GPS Coordinates: 26°33’32.56″N 77°08’07.76″W
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Getting to Abaco Lodge
Getting to Great Abaco Island and Marsh Harbour International Airport is simple. There are many direct flights from the U.S. and it is also possible to fly via Nassau.
Private Charter Companies:
For larger groups, a charter can be an easy and cost-efficient option.
Sky Limo flies from Ft. Lauderdale Exec. Terminal:
Air Flight Charters from Ft. Lauderdale Jet Center:
- JetsetPrivate Air offers quick, efficient and cost-effective charter flights from Miami Exec. Airport (KTMB), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International (KFLL) and other major Florida cities. They use expertly maintained, air-conditioned Cessna Grand Caravans, seating up to 9 passengers. Simple booking. Seamless East Coast connections.
Domestic Connections (From Nassau or Freeport):
On arrival at Marsh Harbour, a taxi representative will transfer you to the lodge. It is a short 10 minute drive and the cost is included in the package. When you arrive at the lodge, the welcoming staff will greet you and show you to your room.
There is no organized fishing scheduled for your arrival day, but this can be arranged prior to arrival. If not you may spend the day either wade fishing in front of the lodge, or relaxing in the pool with a refreshing drink. The staff would be happy to help you assemble your gear if you do choose to fish.
On your departure day, you will be taken back to Marsh Harbour with plenty of time to catch your flight. Abaco Lodge managers will assist you with timing your departure from the lodge the night before.
Passport & Visas:
All U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States when travelling by air. U.S. citizens do not need visas for short trips to the Bahamas for tourist/business purposes. It is important to note that although the Bahamian government only requires proof of citizenship and identity to enter the Bahamas, the U.S. government requires that Americans have a valid passport in order to fly home.
You will complete an immigration card upon arrival. It will be checked at your first point of entry and a copy will be given to you. Be careful not to lose this copy as it must be given to Immigration upon departure.
There is WIFI at the lodge but it is slow and seems to only work well in the dining room. Most cell phones usually work. AT&T seems to work best on the Bahamian network. Check with your carrier prior to departure to be sure you have international coverage.
(242) 577-1747 | email@example.com
U.S. Embassy Nassau
Queen Street #19
Emergency after-hours phone: (242) 357-7004 | Fax: (242) 356-7174
In case of emergencies involving the death, injury, welfare, or arrest of an American citizen in The Bahamas or the Turks and Caicos Islands, please call (242) 328-3496 or (242) 311-1181 x9 during business hours, and (242) 357-7004 at all other times. (Please note that the Duty Officer who answers this number will not be able to assist with visa or routine passport matters.)
The electrical outlets are AC 110 volts (same as the U.S.) and most appliances will work fine. Make sure that you have plenty of spare batteries for cameras and other small appliances, as the cost for replacements in the Bahamas is high.
All tips must be paid in cash. Please be sure to bring enough cash to cover tips and other incidentals while on the island.
- Guides: $120-$150 per day per boat – Please tip your guide daily
- Lodge staff: $20-$30 per night per guest, collected by the manager at the end of your stay
The lodge provides airport transfers to and from the lodge. However, the driver is always grateful for any gratuities.
Bahamas License Requirements:
All persons over the age of 12 are required to have a license to fish the flats. Licenses are issued by the Department of Marine Resources in New Providence, or the Out Island Administrators in the Out Islands.
Fly fishing licenses will be available at Go Outdoors Bahamas for pre-registration: Bahamas Flats Angler Application
A Day at Abaco Lodge:
The typical trip does not fish on arrival or departure, but if time allows and guides are available, half-day trips can be arranged prior to getting here. Typically, you’ll be shuttled from the airport to the lodge where you can check into your room, prepare gear, and spend an afternoon relaxing on the lodge grounds.
Here is a sample schedule of the daily program:
- 6:30 am – Coffee ready at the buffet table
- 7:00 am – Breakfast
- 8:00 am – Depart dock
- 4:00 pm – Return to lodge
- 4:00 pm onwards – Cocktail hour
- 5:30 pm – Appetizers
- 7:00 pm – Dinner
Staying in Nassau:
There are many options for your stay in Nassau, ranging from small family-owned inns situated in quieter areas to full-scale resorts. There is an array of restaurants and clubs, day cruises and other activities available. Below are some of our recommendations, and we encourage you to do some research of your own. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.
Orange Hill Beach Inn
West Bay Street
(242) 327-7157 | https://orangehill.com/
Orange Hill is a quaint family-owned inn 5 minutes from the airport. It is a convenient, economical choice for our traveling anglers. It sits across the street from a nice quiet beach and has a small bar/restaurant and a refreshing outdoor pool. Several good restaurants are just a short taxi ride away.
Sandy Port Hotel and Resort
West Bay Street
(242) 327-4279 | https://www.sandyportresort.com/
Sandy Port Hotel is part of the greater Sandy Port Development. It is located 10 minutes from the airport and can be a great choice for your over-night in Nassau. You will find a variety of dining options, stores and even a health club within walking distance of your accommodations. It has a relaxing atmosphere and a very professional staff.
British Colonial Hilton
No. 1 Bay Street
(242) 322-3301 | https://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/bahamas/british-colonial-hilton-nassau-NASHIHH/index.html
The British Colonial is a beautiful, well-appointed, luxury hotel situated right in the heart of the action on famous Bay Street. The grounds are amazingly quiet considering where it is situated. It is everything you expect from an International Hilton property and places you within walking distance of all the shops and restaurants of downtown.
Atlantis Resort and Casino
(242) 363-2000 x 65401 | https://www.atlantisbahamas.com/
The grandeur of “The Atlantis” is hard to describe. It truly is a “mega” resort in the spirit of Las Vegas. It houses one of the largest aquariums in the world, a Vegas-style casino and numerous shops and restaurants. It hums with energy and activity 24 hours a day. If you are staying elsewhere in Nassau, it is worth taking a taxi to Paradise Island and wandering through.
The Poop Deck West
SandyPort on the Beach/West Bay Street
An island favorite, the Poop Deck features a full bar, great steak, seafood and traditional Bahamian dishes.
Located at the Arowak Cay Fish Fry Grounds, Twin Brothers is a fun, relaxing place to enjoy great local Bahamian cuisine. It is a favorite among the locals.
Harbour Front / East Bay, Nassau
A well-known, very popular outdoor bar and grill that sits on the Hurricane Hole Marina. This is a fun place to hang out day and night watching the boat traffic in and out of Nassau Harbor.
Insects on Abaco:
Mosquitoes and “doctor flies” in the Bahamas are always a possibility. Wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts is your best protection, and insect repellent (with DEET) will deter these bugs. Pesky “No See’ums” may come out at dawn and dusk, especially when the winds are calm. A light pair of socks with your pants tucked in will eliminate any bites.
Clothing & Sun Protection:
Abaco may be the most informal place on the planet Earth. Comfortable, casual wear is accepted and encouraged. Flip-flops, sandals, shorts, T-shirts…casual is king. Expect air temperatures in the mid-80s during the days and high 60s to low 70s in the evening and early mornings. We recommend long-sleeved shirts and long pants while on the flats. Apply a waterproof sunblock of at least 30 SPF to all exposed skin including your ears and lips each morning. Re-apply occasionally throughout the day and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and/or Buff. After applying sunscreen, scrub your hands with a scoop of sand and water as bonefish can smell lotion on your fly resulting in refusals. Applying sunscreen with the back of your hands minimizes transferring sunscreen to your fly and leader.
Abaco Island lies just north of the Tropic of Cancer, with a moderate temperature range affected by the surrounding waters. Average daytime temperatures range from the high eighties in the summer to the low seventies in the winter. Relative humidity holds at approximately sixty five percent throughout the year. As with most tropical climates, summer is the wettest season, with the majority of the rainfall occurring between May and October. Often dry and sunny for extended periods of time, Mars Bay is superbly located for year ‘round fishing.
You’ll need an assortment of personal gear for your days on the flats, and a boat bag to keep them in.
Your boat bag will contain all your gear for the day in the boat and in transfer to and from the dock. Anglers often prefer some organizing dividers inside, and quick access pouches on the outside. It needs to be large enough to hold your rain jacket, fly boxes, sunscreen, extra leaders and tippet, camera, and back up glasses and fly lines. Fishpond, Patagonia and Simms offer quality boat bags.
You may be wading for hours and the boat will be just a spec on the horizon. Be sure to bring a wading pack to carry your flies, leaders, tippet, clippers, a water bottle, snack bars, camera, etc. The design is your choice, with sling, fanny and backpack the most common. Fishpond, Patagonia and Simms offer proven models in these designs.
Pliers, hemostats, leader snips, hook sharpener, and release tool.
Lightweight and breathable is the best for warm climates. Bring your rain gear with you on the boat everyday no matter how clear it looks. Squalls pop up quickly and the boat ride can be wet.
Polarized glasses with amber or copper lenses are the most popular for flats fishing, and having an extra pair in your boat bag is a darn good idea.
Tackle & Equipment
Tackle & Equipment Lists by Species (click on links below):