Bairs Bonefish Lodge – Andros Island Bahamas
Bair’s Lodge on South Andros Island offers deluxe ocean-side lodgings. The lodge accommodates guest in spacious and comfortable air-conditioned guest rooms, each with tile floors, well-appointed furnishings, luxurious bedding and private bathrooms with plenty of hot water.
The beach and flats boats are at your door step. Two outdoor showers are available on the beach should you desire to take a swim.
Most rooms at Bair’s open onto a spacious, ocean-facing veranda. There you’ll find comfortable benches and tables to enjoy morning coffees and a great place to relax after a successful day on the flats. Delectable appetizers are served on the veranda and include local specialties such as cracked conch, conch salad, fried fish fingers and ceviche.
Laundry service is available upon request, and laundry bags are provided in all bedrooms.
A fully stocked open bar is open 24/7 with a variety of beverages for your enjoyment.
Each morning at Bair’s Lodge begins with an a la carte breakfast. You will choose your boat picnic lunch from a menu. And for dinner you will find meals containing beautifully prepared Bahamian specialties such as fresh seafood, fried conch and fresh bread baked daily.
There is also a fly tackle shop fully equipped with flies, rods, reels, lines and a small selection of clothing.
The boats are well maintained sturdy 16-foot Dolphin Super Skiffs powered by Mercury outboards. The skiffs have two bucket seat for the anglers, plenty of storage for rods and baggage and of course a poling platform for the guide. The guides are the best you will find on south Andros and fun to spend time with.
My friend John Stout joined me on this trip. I have known John 20 years and he is a good angler with hundreds of bonefish scored and a fair number of permit.
As I mentioned in Part One a front was passing over so the weather was not optimum. We started out under a heavily overcast sky with rain on and off the entire time we were on the flats. We had some shots, got some nibbles and caught a few. Our guide Harley did his best, but it was just one of those days.
By the second day the front had mostly passed by. Some remnant clouds, however the winds were still howling. Bairs Lodge rotates their guides which I actually prefer. On this day we were assigned to Tee whom we were both very impressed with. Tee really thinks the conditions out: tide, wind, sun, water temp, et cetera. Standing on the poling platform, with his set of eagle eyes, Tee constantly on the lookout for the elusive Grey Ghost. Despite the high winds John and I both scored several nice bones each.
The third day we had clear skies but the wind was still high. We fished with Chris, another fine young man who worked hard and did not give up until late in the day. Standing on the back of the skiff, he pushed hard constantly scanning for fish.
Despite the weather conditions John is on top of his game. Up to this point John has been out fishing me. Let me tell you, I’m no slouch. I have hundreds and hundreds of tarpon of all sizes, more than a hundred permit and many bones under my belt, but for the last few days John has been “kicking my ass”.
Finally, I’m on the bow and Chris tells me “there’s one, man, one o’clock”. I spot the lead fish, a nice one, along with a few others slowly making their way through kelp grass in skinny water. I made the cast a few feet in front of the lead fish and let the fly sit. When the lead fish was almost on top of the fly I gave it a small tug. The bonefish pounced then flushed dragging my fly line through the kelp grass as it fled. I was surprised the tipped held but gradually I brought the bonefish to the boat. He was a fine one, but more importantly he had a tag which our guide Chris promptly cut off to return to the BTT staff at the lodge.
Unfortunately, I was scheduled to return home the following day, however my friend John stayed one more day and fished solo.
As a side note: John Stout had just returned from Belize where he encountered eight straight fishing days in a row with wind over 25 mph.
John’s own words in a note to his fishing buddies:
Well what do you know……no wind! It’s been eleven straight fishing days in a row with high wind. I forgot what it’s like to be smoking down a cay with nary a ripple on the surface. Sweet, finished the trip with Leslie who has been guiding here 22 years. We headed to the west side of Andros for the first time this week. Let me state for the record, Edward Johnston from Leisure Time Travel was the one who brought Bairs Lodge to my attention, South Andros is VAST. You could fish here every day for over a month and never be in the same spot twice. I think that’s what I liked best about this place.
Of course, on this day we found the bones. Ten fish on and seven to the boat. A 5 and a 6 lb fish were tops. I had various shots at another twenty or so. The highlight was the 5 lb fish. The water was skinny, gin clear, the bottom white sand and the sun high overhead. Leslie spotted the fish coming out from behind a mangrove. He got the boat into position for the expected shot once the fish came out. The fly landed about 2′ in front. We literally watched in 4K HD as the fish eat the fly. Three attempts to head into the mangroves were thwarted, barely. Any more pressure and the tippet would have broken. All very cool when the fight was finally over, South Andros is pure magic.
In closing, South Andros has some of the most under-fished flats in the Caribbean. Places like Deep Creek, Little Creek, the Water Cays, Curley Cut Cays and West side are naturally linked to sight fishing for some of the world’s largest bonefish.
Bair’s Lodge has established the benchmark for quality of the fishing in the Bahamas. The management and house staff are delightful friendly people and work hard to insure your visit is enjoyable. The professionalism of their guides sets a very high standard in all of the Bahamas. Combine that with their excellent accommodations, wonderful hospitality and delicious fresh food make up an outstanding combination.
Bairs is fairly easy to get to. Flying commercial you will go to Nassau International (NAS) and pick up the Western Air flight to Congo Town (TZN). Or there are multiple charter operations from Florida available.
Let us help you plan your next perfect trip… For impartial advice and a wealth of knowledge there is no substitute for firsthand experience.
Please click here to view a short video of Bair’s Lodge and the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust scientist at work.
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531 N. Citrus Ave.
Crystal River, Florida 34428
All Photgraphs by Edward R. Johnston unless otherwise noted
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