Prescott and his team of experienced guides have intimate knowledge of several vast and prolific stretches of water where anglers can tangle with bonefish, permit, tarpon, barracuda and other inshore game. Good fishing, along with the desired shelter during periods of strong winds, can often be found in Stafford Creek itself, as well as in neighboring, oceanside shallows. To the north lie the expansive and fertile flats of the Joulter Cays, where you will marvel at the scenery and the bonefish, permit, and the supporting cast patrolling the pristine waters. And just around Andros’ northwest tip unfold miles and miles of undeveloped coastline on the fabled west side of the island, where numerous freshwater creeks emptying onto the shallow Great Bahama Bank produce the most reliable tarpon fishing in the region, while also serving up the forage coveted by the many bonefish and permit that inhabit the area.
Bonefish of 3 to 5 pounds abound, 6- to 8-pounders are common in the area, and specimens of 10 pounds or more are encountered frequently. Permit and tarpon are also available and, during the right conditions, both are abundant and reliable enough to target.
While much of the fishing in the region entails stalking fish from a skiff propelled by the guide with a push pole, wading is a possibility in certain spots. The bottom of many flats consists of sand, coral, limestone, or a combination of any of the above, and are firm enough to wade. Proper wading footwear, however, is highly recommended, to ensure good footing and protection against sharp coral and jagged bottom structure.
Unless you prefer otherwise, guides at Stafford Creek Lodge base fishing hours on the tides to ensure the best possible results. Depending on the time of year and the chosen destination, you may head out as early as 5:30am and return 9 or 10 hours later. But don’t worry, you won’t have to start your day without having coffee and breakfast first, and you will not miss dinner.
Stafford Creek Lodge guides are equipped with modern, well-maintained flats skiffs from renowned brands like Hell’s Bay, Maverick, Dolphin, Hewes and Action Craft, designed to reach the fishing grounds quickly and comfortably, provide a stable fishing platform and quietly sneak up on fish in skinny water.
While the lodge tries to keep a few fly outfits to lend guests in the event their gear is misplaced or damaged during the trip, its remote location can make fixing or replacing tackle difficult, so it’s best to bring at least one spare rod and reel, as well as plenty of flies, leaders and other essentials. You should also bring your own rain jacket, flats wading footwear and polarized sunglasses.