Deep Water Cay Club – Fly Fishing Paradise Found!
Deep Water Cay has benefited from many recent changes, including major reconstruction and modernization of the property, structures and equipment . Now, more than ever, there are many more reasons to visit Deep Water Cay Club than just to experience the impressive Lodge and the outstanding bonefishing. Translation: your wife will like this place! If you are interested in Deep Water Cay please read on!
It was the near end of summer vacation and my son Aaron would be off to college soon. Aaron and I were thinking where we could go that was really cool. We settled on a split week; half a week at Deep Water Cay Club on Grand Bahama Island and the other half at South Beach in Miami. Bonefish and bikini’s; sounded good to me, so the deal was sealed.
I have mentioned the ease of traveling to Grand Bahama Island in previous post: It just isn’t necessary to go to the other side of the world to have great fishing. You can take a direct flight from many cities on the east coast to Ft. Lauderdale, then a 40 minute jump over to Freeport. That’s it right there. There is no need for a charter flight, no need to spend the night anywhere.
First discovered by Gil Drake and A.J. McClane in the 1950s, Deep Water Cay has been recognized by well-traveled anglers as one of the premier bonefishing locations in the world. Anglers who visit Deep Water Cay can add their names to the Who’s Who of shallow water angling history such as Ted Williams, Joe Brooks, Curt Gowdy, Lefty Kreh and many other contemporary celebrities.
Getting to Deep Water Cay is easy. You can take a taxi, but we preferred to rent a car at Brad’s located at the Freeport Airport . It’s normally a one-hour car ride to McLean’s Town, however, we stopped along the way and viewed places of our interest including North Riding Point, High Rock and Pelican Point.
We left our rental car at the McLean’s Town dock and called the Lodge. A sturdy launch was dispatched to pick us up and within minutes we were on the island.
I should mention; on the afternoon that we arrived, three private charter planes full of excited guests landed on the club’s private 4,000 foot paved airstrip. You clear Bahamian Customs right there on the island which saves some time. This is the way to go if you have a larger party of four to six anglers as the cost is reasonable when spilt accordingly and only a little more compared to commercial air plus a taxi.
Deep Water Cay received a new lease on life when it was acquired by a new ownership group in late 2009. A great deal of money has been spent upgrading the new Deep Water Cay Club to restore the tropical island paradise to its former glory. Believe me, it shows!
Aaron and I had visited Deep Water Cay in the past, but the change that greeted us was impressive.Without a doubt, I am sure there was a look of amazement on both of our faces when we caught sight of the new grand entrance, the major additions and amenities that were added to the property. To a large extent, this property was not just remodeled, it was rebuilt.
The waterfront looked considerably different than it did on our previous trip. The old rickety wooden dock for the fishing skiffs was gone and replaced with a modern heavy duty floating dock secured by large stout pilings. A new Tiki Bar with a thatched roof flanked the marina to the west and a matching dock station and kayak shack bordered to the east. Right in the middle is the impressive new two-story Welcome Center.
As we marched up the walkway, Bill and Lisa Culbreath, the managers of Deep Water Cay were there to greet us. To say they are a lovely and gracious couple would be a huge understatement. Bill and Lisa are exceptionally friendly and congenial. They immediately put you at ease and their good-natured kindness make you feel like you are home throughout your visit.
We signed in at the desk in their Welcome Center which has a first-rate Gift and Pro Shop. The shop has a sizeable array of gear, larger than found in some fly shops I have visited. You will find a good selection of hats, technical outer wear and sunglasses. The Pro Shop is fully stocked with quality fly gear including Sage rods, Tibor reels, SA fly lines and a excellent selection of flies and terminal tackle. If you forget anything at home, don’t worry, you’ll find it here. And just in case, they do have gear for rent.
The boatmen carted our luggage up to our comfortable little bungalow. During the short stroll to our room we admired the mature well-tended landscaping and caught a glimpse of curly-tailed lizards scurrying about and resident birds, some of which you will not find any place else. The air-conditioned one-bedroom cottages are fitted with two full beds, a refrigerator, coffee maker, walk-in closet and a private bathroom. Each has a front porch has a southern exposure overlooking a shallow bonefish flat on the flipside of the island. The rooms are conveniently situated equidistant from the clubhouse, welcome center and docks.
If you prefer, comfortable private houses with multiple bedrooms are available if you want more room and privacy, or if you are traveling with your family or close friends. These homes are spacious and include full kitchens, dining areas, living rooms, and beach-front verandas. The folks at Leisure Time Travel can help you choose from a variety of guests house options to suit your parties needs!
After we unpacked and freshened up a bit we ambled over to the Clubhouse which is the main gathering place at Deep Water Cay.
Happy hour was underway. An appetizer of conch fritters accompanied our drinks. We chatted with some of the folks who had been out on the water that day and cheerfully shared their adventures. One young couple had a fantastic time; in addition to catching many bonefish, the wife hooked and landed a very nice permit. They plugged their camera into a flat screen TV mounted above the bar so everyone could see their pictures onscreen. Nice touch!
The dining is impressive. The tables are attractively set with white linen tablecloths, beautiful bouquets of flowers decorate each table and diners are pampered with attentive service. You will enjoy favorite island dishes and an ample supply of fresh locally caught seafood, including fresh fish, conch and lobster. Everyone seems to loves the dining style and ambience in the lodge.
There are numerous other amenities to enjoy onsite including a billiard room, game room, fly tying area, gym and infinity pool. Adjoining the club house is the poolside Barracuda Grill overlooking the water. The activity list is long and includes nature walks, bicycling, tennis, boat tours, deep sea fishing, kayaking, paddle boards, diving, snorkeling or just hanging out under an umbrella at one of the small beaches. Wireless internet is available.
You will find a Deep Water Cay Club video here.
Ok, enough said; Let’s get to the fishing! If there is a heaven for fishermen, this pristine piece of Bahamian paradise is it.
Scroll down to the next post to read part two or click here
If you have been there then you know already, if you haven’t been, then go now! Just remember, Edward Johnston told you so……….Book now for the rest of this year and/or reserve your spot in 2013. Please feel free to call us with any questions you may have.
Call us now at 800-771-2202 or 352-795-3474.
For package rates click here.
Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean
Leisure Time Travel Inc. 531 N. Citrus Avenue Crystal River, Florida 34428
352-795-FISH (3474) 1-800-771-2202
All Photgraphs by Edward R. Johnston
Copyright © 2012 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2012