Saturday Shoutout / WTF Now? Bahamas Edition

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

If you are like me you are emotionally fatigued over the rollercoaster that is recent Bahamian fishing regulation.

As of January 9th, new double secret Bahamian flats fishing regulations are in effect. They are confusing, vague, completely unimplemented and, for many, disheartening. Are they the end of flats fishing in the Bahamas? Certainly not. Are they what many of us would like? Absolutely not. Do we understand what effect they will have on anglers, guides and the Bahamian people? Not even close.

I am in the Bahamas this week and I will be trying to get some answers to the whirlwind of questions surrounding the issue. If I find any, you will read about it. For now, take a few minutes and read the details.

The best report I’ve found is from Rod Hamilton at


You can also read the Abaco Guides Association’s response to this new regulation. This is all we know for now.

Abaco Fly Fishing Guides Association Blasts New Bahamas Flats Fishing Regulations


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Saturday Shoutout / WTF Now? Bahamas Edition

  1. A reasonable license requirement with the proceeds funding policing of the flats to prevent illegal commercial fishing is a very worthy goal. $20 week for a license is very reasonable. Costs me more than that to drive across the state line and fish in North Carolina. The rest of it is a complete mess.

    These poorly conceived policies will reverse very quickly with one simple strategy, don’t go to the Bahamas. Prescott Smith should study the Dixie Chicks. The Bahamians have a right to say and do whatever they want; it is their country. But the customers also have every right to go somewhere else. My 5th Bahamas trip will wait until this policy is fixed.

  2. I agree there are onerous parts of the regulations and boycotting specifically those involved in the establishment of these regulations could work. However, I don’t see how just not going to the Bahamas will have the effect you want. I generally DIY fish on the outer islands as well as sometimes use guides. Me choosing not go as a protest will financially penalize the friendly small entrepreneur that rents the houses, vehicles, owns the bars and restaurants etc instead of those involved in implementing the regulations with the hopes that they will benefit financially.

  3. I have no problem with the requirement to get a fishing license. However I will no be forced to use a guide therefore my Bahamas flats fishing days are over. We recently went to the Bahamas for 17 days and island hopped. We spent over $15,000 on lodging, food and supplies. I hoped to share with my children my love for the Bahamas but they didn’t care for it. Regulations like these are disappointing and I am boycotting the Bahamas. This year we are returning to the Hawaiian Islands and my fishing buddies and I are watching Cuba.

  4. All of this is very disappointing. As a fisherman fishing the flats is a fantastic thrill but not at the expense level being implemented. Have the Bahamian officials lost their mind ? Is the revenue they expect to generate from these egregious regulations worth the numbers that will surely avoid the Bahamas all together? As previously mentioned the loss of proceeds from rentals, food, entertainment, etc. will far outweigh the money generated from those that will still come to the Bahamas to fish. While I usually use a guide for one or more outings on each trip, I also fish the flats without one on occasion. With these new regulations I can tell you I for one will look elsewhere for my fishing trips.

  5. I think the best way to deal with this boycott the guides and lodges that pushed for the legislation and support the rest of the good Bahamian people. I’m heading to Long Island and Mayaguana for several weeks and aside from the reasonable fee for the fishing license, I don’t anticipate any change in my experience.

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