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A fantastic do-it-yourself trip option, a visit to Mayaguana offers great fishing for large bonefish on one of the most remote and least-visited islands in all of the Bahamas. Mayaguana is the eastern-most island in the Bahamian chain and about as far south as you can go and still be in the Bahamas. There are only 300 people on the entire island, and this is a destination that is truly “out there” with regards to location! A great laid-back atmosphere, friendly people, a high value for the dollar, and a totally unique fishery that is ideally suited for experienced anglers seeking big bones and something different. Anglers stay in a small, local hotel, and access the islands’ fishing areas each day via rental car and canoe, both of which are available for rent through the hotel. Great opportunities for wading and sightfishing on hard, white-sand flats.
We suggest a minimum of one week due to the small number of weekly flights to Mayaguana and the remote nature of the island.
The Baycaneer Beach Resort is the only game in town and very suitable for those who do not require numerous amenities or high-end services. (As we like to stay, you can stay at any hotel on Mayaguana that you want as long as it's the Baycaneer!) We find the setting and character of the hotel to be refreshing and somewhat “old school.” The proprietor – “Shorty” Brown – is always around to assist you with anything and he makes sure that his self-service bar is always well stocked. There is wireless internet, TV, and a pool table in the lounge. The rooms are clean and comfortable and all have quality A/C units. The water pressure varies from day to day, but for the most part is satisfactory.
The hotel sits on a long beach and bay near the small settlement of Pirate’s Well. There is an actual well in the area that is rumored to have quenched Blackbeard’s thirst! One of our favorite aspects of Pirate’s Well is a fantastic beachside bar called “Mel’s On Da Bay.” This stilted, colorful, octagonally-shaped watering hole is also well stocked with beer and liquor and the owner Mel is always on-hand to entertain. She’s a talented dominoes player and always willing to teach this traditionally Bahamian pastime to anyone willing to sit and drink at her bar.
The food is typical Bahamian cuisine that features fresh fish, chicken, lobster, and conch. Most meals are accompanied by rice and beans, fresh water, and a homemade dessert. The meals are substantial, especially considering the remote nature of this destination and the reliance of the island on the bi-monthly mail boats for all groceries and supplies.
Mayaguana is a small island of only 110 square miles, which is about the same size of New Providence (Nassau) but with a population of only 300 residents. Mayaguana was uninhabited until 1912, when settlers migrated from the neighboring Turks & Caicos Islands. If you are seeking a very remote and extremely quiet destination, then Mayaguana might be right for you. We found the bonefish to be larger than average for the Bahamas, but the flats are not quite as populated with fish as are the more well-known Bahamian islands.
For fly anglers, bonefish are the main draw to Mayaguana Island. We would classify the bonefishing as “quality over quantity”. The fishing scenarios differ from what you would experience at a typical bonefish lodge anywhere else in the Caribbean. You are free to fish as you wish, whether it be on your own or with a semi-professional wade guide (which a basically a person that walks around with you towing the canoe and cooler). Motorized boats are rarely used to access the flats around Mayaguana, and even when they are, they are used strictly to access the flats and never to pole. A truck is the main source of transportation to the varied flats, where you typically park and walk-wade on your own. Most of the flats extend from oceanside beaches, large, expansive flats that can really produce during the lower tide cycles. Again, this is a quality not quantity scenario. One can typically expect 6-15 shots on a good day when fishing these beach flats. Schools of big ocean bones cruse the shorelines as anglers actually walk along the beaches. These large beach fish can range anywhere between 6 and 10+ pounds.
There is one inland creek system on Mayaguana that is limited to just a few anglers per day because the small size of the system. Renting a canoe is the most thorough way to access the flats in this inland lagoon. The average bonefish there are around 4-6 pounds, although there are definitely larger fish there as well. In general, it should be mentioned that it is not as common in this area to see the classic large schools of smaller bones that you might find on the more popular Bahamian islands with larger flats. And, while bonefish are the main species to hunt on the flats, blue runner jacks, trigger fish, sharks, and barracudas are always available and good sport.
We strongly recommend hiring an area "guide" when fishing Mayaguana – at least for a couple of days. The few fishing guides on the island are more like tour guides who know where the bonefish are and when to be at the different flats. (They are not boat guides, and they are not expensive at all!) This information is invaluable as the tides on Mayaguana play a major role in where the fish will be and when. Also, the roads that crisscross the island are unmarked and confusing. A guide can be invaluable just for driving to the flats. These wade fishing guides are very nice and fun to be with, and they are happy to carry a backpack with gear or pull a canoe with a cooler full of beer.
The reef and blue water fishing on Mayaguana is virtually untouched and as good as it gets in the Bahamas. The range of fish is amazing around the reefs and in deeper waters. The bluewater fishery can produce marlin, wahoo, tuna, dolphin fish, and numerous other smaller species. If you are interested in fishing offshore you must bring all your own gear and tackle. There are a few charter options; this island offers very little services in the way of boats and knowledgeable captains and crews.
Old Town square-backed canoes with paddles and a pole are available for rent. There are a few trucks available for daily rental to access the flats. Fuel is not included but available for purchase through the one hotel on the island. Mayaguana heavily relies on the mail boat that is scheduled to bring supplies to Mayaguana once every two weeks. The weather plays a major role in the schedule of the mail boat and subsequently the availability of products and goods (i.e. food, fuel, and beer!) on the island.
While the packages that we offer are fairly fishing-focused, there are a variety of low-key, do-it-yourself activities on Mayaguana, including great beaches, swimming, snorkeling, exploring, riding bikes and more. There are no real shopping opportunities besides a couple of tiny markets with very little in the way of goods.
The people are very friendly and the island is one of the safest we have found anywhere in the Caribbean. You must visit Mayaguana with a laid-back mind set and be willing to operate on “island time" at all times!
The only commercial flights to Mayaguana originate in Nassau and run three times per week on Bahamas Air. You must overnight in Nassau on your way to Mayaguana as the flight is early in the morning. Private charter flights direct from the U.S. are also available.
There is no public transportation and few cars on the island, so all transportation should be arranged before you depart for Mayaguana. Yellow Dog can arrange for all your in-country transfers and transportation.
All Mayaguana packages can be totally customized. Please call Yellow Dog for specific packages and rates.
The following packages include meals and lodging only:
7 night / 6 day package --------------------------------------------------------------------------- $1,000
Based on double occupancy, per person
7 night / 6 day package --------------------------------------------------------------------------- $1,500
Based on single occupancy, per person
Wade Fishing Guide (for one or two people) --------------------------------------------------- $160
Vehicle Rental (per day) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- $100
* Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.
Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.
This is a very remote island and goods are delivered by mail boat every two weeks. This means that on any given day, goods can be scarce if the mail boat has not arrived or is delayed. For that reason, we recommend that – whenever possible – you bring everything that you need to be comfortable