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Old 11-05-2022, 10:34 AM
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Sundancefisher Sundancefisher is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Calgary Perchdance
Posts: 17,751
Default Went to Cuba on a group trip, live aboard, Jardines de la Reina

It was all in all technically an 8 day adventures but the return flight put us into day 9.

Still the trip went like this

Caught the 12:05 am flight to Toronto and then the 10:05 am flight to CubaÖ arriving 1:50 pm in Cuba.

All flights on time and all luggage arrived. Yippee. I took an extra large duffel bag of stuff to give away to Cubans.

Our one snag was we now had a 5.5 hour bus ride to get to the Jucaro Port but we arrived around 8 pm.

We had dinner, settled into the room and set up all our fly rods for the next day. Overnight the boat motored to the base in the outer islands.

I found the fishing rod be excellent in most places we tried. We caught lots of bones, cast to and hooked up many tarpon and saw 10+ permit a day. We also saw lots of other species.

On top of that we saw Hutus ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmarest%27s_hutia ), American crocodiles, dolphins, tons of sharks from 2-7 feet long.

The boat was huge and had a big platform off the back. I ended up catching a tarpon and hooking a few others. Also caught a few other species at night.

Guides were great and spoke better English than I.

Evenings were a blur due to a constant flow of mojitos, wine, beer and shots of rum.

Food was very good with lobster every night for dinner and fresh fish most nights. Breakfast for me was scrambled eggs and bacon. Lunches were a mixed course of veggies, meat, fruit. I put on weight. Sigh.

The thrill of bonefish will never end for me. Stalking them in shallow water. Making a long perfect cast and then hanging on for the ride. Deeper groups could be found in 1-6 feet of water. Average size was around 20 inch.

Tarpon were the most abundant Iíve seen in Cuba. With schools of 20-50 fish in sizes ranging from 15 - 40 lbs. the occasion monster around but most have migrated away. StillÖ if you have never felt the strike of a tarpon then you donít know what you are missing. Itís explosive and jolting. Then the jumps are crazy wild.

Didnít catch a permit, cast to a few and had a few short follows. They are so picking most of the time.

Didnít see a ton of Barracuda but there were a few around. Saw lots of yellowtail snapper and mangrove snapper. Saw some monster cubera snapper prowling the shallow reef.

I cast my full since 11 weight down to the reef. That was a blast. Caught a 5 foot lemon shark on a fly. Amazing fight. Also caught some African pompano that found like high speed tanks.

I had most of what I needed such as gear and flies. I know some new tarpon flies Iíll tie. Plus I took two eight weight, one 10 weight floating and one 11 weight full sink.

Next trip Iíll take two eight weights, a floating 9 or 10 weight, intermediate sink 10 weight and an 11 weight.

By the end of the trip we were exhausted. Looking forward to some rest and pleased with the experience. Our group got a great deal and we are looking to go again if we can get the group together and land another deal.

Trip home was a reverse of the arrival and without much difference.

So now we just live in the memories in between shovelling snow.
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