Mar 15th, 2017
Mangrove Cay Club is one of the few destinations that brings all the crucial elements together with regard to 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. This well trained and professional guide staff is among the best on Andros, having spent their entire lives learning the nuances of their home waters. Additionally, the lodge offers high quality loaner gear, a fly shop stocked with the right flies and any smaller items you might have forgotten, as well as a fully stocked fly tying station.
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.
Expert Q&A with Dylan Rose
Top Reasons to Go:
1. This is a great luxury destination from which to chase true trophy bonefish.
2. The lodge features a seasoned, detail oriented staff that pride themselves on providing fantastic service.
3. Mangrove Cay Club offers some of the finest fresh cuisine anywhere.
4. Located in the Middle Bight of Andros Island island, Mangrove Cay Club offers great access to a wide variety of productive flat including the West Side and the Land of Giants.
5. The lodge also offer alternate modes of flats transportation like stand-up paddle boards, and shallow water Gheenoe boats.
Where is the lodge?
Mangrove Cay Club is located on the outskirts of Moxey Town, 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 and then take a short commercial flight to the Mangrove Cay airport aboard Flamingo Air. From there you will take 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 an incredibly comfortable bonefishing adventure. Accommodations, food, equipment, guides and facilities are top notch across the board.
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.
Who is best suited to visit this destination?
Anglers looking to a top quality, premium bonefishing experience and appreciate the finer things like amazing cuisine, ultra comfortable lodging and skilled guides. This is not a great option for budget restricted anglers.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Accommodations and meals are second to none in the industry. All details are looked after and the food is ample and delicious. Your room is situated right on the water overlooking the sea with a small patio and ultra comfortable beds and lounge area.
Describe the atmosphere at the lodge.
The lodge and vibe of the operation is casual, fun and light-hearted with music playing, lots of laughs and a lively bar area. The staff is friendly and attentive and all guests are made to feel welcome and looked after.
Is the owner on site? If so, who is it? If not who is the manager?
Yes, Liz and Alton Bain are your hosts and on-site owners. They are a pleasure to spend time with, attentive and run an extremely tight ship. Liz and Alton are among the most experienced and highly-regarded lodge owners in the Bahamas.
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 are the main game at Mangrove Cay. Some snapper species are available as are barracuda. Very rarely permit are seen and targeted.
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 4-10 bonefish. Mangrove Cay is a great destination for those looking for an opportunity to catch a truly large bonefish (over six pounds).
Is there wade fishing?
Some wade fishing is definitely possible. Most of the fishing locations are best fished from the boat. It’s reasonable to expect 80% fishing from the boat and 20% while wading. If you really want to wade, be sure to let your guide know that.
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, they have 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.
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 particular dangers on a trip to Mangrove Cay. Sometimes, as in many other parts of the Caribbean, black flies, Dr, flies and sand fleas can be a slight nuisance. A good bug repellent is recommended.
Are there health concerns?
No specific health concerns are noted for Mangrove Cay. Pregnant women should consult the CDC regarding the Zika virus.
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. 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!
A nice Andros bonefish.
Large bonefish are plentiful on the flats surrounding Mangrove Cay Club.
Each of the four cottages is divided into two suites, separated by a thick soundproof wall.
The main dining room at Mangrove is lively, fun and provides a great forum for telling fishing stories at the end of the day.
A nice mutton snapper made for great appetizers this evening.