My last opinion on the subject!
Just so everyone knows, I host DIY trips to Acklins and also represent a lodge that caters to DIY anglers on the north end of Acklins. So I am an interested party here. Nevertheless, what I state below is the truth and based on my observations and time spent on Acklins.
Is fishing on Acklins the same as it was 10 years ago, certainly not. But that can be said of anyplace. The Seychelles are not the same, nor is the Missouri river, or even Cattaraugus creek. Most places have changed, and it depends on your perspective whether it is good or bad. Most residents of Acklins welcome the increased traffic. From an angler's standpoint, most prefer fewer people and less pressure. Either way, Acklins is still a beautiful, remote paradise that offers excellent bonefishing. I was there this Spring from March 14-21, and our group did not see one other DIY angler all week. We did see a guide with his clients on two occasions in a certain location, but it didn't cause any problems.
There are some residents trying to start lodges on Acklins, but the truth is that some of these are not even open for business, and others have closed. Some will never open, and others likely will close. There are only so many people willing to go bonefishing, and there are a lot of islands and lodges to choose from. I believe it will level off and only the most well-run places will survive. The current economy will certainly weed out the weak.
Regarding DIY anglers interfering with guides, the majority of the flats on Acklins are inaccessible without a boat, so DIY'ers generally do not interfere with the guides, especially in the north, where I have spent most of my time. The number of flats that a guide with a boat has access to on Acklins is overwhelming, so DIY anglers having an impact on the guides is really not an issue from my personal experience on the island. I also know six of the guides personally, have fished with all of them, and none of them has ever complained to me about diy anglers. In fact I've had two of the guides offer me suggestions on where to fish on my own. On our last trip, one guest from my group fished with a guide for four of his 6 days, and we never saw him, he didn't see another guide himself, and he saw lots of fish each day.
I am a steelhead guide on the Lake Erie tribs in NY. For the record, I am not lobbying for guide-only fishing up there. It would make my job a lot easier, as I would not have to compete for water with the DIY steelheadanglers, and anyone who wanted to fish the catt would have to hire me or one of my friends. However, I realize that it would be selfish and wrong.
Anyway, we really don't have much of a choice in whatever the Bahamians decide to do, so our "unwillingness to compromise" is really not an issue.
Enjoy the great fishing we still have on this earth!
Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters
God does not deduct from man's alloted time the hours spent fishing.