The Abacos are a group of cays stretching 120 miles running from Walkers Cay in the north to Sandy Point in the south. Located 200 miles west of Palm Beach, Florida the Abacos are the most northerly group of Bahamian islands which exposes them to cold fronts from November through March.
With a population of approximately 10,000 there are three distinct regions, Little Abaco, Great Abaco and the offshore cays.
The commercial center of Abaco is Marsh Harbor which offers a wide range of accommodation, restaurants and activities.
To date our exploration has centered on the south-central portion of Abaco around Little Harbor and Cherokee Sound on the windward side and the Marls on the leeward side. I have also heard of some good DIY fishing on Green Turtle Cay while staying in New Plymouth.
Green Turtle Cay is laid back with a good selection of services and continual ferry service to Treasure Cay. A New England style settlement, you get around new Plymouth on foot or by renting a golf cart.
Green Turtle Cay info
Green Turtle Cay Map
There are countless areas for the DIY fisherman to explore on Abaco but to date we have focused on the area around Little Harbor and Cherokee Sound. From Little Harbor there is good fishing in Robinson Bight which is immediately adjacent and is an excellent area to explore with your kayak. Farther to the south is Cherokee Sound providing miles of flats to wade, is easily reached by starting at the pier where the The Sand Bar Grill is located and wading south and Casurina Point.
Green Turtle Cay is another excellent choice for DIY fisherman with several good flats within walking distance of New Plymouth. The closest flats are the "Town Flats" three minutes from town offering approximately one mile of wadeable flats. The next is Sand Dollar flat in Gilliam Bay which you can reach within 15 minutes of walking. The third flat is at Coco Bay which can be reached by golf cart from New Plymouth. There are a variety of other flats and shorelines to fish and well worth exploring. One of the attractions of fishing the flats of Green Turtle Cay is the size of the fish......they can get very large here.
For the DIY fisherman there is very little access to the leeward side flats called the Marl but it can be accessed if you have your kayak at the boat ramp at the Cross Road which is located at the very narrowest part of Abaco and at Freddie's Cut which is located just north of the Neem farm on an old logging road.
One of the greatest bonefishing area's in the Bahamas are the "Marls" of Great Abaco. Here you will find mile after mile of flats, mangroves and creeks providing the perfect habitat for bonefish. However it is not easy to access and it is best to fish it with a guide who knows the area. For DIY fisherman I would highly recommend that you budget one or two days with a guide to fish the Marls. For at least one day hire Capt. Joe Pritchard out of JIC Boat Rentals and have him take you out to the marls.
Another option in Abaco is to rent a boat for a week which provides you access to an untold number of flats. You can rent boats from JIC Boats Rentals, Sea Horse Boat Rentals in Marsh Harbor, Rich's Rentals and Island Marine in Elbow Cay.
Cherokee Sound Bonefish Video
Great Abaco is one of those places where you can bring your spouse and family, get in some good bonefishing and everyone has fun. Marsh Harbor, Treasure Cay are great places to stay and offer all the services and activities you could want while places like Turtle Cay and Little Harbor are more laid back. We choose to stay a little farther south in Little Harbor where access to the flats and bonefishing is a little better.
Most of the fish you are chasing in Little Harbor and Cherokee Sound see their fair share of fisherman and flies, so they can be both spooky and picky. You will see lots of fish to cast to on the incoming tides but they may frustrate you a little. We typically cast flies sized #4 but you may have to go a little smaller with long leaders. When the fish are spooky I have been tying more with rabbit and rubber legs, the rabbit helps the fly land very softly and moves in the water with only the slightest retrieve.
These are great areas to explore with your kayak and to get farther away I would recommend renting a boat in Marsh Harbor for a week and use it to access those flats you can't reach by foot or kayak.
One of the wonderful things about Abaco is how easy it is to get to. There are tons of flights from Miami and Nassau making travel planning a snap.
I would recommend flying into Marsh Harbor and you will need to rent a car while there. There are many car rental agencies at the airport.
DIY Spouse Rating: 8
Great Abaco holds one of my highest Spousal Ratings at 8 offering all the services you look for in a vacation plus some good DIY fishing opportunities. Great Abaco ranks up there with Providenciales of the Turks and Caicos on my Spousal Rating with Great Abaco being less expensive on the plus side but subject to cold fronts during the prime December/January months on the down side.