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Description: This Bahamian fisherman’s playground was founded in 1958 by two men searching for the very best place for world-class bone fishing. Gil Drake and A.J. McClane started this lodge on the perfect small private island off Grand Bahama where generations of anglers have come for the legendary flats fishing and to take their places alongside their fathers and grandfathers and some of the world’s most famous anglers. Some of the Bahamas best guides are at the Cay too, descendants of the original guides and legends in their own right.
It has played host to some of the most adventurous and distinguished fly fishermen. Joe Brooks, Curt Gowdy, Stu Apte, Flip Pallot, Lefty Kreh, Chico Fernandez, and Sandy Moret are just a few. More recently and for two years running, the Buccaneers & Bones, which include legendary anglers Lefty Kreh, Tom Brokaw, Liam Neeson, Michael Keaton, Bill Klyn, Dr. Aaron Adams, and Yvon Chinouard chose this destination as the place to meet for their adventures in bonefishing.
As you wade the more than 250 square miles of hard-packed white sand flats, you’ll easily spot bonefish. Boat fishing is done around the softer bottoms that are covered in Turtle Grass and oriented around the mangroves. But the water runs far beyond the mangrove root tangles and into saltwater lakes with freshwater sources, making them a virtual baitfish factory.
The real treat is that the 2.2 square mile compound lies on an east/west tack and is situated below an archipelago of moderate-sized cays arranged on a north/south tack. A series of channels connect the southern and northern fisheries, making an angler’s trip a quick run to any of them.
The lodge is located in the midst of an incredibly diverse string of currents. The Straits of Florida are to the west and have strong, fertile currents connecting to the western end of Grand Bahama Island. The Grand Bahama Bank runs north and connects at that same point. From the fall through the spring, these currents bring Wahoo, Sailfish, White and Blue Marlin, Mahi Mahi, and tuna to within casting range. What brings them close to this destination is the Northwest Providence Channel providing anglers with short runs to prime fishing. Here the channel depths drop quickly from a foot at Mean Low Water to nearly 750 feet. So climb aboard our center console 33-foot World Cat and experience our bluewater offshore fishery.
Individuals or fishing partners typically prefer our cottages. They are one-bedroom units with a private bathroom and two queen beds. Each has a front porch that overlooks a bonefish flat. Every cottage is provisioned with a refrigerator, coffee maker, walk-in closet and air conditioning. You’ll be situated equidistantly from the clubhouse, welcome center, dock, and infinity pool.
The private houses are more spacious and include full kitchens, sitting and living rooms, dining areas, and verandas. In these houses guests are treated to evening sunsets and unparalleled water views.
Anglers will fish from an entirely new fleet of Hell’s Bay Flats Skiffs: the Hell’s Bay Marquesa and the Hell’s Bay Professional. These boats float in the skinniest of water, offer a dry and comfortable ride, and provide stability while casting. They have custom enhancements for the best fishing experience possible. Additionally, the Yamaha outboards don’t release oil and gasoline into our pristine environment.
There is a wide range of direct commercial flights to Freeport from many Eastern hub cities. Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Newark, Hartford, Philadelphia and New York City are most common. There are also connecting flights from Miami, Palm Beach, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale. From Freeport, the outfitter will arrange private taxis to pick up arriving guests and transport them to McLean’s Town. Then a 5-minute private water taxi brings guests to the island.
The recommended approach is from the south by way of the Northwest Providence Channel. The approach channel and harbor have 5-foot depths at Mean Low Tide. We can accommodate boats and yachts up to 200 feet, with electric and water hook ups available. To schedule your arrival by radio, please note that Channel 16 is monitored. Coordinates are 77 56W/26 38N.
The club’s private 4,000-ft paved jet airstrip, along with the ability to clear Bahamian Customs and Immigration on island, make this destination readily accessible for those arriving by private aircraft.
Itineraries are prepared after daily schedules are set
From January through May you’ll want to have a nine-weight rod and in the summer you can scale down to a saltwater six- or seven-weight.
Flurocarbon leaders ranging from 8-16 pound test tippets get the nod. If you had to bring just three flies, bring a Mantis shrimp, a McVey Gotcha, and a Meko’s Special. Bring some more to try. Tie them with plastic eyes and bead chain eyes around a size 6.
The technical outerwear of casting shirts and fast-drying shorts is ideal. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are the best idea, particularly if they are made from a quick drying material with an SPF rating. Flats boots for wading are recommended and either amber or copper-colored, wrap-style sunglasses help you spot fish.
The lodge’s Pro Shop is fully stocked with the best quality fly gear on the market. You’ll find rods and reels along with Sage rods, Tibor reels, and Rio lines. If you forget anything at home, don’t worry, you’ll find it here.
Flats fishing, reef fishing, or diving – Choose one activity per day
Double Occupancy Single Occupancy
3 Nights/2 Days $2,369 $3,480
4 Nights/3 Days $3,126 $4,701
5 Nights/4 Days $3,849 $5,869
6 Nights/5 Days $4,496 $6,913
7 Nights/6 Days $5,098 $7,880
Dates: February-December depending on the species.
Included: Accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner, fishing license, professional guided fishing or instructors and round trip taxi service. flats fishing, reef fishing, or diving – choose one activity and day plans must be scheduled in advance.
Not Included: airfare, tackle rental, alcoholic beverages, tips/gratuities ($50 per boat minimum per day), taxes and resort fees (10% Bahamian lodge tax and 12% resort service fee)