World Class Fly Fishing for Bonefish on South Andros Island Bahamas at Bair’s Lodge
Report by Edward Johnston
What’s nice about living in Florida is the close proximity to the Bahamas. Some islands have a direct flight or direct charter service from Florida and most of the remaining islands are accessible in two hops. I have lost count of how many times I have visited the Bahamas, it must be close to a hundred by now, however it is always exciting.
For this trip, a direct private flight from Florida with my buddies to South Andros Island; nice! Our group of anglers have the whole lodge to ourselves.
The lodge manager is waiting for us. With many helping hands our luggage is loaded. We hop in the van with a cooler of Bahamian beer waiting to quench our thirst. The drive takes about 30 minutes down the eastern ocean side of the island.
Andros Island is the largest island in the Bahamas, and still one of the least developed. The southern portion of Andros Islands is even less developed. The pace of life is mellow and relaxed. After numerous trips to the island, it looks the same. A few new buildings here and there, but otherwise it seems time has stood still, which is a good thing is you’re an angler in search of a remote bonefish destination.
Bair’s Lodge is located on the southeastern side situated between Deep Creek and Little Creek. These creeks open out into a broad area of inland flats, with hundreds of small cay’s and connecting channels covering more than 100 square miles. You will be fishing areas like Beach Cay, Grassy Creek, Hawks Nest, Cistern Point, the Curly Cuts, Jackfish, and Water Cays to name a few.
Bair’s Lodge offers deluxe ocean-side lodgings. The lodge is an attractive Plantation style building encircled by tropical flowers and palm trees.
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.
Most of the plush rooms in the lodge open on to a long veranda fronting the ocean.
Bair’s Lodge specializes in serving delicious fresh local produce, fresh fish (ahi tuna, grouper and hog snapper), conch and lobster. The lodge’s in-house chef bakes bread, pastries and cookies daily.
A full a la carte breakfast features a variety of cereals, coffee and a selection of teas, as well as fresh fruits. Eggs will be cooked to your preference, with bacon, sausages and grits. Hot cereals are also available. Coffee is made each morning from freshly ground beans.
On your return from fishing you will find cold beers, spirits, and a blender for cocktails, as well as stacks of soft drinks.
A good range of local spirits is available free of charge at the lodge. House wines such as Malbecs from Argentina, Chilean Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon will be served with dinner.
Dinner starts with appetizers such as homemade soups or conch ceviche, and all entrees are served with fresh salads. Bair’s emphasis is on mixing local dishes with light fresh recipes such as snapper with mango salsa, and some barbequed fish. Desserts will vary from chocolate decadence to key lime parfaits. After dinner, coffee, tea and liquors will be served in the sitting room.
A lunch menu card allows you to choose next day’s lunch and the contents of the boat coolers.
Every morning, when you step out of the lodge into a boat, you can be fishing within a few minutes, or you can choose to ride further a-field to explore the more remote, pristine white sand flats Andros is famous for.
There is also a fly tackle shop fully equipped with flies, rods, reels, lines and a small selection of clothing. Loaner rods and reels are available free of charge.
Bair’s maintains a fleet of modern Maverick Mirage Skiffs, powered by 70 HP outboard motors. The skiffs are moored right next to the lodge with easy access to the flats.
Bair’s Lodge fishes primarily for bonefish, with sporadic shots at Tarpon and Permit. Other species encountered include Barracuda, Jacks and several types of Snapper. On the south end, you will find sandy hard-bottomed flats particularly good for wade fishing. These wadeable, productive flats are home to large populations of bonefish.
In closing, South Andros has some of the most under-fished flats in the Caribbean. So, if you would like to stalk tailing bonefish on world famous South Andros Island on the bow of a skiff or wading on hard sand flats, you have found a good place.
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). Western Air has two daily flights from Nassau to Congo Town airport. However, the morning flight will require spending the night in Nassau. It’s probably best to catch the afternoon flight at 3pm. Or there are multiple charter operations from Florida available.
What’s the cost? For current prices for Bairs Lodge click here.
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