DIY fishing on the Cuban cayos
What about DIY fishing. Is this something that could be interesting for you? Apart from highly paid guides with years of experience? Going fishing on your own. Success or failure depends on you.
When I started with the preparation for Cuba I very often read that DIY fishing is prohibited. Some said it is completely prohibited, some others said it is only allowed in some areas. Honestly I can’t tell you the truth because I strongly believe nobody really knows it. I have seen in 4 weeks of Cuba only once a sign that fishing was prohibited. And it was in Havana, Malecon. But please don’t see this as a free ticket to fish everywhere. You are a guest in a foreign country so take care not hurting local rights.
My recommendation for DIY fishing in Cuba are the northerly located Cayos also called Jardines del Rey “Gardens of the King”. These Cayos are peninsulas that are connected to the main island by a street. And this street is a jackpot for the idea of fishing on your own. It is an easy way to get to places fish. And this streets offers a big variety of fishing possibilities. Mangroves, flats, and channels are the main fishing spots interesting for fly fishing. The channels offer the fastest but also the little sexiest way to fish although it is a real hot spot for many kind of species especially predators. Depending on the tides water is pushed through this channels left to right or vice versa. Each of this channels is spanned by a bridges that allows you to spot your desire.
I was fishing occasionally at these channels beside other locations because I was attracted by the possibility to hook a pretty descent barracuda. I have seen one of these monsters and I even got a bite but lost the fish within one millisecond since I was not properly prepared with a wire trace. But beside this it was a very funny and interesting fishery because it was possible also to see the Cubans fishing with their hand lines.
Other than the channels there are many dozen hectares of prime fishing spots with plenty of bonefish and tarpons to catch. All the luxury guiding companies use this waters for their clients. But it is like with any other DIY fishery. Success and failure are very close together. I tried many times for several hours catching a bonefish or a barracuda on the popper. I completely failed although I received some help from another fly fisher. Spotting fish was far to complicated for me and once I have seen what I was looking for it was most of the time too late.
In the end my first DIY experience was more good than bad although I had no great success in my first bonefish or barracuda. Nevertheless I had great fun in catching some mullet snapper from the bridges and some other smaller bass species from the beach. Having in mind that it was my first Caribbean DIY fishing I would call my mission as accomplished.
Next chapter: Las Salinas