Interesting thread on DIY - Fly Fishing Forum
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  #1  
Old 03-23-2005, 01:20 PM
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Interesting thread on DIY

...on that "other forum board".....man, I hate bad news.....bonefishing is the only thing keeping me going ...
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:38 PM
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I wouldn't worry...

How much do you figure the Bahamian Government is going to spend on "Flats Cops"? What?...mabey one part-timer per Island. My guess is that the only way the Government could create "effective" enforcement would be to deputize fishing guides and let them take care of their "own interests"...after all...that's what this is all about. Geeze!...now I have to watch over my shoulder all the time.

Henry
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:27 PM
mdbones mdbones is offline
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Lets just hope....

That they enforce it to the same degree as camping on the beach..........................................

Mike
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:33 PM
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LOL...

I'm not worried.
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:22 PM
SteelBoneguy SteelBoneguy is offline
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Where was this post I would have liked to read about it.
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Old 03-23-2005, 03:27 PM
mdbones mdbones is offline
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Link to Website

This is the info that started it all................


http://www.bahamasflyfishingguide.com/newsupdates.html
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:22 PM
bobsold bobsold is offline
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What are you talking about. Vague references to trouble are not helpful. Unless the Bahamas Fisheries Dept has had a change of heart in the last 2 months, there is nothing to prevent anyone from walking a flat, with or without a guide, anywhere in the Bahamas. If you have info, be specific.
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:33 PM
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Welcome to the Caribbean...

Greetings fellow bonefish enthusiasts,

That sure is interesting news, although the true implications of this are actually more complicated than mere inforcement. Nothing in the islands is that cut and dried. You have to remember the islander mentality, where things such as rules are subjective. I've lived in the Caribbean my whole life and would bet serious money that the effect of such action would be to close whatever flats locals wanted closed, whenever they wanted them closed. Period.

Unless the government is very clear on which areas specifically are closed to visitors, any local police could tell you to leave whatever flat he wants, just because someone who lives down the road doesn't like you fishing in "his" water without paying him. I really can't see the Bahamian government (a classic Caribbean beurocracy) actually spending money on posting the no fishing zones, so it would again come down to opinion where such areas begin and end, exactly. Just imagine the confusion and frustration this could lead to when you look up from stalking a couple tailers to see a uniformed officer yelling at you to get off the flat... all when you thought you were in the clear.

The problem is that no one is taking the side of the little guy in this. The truth isn't that guides and lodges are losing business, quite the opposite. There are new lodges opening all the time - a sure sign of a booming business. The fact is there are actually more anglers interested in bonefishing, some of which don't have the money or the inclination to do their fishing through a lodge or with a guide.

Now, whether they are right or wise (or even save any money) doing this is debatable, but that's not the point. There must be some people out there - fly shop owners, booking agents, tackle reps, - that can quietly point this out to the lodges and guides that are complaining. The other problems, the trashed cars and hammered fisheries, are definitely real concerns, but the solution might not be to close the fisheries in this way. I say talk to whoever you can, email people who know people. Drop a line to any Bahamian guides you might have fished with and generally educate how DIY fishing is not the death of the Bahamian bonefishing economy, just a little icing (in the way of lodging, food, air-fare, and alleged rental cars) from a sector they wouldn't otherwise reach. And, if you are lucky enough to fish on your own over there, be respectful of the environment, privacy, property, and especially the fish themselves. DIY is about getting out there and figuring it out on your own - the tides, the flies, and the bite. It's about getting a few fish on your own terms and clearing your head at the same time. Getting there is half the adventure.

Remember that the next time someone asks you where to go on their own and you know a great little creek loaded with dumb bones. If they're half the angler they want to be, they'd want to find it themselves. Let them.

Still boneheaded,
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:05 AM
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Certainly, closing the Bahamas to DIY fishing is something that is only pushed by the guides/lodges—they are the only ones who benefit (so they think) from this course of action. They want to restrict fishing there and force all anglers to hire guides to fish.

I believe that in terms of business for guides/lodges, prohibiting DIY fishing will actually hurt the guides/lodges-but only a little. The people who go on DIY trips often hire a guide for a day or two of their stay. If they are not allowed to fish on their own, they may not go to the Bahamas period. They will find another DIY place to fish. There will always be people to fill the lodges, and I don’t believe DIY trips really affect them. There are just more people getting into bonefishing, and many that cannot or will not pay the much higher cost associated with staying at a lodge.

By prohibiting DIY trips, you actually hurt many other Bahamian enterprises more so than the guides/lodges. Hotels, car rentals, gas stations, alcohol/beer sales, grocery stores and restaurants all will be affected. These are the people that we should contact and inform them that if we cannot fish on our own, we will find another place to fish. They will lose out.

This is what the Bahamas fly fishing guide website said about reports of dead fish, trash and ruined rental cars: “In response to this behavior, it makes sense that local guides, resort owners, car rental agency owners, want to protect their bonefish resource…for anglers who appreciate it, and who want to preserve it as much as they do.”

First of all, there is absolutely no benefit to car rental agencies if DIY is prohibited. People staying at lodges will not pay $50-70 a day for a car when they don’t need one. Also, if the rental agency is concerned about damaged vehicles, they can simply get a security deposit for each rental. Problem solved.

Not a lot is known about bonefish spawning behavior, but I believe that the extra fishing pressure by the DIY angler will have a minimal effect on bonefish populations. The ocean is a huge place, and every angler I know of releases all bonefish caught, even though we know some get eaten shortly after release. Extra fishing pressure by DIY anglers certainly will make the bonefish more difficult to catch, or may force them to feed at different times or different locations, much like increased pressure would make wild trout in a river more difficult to catch. I doubt the increased pressure will seriously affect their populations.

Another point to think about is that most DIY fishermen have limited access from shore. They often cannot reach the areas that guides fish from their boats. On Islands where the guides fish some areas that are easily accessible from shore, yes, they would interfere with the guide's clients and their fishing. But wouldn’t restricting DIY anglers then interfere with the other businesses on the island I mentioned above? Whose business is more important, the guides/lodges, or the hotels, restaurants, grocery stores & car rental owners?
I guess the bottom line is how you look at the issue-from a business standpoint or from a conservation standpoint.

From a business standpoint I believe prohibiting DIY trips will harm the overall economy of each island where it is restricted. From a conservation standpoint, sure, less pressure does equal more fish, and less educated and less spooky fish. Where is the middle ground? A good question. All we can do is alert the interested Bahamian parties of our views and intentions, and it will be up to them to make a decision. After all, it is their Country and we are merely guests. I love the Bahamas, the fishing and the people. I know many guides, and have told them already that I don't believe it is a good idea to prohibit DIY angling. If DIY angling is prohibited, I’ll still go to the lodges in the Bahamas, but I will not go there as much as I do now. I will find another place where I can fish on my own.
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Last edited by Vince; 03-24-2005 at 09:06 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2005, 11:21 AM
JohnM JohnM is offline
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DIY

Vince,

How is the baby ? Hopefully you and your wife are getting some sleep...

I could not agree with you more on your thoughts. I know that there are some local business' on one of the Islands, where the "outlawing" of DIY fishing is being discussed, that are very unhappy with this possibility. They know that there are still people that come and stay in their little hotels/B&B's, spend money at the restaurant in town and buy supplies/gas from the store in town. This is an addition to the rental car (which in many locals is not a big rental car conglomerate but a local resident who has bought a number of "lightly used" cars for rentals). One business owner said they have tried meeting with some of the lodges and guide groups to work out a plan that would benefit all on the Island....Not sure where that is going....

It is also unfortunate that a small group of inconsiderate fishing hoodlums have ruined it for folks that care about the people and environment of where they go to fish.

It is also very interesting to get a response from the different lodges and organizations involved in bonefishing in the bahamas when asked if you can combine a day or two guiding with a day or two of DIY. Some are willing to put something together and on the other end of the spectrum, I have been told to go find another Island to fish (And so I did)......But it is what it is......

Like you, I will continue to fish....I will use guides if I feel like it and will fish on my own when I feel like it. And if that means taking my trips to another part of the world to accomplish DIY, then so be it.....There are many areas of the world that have some quality DIY fishing that would love to welcome considerate visitors.....

Just my two cents......
John

Last edited by JohnM; 03-24-2005 at 11:22 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2005, 11:56 AM
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John, Mia is doing well, thanks. We are getting some sleep too!

I agree with you fully--there must be some happy medium to be reached here. Also, it certainly is a very small % of people giving the rest of the DIY anglers a bad rap. I know a lot of anglers who DIY and they are very respectful of the Bahamian resource.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:46 PM
bobsold bobsold is offline
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The last three posts are right on the money. If this comes to pass the lodges and guides will be happy, though no busier, and a whole lot of other business owners will see less business.
I am going to write a letter to the government suggesting they re-think this move. For others who might want to do the same;

Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Local Gov't
East Bay Street
P.O. BoxN-3028
Nassau NP, The Bahamas

This is very short sighted
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2005, 12:39 AM
gammarus gammarus is offline
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Here in British Columbia there are major rivers closed to non-resident anglers. Fishermen from outside of the province must hire a guide on these systems. At first there were alot of people (locals included) who voiced the same type of opinions that are in these posts. But in the end the whole thing has worked out positively in those watersheds. More tourist dollars in the pockets of those who live in the area, less crowding on the rivers, more fish returning every year. The bottom line is, if you can't afford a guide, fish somewhere else. I know I'll be changing my fall trip from the Bahamas to Belize.
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2005, 06:30 AM
josko josko is offline
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I think the Bahamians are trying to grapple with a real problem. Somehow, over the last few years, the number of 'Ugly American' DIY crews has grown much faster than any other fishing-tourism segment. (heck, the rest of the bonefishing 'industry' has declined.)
I've fished next to some of these groups, and they are emphatically not fun to be near. There is no doubt in my mind that guided anglers would and do complain when they're within shouting (swearing) distance of these groups. I can certainly see frustrated guides coming back with: 'Mon, you gotta help me out with this problem...' and it looks like somebody is trying to do so.

While I emphatically exempt this site's 'bonefish clave' from any such or similar behavior, the methods they used to find and book their trip are available to all, and are much kess costly than the 'traditional' lodge packages; so it's no surprise pople have figured it out and are torquing Bahamian bone-tourism in a direction the locals don't much like.
This (shift in bonefishing tendencies) could be a sign of tight fiscal times in the US, or just the maturation of a previously exclusive type of recreation to larger numbers of less wealthy people. I happen to think it's an unavoidable drift, prodded largely by the Internet.
Bahamas need to make a choice whether to try to preserve bonefishing as an exclusive, expensive activity (perhaps analogous to atlantic salmon fishing or what I read about BC) or whether to go for the (tourist) numbers. Given their investment in bonefishing lodges (which are by and large sitting empty, or at least grossly underbooked), and guides, the direction they are taking is not surprising. The clumsiness of the current approach is, well, only to be expected. My hope is they'll smooth off the corners a bit, given time and enough emailed complaints.
To look at the two different approaches, compare BVI's to USVI's, and the difference between mass and exclusive tourism jumps right at you.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:06 AM
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My final post on this issue....

Response from Long Island (Bahamas )

Dear Mr. Dougherty - No - this is NOT true and before other people POST incorrect information - we wish they would let the persons in charge on the islands post the information that is correct. Local Government together with the Long Island Bonefish Assosciation are closing JUST A FEW areas on certain flats on Long Island - because they have developed as nursuries where small bonefish hang out.
Self-Guiding will NOT be banded ...just at certain areas Guests wading/fishing on their own will be asked to avoid.

Hope this helps ! Perhaps this message could be spread ....as fast as someone posted that Long Island is closing it's flats.
Absolutely incorrect!
Best regards, Jill
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