You are not welcome
Bjorn Stromsness is a dedicated bonefish fly angler, friend of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s science, frequenter and friend of the Bahamas and also the author of a “reliable” blog called Bonefish on the Brain. He has kept a keen eye on the events that have, sadly, unfolded regarding the Bahamian flats fishery’s new rules.
Here is Stromsness’ (summary excerpt) view of where Prescott Smith’s proto-fascism, cocooned in populism, will take the Bahamian’s in all matters flats fishing. It is not pretty, especially for Bahamians, second home owners and small lodges serving families with the occasional DIY flats fishing member.
Bahamas’ Winners and Losers
By Bjorn Stromsness
Lodges: Yes, lodges will win in this scenario. They get rid of a great number of anglers, even locals, and get the waters mostly to themselves. The threat of harassment, the complicated license fees, the massive possible fines will keep DIY guys off the water, in large part. That means the water will be less pressured and the safest way to access any of it will be via a lodge with the lodge guides. This is the Quebec version of fisheries management.
The Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA): Made kingmakers by this legislation, they would get to determine who guides and who doesn’t. It puts them, and our good pal Prescott (Smith), in a position of power and authority to be able to dictate to the guiding community.
Cuba, Belize, Mexico: Those who don’t go to the Bahamas will go other places. Even if the DIY game is not the same, the animosity being created will keep some folks away, but they’ll still go fishing, just other places.