GPS Coordinates: 24°15’41.57″N 77°39’39.94″W
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Getting to Swain’s Cay Lodge
Swain’s Cay Lodge is located a short 10 minute drive from the Clarence A. Bain Airport on Mangrove Cay (Airport Code MYAB Runway 5,000’ x 75’). A lodge representative will pick you up at the airport when you arrive on Mangrove Cay.
Flamingo Air and LeAir offer regularly scheduled flights from Nassau to Mangrove Cay. Both have a daily morning flight that leaves Nassau at 7:30 a.m. and a daily afternoon flight that leaves Nassau at 3:00 and 3:45 p.m. Both flights return to Nassau after the 20 minute flight to Mangrove Cay.
The early morning flight allows anglers to arrive in time for breakfast and full day fishing. The afternoon flight arrives with plenty of time to unpack, have drinks, appetizers, and dinner. The Flamingo Air and LeAir check in counters are located in the domestic terminal at the Nassau Airport. Baggage allowance is 44 lbs. per person. Please use soft-sided luggage.
Please reconfirm your departure arrangements with the manager, the night before departure. A transfer will be arranged for you by the lodge to take you to the airport.
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.
The lodge does WIFI throughout the property. Phone calls to the states are complimentary through their VOIP line. 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.
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.
The Bahamian dollar is at par with the US dollar and can be used interchangeably. Purchases from the Lodge tackle shop can be made with cash or credit cards. MasterCard, Visa, and American Express are accepted for all lodge purchases, but cash is appreciated for tipping.
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.)
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: $125 per boat – Please tip your guide daily
- Lodge staff: $50 per night/room or $25 per person/night, collected by the manager at the end of your stay
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
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 Andros:
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:
Andros 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.
Andros 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
Loaner gear is available at Mangrove Cay Club free of charge. There are flies available for sale at the Lodge as well.
Tackle & Equipment Lists by Species (click on links below):
- Bonefish Tackle & Equipment
- Tarpon Tackle & Equipment
- Permit Tackle & Equipment
- Barracuda & Jacks Tackle & Equipment
About Andros Island & the Fishing
Andros Island is the largest island in the Bahamas, 25 miles west of New Providence Island and about 125 miles east-southeast of Florida. A flat, heavily forested island, Andros extends about 100 miles from north to south and spans about 45 miles from east to west at the widest point. The island is crisscrossed with creeks, bights, and is home to some of the best bonefish habitat in the world. It is impossible to fish all of the water available to you in a week of fishing. Whether you like to wade fish or fish from a boat, you will have plenty of water to explore.
Andros Island can be divided roughly into three distinct parts; the creeks and bights, the hard sand flats of the East and Southern side, and the wilderness of the west side, aka “The Land of Giants.” The bonefish in the Middle Bight and the South Bight are plentiful and average 3 to 5 pounds with regular shots at fish weighing 6 to 10 pounds. The fish of the outer, hard sand flats of the east and south sides of Andros also average between 3 to 5 pounds with bigger fish always lurking in singles and doubles. Andros is home to some of the largest bonefish in the world. Double digit fish are a distinct possibility.
Bonefish evolved their incredible burst speed to avoid being eaten by predators. Since they are the favorite food of sharks and barracuda it is very important to release them in good condition and give them a strong chance to survive. Please be careful when handling bonefish and be sure to fight the fish quickly. If it has been a long difficult battle, please consider taking photos of the fish only in the water. Trophy bonefish are old fish and what makes the fishery special, so please take good care of them. We hope all anglers realize that the release is more important than a photo.
We do not recommend ultra-light leaders and long fights with loose drags that tire the fish excessively. Leader should not be lighter than 12 lb. and we recommend 16 and even 20 lb. leaders.
For photographs, please revive the fish before removing it from the water for the photograph and please keep the fish out of the water for as short a time as possible. Handle the fish with clean, wet hands as little as possible. Please allow your guide to take the time to revive the fish before releasing.
We follow the recommendations of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s “Best Practices for Bonefish Catch & Release”. https://www.bonefishtarpontrust.org/education-outreach-bonefish-catch-release/