South Andros is a different world than the relatively more sophisticated North Island. If you drive south from the airport at Congotown, you can see this almost immediately. The homes are more simple, the road is rougher and there just seems to be less
activity. South Andros just has a rough-around-the-edges feel. And the further south you go, the more remote it becomes. If you keep driving south, eventually you will arrive at the end of the road and the little village at Mars Bay.
As you stand on the settlement's primitive concrete dock at the harbor, you’re within hailing distance of some of the world’s best bonefish flats. If you take a deep breath, you can almost smell the great fishing to be had at such legendary areas as Grassy Creek, Hawksbill Creek and Jack Fish Channel. But these famous creeks and flats are just a few of the prolific areas South Andros has to offer. South Andros is, quite simply, a huge area It is a maze of interior creeks (some of which bisect the entire island) and exterior coastal cays (almost all of which have superb bonefish flats). The further south you go, the better the bonefishing becomes.
If the bonefish lodges want to fish these prolific areas south of Mars Bay, most trailer skiffs to this put-in at the dock. For some lodges, this eliminates over ten miles of choppy seas thus preserving both valuable angling time and equally valuable angler’s derrieres. But if you are headquartered at these lodges and want to fish these prolific southern areas, you have to put in your time either trailering or riding a bumpy skiff south. There is simply no other choice...
For years, our solution for anglers looking to avoid this transfer time was to book the Mars Bay Bonefish Villa. We worked with the owner, Sardious Smith, and sent only hardy anglers to this lovely three bedroom, two bath villa complete with central A/C, satellite TV and a full kitchen. Things at Mars Bay were a bit rough around the edges, but for the right anglers, quite sufficient.
Subsequently, Sardious died and the Mars Bay Bonefish Villa closed. With this arrow removed from our South Andros quiver, we just continued with business as usual and sent anglers to the excellent lodges at Little Creek (Bair's Lodge), the South Bight (Tiamo Resort) and Kemp’s Bay. But we missed having this option available especially for adventuresome anglers who were willing to trade the luxuries of Bair's and Tiamo for the ease of "deployment" at Mars Bay.
But in the Fall of 2004, after all the legalities surrounding Sardious’ estate were ironed out, a new management team, led by two Americans, took over at Mars Bay. They immediately built a new lodge which includes three A/C bedrooms with baths, a full kitchen and a dining room. They built a wall around the compound, cleaned up the grounds and did a lot of landscaping work. They also bought two new 16’ Rahming Skiffs bringing the total number of skiffs operated to four. Two skiffs have 60 hp motors and two have 40 hp engines.
On-site American manager, Bill Howard, hired local guides, including the experienced Chris and Ronny Bains to man these boats and explore the extensive and protected interior creeks of fabled South Andros. These guides know the areas well from Grassy Cay to Deep Creek and from Hawksbill Creek to Curly Cut Cay. The flats lie from 5-40 minutes away while the coral reefs begin one half mile offshore from at the legendary "Tongue of the Ocean". These coral reefs are expansive and provide excellent opportunities for reef fishing (with an additional daily fee) and snorkeling. While non-anglers are welcomed at Mars Bay, the list of activities available is limited to relaxing, beachcombing and other "ocean-based" pursuits. South Andros has no restaurants or shopping. This is good news for some and not for others! Only you know what makes the non-anglers in your party happy!
As such, Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge is a perfect destination for a group of friends looking to get well off the beaten path. The villa can accommodate a maximum of six people while the lodge can accommodate four. Meals are a delicious blend of traditional Bahamian fare (with an emphasis on local seafood) and American favorites.
If your looking for a spot that is far away from the crowds, but with enough amenities to satisfy most anglers, please consider the well-positioned Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge.