This is a brand new trip to the Blackfoot River Outfitters hosted trip line up as we were looking for a trip that offered the best shot at big bonefish in the Bahamas from an operation that we trust. So, we hooked up again with our friend Dan Vermillion that owns this lodge and it was a no-brainer. Andros Island is the bonefish capital of the world. Looking forward to sharing this with a great group of good friends- new and old.
Trip dates: Jan 29th – Feb 4th 2024
Package Price: $6,510 (+tax) *shared guide/shared room
*Single occupancy pricing available.
Package price includes: Accommodations, guided flats fishing, all meals, round trip transfer from Mangrove Cay Airport to the lodge, beverages including house wines, bar liquor, beer, bottled water, soft drinks and room taxes.
Not included in package price: Airfare, some wines and liquors, gratuities, fishing equipment and flies, Bahamian departure tax of $29, miscellaneous personal expenses such as fly shop purchases. Mangrove Cay Club accepts cash and credit cards only at the lodge.
**price may take slight increase depending on fuel prices to be evaluated at the end of the season
Why Mangrove Cay Club
Under the skilled on-site management of Liz and Alton Bain, Mangrove Cay Club has set the standard for excellence in service, accommodations and cuisine at Bahamas bonefishing lodges. Sweetwater Travel Company and its partners will continue the tradition of exceptional hospitality and enhance a fishing program that caters to anglers of all skill levels. With boat access to the famed North, Middle, and South Bights as well as the eastern flats and the west side of Andros, Mangrove Cay Club has a well deserved reputation for being one of the most ideally located lodges.
Clients will fish two anglers to a boat. Although Andros is renowned for the abundance and size of its bonefish, Mangrove Cay also has an exceptional blue water fishery right out its back door. This combination of inshore and offshore fishing opportunities insures that your time at Mangrove will be filled with a variety of fishing experiences.
Andros Island, the largest of The Bahama Islands, is actually several islands of which there are three main inhabited islands: North Andros, South Andros and Mangrove Cay. Mangrove Cay is in between North Andros and South Andros and is surrounded by the waters of the Bights, wide and meandering waterways that bisect Andros from east to west. The Bights, known as the North, Middle and South Bight are themselves dotted with countless uninhabited cays and islets with shallow shores.
One huge flat on the West Side of Andros Island “The Land of the Giants” has incredible numbers of very large fish can be found here on a consistent basis.
Mangrove Cay Club is located on the north shore of Mangrove Cay which is the southshore of the Middle Bight. The lodge is tucked just inside the Bight far enough from the windward east side of the island to provide us with sheltered access to the flats and estuaries of our fishery.
We chose this location to give us water access to mile after mile of prime bonefish water without ever having to trailer a boat to a launch point or take a rough boat ride in the open ocean. We have access to all of the waters of the Bights, the eastern flats and the remote and legendary West Side.
It is widely known that bonefish follow the tides, using them to feed in shallow water. Tides on Andros behave in an odd way that works to our advantage. When the tide is low and rising on the east side, it is high and falling on the west side and vice versa. This gives our guides the advantage of being able to move through the Bights all day, never leaving you sitting on a shoreline waiting for the tide to “be right”.
There is no tide or moon phase that cannot be successfully fished at Mangrove Cay Club.
Andros bonefish are plentiful and average 3 to 5 pounds with regular appearances of fish 6 to 10 pounds. Several 11, 12 and 13 pound fish are landed every season. Our daily recorded statistics prove that the waters just minutes away from the lodge are equally productive in both size and numbers. In fact, some of the largest fish have been taken within sight of the Mangrove Cay Club just across the Bight around Big Wood Cay and Moxey Creek.
Bonefish are seen in schools of anywhere from a few fish to very large numbers, often in the hundreds. Large fish tend to travel in singles and doubles although they can hang out in large schools with smaller fish.
The Bights and West Side of Andros have soft bottoms and are best fished from the bow of the skiff. Wading is done on hard, sandy bottomed flats which are all located on the eastern shores and the south west of Andros.
Guides are rotated during your stay, and you can generally expect a new guide to be assigned to you every third fishing day. The rotation is a good way to match guides with guests and provides the opportunity to enjoy old favorites, as well as learn from different guides during your week.
We have boat access to the North, Middle and South Bights, the north and south West Side, the eastern flats and the Southwest cays of Andros. We are frequently asked if guides are assigned to certain areas to fish. The answer is no – the area is so vast there is no need for this restriction.
Your assigned guide will choose the flats you will fish from an almost unlimited number of options and his choices are based on tides, wind, weather and where experience tells him he will find fish. Please note that, if you have a preference of which type of fishing you prefer (wading or boat fishing), you should let both your guide and Liz know before you go out so your guide can plan accordingly.
Most fishing is done from the bow of the boat giving you and your guide the elevation to see fish and the mobility to move from flat to flat.
For some anglers, wading is the preferred option. It may be your choice to wade alone or with your guide. Let your guide know, and he can plan to include as much or as little wading in your day as you desire.
Occasionally, wind can make fishing from the boat impractical and even getting to the flats uncomfortable. On these days, we have the option of using The Big Boat (our 26’ twin hull with twin 150 hp engines) as a ferry to transport you and guides to lee shores and creeks for wading. This program has saved the day when many of our guests were resigned to a good book or a day at the tying table. These ventures can be very satisfying – in February of this year an 11# bonefish was caught, minutes from the lodge on a day that most lodges could not even get to the flats. Even MORE fishing information here.
Mangrove consists of 4 bungalows each which contain two separate suites accommodating two anglers per suite. Each suite has a bedroom overlooking the ocean, a large living room, and a very spacious bathroom. Each suite has a balcony jutting towards the ocean and is appointed with two chairs and a table. It is a great place to have a drink & recharge at the end of the day. Check this link for all of the details about Mangrove Cay Club’s lodge and accommodations.
Iyke has been our chef since we began operating in 2000. Liz, part owner and manager, and Iyke have worked together since the mid 80’s years with a previous tenure at another bonefish lodge on Andros.
During the time we are closed in the off season, Iyke travels to work with chefs in other resort and restaurant kitchens. These travels keep Iyke fresh and inspire him to add new dishes to the menus every season. Iyke is frequently asked for recipes and is always happy to oblige.
We keep our kitchen well stocked with a variety of fresh, fine quality food, and supplies. Most of our dinner menus are based on fresh local seafood. Fishermen really do pull up at our dock with their catch to allow Iyke to make his selections. Lobster, grouper, snapper and conch all make regular appearances.
We practice healthful cooking such as limiting fried foods, serving mostly seafood grilled or poached, and using only fresh fruits and vegetables. We also offer classic cuisine, Bahamian favorites & indulgent deserts such Iyke’s well known Key Lime Pie.
Iyke is one of the first staff members you will meet upon your arrival and we encourage you to make your food preferences known to him. We post the planned dinner menu every morning before you go fishing so that you may request a different entrée if you wish. More information on the dining can be found here.
We recommend 8 – 9 weight rods for bonefish. A 10 – 11 weight rod for tarpon or permit opportunities and saltwater reels with minimum 150 yards of backing. Spare weight fwd floating line – tropical saltwater and a 9 foot 12 lb leader for bonefish, standard for tarpon and tippet spools 8, 10 and 12 lb.
Itinerary in brief
Depart home city for Nassau. Clear Bahamas customs and immigration, proceed to domestic terminal, and check in for the 20 minute flight to Mangrove Cay. You will be met at the airport in Mangrove Cay by a lodge representative for 5 minute transfer to the lodge. You will be escorted to your cottage where you can unpack and start getting prepared for your fishing adventure. Appetizers, drinks and dinner to follow.
Mangrove can also accommodate private aircraft (customs can be arranged) and can arrange for anglers to be picked up in south Andros after clearing customs. Please call for details.
Coffee available at 6:30 a.m. Breakfast by order at 7:00 a.m. Make and pack your lunch for the day fishing. Depart the dock at 8:00 a.m. Return from fishing at 4:00-4:30 p.m. If you are a die hard fisherman we do offer an extended package. This package is $100 extra per day paid at the property. Please note this does not include gratuity. Available cold beer, drinks, and snacks anytime after fishing. Dinner is served at 7 p.m.
Coffee and breakfast before your departure to the airport for transfer on to Nassau and your final destination.