Bahamas Trip Report//Travel

It’s my second visit to the Bahamas, and it’s great to be back, escaping the cold weather back home in Colorado. For this visit, the mission is to familiarize myself with two new programs for Tailwaters Travel: Abaco Lodge and Bair’s Lodge. Both lodges are operated and owned by Argentina-based Nervous Waters Fly Fishing. At the moment, I’m on a full-day layover preparing for the second leg of the trip at Bair’s Lodge. A quick recap of my time at Abaco:

Arriving at Abaco Lodge

Over the past few days, I got to know the great program at Abaco Lodge, which happens to be managed by my good friend Christiaan Pretorious and his girlfriend Lindi Blaauw. I honestly didn’t have time to research the lodge before making the trip down, so my expectations were up in the air.

Wheels touched down at Marsh Harbor Airport early Saturday morning. I was at the lodge in no time with only a 10-minute transfer. As I stepped out of the van, I was greeted by Lindi and one of the charming hosts, Velma, who offered me a fresh glass of local fruit juice. This was the perfect way to be greeted! I immediately noticed the stunningly beautiful lodge, the well-kept landscaping, and the incredible view. The atmosphere at Abaco Lodge is unreal.

This lodge is a perfect place for relaxing and enjoying a cocktail or cold beer after a day of fishing. The back patio has outdoor couches in the shade next to the pool and fire pit that looks out to the flats of Abaco Island. The boat dock is just a few steps down toward the water where four premium skiffs are stationed. The rooms are equally beautiful and comfortable. There are 10 single occupancy, waterfront rooms with cold AC — all with west-facing patios for incredible sunsets. There’s also one larger suite with a kitchen that will accommodate a family or additional anglers.

Fishing Abaco

Christiaan and I went out with Abaco’s young gun and super fishy guide, Travis (Instagram: flats_phantom). Travis is a fun guide who likes to keep the energy up at all times. When the fish are around, he communicates exactly what he wants you to do without stressing or pressuring you. For the three days we had with him, the weather was mediocre. Luckily, Christiaan is a great angler so we were able to pull some fish in, allowing me to get some photographs. From what I gathered, the fishery at Abaco Island is very friendly to all abilities of anglers from beginner to expert. What’s more, Abaco is more than just a bonefish destination — there are opportunities for both tarpon and (BIG) permit if the tide and light are right.

A hungry angler has to eat

Fine dining is an understatement at Abaco Lodge. Wow, the food! Professional chef Sid studied Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in North Carolina. Her training shows in every dish, not only in taste and texture but presentation as well. Each plate is a work of art.

Afternoons start with three to four rounds of creatively prepared appetizers, and each night is different. Dinner is served around 7 pm with the choice of any cocktail, beer, or wine. After dinner, Christiaan gets the fire started in the fire pit to set the mood for the rest of the evening.


Stay Tuned…

I’m going to wrap up this report with my stay at Bair’s Lodge on South Andros. Looking forward to bringing another lodge to light. Check back soon!


About the Author:

Matt Jones is our Texas-grown media geek. Matt is responsible for all our graphic design, web creative, and photography. In addition to traveling the globe shooting much of our travel department’s imagery, you may also recognize many of Matt’s photos published in all forms of fly fishing media including the Drake and Fly Fish Journal as well as the use of his images in marketing and media for Patagonia Clothing Company, Costa Sunglasses, Loon Outdoors, Howler Bros, and much more. Matt is an avid angler, but almost never puts down the camera for the fly rod. He lives in Colorado with his wife Andi and 2 dogs Brinkley & Maple.