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Angling Report Editor Emeritus Don Causey filed this report on a terrific new bonefishing spot in The Bahamas.
If your idea of heaven is an enormous expanse of shallow water with bonefish tails sparkling in the sunlight, you will probably want to check out Robby’s Place, a new spot on the north end of Andros Island. Yes, it’s located in the Joulters, and it’s based in an elegant private home right on the water. You can literally walk out the front door and wade off toward the horizon.
I’m indebted to Pat Pendergast of The Fly Shop for word of this opportunity. Here is how he described it to me in a recent lengthy e-mail that I have edited somewhat in the interest of brevity. There are some interesting wrinkles here, so keep reading. You can fish Robby’s Place as a lodge client or you can sort of self-outfit a trip here for your whole family or up to five of your buddies.
Pat writes: “Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about Robby’s Place, a cozy, comfortable private fly fishing retreat on the remote northern tip of Andros Island in the Bahamas. Robby’s Place was built in 2016 by Dr. Nigel Lewis as a personal hideaway. “Doc” grew up just a few miles away near Red Bay, and while his full-time home is in Nassau he remains closely involved with the people and community there on Andros.
On a hunting trip to the area a friend introduced him to the property. He instantly fell in love with the place, and soon Robby’s Place was born. The house started as a personal vacation home, where Doc even regularly entertained the Prime Minister of the Bahamas.
“At the same time, many of Doc’s full-time staff and good friends in the area encouraged him to use Robby’s Place for more than just a personal vacation home. They recognized the incredible bonefishery just minutes away, and while Andros Island in general is well known for its incredible bonefishing, the various lodges are a considerable distance from the pristine white sand flats of the Joulters, which can be seen from the back deck of Robby’s Place.
“The Fly Shop visited Doc and his team at Robby’s Place in March of 2019. What we found there was far more than we’d imagined: a beautiful vacation home perched on a semi-private, idyllic white sand beach. The lodge looks out upon a sand and turtle grass bonefish flat that opens up into a narrow bay with a short reef beyond. The waters are calm. The flat is inviting. And beyond is a reef for those who want to snorkel. And the view is incredible, a true piece of paradise!
“Even better, we found a remarkable fishery mere minutes away. The closest flats are only 10 minutes from the beach in front of the lodge, and beyond that are miles upon miles of ankle-deep, white sand flats, perfect for wading all day long for tailing bonefish!
“The lodge at Robby’s Place features a full, 360 degree wraparound covered porch. The front looks out on the bay and has a small table and chairs, along with a series of colorful lounge chairs. Non-anglers and families can easily spend a lot of time here in comfort. There is also a small storage shed nearby, with standup paddle boards, kayaks, and a selection of snorkels and fins in varying sizes.
“Inside, the front door opens up into the kitchen and great room. Adjacent to the kitchen is the small dining table, just enough room for a comfortable meal for a group of six. Beyond the dining table is a comfortable lounge area, complete with two sofas and a coffee table. There’s even an extra half bathroom at the end of the room. The lodge features three spacious guest rooms, each with two queen beds. Each room has a private full bathroom. It’s a cozy space, but it can easily and comfortably accommodate a group of six.
“Robby’s Place is on the grid with 24-hour power, plus it has a backup generator if the main power line goes out. There is good WiFi and cell coverage for those requiring connectivity. There’s also a ceiling fan in every room, along with an A/C unit in every room. For those who just can’t miss their favorite show or sporting event, Satellite TV is also available.
“Meals are prepared by Chef Lenny, and each culinary experience pairs island flavors with a combination of locally sourced meats (wild boar, free range chicken) and seafood (conch, lobster, grouper, snapper), joined with home-grown fruits and vegetables from the gardens behind the lodge. Local beer, a variety of spirits, and tasty wines are all available (not included in the package).
“The fishing program at Robby’s Place focuses on long days wading the endless white sand flats of North Andros and the Joulters. The bonefishing here is almost exclusively wading, though the guides can pole if guests really want to, or if they head to the deeper flats of the West Side. Most of the fish are in the two- to four-pound range, a great average size. There are bigger fish around as well.
“The lodge is located right on the northern tip of Andros Island. Anglers will walk right out to the boats in the morning, and can be fishing in as little as 10 minutes from the beach. The longest run time would be 45 minutes to North Josie Cay, the furthest cay in the Joulters. There are miles and miles of expansive flats here; more than one angler could hope to fish in a lifetime. And because there are very few other lodges on this end of the island (none right on the water), it is rare to see another angler or skiff.
“If anglers wish to fish the flats of the West Side, guides can trailer boats about an hour to Red Bay. There are fewer wading opportunities on the West Side, but these flats are home to some of the largest bonefish in the Bahamas. A trip to the West Side provides a great change of pace after several days of wadefishing in the Joulters. While the fishing here is focused primarily on bonefish, there are some areas where anglers can target permit or tarpon, and large barracuda are frequently spotted patrolling the outside edges of flats. There are also some huge mutton snapper in the area. There is also outstanding blue water fishing just a few miles east of Andros in the Tongue of the Ocean. A day of that kind of fishing can be arranged for an extra fee.”
Don Causey Note: The cost of a stay at Robby’s depends on room and boat occupancy rate and number of days booked. Costs are in line with top-level lodges elsewhere in the Bahamas. There is a new wrinkle at Robby’s, however, and that is the option to create a Deluxe Design It Yourself Package that involves up to six anglers or one angler and his or her family members taking over the entire facility and doing their own grocery shopping, cooking, and daily cleaning. Design it Yourself Packages also involve renting a car. The fishing on one of these DIY trips is still provided by guides, but the overall cost is considerably lower and they provide maximum flexibility. If you have ever wanted to bring your whole family along on a high-quality fishing trip this may be what you have been waiting for. You can get more information from The Fly Shop at 800-669-3474. Ask for Eric Ersch or Pat Pendergast.