Abaco Lodge, Abaco Marls, Bahamas

Huge species diversity or the ultra-rare Bahamas Grand Slam

Abaco Lodge is the only fly-fishing operation tucked inside Great Abaco Island’s renowned Marls region—a pristine swathe of unpressured flats that are home to one of the greatest populations of bonefish in the Bahamas. Ten to 15 fish days are not uncommon, with 200 square miles of prime habitat awaiting anglers. Abaco Lodge’s convenient and comfortable Marls-side headquarters also means no trailering, no fuel stops, and more time fishing.

Wonderful access to the famous Abaco Marls

Abaco’s sheltered Marls region is big. So big that it could swallow 13 Manhattans within its 300 square mile footprint. Instead of sputtering cabs and people crammed into skyscrapers, this wilderness flats area is peppered with unpopulated pine forest islands, mangrove cays, and a prodigious bonefish population.

From Abaco Lodge’s central location, anglers fish the Marls from as far south as Cross Harbour to its northern extremities off the west side of Treasure Cay. A 20 minute skiff run due west puts anglers within striking range of the Marl’s ocean-side edge. And from all points in between, Marls bonefish average two  to four pounds. Larger fish in the five to eight pound class, although fewer and harder to seduce, are also found in good numbers. Permit and juvenile tarpon shots are frequent enough that anglers should be prepared with gear for targeting both species, and barracuda, jack crevalle, plus various shark species also call the Marls home. But bonefish generally rule this kingdom thanks to an ideal mix of sheltered habitat and prime forage sources through the seasons.

Fishing in the Marls is done from Maverick flats skiffs. Wading opportunities also exist. From the lodge dock, runs to the flats vary from ten to 45 minutes. All skiffs are fishing (and comfort) friendly, with padded seats, backrests, line mats and lean bars on the bow. They’re also equipped with first aid kits and an emergency satellite phone.

In addition to wonderful flats, Abaco has incredible blue water fishing. Target species include marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, and tuna—depending on the season. Arrangements can be made at the lodge, but the best captains book early. There will be an additional charge for this type of fishing.

A bright, charming lodge, with single rooms as standard

Abaco Lodge sits on the rocky shoreline of the Marls, on the west side of Abaco, just north of Marsh Harbour, on the way to Treasure Cay. The bright, charming lodge welcomes guests with spectacular waterfront views. Enjoy a cold Kalik by the pool, or gather around the fire pit where, under a setting sun, the day’s fishing stories enter into the island lore.

The lodge comprises seven double rooms with a capacity of eight anglers. Each room has two king or queen size beds, air conditioning and a private bathroom. WiFi is available and there is a large flat screen TV. 

The lodge’s main bar is stocked with spirits, cold beer, soft drinks, plenty of ice, and mixers for cocktails. There is an on-site fly shop where you can purchase everything from flies, leaders, and tippet to rods, reels, and lodge logo-wear. Fly-tying equipment is also available upon request.

The food is excellent and ranges from fresh pasta to delicious local seafood dishes and prime cuts of imported meats. Bread, pastries, and cookies come out of the kitchen ovens daily. The coffee is made from freshly ground beans and will be waiting for you when you rise. Breakfast is cooked to order and a brimming lunch menu allows guests to customise fishing coolers with beer, soft drinks, sandwiches, chocolate, wraps, salads, fruit, and more.

Abaco Island on the Bahamas

Located approximately 180 miles off the coast of Florida, the Abacos cup the eastern edge of Grand Bahama Island at the northernmost tip of the Bahamas archipelago. Upon flying into Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH) on Great Abaco Island, you’ll be shuttled to Abaco Lodge—a private palm-treed expanse with its own protected harbor.

Abaco Lodge is the sole bonefishing resort in the Marls, on the island’s western edge. The Marls is enveloped by a recently designated national park. Inside its perimeters, with an average depth of about four feet and little tidal influence, lives one of the top-rated bonefisheries in the Bahamas. The guides  guides at Abaco Lodge know every inch of this wonderful area, from blue holes that attract juvenile tarpon (and not-so-juvenile barracuda) to productive bonefish flats and hundreds of cays extending from Cross Harbour in the south to stretches well north of the lodge. 

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