The Bahamas archipelago is vast, consisting of 700 plus islands and 2,500 cays spread over 100,000 square miles. From Walker’s Cay, located 107 miles west off the coast of Palm Beach Florida, the island chain extends 538 miles south east to Great Inagua. The overall land mass of the Bahamas covers approximately 5,880 square miles, and nearly every island is surrounded by coral reefs and sand banks. Many islands have deep blue holes that often extend into underwater caves, some to depths approaching 600 feet. The southern islands of the Bahamas are generally drier than the pine forested northern islands, with shrub and cactus as prevalent vegetation at their southern latitudes. Located four hundred and thirty miles south east of Miami, with Crooked Island forming the northern rim and Acklins the easterly rim, the atoll covers better than two hundred and thirty square miles. Crooked and Acklins islands are divided by the three and a half mile wide Bight of Acklins, connecting the huge shallow flats system with the Atlantic Ocean.
This is one of the least-visited fisheries in the Bahamas, and about as far south as you can go without landing on the Turks and Caicos. The southerly location is significant when you consider the weather patterns that bring winters chill and harsh winds to the northern Bahamas. These shallow, firm flats are home to abundant schools of bonefish averaging three to four pounds, and a ten plus pound fish is a daily possibility. If you enjoy wading into position to make a precise presentation up close and personal, then this fishery should not be overlooked. It’s a wade fisherman’s dream, with shallow hard sand flats extending for miles.
The islands of Crooked and Acklins are located in the far southeastern portion of the Bahamas, 239 miles southeast of Nassau. Acklins and Crooked Island are two of the four islands forming an atoll which hugs the beautiful shallow waters of the Bight of Acklins, a 500-square-mile lagoon. Total land mass of Crooked Island is 57 square miles, while Acklins island totals a 150 square miles. The islands are located less than 60 miles from the Haitian and Cuban coastlines and both islands maintain a population of no more than 500 +/- permanent residents.
In addition to the incredible bonefish opportunities, the in-shore fishing is excellent for jacks, snapper, shark, mackerel, barracuda, and grouper. Triggerfish are available on the coral flats, and juvenile tarpon can be found in protected back country lagoons. Wahoo, yellowfin tuna and dorado (mahi mahi) are target species for those anglers venturing offshore, with blue water depths just a few miles to the east of the island.
Bordered by the nearly uninhabited Castle Island and Long Cay, they are as natural as they were when The Bahamas was first “discovered.” Columbus reputedly sailed down the leeward side of the islands through the narrow Crooked Island Passage, which has ever since served as an important route for steam ships traveling from Europe to Central and South America. This seaway, referred to locally as ‘the going through,’ also earned these islands the notorious reputation as convenient bases for buccaneers and pirates, who attacked ships in these shallow waters.
The islands existed in virtual obscurity until 1783, when American Loyalists began to settle here. These former plantation owners brought slaves and money to start a short-lived cotton industry which, by the beginning of the 19th Century, had more than 40 plantations employing 1,200 slaves. The population turned from the land to the bounties of The Bight, after cotton growing became uneconomical due to Emancipation and soil depletion. Diving for sponges became the economic cornerstone of these islands until the sponges were decimated by a fungus. The inhabitants now earn their living by fishing and simple farming.
Crooked Acklins Island Lodge: 22°43′.37.34”N | 74°08’27.33”W
• Crooked Island to Nassau – 239 miles north west
• Crooked Island to Miami- 430 miles north west
• Crooked Island to Cuba – 150 miles south west
• Acklins Island to Turks and Caicos – 120 miles east
• Crooked – Acklins Island atoll interior – 108 square miles
My hosted trip to Crooked & Acklins Island Lodge last week was amazing. All the guests were incredibly delighted. A week of PERFECT weather can do that. It was an absolute dream. Bonefishing was super easy and permit fishing was off the hook. – Ross Purnell, Editor of Fly Fisherman Magazine (May 2023)
Rates & Reservations
2022/2023 Rates (Starting September 2022)
4 nights / 3 days package $2,340/person, dbl. occ.
4 nights / 3 days package $3,340/person, sgl occ.
4 nights / 3 days package $1,470/ Non angler dbl. occ.
7 nights / 6 days package $4,190/person dbl. occ.
7 nights / 6 days package $6,190/person sgl. occ.
7 nights / 6 days package $2,290/ Non angler dbl. occ.
11 nights / 10 days / 9 guided days package $6,025/person dbl. occ.
11 nights / 10 days / 9 guided days package $8,840/person sgl. occ.
11 nights / 10 days package $3,340 / Non angler dbl. occ.
14 nights / 13 days / 12 guided days package $7,690/person dbl. occ.
14 nights / 13 days / 12 guided days package $11,990/person sgl. Occ.
14 nights / 13 days package $4,650 / Non angler dbl. occ.
Single room Supplement $1,000 per angler (based on availability)
Your angling package at Crooked & Acklins Lodge includes all transfers on Crooked Island, accommodations, all meals, daily guided fishing with one guide per skiff for two anglers, and, use of lodge kayaks.
Not included in your Crooked & Acklins Lodge package are airfare to Crooked Island, Bahamas 10% VAT (Value Added Tax) tackle rental, fishing licenses, gratuities, beer, wine and spirits.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Insurance Information
Seasons at Crooked & Acklins
The lodge fishes nearly year round, with a short closure during late summer. November thru May is typically the best months to book a bonefishing trip, when the weather and water temperatures are most ideal.
The weather Crooked and Acklins Islands lie south of the Tropic of Cancer, with a moderate temperature range throughout the year. Summer daytime highs are in the high eighties, with winter highs in the low eighties. The islands have a tropical climate, with light rain possible year round. Due to their southerly location, Crooked and Acklins record half the annual rainfall that the northern Bahamas receive.
Late winter - January and February
A wide variety of fish can be caught at the beginning of the year. These are some of the best months for double digit bonefish and massive barracuda. There are the occasional cold fronts that pass well to the north, but the southerly position of the atoll protects the flats from the cold north winds the move through the northern Bahamas.
Spring – March, April and May:
These are peak months for hunting bonefish. The cold fronts of winter are gone and the tropical disturbances of summer are still months away. Days are long and filled with sunshine, the water is warm, and the air is comfortable.
Fall and early winter - November and December:
If you are looking to stalk some of the biggest bones of the year and maybe of your life, plan a trip during the fall and early winter when the water temps of summer begin to cool. Fall air temperatures are very comfortable, with warm days and cool nights, making this time of year an excellent choice for serious anglers.
Getting to Crooked & Acklins
Most anglers fly commercially to Nassau International Airport (NAS). There are numerous daily flights to Nassau from many of the larger U.S. cities.
Direct to Nassau from United States
Other airlines flying to Nassau International
From Nassau, you fly to Crooked Island's Colonel Hill Airport (CRI) via Bahamasair. Wednesdays and Saturdays are designated arrival and departure days for the island via scheduled commercial service on Bahamasair. You will be greeted at the airport and by the lodge staff for the ten minute drive to the lodge.
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six months of their trip dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, un-stamped pages remaining in the back, and that it is not torn, de-laminated, or damaged in any way.
Lodging at Crooked & Acklins
The private beachfront lodge is quiet and small, serving only ten guests at a time. It’s ideally located, close to the flats and fishing grounds allowing you to fish the best areas of Crooked Island and Acklins, all in the same week. The dining room is spacious, overlooking the ocean through large picture windows. The food is varied, highlighting local specialties including conch salad, lobster tail, and fresh grouper. Cold beers are always waiting to welcome thirsty anglers, returning from the flats.
There are five air-conditioned double occupancy guest rooms that can accommodate a maximum of ten anglers at one time. Each guest room has a private bathroom, sitting area, refrigerator, ceiling fans, cold purified water, and twenty four hour electricity. Cell phone service is reasonably available on the entire island. Wi-Fi service is available in the lodge and guest rooms
Crooked Acklins Trophy Lodge is a hands-on fishing lodge for anglers looking for clean, comfortable lodging, outstanding service and value, and some of the finest shallow water bonefishing we have seen and experienced firsthand in a long time.
The food at Crooked Acklins Island Lodge is simple traditional Bahamas dishes taking advantage of lots of fresh seafood such as fish, shellfish, lobster, crab, and conch, as well as tropical fruits, rice, peas, pigeon peas, potatoes, and pork. Seasonings commonly used in dishes include chilies (hot pepper), lime, tomatoes, onions, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, rum, and coconut. The lodges conch fritters are to die for, as is their signature lobster feed.
Each morning a buffet breakfast is available featuring dishes such as scrambled eggs, pancakes, toast, bacon, ham, corned beef hash, yogurt, and fresh fruit.
For lunches the boat cooler is stocked with plenty of soda, water, and beer if desired. Lunches vary daily, and include tuna and ham sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, cookies and candy bars.
Before dinner, appetizers are available at the honor bar and include conch fritters, cracked conch, pizza, nuts and popcorn.
Dinner is typically served at 7:00 pm and includes such dishes as jerked chicken with black eye peas, grilled grouper, homemade lasagna, beef steaks, baked snapper, fresh green salads, and a variety of fresh vegetables. Desserts are varied, and can include ice cream, homemade cakes and pies, and fresh fruit.
Fishing at Crooked & Acklins
Crooked Island, Acklins Island, and several outer cays surround a perfect shallow water flats complex, home to uncountable bonefish and a variety of other species. The immense flats system can be waded all day, unlike many destinations that flood the flats on high tide. The average size of the bonefish here is an honest three to four pounds, with many larger fish on the flats every day. The record bonefish caught on the island thus far is a seventeen plus pound beast of a fish!
Crooked Acklins bonefish are known to feed in extremely shallow water, especially at low tide, and approaching them on foot is typically the best method. Tailing fish can usually be found throughout the day. Few moments in a fly fisher’s life are more focused and tested than stalking and presenting to a lifetime best bonefish in ten inches of water.
Permit are also present on the flats, along the channels, or following mudding rays, and add a highlight to a week’s fishing.
Triggerfish are found tailing on coral flats, and readily eat a shrimp or small crab fly.
Barracuda typically wait in ambush positions along the deeper channels that funnel water and food through the flats. Some of them are big, forty pounds and more.
A resident population of juvenile tarpon are available throughout the year, with peak activity during the warmer months. Several species of hard-fighting jacks inhabit area, including horse eye jacks, yellow jacks, bar jacks, and pompano. A trip to the tide channels to fish for mutton snapper, gray snapper, yellowtail snapper as well as cubera snapper is an exciting option.
A typical fishing day Breakfast starts early. The breakfast staff arrives at six, with a fresh pot of coffee. Prior to daybreak, you'll notice lights in the dining room, and guests are welcome to pour a cup of coffee while the sun rises. This is a perfect time to discuss the day's strategy and recount highlights of the previous day with friends or other guests. The breakfast buffet starts at seven, and includes sausage or bacon, eggs, pancakes, cereal, juice, tea and coffee. Lunches are taken on the water, including tuna, turkey, ham and cheese sandwiches with fresh baked breads, rice or pasta salads, snacks, cookies, sodas and juices.
The van parks adjacent to the lodge at seven forty five, and departs for the nearby dock at eight. Guests are assisted into their boats and on their way to the fishing grounds between eight fifteen and eight thirty each morning. Selecting from an array of areas to fish and depending upon winds, tides, and personal choices, guests will be casting within five minutes to an hour from their departure time and return between four thirty and five. As many of the flats of Crooked Acklins Islands are great for wading, guests have the option to depart their boat and wade for hours at a time if they wish. It will sometimes occur that, once reaching a flat, your guide poles the boat for a period of time to determine the activity and presence of feeding fish. Once it’s determined that the fish are on the flat and feeding, guests may prepare themselves for wading while the guide secures the boat. The fishing that follows is world-class.
Appetizers including pizza and conch fritters are ready at the bar around six. Dinner, served around seven, typically begins with a garden salad, moving on to entrees of fresh grouper, snapper, lobster, conch, beef or chicken, with vegetables, rice or pasta as a side. Freshly baked cakes, fruit, and ice cream are served for dessert.
06:00 - Coffee and juice is ready in the dining room
07:00 - Breakfast is ready. The buffet varied daily, including scrambled eggs, pancakes, toast, bacon, ham, sausages, cereal, corned beef hash, yogurt, and fruit.
08:00 - The lodge van and truck are loaded with the anglers and their gear, and depart for the boats. The 3 boats fishing Crooked Island are waiting at the Turtle Sound ramp, an easy 15 minute drive from the lodge. 2 boats are at the Cove Pt launch, 10 minutes from the lodge, ready to fish Acklins Island. The guides and locations are rotated daily, giving the anglers the opportunity to fish with every guide in a variety of locations.
12:00 - A basic lunch is loaded in the boat cooler along with soda, water, and beer if desired. Lunches vary daily, including tuna and ham sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, and a candy bar.
16:30 - 17:00 - Boats return to the docks and the anglers return to the lodge.
18:30 - Appetizers are ready at the honor bar in the lodge, including pizza; conch fritters, popcorn, and cracked conch.
19:00 - Dinner is served buffet style, including chicken, grouper, lasagna, beef steak, snapper, rice, pasta, salad, and a variety of fresh vegetables.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• One of the best destinations in the Bahamas for a double digit bonefish, with an honest ten pound fish a daily possibility. If you have dreamt about hooking and landing a real trophy bonefish, in the double digit class, this is as good a place as there is to make that happen.
• Crooked Acklins has easy and quick access to mile after mile of firm, light bottom flats, perfect for classic wade fishing for skinny water bonefish. If you like bonefishing on foot, this is the place. There are flats here that stretch to the horizon and you can wade and fish as far as your legs will take you.
• Crooked Acklins offers remote angling opportunities, at a small and intimate beachfront lodge. Accommodating only ten anglers at one time means there is plenty of water for everyone. You won’t have to worry about other anglers from another lodge poaching your water, so relax, enjoy and fish at your own pace.
• Crooked Acklins is an ideal location for winter and early spring trips, as you are well south of most weather systems that move over the northern Bahamas. December, January, and February are arguably the best months to fish these southern islands. Ditch the rain, snow and cold of winter and head to Crooked and Acklins Islands for some skinny water fly fishing; it’s a very dependable winter fishery.