SALTWATER FLY FISHING – TARPON, BONEFISH & PERMIT IN CUBA
The Moment of Victory-Stephan with a 160lb Tarpon -- Click on image to view full size picture album >>>
Cayo Paredon Grande – Tarpon, Permit & Bonefish
Cayo Paredon Grande has recently had exclusive rights granted to develop the area as a salt-water fly-fishing mecca. The area has been protected from commercial fishing for years which has allowed the populations of resident flats saltwater fish, such as Bonefish and Permit to flourish and for the migratory titans of the flats, Tarpon, to populate the area in extremely healthy numbers. 2012 will be the first season that regulated sportsfishing has been allowed to take place in this area and the low fishing pressure will facilitate what we expect to be a magical Cuban fly-fishing destination for avid saltwater fishermen.
Location & Environment
Cayo Paredon Grande is located about 90kms West of Cayo Santa Maria, Villa Clara province on the West side of Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King). Fertile feeding areas for Bonefish & Permit are bordered by white sand flats and deep blue channels where Tarpon can be see cruising. Many of the flats have hard bottoms making wade fishing very easy alongside the fishing from the skiffs. Anglers fishing the area stay at Cayo Coco, a small island linked to Cuba by a 17 km long, man-made road, over the sea. The Hotel where anglers stay is located on a beach of fine white sands, bordered by palm trees, and just 1 km from a wonderful coral reef and the nautical center Aguas Tranquilas. The Hotel is an easy 20kms drive from the domestic airport on Cayo Coco.
The Saltwater Fly-Fishing
Cayo Paredon Grande offers the best of everything. Superb saltwater fly-fishing for Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish. Hard bottomed flats bordering deep blue channels allow for great wade-fishing opportunities. Bonefish are numerous and big; fish over 7 or 8 lbs are common and there is a good population of Permit which cruise both the same flats as well as the slightly deeper water. In 2011 the best Tarpon caught was a staggering 160lbs and with a full fishing programme being run in 2012 there is no reason why this record should not be equalled or bettered. Sheltered areas allow for good fishing conditions to be had all year round giving anglers realistic opportunities to land an elusive Grand Slam every day, although do not underestimate the difficulties of this challenge regardless of how many fish you see! Above all the combination of hard-bottomed flats, sheltered fishing areas, white sand and blue channels makes this one of the most beautiful fishing locations in Cuba; the area aptly living up to its name, ‘Gardens of the King’.
What they said about the fishing!
"Going back to the same place the next day I was sure that I had lost the fish of my life the day before. But just after 12 pm I hook a fish that after 9-10 200 m runs, dragging the boat with three men aboard and took us 7km over the flats for nearly 4h was measured to 87 inch or 2m 20cm long. After releasing the fish in the water we all just looked at each other and couldn’t believe what just had happened! What a Tarpon!"
Boats & Guides
There will be 4 brand new Carolina Sea Chaser Skiffs with 60hp outboard engines. They are all equipped with holders for fly and spinning rods, a cooler for drinks and lunch, life jackets, first aid kit, and radios. Most of the fly fishing guides have a significant amount of experience, have excellent skiff handling skills and a working knowledge of English. A rotational scheme is in place ensuring anglers have a chance to fish with all the different guides and exploit their individual skills and knowledge.
Other Species –Barracuda, Jacks, Dorado, Wahoo & Tuna
Alongside the classic flats fishing there are of course other saltwater species which will vie for a keen anglers attention, both on fly and with conventional spinning tackle. Always come prepared to tackle whatever the prolific waters might offer and if in the heat of the day weary arms need a rest, take a troll in the deeper waters of the Bahamas Channel where there is good offshore fishing for Dorado, Tuna & Wahoo.
Free Saltwater Fishing Tackle
Each skiff will be fully equipped with the latest Loop saltwater fishing rods, reels and lines for both Bonefish & Tarpon. This means you will not only have the option to travel light but you will also be able to try out the latest Loop fishing gear, all of which is available to borrow free of charge.
Accommodation at Melia Cayo Coco
Melia Cayo Coco is a Cuban 5 star resort hotel consisting of a series of cottages overlooking a central lagoon (superior room) or the surrounding gardens (standard rooms). Rooms are spacious and airy and similar to the other Melia hotels, there is a wide range of facilities including varied restaurants and bars, a good-sized swimming pool and a waterfront consisting of a long white sand beach. This is a great place to stay for fishers travelling with non-fishing partners for a relaxing ‘peaceful’ break (the hotel is adults only). For those wishing to dig a bit deeper there are plenty of very positive reviews on Trip Advisor.
Getting to Cayo Coco
Transfers to the lodge are by the short domestic flights from Havana to Cayo Coco. You will be collected from your hotel in Havana and taken you to the domestic airport where you will fly to Cayo Coco. On arrival where there will be a short drive to the Melia Cayo Coco Hotel. All transfers are included in your package.
Activities for Non-Fishers
Unlike some of the other remote fishing locations in Cuba the facilities on hand for non-fishers are excellent. Guests can relax by the swimming pools or enjoy any of the white sand beaches on Cayo Coco. Alternatively, to name but a few of the activities on hand, you can take advantage of the tennis courts, snorkelling, diving, horse/bike riding or boat excursions. Given some notice it is also possible to arrange trips to any number of other activities in Cuba before or after your stay.
We always recommend that given an opportunity guests extend their stay by a day or more to see the sights in and around Havana either before or after their fishing holiday. If you have any special requirements please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate them.
Best Time To Go
The best fishing for migratory Tarpon is from the end of March to the end of July as well as in September and October. It is possible to fish for Bonefish & Permit all year round although during the month of August the weather is typically more unsettled so we do not recommend travelling during that period.
Availability and Pricing for the 2012 Season
If you would like to know more about the fishing in Cuba, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Background reading for your trip:
"Tarpon on Fly"(Paperback) by Donald Larmouth, Rob FordyceOur Comments:
"As a collector of tarpon books I know that this is the best tarpon book ever written." -- M Larkin
As Flip Pallot says in the books' introduction, "...there is nothing that you need to know about tarpon and pursuing them with flies that is not contained in this book...". The information that Larmouth and Fordyce share within this book is simple, concise and as complete as it gets. Add to that Larmouth's wonderful narratives that precede each chapter, and you feel like you are on the casting platform of the guide's skiff! I found the book both entertaining and instructional and the photography is superb. A must read for anyone who is serious about fishing for tarpon on fly!-- Steve Krystyniak
US customers: Buy at Amazon.com
UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK
"Bonefishing!"(Hardcover) by Randall KaufmannOur Comments:
"Good grief, how good does a book on bonefishing have to be? Those who reviewed this book, either did not read it or do not recognise quality when they see it. No book in the realm of fishing equals this one for accuracy of information, interesting anecdotes, breadth of coverage, and spectacular photography. I have fished one half dozen times for bones in Florida, Mexico and Belize and can eagerly confirm everything included in Kaufmann's book. I am no expert, but I can tell you it's the best book on the subject written. It does contain fly patterns, but I did not expect tying instructions for the flies and the leaders. Those subjects are well covered in much more mundane books and video tapes. "-- Review by P Carlson
US customers: Buy at Amazon.com
UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK
Write a Recommendation:
Add your recommendation for fly fishing in Cuba.
If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to Cuba, please contact us at the following:
United Kingdom Office:
United States Office:
Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.
Click on a photo to see full size picture gallery