NEW FLATS FISHING LICENSES
Required as of Jan 9, 2017
The Bahamas government introduced new regulations January 9th that require all flats fishermen to have a personal angling license. The license fees seem to be reasonable and we are assured, part of the fee is to go towards bonefish conservation.
Bahamas License Requirements
As many of you have heard, the Bahamian Government has recently passed regulations surrounding sport fishing in the Bahamas requiring all anglers (12 years and older) to purchase a Bahamian fishing license when fishing on the flats.
This is the first time the Bahamas has required a fishing license, and therefore there is no infrastructure currently in place to purchase a fishing license online.
However, there is an application for a flats fishing license which can be downloaded and printed at the link below. Many Bahamian lodges are asking anglers to please print out this application, fill it out prior to your trip, and bring it along with you.
For instance, at Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge, owner Bill Howard will, upon your arrival, collect your application and take it to the local Administrator’s office on South Andros, where they will be stamped as a valid fishing license. By filling this form out beforehand you will help expedite this process. If you are unable to print the form, most lodges will have extras at camp. The link to the application is below.
Also, please make sure to have enough cash on hand to pay for the license on arrival, as to our knowledge, most government offices will only accept cash for licenses. This fee will be taken to the Administrator’s office, along with your application when you arrive to the lodge. The prices for licenses, depending on your intended duration of stay are as follows.
- Daily License: $15.00
- Weekly License: $20.00
- Monthly License: $30.00
- Yearly License: $60.00
The regulations also introduce a total ban on commercial fishing in the flats and require flats fishers to “engage only in catch-and-release fishing in respect of bonefish, permit, snook, cobia or tarpon and, unless it is being used for food, hold in his possession at any time not more than one fish”.