If there is a heaven for fishermen, this pristine piece of Bahamian paradise is it! Deep Water Cay Club has benefited from many recent changes, including major modernization of the property, structures and equipment. And most importantly, world class bone fishing on the east end of Grand Bahama Island at Deep Water Cay Club. It just doesn’t get any better than this. If you are interested in Deep Water Cay, please read on!
Deep Water Cay Club is located at the outermost eastern end of Grand Bahama Island and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and productive bonefish flats on the planet. Deep Water Cay is undisputedly one of the finest bonefish destinations in the world.
Flats fishing is what the east end of Grand Bahama Island has long been recognized for. An incredible number of bonefish are known to inhabit the clear pristine flats found here. The area is also home to a variety of other species found in shallow water, including permit, snapper, barracuda, jacks, sharks and, from time to time, even tarpon.
Reef and deep sea fishing are available as well. Near shore you will find barracuda and a variety of grouper and snapper. Lurking offshore are bonito, dolphin, king fish, yellow-fin and blue-fin tuna, Wahoo and white and blue marlin.
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.
Deep Water Cay Club has long been know in the high-end bone fishing industry, however after 50 great years the property was getting a little run down. Fortunately, 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. If you have not visited the lodge in the past couple of years, you will be pleasantly surprised. To a large extent, this property was not just remodeled, it has been rebuilt.
Deep Water Cay is so uncomplicated to get to. You take a direct flight from many cities in the United States to Ft. Lauderdale , then a 40 minute jump over to Freeport. From the airport, it is a comfortable taxi and short boat ride away. That’s it right there. There is no need for a charter flight, no need to spend the night anywhere. Also, there are not any specific transfer days at the lodge, so you can arrive on any day of the week and visit for as many days you wish.
Deep Water Cay has a private 4,000 foot on-island paved airstrip in the middle of a bonefish paradise. So, if you prefer, you can book a private charter flight from another island in the Bahamas or the US. 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.
You can fly your own small plane directly to the lodge; however some pre-planning will be required for this. Tie down areas are available for private planes. Here is a video of flying into and out of Deep Water Cay in a Cessna 414. And here is another video of a plane circling the lodge before landing.
Once your feet are on the ground you will find the setting captivating! Beyond doubt, the most exclusive private island sporting resort of the Bahamas, the Deep Water Cay Club accommodates a small number of guests at their well-maintained lodge and caters to those who appreciate the value of an unspoiled habitat, favor fine accommodations and dining, and enjoy fishing as well as leisure activities.
The new Welcome Center, lodge, resort buildings and homes are situated on the western side of the island, while the eastern end of the island has the landing strip and the remainder of the area reserved as a mangrove preserve.
The Welcome Center has a first-rate Gift and Pro Shop. The Gift shop carries a good selection of hats, technical outer wear and sunglasses. The Pro Shop has a sizeable array of quality fly gear including Sage rods, Tibor reels, SA fly lines and a excellent selection of flies and terminal tackle. So, if you forget anything at home, don’t worry, you’ll find it here. And just in case you need a rod and reel, they do have gear for rent.
Most visitors prefer to stay in one of the resort’s remodeled cottages. The air-conditioned one-bedroom cottages are fitted with two full beds, a refrigerator, coffee maker, walk-in closet and a private bathroom. Each cottage has a front porch with Adirondack chairs. All this comes with a beautiful 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 guest house options to suit your parties’ needs!
After a full day on the water there is a good wash down area to clean your rods. Once that task is taken care of there is general migration by many anglers to grab a seat at AJ’s dockside Tiki Bar overlooking the harbor. The Tiki Bar is always well-stocked with cool drinks, Bahamian beers and cocktails to quench your thirst, and some delicious appetizers which will tide you over until dinnertime.
Each evening before dinner anglers and guest stroll over to the Blue Hole Bar for the nightly exchange of fish tales and excitement for the next day of angling. Here you will join other guests at the bar for appetizers and drinks while enjoying the sunset over the water. The lounge features a large wine list, local beers, and a good selection of essential distilled spirits, mixers and garnishes.
With beautiful waterfront views, the Clubhouse is the social center of the resort and is used for a range of activities, dining and free space. The Clubhouse features a dining room, lounge, living room and book trader library, billiard room and game room, fully equipped fly tying table, veranda and infinity pool. Guests can log on at the computer station or use the resort’s Wi-Fi network to connect your own wireless device. Adjoining the club house is the poolside Barracuda Grill overlooking the water. The Barracuda Grill, with its big flat screen TV is great for parties and events. Located below the Barracuda Grill is a fitness gym where you can work out.
Dinner is served in the Clubhouse’s main dining room. The dining is impressive and pampered with attentive service. The elegant candlelight dinners are hosted in a friendly family atmosphere at a lively table complete with fresh Bahamian Androsia linen tablecloths and a beautiful floral centerpiece.
The kitchen staff prepares a different menu each evening and you will enjoy favorite island dishes and an ample supply of fresh locally caught seafood, including fresh fish, conch and lobster. In addition to superb seafood, traditional fare like roast rack of lamb with crusty rosemary potatoes is served. Everybody seems to loves the character and atmosphere in the lodge
For desert, guests choose from homemade premium ice creams, custards, trifle, tiramisu, delightful pastries and an assortment of fresh berries.
Before we go any farther, it should be noted that people are what make your trip! The Deep Water Cay Club managers, Bill and Lisa Culbreath, have many years of combined experience in the hospitality business and will strive to make sure your trip exceeds your expectations. Bill and Lisa are great host which helps ensure an optimum visit. The management, staff, and guides will go above and beyond to make your trip special!
Breakfast is served in the Clubhouse, and features a variety of fresh fruits, cereals, breads, coffee and tea. Some mornings, cold cereal just won’t do and something a little substantial is in order. No problem; eggs are cooked to order and served with bacon, ham, or sausage, toast and fresh pastries. You might decide on a custom made omelet with your choice of fillings.
DeepWater Cay Club may well provide the best support services in the Bahamas for its bonefish and permit fishing. Since its founding as a world class bonefish lodge, the mission statement has remained faithful to that purpose with highly professional guides and trained support staff. The fishing program is better now than it’s ever been, and we can vouch for that!
The professionalism exhibited at dockside each morning defines organization as neatly uniformed guides emerge from the transportation ferry and enthusiastically converge on their skiffs with guest lunch boxes, rods, tackle, hand-held radios and big smiles. As a beginner or veteran bone fisher, your greatest asset is your guide, and the native guides at Deep Water Cay are the best in the business at fulfilling your fishing expectations.
Some of the guides have been with the club more than 20 years. The Guides are very personable and will go out of their way to teach and encourage anglers in every way possible. They have an uncanny ability to spot fish under any conditions and quietly pole the skiff into a perfect casting position within seconds.
Around here, they have two tides depending on which side of the island you are on, so you will always find a good place to fish. However, Deep Water Cay’s guides know the area thoroughly, so this really isn’t an issue. They understand the intricacies of the tides, the winds and the way fish behave depending on the water level, therefore, the guides will automatically take you to the right place for the most favorable conditions. The islands around Deep Water Cay are large enough to provide protection from the wind regardless its direction.
The Deep Water Cay’s fleet of Hell Bay flats’ skiffs is about as good as it gets. The Lodge has five of the Hell Bay Marquesa skiffs , which measure out at 17’-11” and draw about seven inches of water and five of the Hell Bay Professional skiffs which measure out at 17’-8” and draw about five inches of water (mol). Although the boats seem to be about the same size they are not the same.
The owners deliberately purchased two sets of flats skiffs for slightly different fishing situations. The Marquesa is built for a slightly larger engine and is a little wider in the beam and handles rough runs in a chop a little better. The Professional is a lighter craft and built for a shallower draft which allows you to get into skinnier water. All the comfortable boats are fitted with quiet four-stroke engines, and provide a pleasant ride and stealth in skinny water. The Lodge will make every effort to match their top of the line boats specifically to the conditions that you will experience during your day.
Custom appointments have been added to each boat in the fleet. All of the boats have a removable stainless steel leaning bar to afford stability. There is ample rod storage, dry storage for your gear bags and valuables, comfortable seats with backrests and a well-stocked cooler for food and drink.
Most of your fishing will be from the boat over turtle grass and patchy bottom flats, but there are plenty of places to wade if that’s what you wish to do. There are so many flats serviced by the Deep Water Cay Club that it is possible to find fish on wadeable flats all day long. The flats that you’ll wade are hard-packed sand with just a little turtle grass on it, and the bones are easier to spot.
With more than two hundred square miles of flats between Grand Bahama and Abaco Island, it is home to many bonefish. The distant flats, and there are many of them, have low fishing pressure, and the large fish are relaxed and eager. Thus Deep Water Cay is a place for either expert or novice fly anglers to find numerous bones that average three to four pounds, and have shots at eight to ten pound fish. (The lodge record bonefish weighed 13 1/2 pounds.)
You may have the opportunity to occasional pursue a permit especially around Red Shank and Burroughs Cays. Permit are big, and are fished both on spinning and fly tackle. (The club record is 46 pounds).
When you visit Deep Water Cay you will have many opportunities. However, it goes without saying, the number of fish you can expect to catch at any time is directly related to your skill as an angler. The excitement of the hunt and of watching the fish recognize and gobble up your fly is about as good as it gets.
For the non-angler, the activity list is long and includes nature walks, birding, bicycling, tennis, boat tours, reef fishing, deep sea fishing, kayaking around the island , paddle boards, catamaran, scuba diving reefs and blue holes, snorkeling on your own around the island or with a guide, spa, workout in the gym or just hanging out under an umbrella at one of the small beaches.
In the event you still want to cast a few more times before you call it a day, there are a few decent flats within walking distance located adjacent and nearby the lodge for fishing on your own. These flats will be more productive on lower phases of the tide.
Incredible saltwater flats fishing matched with luxurious accommodations and gracious hospitality make Deep Water Cay one of the premier lodges in the Caribbean. Throw in white sand beaches, colorful coral and marine life, and a sunny tropical climate and you have a vacation destination that can’t be beat.
Deep Water Cay offers a variety of packages. Please click here for rates.
View additional photographs on Facebook
View a Deep Water Cay Club Video here
Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean
Leisure Time Travel Inc.
531 N. Citrus Ave.
Crystal River, Florida 34428
All Photgraphs by Edward R. Johnston
Copyright © 2015 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2015