|Hurricane Dorian, as you are aware, the devastation in the Bahamas was real and the recovery is ongoing. Abaco Island, including Marsh Harbor and the surrounding communities, were demolished. Additionally, just about the length of Grand Bahama Island.
For many of us, the people and the fishing community of the Bahamas are very important to us. There remains an overwhelming amount of rebuilding to do, and anything helps to get it started.
How do you help? Well that’s your choice. Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Red Cross and many other organizations including Rotary International. Most individual Lodges have set up GoFundMe accounts to accept donations to offer help they so desperately need now and in the coming weeks and months.
If anglers wish to help with the recovery, in lieu of direct donations to the various organizations and Lodges, the very best way to help them now is to book trips with the lodges that are re-opening. This will benefit the guides and staff and help them rebuild and get their lives back on track.
We wish the Bahamians the best in their recovery efforts and continue to send our thoughts and prayers to them all.
So, this is what we know at the moment:
On Abaco Island
Delphi Lodge was built on a high bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, high above any flood surge, and reported only slight wind damage. They have made significant progress getting the lodge back in operation.
Delphi Lodge is confident that it will be a matter of only a few weeks and they will be back in business. Delphi Lodge is anxious to re-open as soon as possible so their staff and guides can get back to normal and get on with their lives and livelihood. Delphi has actually rented three homes for those staff members who lost everything.
Delphi Lodge has purchased brand new Hell’s Bay Skiffs to replace their ageing Dolphin skiffs.
Abaco Lodge had heavy damage, However, proprietor Oliver white said, “Always looking for the silver lining – there is more of Abaco Lodge standing than we expected.” It will be a while before they rebuild.
Grand Bahama Island
The whole island experienced major hurricane force winds and severe flooding. The east end and McLeans town were pulverized. Most people lost their homes, the lodges were heavily damaged and the road to Freeport was compromised in several locations. The rebuilding effort is underway.
For those of you who have visited the area, the current conditions of the island are quite different due to the obvious effects and damage to buildings and the trees, shrubs and fauna from the storm. In general, it will take some time to recover.
H2O Bonefishing and Grand Bahama Bonefishing
H2O Bonefishing and Grand Bahama Bonefishing both suffered setbacks in their operations. However, the damage was minimal. The area where H2O and Grand Bahama Bonefishing are located, tends to be higher in elevation than the surrounding areas, thus sparing them from the flooding. Their boats were spared from any serious damage and electric power and water have been restored to this area.
H2O Bonefishing runs their operation from the Pelican Bay Hotel in Freeport/Lucaya and apparently received little damage overall. What repairs were necessary are being completed as of this writing. Most of the restaurants are already or will soon be open again providing several nightly options for their clients and H2O’s own clubhouse, “Bones Bar,” has been operational for some time.
H2O Bonefishing believes they can begin taking bookings from this November onward. If you are interested, let us know. The many flight options that we have had in the past are not currently available. Although, there are flights in and you can still get over there.
Grand Bahama Bonefishing proprietors, the Pinder Brothers are okay and their boats are fine. The only issue is accommodations. Grand Bahama Bonefishing houses their guests at the Grand Lucayan Resort, an assemblage of multi-story concrete buildings. Like the Pelican Bay Hotel, we believe they will recover quickly.
That being said, there has been very little pressure on the fishery during the summer slow season. Now, with the rebuilding effort, the fishing should be great!
We will keep you in the loop about which lodges are re-opening after Hurricane Dorian’s destruction.
Other Bahamian Locations to Consider
Andros Island Bonefish Club: Located at Cargill Creek on Andros Island. There are miles of gorgeous, hard sand wade-able flats. Outstanding Bahamian bonefishing!
Bair’s Lodge: Located at Little Creek between Kemps Bay and Mars Bay, on South Andros Island. Andros Island has been the name synonymous with the biggest bonefish. South Andros has built a reputation over the years as being the location for “Giant” bonefish. Due to the fact the Bair’s sister lodge, Abaco Bonefish Lodge was destroyed, many of anglers who booked Abaco will transfer over to Bair’s. If you have any interest at all, don’t hesitate to call us.
Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge: A small lodge, situated on the southeastern tip of South Andros, affords anglers a short and easy skiff ride to pristine flats teeming with un-pressured bonefish. Mars Bay is the end of the road; you can’t drive any further south. That puts you ten miles closer to the best fishing grounds on Andros than the nearest lodge. High repeat customers. So again, if you have any interest at all, give Leisure Time Travel a call.
Fishing in the Yucatan
The Yucatan was unaffected by any tropical storms this year to date. If you are interested in fishing the northern Yucatan for baby and juvenile tarpon, then Campeche Tarpon is a great choice.
For fishing the southern Yucatan at Ascension Bay and Espiritu Bay for bonefish, snook, and permit, Casa Blanca Lodge and Playa Blanca Lodge are excellent locations. Both lodges have limited space, so if you are interested at all, don’t dilly-dally. Edward Johnston has visited both locations thirty-five times to date and has caught an excess of 100 permit on a fly there, but really not counting any more.
Fishing in Belize
The Turneffe Island Resort Belize has been recognized for more than forty years as one of the top flats fishing destinations in the Caribbean. We have visited the Turneffe Atoll many times since 1990. The fishing is still very good.
Belize River Lodge and its sister lodge, Long Cay resort are good choices and you can split a trip between the two lodges.
El Pescador Lodge is conveniently located just outside of the small town of San Pedro. Here you will find coconut palms, endless mangrove islands, deep mangrove creeks, pristine white beaches, clear water, and a barrier reef which harbors an abundance of sea life and healthy coral.
Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean
Leisure Time Travel Inc.