The British Foreign Office has refined its blanket ban on travel and amongst those with the travel ban removed are the Bahamas.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism had confirmed that from 1st July 2020 the islands would open their doors to international travellers. Unchanged is the requirement for those arriving from overseas to have to present a negative Covid-19 test and complete an electronic health Visa in order to be granted entry. The Covid-19 test results must be no more than 10 days old enabling travellers a greater window of opportunity to be tested and to allow for travelling time.
If you are ready to travel in 2021, or even late 2020, and are ready to see your backing and your fly boxes are full of lockdown creations, now is the time to start planning. It may only be July but we will see the remaining availability fill so think ahead to the short, dark and cold days of winter and plan instead to be out on the flats, looking for shadows and the ghostly outline of bonefish.
Andros South, South Andros Island
For the serious angler in search of bonefish
The lodge here very proudly claim that they are not a luxury lodge but far more a lodge for people who love fishing. The accommodation is comfortable but casual, the service is excellent, the food is good and the focus is on fishing. The fishery on South Andros is huge, varied and productive. They fish in four parts of the island; tidal creeks on the East Side, hundreds of small keys off the southern tip of the island, the West Side which is known for large fish, inland ponds and creeks in the middle of the island. Some areas tend to hold large groups of fish while others are home to larger fish in smaller groups. It is our experience that first-time and experienced anglers alike have a great time on the flats of South Andros. There are lots of opportunities for both wading and skiff fishing, depending on your preferences and the conditions.
Bair’s Lodge, South Andros Island
Comfortable lodge and excellent guide team
Bair’s Lodge on the east side Andros Island in the Bahamas is ideally situated giving you access to some of the largest and most varied flats in the world. Andros Island has long been associated with the biggest bonefish, Bair’s Lodge is an ideal base from which to try for a ‘giant’. Guests can fish primarily for bonefish and the occasional tarpon and permit. Both Deep Creek and Little Creek lie within easy striking distance from the lodge, and offer more protection from potential wind than oceanside flats. Both creeks are also conduits to renowned West Side and other remote cays to the south and southwest. The lodge sets the bench mark in terms of quality guiding, delicious food, comfortable accommodations and courteous hospitality. Bedrooms are open and airy, air-conditioned, with plenty of storage space and electricity outlets to recharge phones and camera batteries.
Tiamo, South Andros Island
Perfect of couples, whether fishing or not
Also located on Andros Island, Tiamo was built as a boutique luxury spa which also has some excellent fishing. There are varying degrees of accommodation, excellent service and food and spa facilities. They have excellent guides and boats that can take you off directly from the beach in front the lodge. From a fishing perspective the Bahamas is mostly a bonefishing destination, but Andros does have some of the largest bonefish in the Bahamas. The chalets have been recently remodelled, with some of the beach front cabanas having plunge pools in the private decking. The cabanas are on the beach, sheltered from other guests by mature shrubs but only a very short walk from the sea. There is a central pool, bar and dining area and there is a spa and small gym on site for non-fishers.
Kamalame Cay, South Andros Island
For the perfect relaxing and fishing combination with family & friends
Located on a 96-acre private island just off the main Andros Island, the resort offer a great Caribbean playground for families. The resort is gracefully designed with an emphasis on recreation, sport fishing and utter relaxation, this exquisite retreat features the Bahamas’ only overwater spa, tennis courts, indoor-outdoor dining, freshwater pool and more – all accessible to just 60 guests. For fisherman, Kamalame is fortunate to be able to offer two distinct fisheries. There is abundant water with excellent bonefishing right on the backside of the Cay, as well including nearby creeks and flats stretching all the way to Majestic Point. There is also some excellent fishing to be had just a short stroll along the beach that you could happily do unguided.
Delphi Club, Abaco Island
British house party feel in the Caribbean
Delphi was modelled on a British Colonial house overlooking a beautiful cove and beach on Abaco Island. Built by Peter Mantle who used to own and run Delphi Lodge in Ireland, the operation runs in a similar way to a typical British house party where everyone sits at one table creating a wonderful group feeling. The lodge was very much built with non-fishers in mind and has an infinity swimming pool right outside the lodge. The fishing on the marls is primarily skiff fishing, one guide between two fishermen and the bonefishing is abundant, although their size is smaller than on Andros Island. There are no spa facilities on site but there is a small spa and treatment centre just down the road and the lodge has a fantastic wine cellar. Due to the lodges close proximity to Marsh Harbour, it works well with the local dive team who regularly take guests out in the waters around Abaco Island.
comfortable lodge offering species variety in the Caribbean
When you first think about fishing in the Bahamas big bonefish appear top of the list. Whilst this is true and this is the place to target trophy sized bonefish, there is also a lot more on offer, especially when you visit the outlying and remote islands such as Crooked and Acklins. These are immensely varied and largely unexplored fisheries. Fantastic numbers of triggerfish can be found, along with permit, tarpon, snook, barracuda, sharks and more. There are fantastic schools of bonefish, of course, and you do see some large ones. However, Crooked and Acklins should be viewed as an unspoilt, varied fishery first and foremost. The accommodation is basic, yet clean, comfortable and perfectly adequate for a week’s fishing. The rooms are spacious and are air conditioned. They are also a stone’s throw from the beach, which is always a bonus. If you are after a wilderness experience on largely unexplored flats that give access to a myriad of different species that have received very little fishing pressure then we would urge you to visit. Best of all, the operation presents excellent value for money.
For more information about any of the lodges mentioned or The Bahamas in general please contact Charlotte Chilcott or Peter McLeod, alternatively you can call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.
Additional information for those travelling to Bahamas:
- Face masks must be worn in any public space and must be worn for entry into supermarkets, pharmacies and businesses. Restaurants, gyms, beaches and public parks require masks to be worn upon entry and exit.
- Face masks or coverings must cover your nose and mouth; face mask must also be visible and easily identifiable.
- A curfew is imposed from 10pm until 5am. Unless they are experiencing a health emergency, tourists are expected to stay in their hotel compound during the curfew.
- There are restrictions on the number of persons travelling in a vehicle. Please consult your hotel or tour guide for more details. Family members may travel in the same vehicle without restrictions.
- Socially distancing is set at 6ft apart. You may be required to stand or sit in a designated area according to the social distancing measures in place in a particular location.
- Hand washing and/or hand sanitizing is required upon entry into public buildings and private establishments. A security guard may ask you to wash your hands or they may spray your hands with a disinfectant.
- Some tourist attractions will request your name, identification and telephone number for contact tracing purposes.
- Public gatherings and public movement may be restricted. Please observe rule of social distancing in private spaces and check with public authorities before you gather in public spaces.
- Health officers can order persons to be detained for screening and assessment and may order isolation on reasonable grounds in order to prevent further spread of the disease.
- If you are placed in quarantine or self-isolation, you may be required to download an app to enhance support and monitoring.
Failure to comply with the Emergency (COVID-19) Orders, will result in a fine of up to $BSD 20,000 and/or imprisonment for five years. Failure to wear a mask will result in a fine of $BSD 200 and/or one month in prison. On 28 June, a COVID enforcement unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBDF) was established to ensure compliance with the Emergency Orders.