Abaco
Lodge

Great Abaco Island, Bahamas
Bonefish

Abaco Lodge is the only fly-fishing operation located on the famed Marls, a vast labyrinth of flats,mangroves,and bonefish in numbers like nowhere else in the Bahamas.

Twenty to thirty fish days are not uncommon, with 200-square-miles of prime habitat awaiting anglers. Its Marls-side headquarters also means no trailering, no fuel stops, and more time fishing.

Push back from the breakfast table and walk to the dock, where the island’s most knowledgeable guides and our fleet of Hell’s Bay flats skiffs greet you. Back on dry land private rooms, fine dining, and attentive service ensure ultimate comfort after a full day’s fishing. One of the most conveniently located bonefishing destinations on the planet, direct flights from Florida allow for seamless travel to and from Marsh Harbour Airport.

WHY CHOOSE ABACO LODGE?

  • The only lodge directly on the famed Marls
  • Guests have individual private rooms, each with private bath, at no extra cost
  • Short runs from the lodge, usually less than half an hour and as fast as five minutes
  • Tailing fish, and lots of them. The marls is shallow water for as far as you can see
  • Incredible logistics make this the easiest fishing lodge in the Bahamas to reach – 8 commercial airlines flying to Marsh Harbour regularly
  • A surprising number of juvenile tarpon are around– providing almost weekly excitement
  • One of the most under-pressured fisheries of this caliber in the Caribbean
  • The most knowledgeable guides in the Bahamas, they know the Marls and the ocean intimately and they possess an uncanny ability to find fish
  • The latest Maverick skiffs, widely recognized as the ultimate flats boat, allow us to access the shallowest flats safely and in maximum comfort
  • Island culture and activities make Abaco a great place for the nonangling spouse or children
  • A la carte menu with exception fresh, local dishes.

Location

Coordinates: 26º33’32.56”N 77º08’07.76”W

Located approximately 180 miles off the coast of Florida, the Abacos cup the eastern edge of Grand Bahama Island at the northernmost tip of the Bahamas archipelago. Upon flying into Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH) on Great Abaco Island, you’ll be shuttled to Abaco Lodge—a private palm-treed expanse with its own protected harbor. Abaco Lodge is the sole bonefishing resort in the Marls, on the island’s western edge. The Marls is a part of a recently designated National Park with a thriving bonefish population and an average depth of about four feet—with little tidal influence. Your guides at Abaco Lodge know every inch of it. From blue holes that attract juvenile tarpon (and not-so-juvenile barracuda) to productive bonefish flats and hundreds of cays extending from Cross Harbour in the south to stretches well north of the lodge, you’ll explore new and unpressured water daily.

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Facilities & Services

The lodge

Abaco Lodge sits on the rocky shoreline of the Marls, on the west side of Abaco. And we are just north of Marsh Harbour, on the way to Treasure Cay. The bright, charming lodge welcomes guests with and spectacular waterfront views. Enjoy a cold Kalik by the pool, or gather around the fire pit where under a setting sun, the day’s fishing stories enter into the island lore. The lodge consists of ten air-conditioned private rooms, with en suite bathrooms and ocean views. Wireless Internet will keep you connected back home. Phone service is available and the lodge has a large flat screen TV for catching all the games. The lodge’s main bar is stocked with spirits, cold beer, soft drinks, plenty of ice, and mixers for cocktails. We also have an on-site fly shop where you can purchase everything from flies, leaders, and tippet to rods, reels, and lodge logo-wear. Fly-tying equipment is also available upon request.

Food and Drink

Our chef serves delicious fresh fish (mahi mahi, tuna, grouper, and snapper), conch, and lobster. Bread, pastries, and cookies come out of our kitchen ovens daily. The coffee is made from freshly ground beans and will be waiting for you when you rise. Breakfast is cooked to order and a lunch menu filled out the night before allows you to customize your your coolers with beer, soft drinks, sandwiches, chocolate, wraps, salads, fruit, and more. We happily cater to special dietary needs. When you complete your pre-trip questionnaire please mention any requirements or food allergies you might have, so we can inform the chef. Salads are offered in our cooler lunches for those on low-carbohydrate diets. The lodge has a good supply of drinking water from our reverse osmosis system. You will find bottled water in your bedroom and on your boat. The tap water here is safe to drink. In our arid climate, conservation is always appreciated! We have an open bar policy at the lodge and a great selection but if you have a preferred brand of liquor or wine, please be sure to let us know in advance so we can have it ready upon your arrival. Otherwise, you can bring your own bottle.

Off Shore Fishing

Even though there is a standard schedule for fishing days, it can also be tailored to your needs with advanced notice.

Fishing Areas

Abaco’s sheltered Marls region is big. So big that it could swallow 13 Manhattans within its 300 square mile footprint. Instead of sputtering cabs and people crammed into skyscrapers, however, this wilderness flats area is peppered with unpopulated pine forest islands, mangrove cays, and a prodigious bonefish population. From Abaco Lodge’s central location, we fish the Marls as far south as Cross Harbour to its northern extremities off the west side of Treasure Cay. A twenty-minute skiff run due west puts anglers within striking range of the Marl’s outer, ocean-side edge. And from all points inbetween, Marls bonefish average 2 to 4 pounds. Larger fish in the 5 to 8 pound class, although fewer and often more difficult to seduce, are also found in good numbers. Permit and juvenile tarpon shots are rare although not unheard of, and barracuda, jack crevalle, plus various shark species also call the Marls home. But bonefish generally rule this domain thanks to an ideal mix of sheltered habitat and a gumbo of forage sources through the seasons. Fishing in the Marls is done from our Hell’s Bay flats skiffs. Wading opportunities also exist. From the lodge dock, runs to the flats vary from 10 to 45 minutes. All skiffs are fishing (and comfort) friendly, with padded seats, backrests, line mats and lean bars on the bow. They’re also equipped with first aid kits and an emergency satellite phone. In addition to wonderful flats, Abaco has incredible blue water fishing. We are happy to coordinate a day, or two, with the best captains available. Target species include: marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, and tuna—depending on the season. Arrangements can be made at the lodge, but the best captains book early and we recommend you do as well. There will be an additional charge for this type of fishing.

Daily Program

The typical trip does not fish on arrival or departure, but if time allows and guides are available, half-day trips can be arranged prior to getting here. Typically you’ll be shuttled from the airport to the lodge where you can check into your room, prepare gear, and spend an afternoon relaxing on the lodge grounds.

Here is a sample schedule of the daily program:

6:30 am Coffee ready at the buffet table

7:00 am Breakfast

8:00 am Depart dock

4:00 pm Return to lodge

4:00 pm onwards Cocktail hour

5:30 pm Appetizers 7:00 pm Dinner

 

Bonefish are pound-for-pound one of the strongest, fastest-running saltwater fish anywhere. They are also one of the coolest to have your photo taken with. Their scientific name is Albulidae, which means “white fox.”

Bonefish are noted for moving from deeper water onto shallow tidal flats to feed, where you can find and cast to tailing fish—one of the most challenging (and rewarding) saltwater experiences available. They typically retreat back to deeper water as the tide ebbs. Bahamas bones can reach upwards of ten pounds, but a more representative size would be about a third of that. A big bonefish, a lifetime fish, would be any fish equal to or in excess of ten pounds. Larger, adult fish break away from schools, traveling in singles and doubles and offering great sight-fishing opportunities on the flats of Abaco and South Andros islands.

As prolific as Bahamas bonefish are, relatively little is known about them. The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) aims to change that, and has been heavily involved in scientific research in conjunction with our lodges. For more information, BTT is an excellent, angler-friendly source. Visit bonefishtarpontrust.org

Season

Lodge Specie Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
KAU TAPEN Sea-Run Brown Trout
VILLA MARÍA Sea-Run Brown Trout
CHIME Rainbow & Brown Trout
FUTA Rainbow & Brown Trout
PIRÁ Dorado
ALTO PARANÁ Dorado, Pacú, Pirá Pitá
DELTA FISHING TRIPS Dorado, Tararira
ABACO Bonefish
BAIR'S Bonefish

Fishing Equipments

Bonefish: We recommend 9ft, 7-8wt. rods. Under normal conditions, you can make a delicate presentation with a 7-wt. rod, a long leader, and an un-weighted fly. A fast 8-wt, on the other hand, helps you punch flies through the wind. Use saltwater capable reels with adjustable drags and capacity for 150 yds. of 20lb. test backing.

Weight-forward bonefishing lines should be paired off with fluorocarbon leaders. A general rule of thumb is 10’ 10 lbs for leaders. Bring extra leaders and a few spools of tippet in the 8-15lb. range. Fly wise, the list of options is endless and selections depend on the kind of flat you are fishing, its bottom color—turtle grass or sand—and depth. A few we wouldn’t want you to go without include: Puglisi’s spawning shrimp, Miehieve’s Flats Fly, Kwabbit, mink shrimp, Veverka’s mantis shrimp, spawning mantis, and of course the Gotcha.

Tarpon & Permit: Tarpon and permit opportunities are rare, but you will see both species on occasion. For juvenile tarpon setups, a section of 40-pound bite tippet is perfect. Recommend flies include the Toad, Black Death, or any smaller baitfish imitations. For permit in the 10-25lb. range, keep a 9-10wt rod rigged and ready with a merkin- style crab pattern—just in case!

Predators: For barracuda and shark you will need about a foot of wire bite tippet attached to your leader with an Albright knot, or similar. We prefer single strand in the 40lb range but knotable wire works as well. For sharks we like a large popper in bright colors. Think red, orange and/ or yellow. For barracuda a classic needlefish fly, or Lefty’s shark and ‘cuda fly are great choices. Don’t forget to strip fast!

Sage produces many of the rods we use regularly. In addition to a great lifetime warranty, the company engineers highperformance options perfectly suited for this fishery.

Bonefish are pound-for-pound one of the strongest, fastest-running saltwater fish anywhere. They are also one of the coolest to have your photo taken with. Their scientific name is Albulidae, which means “white fox.”

Bonefish are noted for moving from deeper water onto shallow tidal flats to feed, where you can find and cast to tailing fish—one of the most challenging (and rewarding) saltwater experiences available. They typically retreat back to deeper water as the tide ebbs. Bahamas bones can reach upwards of ten pounds, but a more representative size would be about a third of that. A big bonefish, a lifetime fish, would be any fish equal to or in excess of ten pounds. Larger, adult fish break away from schools, traveling in singles and doubles and offering great sight-fishing opportunities on the flats of Abaco and South Andros islands.

As prolific as Bahamas bonefish are, relatively little is known about them. The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) aims to change that, and has been heavily involved in scientific research in conjunction with our lodges. For more information, BTT is an excellent, angler-friendly source. Visit bonefishtarpontrust.org

Abaco Lodge

RATES

Peak Season: March 15th – June 2018

7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing   $ 5,850

6 Nights / 5 Days Fishing   $ 5,495

5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing   $ 4,950

4 Nights / 3 Days Fishing   $ 4,100

3 Nights / 2 Days Fishing   $ 2,850

 

High Season: October 2017 – March 15th 2018 

7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing   $ 5,650

6 Nights / 5 Days Fishing   $ 5,295

5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing   $ 4,750

4 Nights / 3 Days Fishing   $ 3,895

3 Nights / 2 Days Fishing   $ 2,650

 

  • Included: Lodging, meals, open bar, guided fishing, fishing license, transportation between Abaco Lodge and Marsh Harbour Airport and loaner fishing equipment (rods, reels and lines)
  • Not included: Transportation to Abaco Island, transfer from Treasure Cay to the lodge ($50.00 p/person one way), flies, gratuities and government taxes
  • Full day fishing on arrival and departure: $750 per boat (1 or 2 anglers) + government taxes + fishing license
  • Half day fishing on arrival and departure: $550 per boat (1 or 2 anglers) + government taxes + fishing license
  • Non anglers: $ 395 a night + government taxes
  • Payment terms: 50% deposit to guarantee booking. Balance 60 days prior to departure.

Single room and boat: 60% surcharge

  • "The experience was more like staying at a friend’s house who just happens to h..."

    Bruce H.

    Full Testimonial
  • "Everything we expected and more. fishing was great and the guides were very help..."

    Tom M.

    Full Testimonial
  • "Amenities and hospitality was top notch. Guides are very well versed in their cr..."

    Matt G.

    Full Testimonial
  • "The experience left us wanting nothing while not being over the top…. we are n..."

    Michael N.

    Full Testimonial
  • "5th time back to Abaco Lodge. Always great accommodations, food, fishing….etc...."

    Whit M.

    Full Testimonial

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