Saltwater Fly Fishing – Tarpon, Bonefish & Permit In Cuba
Cayo Santa Maria - World Class Flats Sight-Fishing for 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 the very best sight fishing for mature adult Tarpon has now got even better. Loop in conjunction with Casa Batida have recently taken over the management of the fishing region on the North Coast of Villa Clara province in Central Cuba, which has recently been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The area is exceptionally beautiful and has all the attributes for fantastic angling with channels, mangroves, flats and most importantly exceptional fly-fishing for Tarpon.
Mangrove flats await
Location & Environment
Casa Batida Fishing Club is situated on Cayo Santa Maria, 4 hrs drive East from Havana and 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.
Junior suite at Hotel Melia Cayo Santa Maria
A typically colourful bedroom at Hotel Sol Melia Santa Maria
Accommodation at Cayo Santa Maria
Cruising the flats
The hotel resort Melia Cayo Santa Maria is the primary location where anglers opt to stay. It is an all-inclusive resort with large spacious rooms, swimming pools, excellent food and a host of other attractions. This is definitely the place to stay in Cuba if you want to avoid living on one of the floating lodges or yachts and the best option if you are coming with a non-fishing partner. Alongside the superb beaches and pools there is a host of other activities typical of a resort of this nature. The hotel is a ten-minute minibus ride from Casa Batida fishing marina and fishing clubhouse where guests can store their gear in between fishing trips.
Boats & Guides
There will be 8 boats available including 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 having previously worked at Cayo Largo under the former owner, Fabrizzio. As a result all the guides 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.
Loop Fishing Tackle
The lodge will be fully equipped with all the latest Loop fishing rods, reels and lines. 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.
A good sized Tarpon!
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, Barracuda, Jacks, Dorado, Wahoo & Tuna
Alongside the Tarpon fishing there is classic flats fishing for all the other saltwater species. In the deeper water of the Bahamas Channel there is good offshore fishing for Dorado, Tuna & Wahoo.
Getting to the Lodge
Transfers to Santa Maria are by a domestic flight from Havana. There is only one domestic flight each day and this is often busy so as much advance notice as possible is advised.
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.
A number of our guests choose to spend a day or more seeing the sights in and around Havana either before or after their fishing holiday. This can be arranged for guests who wish to arrive in Cuba earlier or stay a night in Havana on arrival and a flight booked the following day or as required to Cayo Santa Maria (flights approx $100). If you have any special requirements please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate them.
40 lb Permit
Best Time To Go
The lodge operates all year round, although the best fishing is from January to September with prime Tarpon fishing from mid March-July when the migratory Tarpon fishing will be at its best.
Availability and Pricing for the 2016 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
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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.