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Here’s a welcome development. Seems Inagua Outback Lodge in The Bahamas has declared itself a barblesshooks- only facility. We have that from Vince Tobia of Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters (www.ccoflyfishing.com) who handles bookings for the facility. He writes: “The waters of Great Inagua comprise a unique ecosystem that supports an unspoiled fishery for bonefish and tarpon.
“To help protect this precious resource for future generations, Great Inagua Outback Lodge is now a ‘barblesshooks- only’ fishing lodge for bonefish and tarpon. When you tie on a fly here all you will have to do is mash the barb flat with your pliers or hemostat and you’ll be ready to fish. The lodge will also have information on hand about the proper way to catch and release bonefish and tarpon, this latter courtesy of the conservation organization Bonefish Tarpon Trust (www.bonefishtarpontrust.org).”
Tobia tells us he is not sure but he thinks the move will make Inagua Outback Lodge the first barbless-hooks-only facility in the Bahamas. Has anyone heard of another lodge in the Bahamas (or the entire Caribbean) that has moved formally in this direction? It’s a good direction, and we will support it here by recognizing any lodge that elects to become barbless-hooks-only. Someone at the lodge simply has to write us and tell us.
As a client, you can nudge this movement forward by telling your agent and outfitter that you want to fish only at facilities that have taken this step. Think about it—why wouldn’t Caribbean lodges move in this direction?
It’s no real bother to mash down hooks, and so what if a fish now and then gets off. All of us who fish owe the resource we love this minimal effort.