diver with great hammerhead shark in bimini

Epic Shark Diving Expeditions

Are you considering adding some shark dives to your logbook? Have you always wondered what it would be like to swim alongside the ocean’s top predator? Perhaps you are an experienced shark diving looking for your next encounter. Epic Diving offers some of the best shark diving opportunities in the world, conveniently located in the warm, clear waters of the Bahamas. After a thorough shark diving safety briefing, you’ll enjoy encounters with some of the top species of sharks. Take a look at our packages:

Great Hammerhead Shark Diving – Starting in January of each year, we are located in Bimini, Bahamas for the great hammerhead shark diving season! Here, divers can expect to see several of these majestic sharks alongside a number of nurse sharks, and the occasional bull shark. Dives are done in shallow water, typically around 20 feet deep.

Oceanic Whitetip Shark Diving – In March, we move to Cat Island, one of the family islands located in the central Bahamas. During this time of year, large numbers of Oceanic Whitetip Sharks migrate to the crystal clear blue water off Cat Island and can been seen on every dive! Most of the sharks are females and many of them are pregnant. Most of the diving is done as a drift, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Make sure you look all around since you never know what else may show up while drifting in the blue. We often see mahi mahi, tuna, blue marlin and several other shark species, like blue, dusky, silky, and reef! In between dives, you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel with the sharks for some close up interaction.

Tiger Shark Diving – For the remainder of the year, we are located on the West End of Grand Bahama Island and go out daily for dives at the world famous Tiger Beach. Like the great hammerhead shark dives off Bimini, the typical dive at Tiger Beach is done on shallow water with a sandy bottom. There are also some incredible reefs at Tiger Beach where reef and lemon sharks always accompany the tigers.

Whether you’re an experienced shark diver, photographer, or someone who’d like to see sharks up close for the first time, our dive team will show you a week of incredible adventures with the ocean’s top predators. Contact us today to book your space, pack your dive gear, and get ready for an experience you’ll never forget!