Walker’s Cay lies 53 miles to the northeast of West End, Grand Bahama, in the northern Bahamas. Its surface is just less than 100 acres. For over fifty years, Walker’s Cay has been a legendary fishing resort known by fishermen worldwide as the premier, deep-sea fishing location. The rebirth of Walker’s Cay is underway thanks to philanthropist and marlin fishing enthusiast Carl Allen. The island is poised to welcome visitors who desire to fish, dive, and explore the beautiful reef, again serving as the northern gateway to the Bahamas.
Walker's Cay was named after Thomas Walker, a British judge sent to the island to deal with piracy in the early 1700s. After his death in 1721, the island remained uninhabited for over two hundred years until Buzz Shonnard, a businessman from Palm Beach, Florida, leased the land from the Bahamian government in 1935 and built a small hotel, attracting anglers and tourists to the island. A 75-slip marina was built, and an airstrip, Walker's Cay Airport, with a 2,500-foot-long (760 m) runway suitable for light aircraft.
Shonnard's 99-year lease began an era in which Walker's Cay was a well-known sport fishing location. One of Walker's Cay's seasonal residents was American businessman Robert Abplanalp, the inventor of the modern-day aerosol valve for spray cans. Abplanalp bought the lease on the island in 1968 and continued to develop it as a sport fishing destination, not neglecting to pay attention to the conservation of marine life; he began encouraging tag-and-release fishing in the early 1970s. Walker's Cay was particularly known as a location for billfishing, with huge Atlantic blue marlin caught in the area; angling for bonefish was also popular there.
During World War II, Walker's Cay was used by the U.S. military as an anti-submarine base.
Various celebrities became regular visitors of Walker's Cay, including U.S. President Richard Nixon, actress Jane Fonda, singer Roger Daltrey and athletes like Davey Johnson and Roger Staubach.
The Walker's Cay marine area was declared a national park, Walker's Cay National Park, in 2002.
In May 2018, Walker's Cay was sold to Texas businessman and philanthropist Carl Allen, who announced redevelopment efforts. At present, Walker's Cay is undergoing a full restoration, including a new-and-improved marina, cottages, and common buildings.