Cuba #4: Cayo Largo

With my time at Cayo Cruz over, I flew back to Havana for the night, and then on to Cayo Largo the next morning. This is a quick flight from Havana of only 30-40 minutes. Cayo Largo is a long island oriented east and west, connecting to the Canarreos Archipelago trailing off from Isla de la Juventud to the west. It is a resort island, largely visited by Canadians and Europeans wanting to find some winter sun and walk on a sandy beach.

Most guests of Avalon stay at the Sol Club Cayo Largo. This is an all inclusive resort featuring all the amenities including pool, numerous restaurants, theater and beach. For guests looking for a lower key and more solitary experience, Avalon has another great option near the marina where the flats boats are docked named Villa Marinera.

I loved Cayo Largo I have to say. It had some of the most beautiful Bonefish flats I had ever seen, and although the water had turned cold from a front that blew in, we found numerous fish pushing 6-7 pounds. My guide said his largest Bonefish landed was 12 lbs!! I like the sound of that. The Permit flats were astonishing. To say that they are huge is an understatement. You could spend all afternoon continuously poling, on the lookout for Permit in the company of Rays. My new friend Matt from Australia landed his first Permit while fishing near our boat. 

During the months of April, May and June, larger Tarpon do show up in the channels around Cayo Largo. That being said, Permit and Bonefish are still the primary targets here.

Sunrise over the beach at the Sol Club Cayo Largo.

Sunrise over the beach at the Sol Club Cayo Largo.

Accommodations at the Sol Club were beautiful.

Accommodations at the Sol Club were beautiful.

Villa Marinera near the boat marina and launch point. 

Villa Marinera near the boat marina and launch point. 

Holy crap.....now that is a Bonefish flat! Note the beautiful white beach in the background.

Holy crap.....now that is a Bonefish flat! Note the beautiful white beach in the background.

There were lots of wade fishing opportunities available.

There were lots of wade fishing opportunities available.

One of the greatest lunch spots ever......

One of the greatest lunch spots ever......

A friendly native of Cayo Largo visits us during lunch.

A friendly native of Cayo Largo visits us during lunch.

The cuts between all the island flats were beautiful. I imagine these are likely places for Tarpon during the season. We found them full of Cuda and Jacks.

The cuts between all the island flats were beautiful. I imagine these are likely places for Tarpon during the season. We found them full of Cuda and Jacks.

Jack Crevalle from on of the channels.

Jack Crevalle from on of the channels.

My new friend Matt with his nice Permit. Great fish. I could not find a fish that would eat. In all fairness, numbers were low due to cold water.

My new friend Matt with his nice Permit. Great fish. I could not find a fish that would eat. In all fairness, numbers were low due to cold water.

We also fished some really interesting interior lagoons for both Bonefish and Permit.. Note the dark grassy bottom and the color of the Bone in the next image.

We also fished some really interesting interior lagoons for both Bonefish and Permit.. Note the dark grassy bottom and the color of the Bone in the next image.

Great Bonefish from one of the inside lagoons.

Great Bonefish from one of the inside lagoons.

A far different habitat than than found on the oceanside flats.

A far different habitat than than found on the oceanside flats.

Parting shot from my time in Cuba.....this fish heading for Key West.

Parting shot from my time in Cuba.....this fish heading for Key West.