While fishing Water Cay, the lodge and surroundings have a remote feel even though civilization is a mere 3 mile boat ride away. Your Water Cay fly fishing expereince really begins in the city of Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama where you are met by your host and guide. It could be Sidney Thomas or one of the other premier guides that can only be found putting guests into countless numbers of bonefish only moments form the lodge.
Water Cay is located on the north side of Grand Bahama Island and there just isn’t much out there on Water Cay except bonefish, barracuda, sometimes permit and tarpon. Which is ideal. After a transitory boat ride across the shallow Bahamian waters from Freeport, guests go right into realxation mode with great fly fishing only yards from the steps of the lodge.
The history of Water Cay Bonefish Lodge is interesting. Before the lodge could commence operations prior to 2004, a series of devastating storms destroyed the fledgling lodge during the fall of 2003. A mere story of “what could have been” was associated with the productive waters off of Water Cay. Could Water Cay Bonefish Lodge be saved? Left for dead, if it wasn’t for local angling legend and guide Sidney Thomas and his family, the lodge would be a mere pile of sand, palm trees and rubble to this day.
Water Cay Bonefish Lodge was revived in 2008 only after years of painstaking work and considerable investment. Today, Water Cay Lodge is famous for allowing fly anglers access to some of the biggest bonefish found anywhere. Comfortable accommodations and excellent food are the norm.
The fishing experience is made up of crystal clear bays, a complex maze of creeks, wadable flats, deep cuts and slots. Your guides will get you close to the fish while you ready your self for the engaging angling at hand. Much of the fishing can be done from brand new, high-end, ultra shallow draft Beavertail technical skiffs. But it’s these skiffs, with their shallow draft that allow anglers to get into presentation range of big, tailing bones. These very skiffs add a level of stealth that is unique to their design. Essentially, the skiff is used to move into an optimal location where anglers can then exit the skiff and wade into the best position before a presentation is made. The skiff advantage reduces much of the wading that can lead to putting fish down. We think the whole process is dialed in to a science of getting anglers into big bone fish. And that’s exactly what happens. Daily.
The fish at Water Cay haven’t seen many flies. Water Cay bones are not the most spooky fish you’ll encounter. As a matter of fact, casting your pattern on top of the heads of tailing bones often gets the fish to inspect the source of commotion rather than flee off into the depths. And even if the fish run, they will come back in minutes. Talk about getting second chances at big 8-10lb bone fish! Where do you go for that! Answer: Water Cay Bonefish Lodge!
Reservations & Rates
The 7 nights/6 day package at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge is $3,757.00 USD per person (double occupancy)
• 6 nights/5 day package is $3,327.00 per person
• 5 nights/4 day package is $2,790.00 per person
• 4 nights/3 day package is $2,252.00 per person
• 3 nights/2 day package is $1,607.00 per person
Additional options as well as Single Occupancy are available. Please call for more information.
Your angling package at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge includes all ground transfers, accommodations, guide service, meals and hors d'oeuvres, daily maid service, limited laundry and Bahamas 7.5% VAT Tax.
Not included in your Water Cay Bonefish Lodge package are tackle, alcohol, items of personal nature, and a tip for your guide (recommended minimum is $60 per boat, per day) and the housekeeping/kitchen staff (recommended minimum is $20 per guest, per night). Please bring cash, as no credit cards are accepted (US dollars are perfect).
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 Guard Insurance
Seasons at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge
Water Cay Bonefish Lodge is open November through August. The bonefish of Water Cay Bonefish Lodge are on the flats every day of the season. Big schools of fish are found in the winter months, mixed in with those schools is the chance at real trophy sized fish. Permit show up consistently near the northern cays as soon as the winter winds calm and the water temps climb.
It can be a perfect winter get-away. Yes, you might be subject to an occasional cold front, but the big bones of the Bahamas don't mind a slight drop in water temps. It is cool during the winter months but only by Bahamian standards. The air temps will range from low 60's to mid 80's (warm relief to those living in Montana or other northern states). This is the time to trade in the snow shovel for a fly rod, snow boots for sandals.
Spring time at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge is an ideal time; March, April and May are the peak months for bone fishing. The cold fronts are gone and threats from hurricanes have all but subsided. Waters are warm and the air is super comfortable. This is also peak booking time, so early bookings for this time frame are encouraged.
The summer months are hot in the Bahamas, but the bonefish don't know that. They will be on the flats feeding as always. The best angling happens in the cooler parts of the day, but the fish are there none the less. There are fewer people and the fish actually are less spooky and more aggressive during this time. Big bones are caught during this season. Don't doubt this time of year as an option.
But, if you want the biggest bones of the year and maybe of your life, plan a trip during the fall when the water temps are cooling more to the liking of big bones. September through November can be very pleasant for anglers with moderate temps during the day and cooling off comfortably at night.
Getting to Water Cay Bonefish Lodge
Getting to Water Cay Bonefish Lodge is easy. Guests of Water Cay fly into and out of the Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island International Airport. Grand Bahamas is an easy destination for our guests. Numerous daily flights from West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are destined to Freeport, Grand Bahama. Even Atlanta and other east coast hubs offer direct flights. The island of Grand Bahama is serviced by American, Bahamas Air, Continental, and several private charter services. After
clearing customs, guests catch the awaiting Water Cay minivan for a 30 minute drive to the "crossing".
Upon reaching the crossing, your head guide and host shuttles you through 3 miles of completely protected water. Expect about a 1-hour duration in completing the entire transfer process from Freeport to Water Cay Bonefish Lodge.
You can fly into Grand Bahama Island from just about anywhere in the US in one travel day. The airport at Freeport, Grand Bahama, accepts international flights and on the return flight, customs is handled right there so when you land in the US from Freeport, you can just proceed to your connecting flight without the US customs hassle.
Contact Lisa Donovan by Email or by phone at 954-359-0320.
Lodging at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge
Water Cay Bonefish Lodge's three guest rooms are tastefully furnished, designed and equipped. Each room reflecting the natural colors of the Bahamas' waters, reefs and fish. All the guest rooms are cooled by reliable air-conditioners on the warmest of days. Comfy twin-sized beds, ceiling fans and a beautiful view of the local flats add to the relaxed atmosphere. Guests relax on the deck located in front of the lodge, swapping fishing stories while sipping cold Kaliks as the sun sets over
another perfect day. By the way, you might like to know all the water for the lodge is produced and filtered by an extensive reverse osmosis system allowing guests to have purified water right from their bathroom taps.
The main lodge has a phone line and a large flat screen satellite TV so you can catch the game. Just so you have the option of not being totally out of touch, access to the web provided by wi-fi. A stocked "cash" bar with beer, most of your favorite spirits and basic red and white wine, when available, awaits you at the end of each angling day. This sort of unpretentious attitude with a focus always on “fishing first” rounds out the kind of service and attention you can expect while fishing at Water Cay.
Water Cay Bonefish Lodge's Bahamian cook specializes in traditional out-island fare. Visiting anglers will be served from a wonderful, wide-ranging menu including “feel good-comfort food", as well as some delicious local favorites. Typical "American" breakfasts will be served. Lunches will consist of various sandwiches, plenty of drinks and water and a few other goodies packed in coolers. Lunches will be taken between casts while on the flats.
In order to maintain the great fishing found within the broad habitat surrounding Water Cay Bonefish Lodge and to truly offer a relaxed, comfortable experience, Water Cay Bonefish Lodge accommodates no more than 6 anglers per week.
Fishing at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge
At Water Cay Bonefish Lodge, we have heard about Grand Bahama Island being labeled as a boat fishery only. Keep in mind, this is not because there are not great wadeable flats on the island, but simply because most of the guides did not wade historically. Bonefishing from a boat was just the way it was done on the island. Well, we have changed that at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge. Anglers will be encouraged to wade and the new Beavertail skiffs will allow anglers to be picked up in very shallow water at
the end of a wading beat. But when the flats are soft or if anglers would rather fish out of a boat, these high-tech 495 lb. boats are able to silently approach tailing fish in 6 inches of water! Better yet, when it's time to leave, the hydraulic jack plate on the boat allows the guide to get up on plane in depths as skinny as 11 to 14 inches. These features translate into more actual fishing time during your guide day, which is always a plus!
Looking for big bonefish? Of course right? It's the winter months that offer up the chance at a real trophy sized bonefish. Water temps stabilize in late March producing massive schools of bonefish. In those large schools reside truly awesome bonefish that can go over 8lbs. This integration lasts until late fall when the bigger bonefish go out to see on their own.
Water Cay Bonefish Lodge has it all. Both big fish and school sized fish. Permit show up near the northern cays in late March. Anglers will fish out of high-end, ultra shallow draft Beavertail technical skiffs. Did you know a boat's draft is an important issue when it comes to getting within striking distance of silvertails? These 5" draft, Beavertail skiffs allow Water Cay guides to reach areas other skiffs simply cannot. If you have never spent a day hunting silvertails out of one of these 18-foot gems, you are in for a pleasant surprise! This really is first class flats fly fishing.
Water Cay Bonefish Lodge has hired master Bahamian guide Sidney Thomas to run the fishing program. Sidney has a tremendous bonefish pedigree. Sidney has worked for all the best lodges on Grand Bahama either as their head guide or as a key bonefish guide. Devoted and hard working, Sidney is the "real deal" when it comes to guiding the flats off of Water Cay Bonefish Lodge. Fishing is in Sidney's blood and having guided some of the biggest names in the sport on a regular basis, he has honed his craft to a samurai's fine edge. Relying on his vast experience, Sidney has assembled a guide staff (including Ezra Thomas and Greg Rolle) that reflects his exacting standards.
Armed with an amazing sense of direction and the eyes of an osprey, Sidney and his fellow guides ply the labyrinth of saltwater fly fishing habitat near the lodge for silvertails. In many ways, the habitat at Water Cay Bonefish Lodge is similar to the Marls of Abaco or the west side of Andros. Deep cuts, perfect flats and crystal clear, rocky bottomed bays seem to hold an endless supply of bonefish. It is not unusual to spend a few hours poling an area (while casting to many schools of fish) and then pop out around a corner and see the lodge! The complexity of the bays, creeks and flats that surround the lodge can be quite deceiving.