I posted on this thread once already and was going to leave well enough alone, but the continuing misinformation compels me to respond further. Facts matter and they are being misstated here.
Contrary to what is being asserted, there is not a broad dislike of DIY fisherman on Grand Bahama. I have fished there. I have a number of friends who have fished there over many years (one for a month and a half at a time) and I have asked them about their experiences. Also, I have just called two Bahamian residents, who I have come to know and who are familiar with the local fishing scene, to ask them about their experiences. None of these sources share, or have experienced, the pervasive negative attitudes toward DIY fishermen that nmb speaks of.
Also, contrary to what has been suggested, there is little to no evidence of "ugly American" DIY fisherman "camping or worse yet, living out of their cars, leaving trash, and generally interfering with the local fishing customs". I have visited many, many of the remote spots on Grand Bahama and have not seen what nmb reports. As to leaving trash, there is an unsettling amount of trash left by the Bahamians themselves along their roadside and down their dirt roads. That trash down these dirt roads is not from visitors unless you want to argue that refrigerators, plywood, scrap metal and the like are brought to the island by visitors for the purpose of dumping it there. I have never seen a visitor who appeared to be camping out of his car, and I have never seen evidence of a campsite, no less a campsite where trash has been left about.
In all of my visits to outback Grand Bahama fishing spots, I have seen a flats boat at work on a flat that I was fishing only once. My friends with whom I spoke also say that they almost never see any guided boats attempting to come in to areas where they fish. Grand Bahama is a very big island. There are innumerable places to fish. Undoubtedly, a guided boat will occasionally encounter a wading fisherman on the flats, but I think that nmb is making a far bigger issue of this than is warranted by the facts.
The facts are wrong too regarding the assertion that "the guide association was successful in pushing through a law banning netting of bonefish throughout the country." In 2007 the Bahamian Department of Marine Resources adopted revisions to comprehensively regulate foreign sport fishing boats and sport fishing tournaments. I have a complete copy of that set of regulations and would be happy to post it if I knew how. Those regulations did include a ban on the netting of any fish for sport (without singling out bonefish in particular). These regulations were sent to me by a Grand Bahama resident who discussed the situation with an officer in the Department of Marine Resources.
Contrary to the assertions in the previous post, there is no "law". There is no specific directive against only bonefish netting. The guides association was not the main party behind the new regulations. And there is very little likelihood that a ban on DIY fishing is in the works--in fact the FAQs published by the Department along with the 2007 regulations specifically permit unguided bonefishing.
The previous poster stated unequivocally in an earlier post "i completely support the proposed guide requirement and would voice my opinion if i knew who to contact . . ." From that and his other comments, it sounds to me as if he is encouraging negative attitudes toward DIY fisherman. I think that is a disservice to all of us who want to continue to enjoy this fishery and to continue to build the friendships with the local Bahamians who do truly welcome those of us willing to live among them and get to know them on their own terms. And it is a disservice to local Bahamians for whom he expresses such concern when those Bahamians are the ones who will lose out if their regular customers no longer return if their style of fishing is banned.