SALTWATER FLY FISHING – GARDENS OF THE KING – CAYO SANTA MARIA
Cayo Santa Maria – Cuba’s Biggest Tarpon!!
The fly-fishing for Tarpon in Cuba has long been reputed as being some of the best anywhere in the world. The opportunities to experience excellent sight fishing for mature adult Tarpon as well as opportunities at some of the really big Tarpon has now got even better. Since the area first opened up in 2009 Cayo Santa Maria quickly earned itself a reputation as having some of the biggest Tarpon in Cuba. The area is located on Cuba’s northern coast in Villa Clara province in Central Cuba, which has recently been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The area has all the attributes for fantastic angling with channels, mangroves and flats. Good fishing for all the saltwater species bit above all exceptional fly-fishing for large Tarpon.
Location & Environment
Cayo las Brujas, Villa Clara is 4 hrs drive East from Havana on the North coast of Cuba. The waters surrounding the fishing area consist of a beautiful collection of islands and cays with mangroves, flats and channels and the typically crystal clear waters that make this area so special. To the North are the Bahamas and the blue water channel which separates Cuba from the southern tip of the Bahamas.
Boats & Guides
There will be 4 skiffs available. They are all equipped with holders for fly fishing 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 having been working in the area since 2009 as well as drawing on experience from the ever-increasing pool of guides from around all the fly-fishing destinations in Cuba.
Tarpon are the primary target for many saltwater fly fishers and with good reason. The opportunity to cast at a cruising adult Tarpon, watch it turn and demolish your fly and then launch vertically out of the water is exceptionally exciting. The fight that follows will require all the strength that both your rod and your fishing tackle can exert. Most adult Tarpon jumped are in the 60-90 pound range although there are certainly bigger fish on hand. Although juvenile fish up to 30lb cruise the mangrove lagoons all year round it is the large migratory fish of 80-180lbs, which start to arrive in good numbers from March onwards that are the real trophy.
Other Species – Bonefish, Permit, Barracuda, Jacks
Alongside the Tarpon fishing there is classic flats fishing for all the other saltwater species. Please be aware that for 2017 all controlled fishing destinations in Cuba are now Catch & Release as well as being Fly Fishing only.
Accommodation at Cayo Santa Maria - Iberostar Ensenachos Resort
The Iberosta Ensenachos is a well-reviewed and highly rated Cuban resort hotel. Although it does not represent a traditional fishing lodge it is comfortable and has more than enough facilities to cater for anglers. For those travelling with non-anglers alongside Cayo Largo it is one of the two recommended locations that we would suggest in Cuba. Beautiful white sand beaches, spa facilities, water sports, all-inclusive dining and drinks make it very popular.
Transfers in Cuba
You will be met on arrival and provided with instructions as to transfers etc the following day. A taxi will be arranged to take you to your hotel in Havana (cost not included -$40). Choice of hotel will be dependent on when you book as hotel spaces in Havana are in short supply. The following day your transfer bus will collect you from the hotel and take you to Santa Maria, a journey of around 4 hrs. All transfers included at the hotel with a daily pick up to the marina and drop off at the end of the day. On departure transfers will be provided to Havana international airport.
Activities for Non-Fishers
Unlike many of the other fishing locations in Cuba, the facilities on hand for non-fishers are excellent. Guests can relax by one of the resort swimming pools or on one of the white sand beaches. 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.
Best Time To Go
The lodge operates all year round with the exception of Aug-mid Sept. The peak period for Tarpon is from mid March-July when the migratory Tarpon fishing will be at its best. A channel that runs through the middle of the area and is a significant source of bait fish does however mean that good fishing for large Tarpon can be had throughout the year.
Availability and Pricing for the 2017 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:
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