Abaco Lodge, The Bahamas

Bahamas bonefishing resort with expert fly fishing guides and upscale lodging.

Abaco Lodge, The Bahamas

Overview

The "Marls of Abaco" are a vast expanse of prime, wilderness bonefish habitat, situated along the western shore of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. The Marls have long been known by well-traveled anglers as one of the most unique and productive fisheries in the Bahamas. And since there are daily flights to Abaco from several US cities, it is the perfect choice for anglers that want a great fishing lodge experience without spending endless hours in airports or on small charter planes.

Abaco Lodge
This is a premier bonefishing lodge on Abaco Island and caters to fly fishermen who want to explore the vast bonefish flats known as the Marls. The Bahamas are famous for big bonefish and Abaco Island is known for extensive bonefishing flats, experienced Bahamas fly fishing guides, and uncrowded fishing conditions.

The lodge is the first of its kind, combining an upscale fly fishing lodge experience with easy access to the Marl's expansive system of flats and tidal creeks.

The lodge opened in April 2009 and Orvis Travel's Jason Elkins was one of the first to check it out. Here is an excerpt from his trip report:

"The lodge is perfectly located with easy access to some of the Bahamas' most productive flats, without a single other lodge nearby! Add to that comfortable accommodations, world-class cuisine, top-notch local guides, and easy access via daily international flights, and Abaco Lodge is a perfect destination for any serious angler seeking a remote location combined with prime Bahamas bonefishing and a staff that takes care of your every need."
-Orvis Travel Fly Fishing Manager Jason Elkins, June 2009

You can expect comfortable and well appointed accommodations, world class cuisine, top of the line boats operated by seasoned, expert fly fishing guides, and a management & staff committed to providing the utmost in service and attention to detail.

About the Abaco Islands

The Abacos are a string of Bahamian islands located approximately 175 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida. The largest in the string is Great Abaco, which also has the distinction of being the third largest island in the Bahamas. A few of the smaller, more notable keys, include Walker's Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Hope Town, and Man-O-War Cay. The Abacos are often referred to as the “sailing capital of The Bahamas”. Other popular activities on Abaco include SCUBA diving, off-shore and flats fishing.

Historically different from other areas in the Bahamas, the population of the Abacos descended from British Loyalists that fled the United States during the War of Independence. These blond-haired, blue-eyed Abaconians make up about half of the island's population of around 13,000 people, and still work at traditional occupations like farming, fishing, and boat building.

The Abaco Islands have four national parks, including the Abaco Wild Horse Preserve. Abaco is also home to the Bahamian subspecies of the Cuban Amazon Parrot. Known locally as the Abaco Parrot, this strikingly beautiful bird nests in limestone cavities on the forest floor, and is particularly susceptible to flooding, wild cats, snakes, and other threats.

Marsh Harbour is the principal city, the third largest in the Bahamas. It has the largest protected deep water harbor in Abaco, and an international airport serviced by major US and Bahamian carriers. Marsh Harbour has many shops, restaurants and marinas and is only a 10 minute drive from Abaco Lodge.

The Weather

The average temperatures in the Bahamas follow familiar patterns. The temperatures peak in August, with an average daily high of 89.3° and low of 73.8°. January is the coolest month of the year with an average daily high of 77.3° and a low of 62.1°.

Rainfall varies throughout the year. The months of November through April experience the lowest rainfall (between 1.6 and 2.2 inches). June and August yield the highest rainfall, between 8.5 and 9.2 inches. May, July, September, and October vary from 4.6 to 6.9 inches per month.

The average humidity hovers around 78% year round--a touch lower in March and April, and a touch higher in September and October.

Getting There

Getting to Abaco Lodge is very easy with daily direct flights into Marsh Harbour from several US cities including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. There are also numerous direct flights from other islands in The Bahamas, making it possible to combine a trip to Abaco Lodge with another destination. Private charters from Nassau and Ft. Lauderdale are also available. Regardless of the option you choose, a representative of Abaco Lodge will meet you upon your arrival in Marsh Harbour and transfer you by car to the lodge. This transfer is included in all packages.

Itinerary

Arrival Day

You will be met at the Marsh Harbour airport and transferred directly to the lodge. The drive will take approximately 15 minutes. Check-in time is 2 PM. If you arrive earlier you can relax in the main lodge until your room is ready, or it may be possible to add an optional half day of fishing to your package. Drinks, appetizers and dinner will be served in the main lodge at a set time each evening.

Fishing Days

The day starts early with a traditional breakfast served in the lodge dining room. After breakfast guests meet with their guides and develop a plan for the day. By 8:00 all guests are in their boats and on their way to the flats. Depending on conditions and angler preferences, anglers may be casting within 10 minutes of leaving the dock. On occasion, the trip to the flats may be longer, but seldom takes longer than 30 minutes. After a full day on the water, all boats will return to the dock by 4:00 PM.

Once you get back to the lodge you can sit back and relax on the veranda with a Kalik (The Beer of The Bahamas) or a cocktail before dinner. The lodge has a large selection of liquors, but if you have a specific drink of choice, you may want to bring a bottle with you. Appetizers and dinner are served in the dining room at a set time each evening.

Departure Day

Check-out time is 10:00 AM. If you leave later in the day you can arrange for a tour of the island, or relax in the main lodge while you wait for your airport transfer. It may also be possible schedule an optional half day of fly fishing on your departure day. Regardless of your schedule, you will be transferred to the Marsh Harbour airport about two hours prior your flight departure. You may also choose to visit another destination after your stay at Abaco Lodge. Orvis Travel has a wide variety of options available in The Bahamas and we will be happy to make a recommendation and handle the arrangements.

Activities

The Saltwater Fly Fishing

Abaco has more than 400 square miles of flats for bonefishing, none better known than the Marls of Abaco, on the western side of the island. Abaco Lodge is centrally located directly on the Marl side of the island, with access to them all. For twenty miles the average depth is four feet. A bonefishing lodge couldn’t ask for a better backyard. It would take a lifetime to fish the entire Marls alone, but Abaco Lodge also offers some incredible fishing on the eastern, ocean side, of the island as well. Most anglers spend the majority of their time fishing the Marls, which are accessed from the lodge’s dock. Accessing the ocean side flats requires trailering the boat for 10-20 minutes.

With the numerous options available it is very rare to miss a day of fishing due to weather. All of the skiffs are equipped with padded seats with a backrest, and a lean bar on the bow.

The majority of the fly fishing is done from the boat but wading opportunities exist if you prefer. Runs to the flats vary from 10 to 45 minutes. The bonefish on the Marls average 2-3 pounds with the occasional shot at bigger fish. The ocean side flats offer shots at some of the largest bonefish in the Bahamas, but they are not easy to catch. The Bahamas are primarily a bonefishery and Abaco is no different. There are the occasional shots at permit, tarpon, 'cudas, jacks, and sharks so we recommend you bring the appropriate tackle if you are interested in taking advantage of these opportunities.

Non-Angling Companions

Although Great Abaco has a variety of activities available to visitors, Abaco Lodge is first and foremost a fishing lodge. Non-angling companions are welcome, but all of the activities at the lodge are centered on the fishing. The lodge management can coordinate tours of with local guides or you can simply relax around the lodge with a good book. It is also possible to rent a car in nearby Marsh Harbour. Just remember, they drive on the left side of the road in The Bahamas.

Lodging

The Lodge

Abaco Lodge sits on the rocky shoreline of the Marls, on the west side of Abaco, just north of Marsh Harbour on the way to Treasure Cay. The lodge consists of ten air conditioned private rooms with private bath, a fully stocked bar, pool, sitting room, an outside fire pit, and patio space.

The lodge has a main bar, fully stocked with spirits, cold beer, soft drinks, plenty of ice, a blender, and mixers for cocktails. Open bar is included in every package, and you are free to help yourself or ask one of the lodge’s friendly staff members to mix your favorite drink.

Additionally, the lodge features one of the best fly fishing shops you will find in The Bahamas. Just about everything an angler might need is available for purchase or rent, including rods, reels, lines, terminal tackle and sunblock.

You can fish all day and still keep up with things back home (if you want to); a computer with high speed Internet is available, as well as a wireless connection. Phone service is available and the lodge has a new flat screen television for all the games.

Food & Bar

Abaco Lodge imports a trained executive chef to oversee all of the meals. The cuisine incorporates Bahamian specialties with an emphasis on locally caught seafood, including ahi tuna, grouper, and hog snapper.

Breakfast features a variety of fresh fruits, cereals, coffee and a selection of teas. Eggs are cooked to order, with bacon, sausage, and grits or hash browns.

Every evening anglers will place an order for the following day’s lunch. Lunch typically includes a sandwich or salad, fruit, chips and some homemade cookies. Although it is often possible to return to the lodge for lunch, most anglers enjoy lunch in the field.

After a full day on the water guests are invited to relax with a cocktail or cold beer at the lodge’s bar. Abaco Lodge has an open bar policy and features a full bar with an impressive selection of local beer, soft drinks, spirits, and a blender for cocktails. Delicious appetizers are served so you can sample local specialties such as cracked conch, grouper fingers, conch salad, and fresh tuna sashimi.

Dinner starts with homemade soups or conch ceviche, and all entrees are served with fresh salads. The chef’s emphasis is on mixing local dishes with light fresh recipes such as snapper with mango salsa, or some barbequed beef, fish and chicken. Desserts will vary from chocolate decadence to key lime parfaits and rum cake with coconut ice cream.

House wines such as Chilean Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon will be served with dinner.

Pricing & Dates

Pricing & Dates for Abaco Lodge

Season: The lodge is closed August through September and late December.

Duration Oct. 2014 - March 14 & July 2015 March 15 - June 2015
7 nights/6 days $4,995 $5,250
6 nights/5 days $4,495 $4,895
5 nights/4 days $3,925 $4,350
4 nights/3 days $3,195 $3,525
3 nights/2 days $2,250 $2,475

Rates are per person based on 1 angler per room, 2 anglers per guide. Single anglers pay a private boat surcharge of 60% of their package price. Non-angling companions sharing a room with an angler pay $395 per person, per night. Fishing on arrival or departure day is $550 for a half day, or $750 for a full day, per guide (1 or 2 anglers).

Included:

Guided fishing on the Marls or ocean side flats; single occupancy lodging in a private air conditioned guest room overlooking the water; delicious meals; complimentary beer, liquor & soft drinks; house wine served with dinner; daily maid service; Internet access, transfers from/to Marsh Harbour airport (MHH).

Not included:

Airfare to Great Abaco, Bahamas; fishing equipment (rod, reel and line rental $25 per day), personal items, phone calls, & gratuities.

You never pay more when booking your trip to Abaco Lodge with Orvis Travel. Occasionally last minute specials or unadvertised deals are available. When you book your vacation with us you are assured that you will get the best deal currently available. You will also have the confidence knowing that your reservation and payments will be handled by an Orvis Travel professional that is familiar with every detail of this trip. Contact Orvis Travel today at 800-547-4322.

Abaco Lodge requires a 50% non-refundable deposit to confirm a reservation. Final payment will be due 90 days prior to departure. Please consider purchasing trip insurance when booking this trip since cancellation penalties cannot be waived for any reason. You will receive trip insurance information when you book your trip. Visit orvis.com/travelinsurance for more information or to receive a quote.

Reviews

Overall: 5.0/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 2 reviews

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2 of 2 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Trip of a Lifetime - 5/15/2012
    By: from Richmond, Va

    Food: Outstanding. Breakfast, lunch (custom ordered) and dinner were all excellent. Accomodations: Outstanding. Comfortable king size beds w a water view. Wifi was also reliable although you do have to pay $35 for the week if you want to access it in your room vs. the main lodge area (in which case it's free). Fishing: Outstanding. Lots of shots at bones throughout each day. Many, many opportunities at some big ones. Beautiful surroundings (obviously). Guides: Great guides. Very knowledgeable, patient, positive. I highly recommend Marty and Trevor. These guys are incredible. Hospitality. They take care of your every need. I felt like I was waited on hand and foot throughout each day. Our group tried to come up w things they could improve and we couldn't think of anything. Oliver White has this thing figured out, down to the last detail.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Maybe the Most Memorable - 4/29/2011
    By:

    The 5 guides are rotated daily. Their quality was good to excellent. Marty, the head guide was one of the best bonefish guides I have had the opportunity to fish with (More than 40 years of opportunities). The fish are rather small but in spite of thay Marty managed to provide my son and me one of our most memorable days on the flats...maybe the most memorable. Our trip was booked by Orvis Travel, and I would recommend them to a friend.

Contact the expert at Orvis Travel:
Jeremy Kehrein
Abaco Lodge
800-547-4322
Mon-Fri, 9am - 5pm (ET)
Orvis International Travel

800-547-4322 | 802-362-8790
orvistravel@orvis.com

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