Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge: FAQ’s

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions

We are a small lodge and  book singles, pairs, and sets of fishermen to fill the lodge. But some groups want to reserve the entire lodge for themselves. It might be for a corporate outing or just a group of friends. If your group is large enough we’ll reserve the entire lodge for you.

Bill is the American manager and owner. And like most owners who operate their own businesses, he works a little harder. Bill has been running the lodge since 2002, and is easygoing, polite, and very friendly. He’s up in the morning well before you carrying coolers and mixing gas.

We have had complaints. One guest thought we served too much food….we did. Oddly, another guest said he could have used more closet space and another thought his pillow was too hard. My favorite, one gentleman said he had a great week but could have done without watching a couple of dogs fornicating on the beach. He didn’t have to watch. Here are a few reasons to come…


Fortunately, we are the most southern-located lodge in all of Andros. We spend all our time fishing the southern tip of South Andros; commonly considered the jewel of bonefishing in the Bahamas.

The boat ride from Mar Bay to our fishing grounds is 10 to 60 minutes. Sometimes longer in lumpy water conditions. Occasionally a guest will mention the long boat ride. I tell him, “You are lucky you are so close.

There are some popular lodges well north of us. If the winds are light enough, they’ll take the ocean-side route to get to the southern tip. It’s the shortest route but still an additional hour runtime over Mars Bay. Did you come to fish or spend most of your day on a long boat ride?

However, the winds usually blow 10-15 mph for weeks. This creates a natural ocean-side barrier to the southern tip for lodges north of Mars Bay. Crossing the big water coming around High Point is just too dangerous.  Other lodges must take the inland creeks for a longer boat ride. Stay at a lodge north of here and you are guaranteed a four to five hour boat ride if you want to fish the southern tip. 

In the other lodges’ defense, they don’t always run south. And they do fish the west side. We could fish the west side but we don’t…….the boat ride is too long.


Our proximity means no less than one to three hours a day of extra fishing. You’re still wading a flat when the other lodge guests are running full throttle. You do the math. That adds up to an extra day fishing on a six-day trip. No charge. 

There is a flat big enough for a dozen fishermen right in front of the lodge. Obviously, you won’t be able to fish if the tide is high until the water drops a bit. The largest fish of the year was caught in front of the lodge three years in a row.  Your guide can drop you off on the way home and you can fish your way to the lodge if the tide is right. Or you can walk 100 feet when you get to the lodge and be fishing until dark.

Dependable Boats

The lodge purchased new motors for the 2023 season. Bill maintains all the boats and motors personally. They are over-maintained. We have towed boats home from every lodge at one time or another. Since 2002 Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge has had to tow one boat home. They were back at the lodge in time for dinner.

We keep a backup boat ready to go at a moments notice. If one is not running properly we can have a backup boat ready to go in five minutes.

And finally, the dock is less than a minute away; no long rides.


FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions


4:30 AM – Morning Staff arrives to prepare the coffee, breakfast, and lunches.

5:00 AM – Coffee is brewed and ready.

6:30 AM – If you are not already up Bill will wake you up.

7:00 AM – Breakfast is served

7:30 AM – Load up in the truck and drive one minute to the Mars Bay Dock to meet your guide, stow your rods, and put on a raincoat.

7:45 AM – Throttle up and go fishing!!

4 – 5 PM – Return to dock after a day fishing.

5ish PM – Hors d’oeuvres are served in the dining room.

7 PM – Dinner is served.

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions


See our WHAT TO BRING page for suggested flies.

Click Here for More About Flies

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions

October through May


The fishing is always good anytime of the year although some days are better than others. March, April, and May is peak season and are the most popular months. October, November, December, and January are my favorite months for trophy bones.

If I didn’t live here and wanted to book a trip I would come in the fall. Hurricane season is over, the days and water are cooler, there is no risk of a winter cold front, and the fish have not seen a boat or fisherman since the previous May. 

June provides excellent opportunities for sheer numbers of fish caught. Double digit days are common and the winds are light.

Oddly enough, I had a group of eight who came in early July one year. Fishermen were catching 30-50 fish a day. So much for the “It’s too hot” theory.


That is a tough question and not a fair one. South Andros is arguably the best bone fishery on the planet. But every fisherman knows some days are diamonds and some days are dust, take what they can get. All things being equal, in the end it depends on how well you can cast. On the same day, an experienced caster might catch twenty fish when his less experienced partner hooks two or three.

Generally, five to ten fish a day is common. Catching fifteen fish in a day is not unusual and would be considered a very good day. A twenty-fish day is definitely a great day fishing, as good as it gets. Catching thirty fish in a day doesn’t happen often and you were probably jerking schoolies.

On Jackfish flat you might find yourself casting into a school of 200 two to three-pound bones that keeps circling back to you. Don’t mistake a big school for cloud shadow. In other areas, you’ll see sets of four to twenty larger fish swimming to you in waves. If you find just one bone or a couple swimming together odds are good they’re larger fish. Make that cast count!

Many times fishermen have returned to the lodge after a day of fishing and say they saw a bonefish so big it was mistaken for a shark or cuda and they didn’t make the cast. Sharks swim in a slinking “S” motion. Cuda will sit straight and motionless. Bonefish are always moving and swim straight without much bending of their bodies. When in doubt…make the cast.


Our guide staff is Pap, Dingy, Bruce, LJ, and J. Two with 15 years experience, one with 12, and two young guns with two years under their belts.  All our guides are licensed boat captains and bone fishing guides who were born, raised, and live on South Andros and grew up here fishing these waters. They understand the fish and they know the fishery. The guides are as comfortable in a boat as they are on land and they’ll put you on fish.

You’ll not find any better guides anywhere in the Bahamas than the guides at Mars Bay. I get nothing but compliments about how good the guides are, all of them. I don’t get complaints. 

I’m sure you have heard the stories of rude guides who are abusive jerks that run hot? Maybe you’ve experienced one or two. Not here, never!


Yes….both. Depends on the moons and tides.

All boats are equipped with push poles, platforms, and leaning bars.

Some fishermen like to wade some like to pole. Both are dependent on the tides and the fishermen. We’ve had 75-year-old men who insist on wading and 40-year-olds who won’t get out of the boat. If it’s a flood tide you might pole the mangrove edges. Or you might walk way up into a creek on that same tide. If the tide is down you might pole a deeper edge, wade a flat that stretches for miles, or set up at a creek mouth and catch fish as they’re coming out of the mangroves.

Andros is generally a wade fishery. Some of the best fishing areas you can’t get a boat into. Some fishermen refuse to get out of the boat. If you insist on being poled you’re handcuffing your guide. There will be bones tailing in shallow water a boat can’t get to and neither will you if you won’t get out of the boat. If the wind is blowing poling is a waste of time. The wind is blowing the boat faster than you can strip. And by the time you see the fish they’re breaking left or right ten feet away. We’ll do our best to accommodate you but expect to do a little of both.

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions


Probably….come expecting and be prepared for a 15 mph wind. Before making my first bonefish trip I dreamed of being poled across windless flats on crystal clear days. It can be that way but very rarely. More often you’ll find yourself wading in a 15 mph wind.

When fishing no wind conditions the fish are jittery and easily spooked. And they can see you as well as you can see them. Stretch out your leader and put on a light fly that will land softly.

Wind is a good thing and come planning on it. The ripples and waves caused by the wind reduce the fish’s ability to see you and allow the fly to penetrate the water without spooking the fish.

You’ll need to be able to cast in 10-15 mph winds. Please practice double hauling and throwing a tight loop before you come. It’s the difference between catching a couple of bones for the day or ten. Nobody practices to prepare for the trip and I have no pity for those who don’t. Waiting until you get here will result in missed opportunities.

Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge: FAQ’s


Fish Counts Are The Same Regardless of Moons

This used to read about 1000 words. I’ve reduced it to one paragraph. After 20 plus years of managing this lodge and counting fish, I know one thing….day in and day out the fish counts are the same regardless of the moon and tides. Full moons, new moons, quarter moons, rising tides, falling tides, it doesn’t matter. The guides know where the fish are on any tide. Myself and the most experienced fishermen I know have one thing to say – Forget about the moons and tides.

All slots are reserved for fishing guests

If he/she likes to fish…absolutely. If he/she doesn’t fish….absolutely not! Your spouse will make us both miserable. Mars Bay is a fisherman’s paradise but it is also undeveloped. Apart from fishing, there is nothing to do but fish and watch the world turn. We have is no staff at the lodge during the day, nobody around to make you lunch, no tanning on the beach; the bugs will chew you up. The are no waves crashing on the shoreline, the water is too shallow. There is no nightlife, no places to shop, and no quaint villages to explore. Any convenience store in the states would qualify as a Super Walmart on South Andros.

All slots are reserved for fishing guests.

There are several other lodges with swimming pools and full-time staff during the day willing to accommodate non-fishing guests.

The U.S. and Bahamian dollar trade one to one, both are readily accepted anywhere in the Bahamas. Bring small denominations because vendors sometimes have difficulty breaking large bills.


FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions


If it requires a blow torch or flaming brandy we don’t mess with it. Everything is delicious and made from scratch. Ask anyone who’s been here. Some guests say they’ll return just for the food.

Please let us know in advance if you have special dietary requirements like diabetes or shellfish allergies.


Breakfast is usually American; eggs and bacon or sausage, omelets, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, French toast, quiche,…the usual suspects. You’ll eat what’s put in front of you however Cold cereal and oatmeal is also available upon request. Some of the more adventurous guests like to try the traditional Bahamian breakfasts like boiled fish, tuna and grits, or stewed conch.


Boat lunch is the sandwich of the day, a piece of fruit, yogurt, chips, and a candy bar. We don’t serve processed lunch meats. Instead, we grill or bake ham, beef, and pork roasts. If you would rather have peanut butter and jelly just ask, no problem. There is also plenty of water in the cooler.

When you arrive at the lodge after a day of fishing there will be an appetizer on the counter…..conch fritters, calamari, cracked lobster, shrimp, lobster or conch salad, chicken wings, etc.


The dinner menu is Bahamian on some nights and American on others and is two or three courses. We start dinner with soup or salad. The main courses are conch, lobster, snapper, hogfish, or grouper, rack of lamb, rib eye steak, pork loin, or chicken. All the fish, lobster, conch, and stone crab are caught locally. The lamb is from New Zealand and the steaks Nebraska beef. Both are grilled to perfection over a blend of hickory and mesquite.

And then finally dessert, it might be a cheesecake, coconut pie, key lime pie, guava duff, etc.

We do have Starlink Internet. It’s lightning fast and the lodge is lit up with wireless signals. You’ll be able to do anything with your phone that requires a wireless signal but……your cell phone will not work with your states carrier to make and receive calls through the local network. If it is critical that you stay connected; before your trip be sure to buy an international day pass from your carrier. They cost around $10 per day.

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions


No, bring everything you need. I will tie some flies up for you if you run short. Gear gets torn up quicker than I can replace it. Besides, if you’re a fisherman you ought to have a little skin in the game. No gear usually means no experience. This isn’t the place to learn how to cast.

Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge: FAQ’s