When I was planning my latest bonefishing trip to Long Island (the one in The Bahamas), I came across the Long Island Bonefishing Lodge which offers “assisted DIY” bonefishing. Those who know me know that I’m a bit of a contrarian and this is a brand new concept in the world of fishing lodges, and probably the first change to the business model in 50 years. Naturally, I set aside a day to check it out.
While traditional DIY bonefishing involves staying at a hotel/B&B/resort, the Long Island Bonefishing Lodge offers a true fishing lodge experience. It’s situated close to the airport in Deadman’s Cay and only about 1 mile from some of the most productive flats on the island. Further, it has one of the most beautiful locations on Long Island, with a deck perched over the bay – perfect for catching the sunset with a Kalik in your hand.
The rooms and dining area have all been recently remodeled and are on par with anything you’ll find on Long Island.
It’s also adorned with all of the fly fishing friendly features, like rod-racks :-)
What is “Assisted DIY”? I asked myself the same question when I read about it. It’s somewhere between a taxi to the flats and a full service guide. The guides help you with fly selection (hint: they eat anything) and will even point out a few fish for the first timers. It’s sold as the experience of finding and catching the fish on your own. I can appreciate that.
Long Island is particularly well suited for this type of fishing. It has 10s, if not 100s of square miles of walkable flats full of bonefish that have never seen a fly (for more on this, read my full post on Long Island Bonefishing here).
I got to experience both the good and the bad of assisted DIY as I fished with them on the worst day of my trip. Rain was pouring down for much of the day and there wasn’t as much as a hint of sunlight. This was the kind of day is challenging even if you’ve got the best guide pushing your boat, but especially challenging for the do-it-yourselfer. Needless to say, I didn’t see many fish for most of the day. We did manage to crack the code eventually, and I landed my only bonefish at the very end of the day.
All in all, it was a good experience, but I’m not sure where the lodge gets its cost savings from. At 2-3 people per boat, the guides still spend all day with the anglers.
If you’re looking to go bonefishing on a limited budget, there are few options better than the Long Island Bonefishing Lodge. For a little more than $200/pp/night you get all the bonefishing your heart desires. If you’re looking for a fully guided experience, they offer that as well. It’s perfect for experienced bonefishers and anglers looking to for a little extra challenge. Your spouse will probably even enjoy the great surroundings. If you’re new to bonefishing (or worse, fly fishing), or are have mobility issues, I might look someplace else first.
Already booked a trip? Tell Nevin that Trident sent you.