The “Marls of Abaco” is a vast expanse of prime, wilderness bonefish habitat, situated along the western shore of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. This little fished area spans some 300 square miles: 30 miles north – south and about 10 miles off the west coast of Abaco. The Marls have long been known by well-traveled bonefishermen as one of the most unique and productive fisheries in the Bahamas.
Abaco Island is one of the larger and more developed Islands in the 700 mile long Bahamian chain, but its development is principally along the eastern shore with white sand beaches and easy access to deep water. Much of the land mass along the western shore drops off to swampy wetlands, referred to as the “The Marls”. Comprised of hundreds of square miles of mangroves, creeks, cuts and flats, navigable only by shallow draft flats skiffs, the Marls remain an undeveloped wilderness and ideal Bonefish habitat.
Unlike some of the less developed islands in the Bahamas, Abaco has the third largest airport in the Bahamas (Marsh Harbour). Good numbers of direct flights from the U.S. makes traveling relatively easy and the lodge is an easy 15-minute drive from the airport.
The greatest advantage of Abaco Lodge is its location, literally on the flats. Anglers walk a short distance from their rooms to the dock, hop in a skiff, and can be fishing prime flats within 5 – 10 minutes.
Another attractive feature is that Abaco Lodge provides single rooms for the majority of their guests at no additional cost. Couples, of course, can share a room; otherwise single occupancy rooms are standard. Each room is spacious and well appointed with a private bath.
The lodge has 11 rooms to accommodate 14 anglers per week. There are 8 single rooms set up for single occupancy and 3 rooms set up for double occupancy. The single occupancy rooms are available on a first come first serve basis.
The lodge owns a fleet of state of the art Hells Bay Flats Skiffs that get you to the fish quickly and efficiently. They are also stealthy boats and navigate the shallow waters of the Marls beautifully.
Experienced guides are not in short supply on Abaco and Abaco Lodge has developed loyalty from some of the best on the island.
There is one additional ingredient that contributes greatly to the success of Abaco Lodge … management. Nervous Waters has always taken pride in finding the right managers for each of their destinations. Current managers, Christiaan Pretorius and Lindi Blaauw, have continued that tradition and continue to make Abaco one of the best options in the Carribean, not just the Bahamas.
Marsh Harbour has a good supply chain, so if anything is needed, it’s generally there by the end of the day.
Oliver’s partner in the ownership and operation of the lodge is Nervous Waters, the owner of several very successful fishing lodges around the world, including the famous Kau Tapen, Villa Maria and Toon Ken Lodges in Tierra del Fuego, the successful Bair’s Lodge on South Andros in the Bahamas.
Despite all these other accolades, it is the fishing that really sets Abaco Lodge apart. The marls offers some of the most productive bonefishing in the Bahamas for 2 – 7 pound bonefish. The lodge compliments its “home” waters (the marls) with trailering options on the east side of Abaco, where the fish are larger and the wading more prevelent. With drives of 15 – 40 minutes guests can be fishing the east side of Abaco from Cherokee Sound to Treasure Cay. Here anglers will find 5 – 10 pound bonefish in good numbers, whether fishing from a skiff or wading hard sand flats a couple of hours either side of low tide.
The bonefish move into the Marls on the rising tide looking for food, and the drill is to follow them in, and when the tide starts to drop, follow them back out. Some of these interior flats are wadable, but as the term “marl” implies, many of the interior flats are too soft for comfortable wading, so are fished from the skiff. The outer edges of the Marls are typically firm, and the guides may target tailing fish on these wadable flats during the lower stages of the tide. From time to time, Tarpon may be encountered on some of the deeper flats.
Abaco Lodge has been best publicized by an ESPN series entitled, Pirates of the Flats, which first aired in January 2010. Angler celebrities Lefty Kreh, Yvon Chouinard, Michael Keaton, Tom Brokaw, Thomas McGuane and Bill Kline were invited to Abaco Lodge to film the series and ESPN captured on film
the beauty and productivity of this unique fishery. Viewers may recall many scenes with these celebrities seated at the outdoor dining area or sitting around the fire pit at night, recounting the events of the day. These images solidified what those in the industry already knew. Abaco Lodge is an alluring location to immerse yourself in the sport of bonefishing with a fly.
Packages of any duration are available. Below rates are based on single occupancy accommodations and fishing 2 anglers per boat and guide. Single fishing rates are available on request.
Our Services are Free!
Contact us for Seasonal Discounts, Special Offers or Promotional Pricing
Abaco Lodge 2019 – 2020 Rates
(subject to change)
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
Included in the rate: transportation from Marsh Harbour airport to the lodge, round-trip; single or double occupancy room (first come first serve); all meals; refreshments onboard the boat; beer and soft drinks and liquor at the lodge; wine with dinner and a boat and guide for each two anglers, daily; Bahamas Fishing License.
Not included and/or additional charges would include: air travel to Marsh Harbour; Bahamas Value Added Tax (Effective January 1, 2015); tackle, lures, and flies; personal items; gratuities; single angler surcharge.
A 50% deposit is necessary to confirm a reservation. Final payment is due 95 days prior to arrival.