Although fairly new, East End Lodge is already one of our favorite operations in the entire Bahamas. This is a high-quality “fishing focused” destination where you can expect to fish long days with a fantastic, experienced guide staff. You will return to the Lodge at the end of each guided day to enjoy great food, a full bar, and beautiful, spacious rooms that overlook the water. All of this at a price point that is the best on Grand Bahama, if not all of the Bahamas. The second largest island in the Bahamas, Grand Bahama is home to amazing numbers of exceptionally large bonefish and impressive numbers of permit. East End Lodge is very close to some of the most beautiful and productive flats on the island and close to the five bights that cut through the “horn” of the island on the East End. This multi-bight fishery enables the guides to fish optimal tides throughout the day, typically keeping clients on fish and in the action regardless of what the tides are doing at any given time. The experienced guides of East End Lodge have taken anglers to these flats for over two decades and recently came together to create this new Lodge. Travel is easy to Freeport, Grand Bahama so this is a perfect destination for quick two and three-day trips, as well as week-long excursions.
East End Lodge consists of two main buildings. One features three double-occupancy rooms and the other, two double rooms along with the bar and dining area. These structures were completed in 2011 and are very nicely designed, built and furnished.
Each bedroom has two queen-sized beds, large dressers, night tables, reading lights, air conditioning, and plenty of closet space for all your gear and luggage. Each room also has a private bathroom with granite countertops, a shower with good water pressure and plenty of hot water, and a separate commode room. Each cottage is outfitted with a large deck overlooking the crushed coral courtyard area, a large fire pit, the docks and marina, and the ocean itself. Since this is a new lodge, the grounds are simple and clean, with young plants and trees. The Main Lodge has A/C and features a small sitting area, a well-stocked bar with stools and a full dining area. The Lodge has a high definition flats screen with DIRECTV so you can always tune in to the big game.
Food and Beverages
Breakfast is made-to-order each morning and served in the Main Lodge dining room. Your personally-customized, packed cooler lunch will be served on the water. Dinners each evening are a mix of Bahamian-style dishes. You can expect a great selection of fresh seafood, chicken, pork, salads, homemade soups, and a variety of side dishes. Since McLean’s Town (the location of the lodge) bills itself as the “Conch Cracking Capitol of the World,” the conch dishes are as fresh as it gets! All meals can be prepared to your liking, and the kitchen staff will always take great care of you.
Typical Length of Stay
There are no specific transfer days at the lodge, so you can stay for any number of days or weeks. Flights arrive and depart Freeport every day of the week from several cities in the Eastern U.S.
Non-Angling Activities and Option
East End Lodge is primarily a fishing-focused destination, which means that non-angling activities are somewhat limited. That said, the Lodge staff will always do their best to accommodate non-anglers and can plan a variety of different side trips, tours, and activities when possible. The Lodge can arrange snorkeling, kayaking, birdwatching, blue hole tours, nature tours, and island tours. The small settlement of McLean’s Town is close-by and has very limited retail opportunities. The town of Freeport is just over one hour from the Lodge, and there are plenty of non-angling activities available there, including shopping, golf, numerous water sport activities, beautiful beaches, and a casino. The Lodge can arrange for a taxi to transfer you into town and back out to East End Lodge.
Internet / Communications
The Lodge does offer Wi-Fi for guests. Most U.S. cell phones will work throughout the island depending on your service plan.
East End Lodge has a guide staff that prides itself on keeping you on fish any time of year. These guides love to fish long days and generally stay out long after other angling boats in the area have headed in for the day. Since the flats are so close to the Lodge, you will find yourself fishing more and running in the boat less.
The eastern horn of the island has five large bights that travel northeast to southwest. Not only does this provide protection from the wind, but it also enables the guides to fish optimal tides throughout the day as the tides move through this complex flats system. This is a rare situation for any flats destination and means that you will never get stuck in unproductive areas affected by bad tides.
Because Grand Bahama is surrounded by deep, cool water, the average bonefish here tend to be larger than other areas of the Atlantic and Caribbean. An average bone is two to four pounds, and you can expect to see fish on a daily basis in the five to ten-pound class. As a general rule, when fishing from the boat, the fish tend to be slightly more aggressive and respond well to well-placed flies. When wade fishing, delicate presentations, and longer leaders are required, as with any skinny water situation throughout the Bahamas.
Cecil Leathen is the head guide at East End Lodge and has built a guide team that includes several of the island’s top guides. All of the guides at East End are very professional, informative and fun to fish with. Not only do these local guides know where to find quality fishing and good quantities of fish, but they are also some of the best permit guides in the Bahamas. And while we never like to pump up a permit destination too much (since permit can be finicky, fickle devils), we will say that the permit we have come across in the waters of the East End are on average larger than most fish found throughout the Caribbean. The permit here average 15 to 20-pounds, and if all goes well with the weather, you should have a few shots at fish in +25-pound range. Because of the relatively light fishing pressure in the area, the permit can at times react aggressively to the fly. Anglers can also target barracuda, sharks, jacks, snapper and several other species in these East End waters.
The guides at East End Lodge run 16-foot Dolphin Super Skiffs with 85HP Yamahas, complete with poling platforms, poles, rod storage, coolers with plenty of ice, and cushioned seats. As with all of our Bahamian lodges, it is recommended that anglers bring their own gear and equipment, including rods, reels, wading boots, flies and all terminal tackle. The Lodge does have rods and reels available for anglers to use if needed.
For travel details and booking information please contact our Travel Partner, Yellow Dog
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