Bahamas Fishing Regulations [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bahamas Fishing Regulations

11-28-2004, 09:13 AM
Two buddies and I are going to the Exumas this Thurs. for a week of unguided bonefishing. Past threads in this Forum cautions that local guides harrass guys like us, demanding that one shows documentation/permit for fishing.
For the past hour I've read everything available on the subject of fishing regulations in the Bahamas, and there is absolutely no reference to our plans being regulated. If we arrived in a boat (Mother ship) it would be different, but not wading out from shore. Is it just harrassment/intimidation, or am I missing something.

11-28-2004, 09:31 AM
Here you go...

Google search will yield many results.

11-28-2004, 12:21 PM
That's one of the references I found. It says nothing about a permit being required for bonefishing.

11-28-2004, 01:22 PM
Bob -

Sorry, tight for time (working today). My experience is that for the $20, it's worth getting. You can keep 6 lobsters and food fish (grouper, snapper, etc) and a guide did hassle me last year about my paperwork when noticing us fishing without guides. I said of course I had it and he backed off.

Worth getting hold of the customs folks before you leave US, you don't need delays in Nassau and the customs folks in Exuma will probably not be able to help you.

Beautiful place, I hope you have a good trip. Also - don't forget to fish the Rolleville flat near Barraterre at dusk.

11-29-2004, 06:18 PM
Being a bit anal on fishing trip preparations, I called the Bahamas Dept of Fisheries to get a final answer on this. Very clearly the gentleman said that no permit or license is necessary for bonefishing, unless there is a non- Bahamian registered vessel involved, and even then it has to be longer than 20ft. So if an aggressive guide shows up, these three guys who total about 20ft in length and weigh about 700lbs can suggest he back off, or get wet.

11-30-2004, 08:45 AM
Having bone fished al over the bahmamas for many many years , I wwould simply say to you to defer to the natives to some extent if possible. They look to the guiding business as a critical income source in many instances. There are specific regulations about non-bahmaians "guiding" in the bahamas I believe. That is why "Keys-guides" do not show up over there for the season; the bahamas are strict on "work permits" for non-bahamians. it might be smarter to hire one of the locals for half a day to show you some new places than to brace for a conflict over whether you have a "right" to fish without a guide etc. Once you have spent al ittle money with them, they are not likely to hassle you if you fish on your own. If you "guide" , or appear to be guiding(such as poling a flats boat for non-family memebers, )you are not going to escape their continuing wrath.

11-30-2004, 09:46 AM
Good philosophy Bee! Spend a little time and money getting to know these guys and the returns will be ten-fold. It's truly paradise on earth down there and whatever makes it easy to enjoy is the best course of action.

11-30-2004, 06:50 PM
Good advice, and we 3 Sr citizens will not go looking for trouble. We are spending $1200 for the villa, $500 for the car, plus $ for food, but really want to try the fishing on our own. My anxiety over the guide issue comes from comments on this forum relative to why Exuma would be a poor choice for the upcoming "clave". I hope to be able to report back that the local guides were not an issue, but if they become one I wanted to know which side of the regulations we were on.

salt dog
11-30-2004, 09:30 PM
Hard to believe no license required for DIY world class bonefishing, but its true. I had the same question, so, in addition to reading reg's (such as they are) I inquired of my last guide from Hopetown three weeks ago. He's an old "Conch", and former world bonefish champion; he laughed, said to tell 'em to stick their bloody pole someplace useful. As usual, too many unenightened tourists screwing up a lot of good water chasing around when they ought to be more courteous. Overall, guides on Montana rivers are much more likely to put an exclamation point on the end of your nose for hole jumping. A Bahama guide knowing most folks feel naked without a fishing license, pull that one out to chase you off of "their" water. Best response would be to to tell them that "insert a named guide" told you it was ok to fish here. Even better, drop $250.00 for a 1/2 day with a knowledgeable guide, learn the area, and name drop as required. Cheap dues for the latest info.