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- Unspoiled, protected marine areas create some of the best fish habitat on earth
- Many will argue, Cuba offers the world's best saltwater fly fishing
- A great diversity of kinds of fishing, and the fish themselves, makes Cuba intriguing to many anglers
- For Americans in particular, the country of Cuba allow a glimpse in to another way of life and living, with friendly people and an incredible culture
- Season: October-August
- Species: Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit, Barracuda, Jacks, Snapper, Sharks
- Capacity: Varies due to location, and accommodations (live aboard boats from 6-10 anglers)
- 2015 Rates: Varies due to location, accommodations, and season (please contact me for rates)
LOCATION, ACCOMMODATIONS AND FISHING:
One of the great things for anglers venturing to Cuba, is that they encounter a variety of destinations and accommodations. The people at Avalon ( the company which owns most of the fishing operations in Cuba ) have worked for over twenty years to secure the best fishing regions around the country. Jardines de la Reina (The Gardens of the Queen) is most known, as this was the first destination offered to sport anglers. This archipelago, stretching along the southern coast of the country, has been a long protected marine area. A limited number of anglers, divers, and eco tourists are allowed to visit each year. All accommodations in JDR are on live a boards, from the original floating hotel the Tortuga, to the boats Halcon, Avalon Fleet 1 and Avalon Fleet ll.
The fishing in JDR is very hard to beat. Virtually all species of flats fish are available here, at all times of year, with larger migratory Tarpon becoming available during the months of April, May & June. Anglers can wade Bonefish flats, then fish Permit with the tide change, and finish out the day seeking Tarpon in a back bay or channel. More Grand Slams happen in JDR than anywhere else in Cuba.
Isla de la Juventud ( Island of the Youths) is a very large island located off the southwest coast of the Cuban mainland. Here, anglers have the choice of land-based accommodations, as well as two different live aboard yachts. Most anglers opt for the live-aboards, as this cuts down greatly on daily travel time to the fishing areas. Isla de la Juventud is known mostly for its great population of Tarpon, although Bonefish are available in the outermost Cayes. With resident Tarpon here year long, the mangrove lined channels and bays become thick with larger migratory fish in late Spring and early Summer. It is not uncommon for an angler to jump a dozen Tarpon in a day, ranging in size from 40-80 pounds. This is truly, world class Tarpon fishing.
Cayo Largo (Long Key) is at the very east end of the Canarreos Archipelago, stretching from Isla de la Juventud to the west. Cayo Largo is largely a resort island, very popular with European and Canadian sun-seekers. People looking to escape northern Winters are wise to travel here, as temperatures are very stable and comfortable year around. The beaches are as white as the snow back home, and the waters inviting for swimming and snorkeling. Cayo Largo offers a unique experience. First of all, it is one of few destinations worldwide which is appealing to non-anglers and families, in addition to the fishing addict. The Bonefish flats are truly world class, and the fish themselves averaging on the large side. Many fish in the 5-7 pound class are available to anglers, and Bonefish upwards of 12 pounds have been landed here. Even more famous, however, is the Permit fishing. The entire North side of Cayo Largo is Permit habitat. With the water ranging in depth from 2-4 feet, these fish migrate to the flats from deep water on the tide change, seeking out Stingrays who they then feed beside. Many Permit are landed at Cayo Largo each year. Migratory Tarpon are also present at Cayo Largo during the months of April, May and June.
Cayo Cruz is the most recent addition to Avalon's offerings. This is the only fishing destination they offer along Cuba's Northern coast. Accommodations here, like Isla de la Juventud, vary from land based to a live aboard yacht during certain months of the year. All anglers who opt for the land based operation need to know that daily travel time to the boat launch is nearly an hour. Anglers are transported from their accommodations at the old sugar plantation house of Casano Romano, over causeways built to reach the islands off the coast, ultimately launching at Cayo Cruz. This trip will improve in the near future as major road work is underway, with resorts planned on these beautiful islands. The Avalon Fleet 1 is available to groups at certain times of year, particularly during the Tarpon migration of late Spring and early Summer. Large Bonefish are available all year long, and the Permit fishing as solid as anywhere in Cuba. Tarpon migrate south down the deep Bahamas Channel which is virtually just off shore from Cayo Cruz, and become accessible in April, May and June.
SUMMARY: Cuba and the United States have had a 50 year history of political conflict. That has not stopped the rest of the world from visiting, and tourism is now Cuba's largest industry. Recently, the relationship between the US and Cuba has changed, and that relationship is evolving even as I write this paragraph. Travel to Cuba is available and legal to US citizens. I can explain this to you in greater detail if you contact me, but suffice it to say that US anglers are already traveling to Cuba to fish.
I am truly excited by these recent changes. The Cuban people are hopeful that this new relationship will change their lives in positive ways. The country itself is absolutely fascinating to visit. And, the fishing is truly beyond compare.