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View Full Version : Review: Tiamo Resort, South Andros, Bahamas


catchsteelhead
01-16-2010, 07:34 AM
I stayed with my girlfriend for one week at TIamo on Andros South (www.tiamoresorts.com) and had a spectacular experience. It is not a hard-core bonefishing lodge. Due to the expense and the way the property is laid out you would not go here with your fishing buddy for 4-days of bonefishing. That is not what the resort is designed for. It is designed for guys like me who are obsessed with flats fishing, but want to take their wife/girlfriend and be assured that she will have a great time. There is unreal fishing on the flats that are accessible within minutes by boat with a guide or, if you prefer wading, there is a very nice flat within walking distance from the resort. If you want a luxury bonefishing vacation, I’m not sure you can beat Tiamo. I would classify the property as "Adventure-Chic". It offers amazing access to the outdoors (fishing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, etc.) while still allowing your wife/girlfriend to be pampered and taken care of.

The Fishing:
I fished for 4 days. I fished three days with Captain Marvin Miller and since he was booked one day I also fished with Captain Arnold “Shine” Greene. Both were excellent. Marvin is patient, knows the area incredibly well, and has the eyesight you would expect from a guy who makes a living spotting these ghosts! I think I saw one other boat the entire time I was down in Andros. The flats are remote, uncrowded, and extremely productive. On my first day we saw lots of schools of 3 lb. fish and had a shot at the biggest bonefish I had ever seen (Marvin estimated it was 13lbs). The rest of the trip we focused on finding larger singles and doubles. There are amazing numbers of fish here. As a guy who has largely fished the flats off of Key West, I was surprised at the frequency that we saw sizeable bones cruising on a drift. Nearly every flat we drifted offered shots at nice sized bones (5+ bs). We went as far as the “West Side” which is about a 25 minute run from the resort. On the West Side even rigged up an 11-weight to cast at some rolling tarpon in a channel. While I am not a guy who counts his fish, to give people some perspective, overall I put around 25 fish in the boat over what was technically 3.5 days of fishing. I could have caught A LOT more fish were it not for my blown casts! Largest fish caught was an 8+Lb fish while drifting a flat that was only 150 yards from the resort. I could have been wading DIY from the resort on the right tide and caught lots of fish.

Property:
The resort was bought by a husband and wife team a year ago and the entire property has been renovated over the last 9 months (summer of 2009). You can tell that every detail was considered down to the glassware at dinner and the washcloths in the bathrooms. There are 10 cottages on a spectacular strip of white sand. We stayed in one of the "Island Breeze" cottages. There are air conditioned cottages as well, but my sense is that the only time you would need AC on the island is May through August. The cottage was small and simple, but very well appointed. It was quiet, cooled by the winds on the island, with a very comfortable king-size bed. There is a three-fixture bathroom with top-of-the-line fixtures (Duravit, etc). My one small gripe was that

Activities:
There is plenty to do if your wife does not fish or on the days you decide to take off. My girlfriend spent time reading, relaxing, snorkeling and visiting the gym and spa. We went sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. The diving is very good; Andros has the world's third largest barrier reef and the reef is healthy. Bottom line is that you can spend your days being incredibly active, or not active at all. The staff asks you what you want to do in the morning, and provide a pressure-free atmosphere for you to do whatever you please.

Food:
I was somewhat worried about how such a remote location would be able to get quality ingredients. There was nothing to worry about. The food was one of the highlights of the trip. A full breakfast before the fishing day starts cooked to order. The lodge packs a cooler for you for lunch with water, snacks and sandwiches. Your wife gets a relaxing lunch by the pool and a dinner either indoors or outside by the ocean depending on the weather. My only minor gripe was that there is not a menu available in the afternoon. If you get hungry, you need to wait until dinner. The wait is worth it. All of the fish is caught locally. In fact, guests are asked if they want to go out in the afternoon and help catch dinner in the blue water that sits about 500 yards from the resort (snapper, grouper, etc.) The food was NY restaurant quality, and everything was prepared with great care. Overall I would give the food 4 out of 5 stars.

Staff:
I was impressed. The staff is warm, friendly and makes you feel like your needs are going to be met the entire time you are there. The owners of the resort were actively involved in planning each days’ events and dined next to the guests in the evening which was a nice touch. We felt as if we were at a family friend's resort since the owners, Bill and Ellie, were so knowledgeable, accessible, and friendly. The general manager, John (formerly the manager of Andros South bonefishing lodge) took care of everything you could possibly want each day. John knows a TON about the fishing in the area. One day when my line was dirty he loaned me a brand-new Sage Xi3 rod rigged with the newest Sage 6080 reel. He genuinely cares about the experience each guest has while at the resort. This type of hands-on management is very unique and it will serve Tiamo well if they sustain that level of service as time goes by.

Overall this was just an awesome experience, and I will be back…

SageBoy
01-24-2010, 07:01 AM
Great post. Thanks for taking the time.

Cruiser1
02-04-2010, 06:01 PM
How did you like the Sage Xi3 and the 6080 reel?

MarkZ
02-05-2010, 04:54 PM
Very nice! Sounds like a wonderful trip.

catchsteelhead
02-05-2010, 07:52 PM
I really liked the Xi3. I currently fish the Xi2 line (8 wt, 9wt, 10wt) and felt a difference in weight between the 8 wt Xi3 and the 8 wt Xi2. The Xi3 is lighter. I also felt that the rod was "snappier" than the Xi2. Was it enough difference for me to shell out the $$ to replace my rods? Probably not, but if I was handed both rods I would choose to fish the Xi3.

As far as the reel goes, I have the predecessor to the 6080, the 3400D. Honestly I couldn't really find much difference between the two. The drag is identical. The 6080 might be a bit lighter, but not noticeable enough for me to tell. Both are nice.

bcarthouse
06-30-2010, 03:39 PM
Tiamo was pretty much a very nice place.

As far as the fishing goes..............................the guides know the area well but the fish are just not there.

I bonefish all over the world. I have frozen my rear off in Russia and that was well worth the pain.

This resort is very comfortable and if you were getting married I suppose it is magical.

If you want to fish SKIP IT.

Bonecrusher
07-13-2010, 07:12 AM
My only negative on Andros south is the run to the flats is very long if you're going to the grassy cays, water or curly cut. From what I remember, it was a good 45-60 mins in rough seas and about every 4 seconds you got soaked. I realize that's part of fishing the remote areas but it was my least favorite part of the day.....

catchsteelhead
07-14-2010, 09:46 AM
bcarthouse-

Having fished for a long time, I'm pretty certain that the presence of fish, and certainly flats fish, is often dependent on things like the time of year, tides, weather, etc.

My report was intended to give perspective on my trip to South Andros late last year and early this year. When I was on South Andros staying @ Tiamo (December & January, 2009/2010) there were lots of large fish on very productive flats. I think you will find it difficult to argue on this board that South Andros isn't one of the top destinations for bonefishing in the world if you are looking for big bonefish (regardless of whether or not you decide to stay at Tiamo).

Sounds like you had a different experience. It would be helpful for others to know the dates of your trip and other details to compare and contrast with my review.

Spiral
07-20-2010, 10:49 AM
Isn't this why they call it fishing?

I've had days in the Joulters or even the west side where the fish "just weren't there". That is a relative term and I'm sure like in my instances there were alot of other factors at work (weather, time of year, etc).

But I know I'll go back to Andros, anywhere on Andros for that matter, because it's still one of the most diverse, and best bonefish destinations in the Carribbean.

But hey, thats me.

Bonecrusher
07-21-2010, 07:53 AM
I fished Grand Bahama Is in Feb of this year (the area north of Freeport and over near West End) and I was very impressed by the number of big bones we saw/caught.
On my second day, I landed a 12lb, 2 in the 8lb range and others in the 3-5 lb range. In addition to the ones we caught, we saw other double digit fish. I've fished a lot of the Bahamas and Andros 5 times but never saw this many big fish as I did on GBI.