In mid-May, Lila and I visited our newest outfitter, Deep Creek Lodge, on South Andros Island, in the Bahamas. Deep Creek Lodge is owned by Nathaniel Adams, a native Bahamian, and Clint Fowler, who is from Texas and whom will be fishing with me at the McKenzie River Lodge in 2017. Lila and I have been searching for the “right” lodge in the Bahamas, who would offer a smaller operation (6 rods +-), and that could offer our prerequisite of world-class service and amenities, and equally world-class bonefishing.
We arrived at Deep Creek Lodge, on South Andros, on Friday the 13th (a bit ominous we thought!) and left on the 17th. The result????? This is an easy explanation: from start to finish, we found a lodge where every aspect imaginable exceeded our expectations, and then some.
Deep Creek Lodge was built in the fall of 2015. The main lodge, double-occupancy room’s w/private baths, A/C, beautiful tile floors, and a deck that literally extends out over the water, is nothing short of spectacular. At the end of our fishing days, we’d hang out on the deck fishing for jacks, snappers (the second evening, we ate snapper that was caught an hour before it was on our table for dinner!), and watching nurse and lemon sharks, large rays, and even lion fish!
Nathaniel is a world-class chef, whose cuisine includes typical Caribbean dishes cooked Bahama-style. In no particular order, we ate Mangrove snapper, conch, (both fried and in a salad) lobster tails, fresh tuna sandwiches at on-the-water lunches, the list goes on! Hearty home-cooked breakfasts before our fishing day began were delicious. Nat fed us until we couldn’t move!
Perhaps, most importantly, the fishing was tremendous! Lila and I have fished for bonefish in several different locations in and around the Caribbean. We simply were not prepared for the sheer numbers of bones that we saw and caught. After three days of fishing, we released over 20 bones each day! The first day, we lost count at 26 fish! Nat, like most Bahamas guides is incredibly proficient at spotting fish. We saw so many fish, every day, that even we got so that we could see them…sometimes! South Andros Island has a reputation for producing the biggest bonefish caught anywhere in the Caribbean. The biggest bone that we released was in the six-pound range, caught by……..finally…..yours truly! There is a fishing God after all, I out fished her! The cold hard truth is that Lila and I both lost bones that were substantially larger than anything that we landed. We had shots at bones in the TEN pound range that simply took us into the mangroves and broke us off. Daily, we saw lemon, nurse and blacktip sharks, big rays, and huge, huge schools on bone fish numbering in the hundreds and hundreds.
The area around S. Andros is a spectacular, pristine environment that is so beautiful as to defy description. Endless, and we mean endless, flats, where your guide will pole your flats skiff slowly along, watching for fish, finally saying, “Fish right off the tip of your rod, 11 o’clock, 40 feet.” One of the many attractive items about this fishery is that if you can cast a fly, or with spinning gear, a shrimp or crab, 30 feet you can catch fish. There are simply so many fish that the fishery is very forgiving in that respect. However, make no mistake about this, bonefish are very spooky to say the least, so staying quiet in the boat, listening to your guide’s instructions, and making a decent cast is important.
Deep Creek Lodge is a fantastic, world-class experience for everyone. We had a conversation with a customer about Deep Creek the other day. He mentioned that his wife does not fish, but likes to go along in the boat, and did we think that she’d like this? There is something here for everyone! Fish, stay in the boat and read, watch the sharks and rays swim by, soak up the sun (be careful, very bright and hot!), and just hang out. Want to go snorkeling for conch? Nathaniel can help you do this! This is emphatically not just a fishing lodge!
Remember, assistance with travel is always available. We found Jet Blue to have great service right to Nassau, where we picked up our shuttle flight to S. Andros.