In an effort to be fair and balanced, I wanted
to let you know there are several bonefish lodges
on South Andros Island. South Andros is widely
accepted as 'the' place to fish for big bonz, and
the big boys are there. . .big bonefish that is.
The host for our last trip to the Bahamas, Brendan
Foulkes at Emerald Palms
offered to take us on a little tour of some of the other
destinations on South Andros. We visited three of the
places, but I am including a couple more to give you
an idea of what is available.
Emerald Palms is the closest to the South Bight, a huge
piece of water encompassing literally hundreds if not
thousands of miles of fishable flats. The lodge is
about 5 minutes from the small boat harbor on the
Bight, and itself sits on the beach of the Atlantic
Traveling South, you pass the South Andros/Congo Town
Airport. The airport was recently refurbished and the
runways repaved. The airport is served by two Bahamian
airlines, Western Air and Caribbean Aviation, and also
accommodates charter and private planes.
Glatos Bonefish Lodge is the next place on
the road going south. It's about 20 minutes from
the airport, and their claim to fame is that in the
1980s they provided accommodations for then President's
Carters security staff while he was on a bonefishing
trip. We did not visit Glatos, but their information
says they have 14 rooms, and meals are included in
the rates. Rooms are air conditioned and have
satellite t.v. and there is a full service bar. It
is however, a 45 minute run by boat to the South
Bight which can be pretty rough. The rates for
Bonefishing packages are $1,200. per person Double
occupancy or $1,500 per person for 3 full fishing
days. Bonefishing Packages include transportation
to and from Congo Town airport, lodging, meals,
fishing guide, boat and taxes. Gratuities are
not included. Check them out on their website:
South Andros is about 30 miles long (and 50 miles
from Cuba) and has a population of 2,500. Some folks
work for the lodges, but the main source of income
is fishing - we were told the per capita income is
$15,000, basically from fishing (and lobsters).
Tiamo is not specifically a bonefish lodge,
it was designed as an eco-tourism facility and they
have gone to great lengths to make it environmentally
friendly. They will however, accommodate 6 anglers
in three boats. They have a nice dock on the South Bight,
no roads lead to Tiamo. Their driveway is the calm
water of the South Bight. A pleasant and picturesque
fifteen-minute boat ride will carry you to your first
vision of paradise – a simple wooden dock set upon
a private, white sand beach. The accommodations are
11 private beachfront bungalows. Rates are $275
US /person per night not including alcoholic beverages
or guides and boats. Plan on about $300 per day for boat
and guide. For more information:
We did stop at Nathan's Lodge, about 10 minutes
from the airport at Kemps Bay. This is a small local
operation, but the five rooms are large and very nice.
There are also a 2-bedroom bungalow and three 1-bedroom
efficiences, each room is air-conditioned and equipped
with satellite T.V. Nathan's also features a full
restaurant and lounge. The beach is about a half
block, and you can fish right there on your own - or
they will arrange for a boat and guide for you. Just
rooms, without food run $100 per night and could easily
accommodate 2 or more people. For more information:
Our next stop was Bair's Lodge. Laura and Hal, the
hosts, kindly invited us for drinks and nibbles along
with a tour of their facility. Bairs is a remodeled
home, turned into Bonefish Lodge, again right on the
ocean. They can handle 6 rods with 3 "en suite"
air-conditioned rooms (double) with private baths.
There is also a nice common area, and room on the
front lawn for casting practice. There was an Orvis
bonefish school underway the week we were there.
No rates are given in their brochure or on their website, but I recall
asking - and hope I'm correct, $580.00 per person, per day all
inclusive for the bonefishing package. By the way, the nibbles
were super, especially the Coconut Shrimp.
You can find more at: Bair's Lodge.
Last on our tour was a place which used to be called
the Royal Palms Lodge. It is now the Bonefish Bay
Club - our host was John Toker who manages it.
For those who may have been at the 'old' Royal Palms,
you probably wouldn't recognize it. Totally cleaned
up, rooms remodeled, painted and new furniture (and
air-conditioners) - and a new patio area outside the
restaurant/bar. The lodge has 10 air-conditioned
rooms with private baths, phones and cable television.
There is also a modern 3-bedroom townhouse on the beach
if you had a large group. There were about 14 people
at the Club when we were there, mostly from New York
state. A couple of wives who had caught their first
bonefish, especially commented on how great the guides
are, (they have 9). This was a very happy group of
campers! Double Occupancy rates are two per room & two
per boat with shared guide; rates: 6 Night/5 Days
Fishing- Double Occupancy $2,300 6 Night/5 Days Fishing
- Single Occupancy $3,175 For more
Bonefish Bay Club.
We really appreciated Brendan's thoughtfulness in getting
us to visit the other lodges. He and the other managers
of the local lodges have formed a "tourism" group of their
own to publicize South Andros, we hope this will help them
out! For more on South Andros, try this
website - works best in Microsoft Explorer and for an
island treat be sure your sound is turned on! The Bahamian
Ministry of Tourism has a new and very good website,
Microsoft for this one too).
If you've never fished for bonefish and have a desire,
(eyes get big when someone mentions bonz?) the guides are
very capable of not just getting you on fish - they can
teach you what you need to know. Or, stay tuned, my
husband JC and I just may do a Bonefish School on
~ The LadyFisher
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