Direct Access to the World-Famous Marls
UPDATES ON ABACO LODGE AND THE EFFECTS OF HURRICANE DORIAN
At the present time, all travel to Abaco Lodge is on hold, and all bookings for the immediate future have either been canceled or suspended. Most US airlines have suspended all direct commercial flights to Marsh Harbor until December. Bahamas Air is offering flights to both Abaco and Grand Baham via Nassau on a limited basis. Ceratin lodges and operations that we work with (including Abaco Lodge) were badly damaged or destroyed, and the timeline for rebuilding and re-opening these operations has yet to be announced. For those looking to fish the Bahamas in the near future, it is important to remember that all islands (apart from Abaco and Grand Bahama) are very much open and available to anglers. We have very good availability on Andros Island, Crooked Island, and a number of the other out-islands and the Bahamas needs our support! Once recovery and relief efforts wrap up on both Abaco and Grand Bahama, we will once again be booking and of course, supporting the lodges and guides that have been devastated by Dorian. If you would like to help with immediate relief and support efforts, we encourage you to visit the “Double Haul for Dorian Relief” landing page on the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation website at www.ydccf.org
Yellow Dog ranks this destination at the top of the list for those seeking “just a little more” from a bonefish lodge. What do we mean by that? The recently-remodeled Lodge and rooms were very well constructed and designed. The Main Lodge features an all-inclusive, well-stocked bar, dining area, DirecTV, huge sofas, and large picture windows that overlook the beauty of the Marls and the main dock. Most of the furniture was imported from Argentina.
The unique outdoor patio features a bar and plenty of couches arranged in various sitting areas for socializing. This spot is perfect for post-fishing to relax, sip a cold Kalik, and sample delicious appetizers. Adjacent to the Main Lodge and patio is a small freshwater pool and a fire pit.
Located nearby is a separate accommodations building. All guest rooms are single occupancy with private bathrooms and large decks overlooking the flats. Single occupancy rooms are a nice touch: something that prevents your snoring fishing buddy from keeping you awake all night. All rooms have thermostat-controlled A/C, queen-sized beds with high thread-count bedding, more pillows then you could ever use, a desk, plenty of storage for gear and clothing, and a sliding screen door connecting to the common deck area. The beds also have mosquito netting if needed (The bedrooms are sealed tightly, and the screening is excellent, so we figure the netting is for more aesthetic purposes. It does look nice!).
Food and Beverages
Abaco Lodge imports a trained executive chef to oversee all meals. Breakfast is made-to-order each morning. The chef bakes bread, pastries, and cookies daily. Coffee is brewed from freshly ground beans and will be waiting for guests as a part of the breakfast buffet. Breakfast will always feature a variety of cereals, coffee and a selection of teas, as well as fresh fruits. Eggs will be cooked to your preference, with bacon, sausages, and grits or hash brown potatoes. Hot cereals are also available.
Guides will provide a cooler with a picnic lunch of your choosing in the boat each day. A lunch menu card allows you to choose next day’s lunch and the content of your boat cooler. With an open bar policy, you will find waiting at the Lodge upon your return from fishing cold beers, spirits, and a blender for cocktails, as well as stacks of soft drinks. Cracked conch, grouper fingers, conch salad, and fresh tuna sashimi are served as appetizers so that you can sample local specialties.
The nightly cuisine incorporates Bahamian specialties with an emphasis on locally-caught seafood. Each evening, Abaco Lodge takes pride in serving delicious entrees that include local produce, fresh fish (ahi tuna, grouper, and hog snapper), conch and lobster.
If you have a preferred brand of liquor, please be sure to inform Yellow Dog in advance so the lodge can have it ready for you upon arrival (payable upon arrival to the lodge). Otherwise, you can bring your bottle. Please note that local spirits are free of charge at the lodge.
Typical Length of Stay
You can arrange trips and packages of any length. All trips are entirely customized. Call Yellow Dog for details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Abaco Lodge is primarily a fishing-focused destination. That said, this lodge is much nicer than the average fishing lodge, and the grounds offer a very relaxing setting with a small pool and comfortable sitting areas. There is no beach, but there are beautiful beaches nearby, and a taxi can be arranged to drive non-anglers to these areas. Marsh Harbour does have shopping opportunities and numerous non-angling activities. Since the rooms are all single occupancy, non-anglers would need to be one half of a couple, or have their own room.
Internet / Communications
The Lodge does offer complimentary Wi-Fi to guests. Most U.S. cell phones will work on Abaco depending on your service plan.
How To Get There
Direct daily flights to Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH) and Sandy Point Airstrip are available from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Some major commercial flights also fly directly to Marsh Harbour from Nassau International Airport (NAS), including Bahamas Air and Western Air. There are also charter flights from Nassau, including a charter float plane service that will deliver you directly to the Lodge. Please contact Yellow Dog for more information.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
At the airport, you will be met by a Lodge representative and driven directly to Abaco Lodge, a trip of about 10 minutes. When you arrive, the staff will greet you and show you to your room, where you will find your luggage waiting for you. There is no organized fishing on arrival day, but you can wade in front of the lodge, walk the beach, or relax in the pool with a cold drink.
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blanks, unstamped pages remaining in the back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
If you like the idea of stepping outside your room directly into a flats boat and you’re looking for a fishing program in which long daily runs are unnecessary, then this bonefish destination on Abaco Island is a great option!
The primary fishery is an area known as the “Marls of Abaco,” which consists of over 250 square miles of marshy flats on the eastern shores of Abaco Island. The Lodge perches over this expansive bonefish haven. When fishing the Marls, you can expect to run less than 20 minutes on a daily basis; productive flats are within five minutes of the Lodge. The Marls provides anglers with solid numbers of medium-sized bonefish that see little pressure. It is well-suited for beginner and experienced saltwater anglers alike, as well as those seeking to fish primarily from a boat.
The flats of the Marls, located 15 miles inland from the open ocean, have a softer bottom, which makes wading near the Lodge difficult. The flats firm up running twenty-five minutes east, closer to deeper water, making wade fishing easier. These classic white sand outer flats hold larger bonefish than the marshy areas near the Lodge. The guides intimately know the oceanside flats on Abaco’s west coast, where large ocean bones cruise shorelines and the smaller bays adjacent to deeper water.
The Marls are not as tide dependant as other destinations in the Bahamas, but the wind can influence water flow and act much like tidal influences. Since this area is so shallow and vast, the wind pushes the water more then the tides do. Fortunately, the guides know the area and where to fish during all conditions. There are enough islands to fish all day in the lee or out of the wind. Interestingly, these cays (or islands) are taller than similar islands in the Bahamas, thus providing more protection from the wind.
If you are after a trophy bonefish or want to see something other than the Marls, the guides will trailer boats to Cherokee Sound on the west side of the Abaco. It is a half-hour drive to the boat launch from the Lodge. These hard white sand flats of this bay are great for wade fishing or poling. Due to its adjacency to the ocean, this area is also more tide-dependent then The Marls. You can expect quality shots at larger bones in the seven-plus-pound range when conditions are right. Bring your “A-Game” for these fish, as they can be picky and spooky.
Boats and Equipment
Anglers fish from Hell’s Bay Waterman skiffs with 50 HP Yamaha outboard engines, which are a pleasure to fish from. The decks are clean and spacious, and all of the boats have removable lean bars, plenty of rod storage, dry storage areas, and comfortable seats with backrests. These are great skiffs and pole in the remarkably shallow water. All the boats have well-stocked coolers for lunch and refreshments. As with all lodges in the Bahamas, we recommend that anglers bring their gear and equipment, including rods, reels, wading boots, flies and all terminal tackle. Yellow Dog will be happy to provide a Gear and Equipment Checklist before your departure.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are entirely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on single occupancy lodging and a shared flats skiff, and quoted in US dollars. A trip of any length can be arranged. Please call Yellow Dog for custom package pricing.
March 1st – July 31st, 2019
7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing $ 6,150 per person
6 Nights / 5 Days Fishing $ 5,775 per person
5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing $ 5,200 per person
4 Nights / 3 Days Fishing $ 4,305 per person
3 Nights / 2 Days Fishing $ 3,450 per person
October 2019 – July 2020
7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing $ 6,395 per person
6 Nights / 5 Days Fishing $ 5,995 per person
5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing $ 5,395 per person
4 Nights / 3 Days Fishing $ 4,495 per person
3 Nights / 2 Days Fishing $ 3,595 per person
Single Boat = 60% Surcharge
- All accommodations at Abaco Lodge
- All meals at the lodge
- Daily guided fishing from Hell’s Bay skiffs (2 anglers per boat)
- All drinks (including local alcohol) and bottled water
- All airport transfers
What’s Not Included:
- Airfare from hometown to Marsh Harbour
- Flies and terminal tackle
- Gratuities for guides and staff
- Bahamas fishing license: $5 per day, $10 per week, $20 per month, and $50 for the year (Yellow Dog will ensure the lodge has your license until the online system is in place)
- Bahamian airport departure taxes
- 12% VAT Tax