Apr 7th, 2015
Mangrove Cay Club is one of the few destinations that brings all the crucial elements together – location, management, amenities, guides, equipment, cuisine and spectacular flats fishing. Headed by veteran lodge manager Liz Bain, Mangrove Cay has set the bar remarkably high for Bahamian bonefishing destinations. With characteristically short runs to some of the most famous trophy bonefish flats in the world, it is easy to make the case that this is the Bahamas’ premier flats fishing lodge.
From immaculate 16 foot Dolphin skiffs, anglers fish the hallowed waters of the North, South, and Middle Bights in addition to the famous waters of the West Side. The guide staff is among the best in all Andros, having spent their entire lives learning the nuances of their home waters. Additionally, the lodge offers the highest quality loaner gear, a fly shop stocked with the right flies and any smaller items you might have forgotten, as well as a full fly tying table.
Mangrove Cay Club is tucked just inside the Bight far enough from the windward east side of the island with sheltered access to the flats and estuaries of the fishery. Mangrove Cay Club accommodates a maximum of 16 guests. There are eight suites contained within 4 cottages spread out along the shore, screened from each other by a lush growth of trees. All are a short walk on a sand path to the main lodge.
Each of the four cottages is divided into two suites, separated by a thick soundproof wall. The suites have high cypress ceilings and ceiling fans, an air conditioned bedroom, a sitting room, an oversized bathroom and a private porch overlooking Middle Bight. On the outside wall of each suite is a rod rack that will hold four rods, a bucket for soaking reels and a convenient freshwater hose for washing rods and all other equipment each day. Both outside and inside the entrance are hooks for wet clothes and gear.
Mangrove Cay practices healthful cooking such as limiting fried foods, serving most seafood grilled or poached and using only fresh fruits and vegetables. They also offer classic cuisine, Bahamian favorites and indulgent deserts such as key lime pie. Their chef, 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. The planned dinner menu is posted every morning before you go fishing so that you may request a different entrée if you wish.
Mangrove Cay Lodge – NEW Stand Up Paddle Boards!
We are very excited to see that Mangrove Cay Club has added several stand up paddle boards to their fishing program. We’ve certainly seen a growing amount of interest for this new fishing platform and we think the ability to stalk the flats from these stealthy watercraft adds a fun and challenging new dimension to the flats scene.
The current program is for anglers to hop on a large pontoon boat (read “party barge”) loaded with four paddle boards, two anglers and two guides. The skinny water capable pontoon boat can access some very seldom fished areas and serves as a mothership of sorts for the paddle boards. With an angler on one paddle board and a guide on another, you’ll set off to access some very remote and shallow water flats that are rarely ever visited. Give us a call to chat more about this exciting new option!
Expert Interview with Dylan Rose
Where is the lodge?
Mangrove Cay Club is located on Mangrove Cay, which lies on the south shoreline of the middle bight of Andros Island in the Bahamas.
How do I get there?
Most anglers fly in to Nassau, Bahamas. Then take a short commercial flight to the Mangrove Cay airport, which is only about a 10 minute drive to the lodge.
Why should I go?
A trip to Mangrove Cay offers anglers the opportunity to chase trophy bonefish on pristine flats. The lodge was purpose built from the ground up to offer guests the ultimate bonefishing adventure. Accommodations, food, equipment, guides and facilities are top notch and consistently offer our clients great experiences.
When should I go?
Prime time is March – May. The lodge typically is closed starting July – September and then reopens in the fall.
Where do they fish?
The vast flats of Andros Island including Water Cay, the West Side and locations around the middle bight.
How do they fish?
Two anglers typically set out with their guide aboard 16 foot Dolphin skiffs. Most of the fishing is accomplished from the boat although some wading is possible. Anglers take turns sight fishing to bonefish in shallow water from the bow with floating lines.
What fish will I catch?
Bonefish, snapper species, and barracuda are standard catches.
How many fish will I catch?
Catch rates largely depend on skill, experience and fishing conditions. An average angler on an average day can expect to hook between 4 and 10 bonefish.
Where to we stay?
There are eight suites contained within 4 cottages spread out along the shore, screened from each other by a lush growth of trees. All are a short walk on a sand path to the main lodge.
Is there wade fishing?
Some wade fishing is definitely possible. Most of the fishing locations are best fished from the boat.
Is there internet and cell service?
A wireless internet signal is available at the main lodge. Cell phone coverage is doubtful although some anglers with international calling plans may find a signal depending on their provider.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
Yes, the lodge is well prepared to assist anglers with tackle. Also on site is a well stocked fly shop, complete with flies, fly lines, clothing, sunglasses sun block, and various other accessories.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
A fast action 9 foot, 8wt rod is ideal to chase these big bonefish. It’s also nice to have a 9wt on hand if the wind comes up.
Are there other activities?
Some other activities are available at the lodge including snorkeling, biking, birding and diving.
What are the physical demands?
No special physical demands are required for this trip. All are welcome!
Are there other special skills required?
Intermediate to expert casting skills are appreciated for a trip to Mangrove Cay. A crisp double-haul and the ability to create high line speeds in the wind are good skills to have on any saltwater trip. A hungry 10lb bonefish will not wait around for you to improve your casting so get in some practice before you go!
Are there any dangers or annoyances?
There are no dangers on a trip to Mangrove Cay. Sometimes, as in many other parts of the Caribbean, black flies and sand fleas can be a slight nuisance. A good bug repellent is recommended.
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
One of my favorite memories of this trip was catching a small bonefish and watching a big Mutton snapper emerge from his hole to try and eat my bonefish. As I quickly landed and released the fish the Mutton snapper retreated back in to his hole without incident. I made a mental note of where he lived and my guide Shawn and I would back! The next day we went back to the area with my guide and that Mutton snapper came charging out of his hole again, this time to eat a well placed Clouser Minnow. Unfortunately for him he got a little too greedy and ended up as fried snapper fingers for everyone at the lodge that night. Picture below!