GARDEN & GUN, December 2012

One of 25 reasons why the South is a sportsman’s paradise - Bonefish Lodge: The Delphi Club. You love to chase bonefish. The wife and kids, not so much. You can compromise. Or you can fly south to the Bahamas where Great Abaco Island’s Delphi Club offers world-class bonefishing from an eight-bedroom plantation-style lodge. Guests who aren’t fishing can go snorkeling, diving or birding, or just relax by the pool or on the lodge’s expansive porches. For guests who are, talented local guides and trophy bones await.

Extract from
TROUT & SALMON, December 2011
By Michael Shortt

“What Peter Mantle has created on Abaco is a synthesis of all that is best from Irish Delphi and other wonderful places around the world. It is an amazing blend of beautful location, glorious climate, sumptuous accommodation and food, huge fun and great fly-fishing. Best of all he has managed to import the wonderful house-party atmosphere of Delphi Ireland to this semi-tropical paradise. It’s a menu that, I fear, will become as addictive as did that Mayo valley all those years ago.” Full Article

Extracts from
IRISH TIMES, July 2011 & May 2012
By Derek Evans, Angling Editor

“Having been at the Delphi Club last year, and with more than fifty years of angling under my belt, the experience was the most spectacular, rewarding and enjoyable I have ever had.”

“With its stunning lodgings, location and menus, plus brilliant bonefishing, the Delphi Club can lay claim to being one of the finest saltwater fishing lodges in the world. I can vouch for that.”

Extracts from
COUNTRY LIFE, November 2010
By David Profumo

“Saltwater fly-fishing tends to happen in nice, hot places, but many are hard-core angling camps, and there are precious few destinations where the ‘fishing widow’ can also relax in comfort. One splendid exception is the new Delphi Club, on the out island of Abaco, where Peter Mantle (famed for his salmon lodge back in Connemara) has opened a luxurious, plantation-style resort on a bluff overlooking a pristine beach. ‘Fishing is not compulsory,’ the brochure firmly states. Imagine staying in a civilised house party, with first-class cuisine – Eggs Benedict for breakfast, anyone? – and you’ve got the general idea.

“We were dogged by lousy weather: cold winds make chasing flats species a tough pastime as they’re hard to spot and this is meant to be a sight-fishing experience. Even so, angling pressure here is so light that you can nearly always find fish especially in the Marls area – 400 square miles on the west side, where, even in a gale, my friend Fergus and I managed to hook a dozen bones in one day. If that’s a slow sport at Delphi, I’d love to be there during a bonanza.

“This would be an ideal place to try fishing the salt for the first time. Albula vulpes – often called the phantom of the flats – is thrilling, mirror-flanked speedster that you intercept with your artificial pattern as he scurries around the sea floor hovering up goodies. These are nervous creatures, so you need to be quick on the draw. At Cherokee Sound, on the Atlantic side, the schools get fished for more frequently and are altogether harder to fool; I had two nice sessions there with veteran guide Donnie, and hooked a four-pounder that took so much backing we had to follow him in the skiff. Another day, I ambushed a massive barracuda up a mangrove channel – at 32lb it was one serious unit, and I’m sure I heard it snarl as it came snapping for my surface lure.

“After a hot day out, you convene at the cocktail hour in the Great Room, where colonial-chic style combines stuffed billfish with framed Irish flies. Meals are communal and the atmosphere is most convivial. A couple of rum nightcaps, and you’re glad of the cool, cedar-scented comfort of your room, with a balcony overlooking the ocean. It’s all beautifully organised.”

Extracts from
IRISH TIMES, June 2010
by Derek Evans

“The Delphi Club is five star in every respect. The eight double bedrooms, each with verandah, have stunning views over a white sandy beach and the blue waters of the Atlantic …

“The Great Room is immaculately furnished, with fishy themes, and there’s a great library. An outdoor heated swimming pool captivates …

“Fisherman’s paradise …

“Gareth Reid, resident chef from Armagh, is top drawer … Dinner at 7pm at the big table is the highlight of the day. I opted for shrimp tempura with a spicy pineapple salsa, then pan-fried mahi-mahi with cucumber and white butter sauce. Hot raspberry soufflé completed a sumptuous meal …

“And there are bonefish, lots of them … With over fifty years of angling under my belt, this bonefishing is the most spectacular, rewarding and enjoyable I have ever encountered …

“The Bahamas are the capital of bonefishing … The islands are beautiful, rich in culture and heritage, and boast a “guarantee” of glorious sunshine.”

Extracts from
By Don Causey

[The Inspiration]

“Here and there, amazing sorts of operations are emerging, as witness the brand-new Delphi Club on Abaco Island … A sort of European manor transferred from the wilds of Ireland … Indeed, the model for the lodge is a magnificent country home cum sporting lodge [Peter] Mantle [also] operates in the Connemara region of Ireland … The Bahamian version of Delphi Lodge is a mirror image of the Irish one …”

[The Location]

“The imposing, eight-bedroom structure … is situated on an east-facing, ocean-side cliff that looks out over a sandy beach and the open Atlantic. The sunrises are unlike any I have seen in a lifetime of travels around the world …”

[The Club]

“The style of the Club is that of an 18th century colonial plantation house. The decor, the antiques, the elegant layout of the common area, the wrap-around verandah with its excellent views, the pounding surf and clear ocean water all leave one feeling a bit disoriented, as if a time and space machine had gone awry, leaving rural Ireland and the Caribbean magically glued together in some way …”

[The Fare]

“The art of conversation rediscovered over good food and fine wine. As Tim Jones said of Delphi Lodge in Ireland, the fishing was almost secondary to the cultural experience of just being there … Decidedly not for everyone, and that includes the hard-fishing maniac, the fish-counter and anyone who likes to just sprawl at end of the day, toss back a beer and go to sleep …”

[The Fishing]

“The fishing, of course, is for bonefish with an occasional crack at a permit and a sometime chance to jump a tarpon … The Marls, in case you haven’t fished Abaco, is a vast, 400-square-mile labyrinth of flats, creeks and open areas on the west side of the island. The area boasts a huge number of bonefish, most of them in the two- to three-pound range with occasional specimens upwards of five pounds and more … There is very little fishing pressure on the Marls, so the bonefish there are not difficult to catch … ”

[The Guides]

“The three guides I fished with during my stay were all very competent and pleasant … One by the name of Robin was among the best I have ever fished with in the Bahamas …”

[The Conclusion]

“A genuinely fun place to visit. It is as near as perfect a place as exists in the Bahamas to bring a non-fishing spouse. She, or he, will have a ball …”

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