Cayo Largo, Cuba
Cuba’s premier Grand Slam destination
Cayo Largo is in the south central region of the Cuban Archipelago, and it’s one of the last virtually untouched eco-systems left on the planet. With 17 miles (27 kilometres) of fine white sand beaches, the surrounding ocean produces a spectacular kaleidoscope of colours. Cayo Largo offers anglers the perfect combination of great fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon, cubera snapper and other flats species all from a comfortable liveaboard vessel.
Cuban fly fishing at its best
The Cuban Government has made the area around Cayo Largo, some 240sq km, a prestigious national park – Cayo Largo’s playground.
The cays of Cayo Largo are uninhabited and apart from those you fish with, the only people you will see are a few commercial lobster fishermen. Cayo Largo is therefore an ideal habitat for bonefish, tarpon and permit. It comprises a series of cays, mangrove lagoons and flats that run for some 50km. The flats tend to be white sand interspersed with turtle grass, ideal for those who want to wade. Around the cays are mangroves and the wading can be a little trickier, so fishing is primarily done from the boats. Most days you will have the option of either fishing from the skiff or wading. Through the flats and cays you find deeper channels that provide perfect areas for tarpon to feed on the bountiful shoals of sardines. When the tides are right you can see them move onto the flats providing great sport.
On the slightly deeper parts of the flats you will see schools of permit and will feel that a Grand Slam is seemingly moments away. There are some areas that have still not seen a fisherman or a fly, and part of the fun will be finding new and productive areas.
The beginning of the season, from November to January, is very good, with plenty of bonefish (especially big ones) on the flats and mangrove areas. Fishing for tarpon and other species can also be excellent.
Peak fishing season is from February to June, when all species are present in the area. Tarpon, bones, permit and jacks will be encountered during these months. The migratory tarpon, up to 80/100lb (average 15/30lb), are regularly spotted and shots at permit are frequent. Peak season is the best time to try for a Gland Slam. Numerous Grand Slams are achieved each season as well as a few Super Grand Slams (tarpon, bonefish, permit and snook).
Explore the wonders of Cayo Largo on a purpose built vessel
While you are at Cayo Largo, accommodation is provided aboard the purpose-built, comfortable, liveaboard vessel, Jardines Avalon 1.
Jardines Avalon I
JA-I has exceptional cruising capabilities allowing you to access the most remote areas of Cayo Largo during your week. There are ten cabins, one of which features a queen size bed and single bed, the other nine each have two single side by side beds. Each state room is equipped with its own private bathroom, toilet, shower, individual climate controls and a safe. The vessel also features an air-conditioned lounge, dining area with bar, shaded upper sun deck and jacuzzi.
The food aboard all of the Avalon vessels is a wonderful selection of Cuban cuisine, grilled fresh seafood and vegetables along with many international delights. The chefs are well versed in many different styles and will be sure to amaze you during your stay aboard. In addition there is a full bar with a selection of Cuban beers and rum, international wines, and a variety of spirits. The attentive crew will be there to take care of your every need and make sure you have a wonderful trip.
“The beauty of Cayo Largo is the variety of species you can target. We ended up with two Super Grand Slams, one Grand Slam with the week totalling 2 snook, 4 permit, 10 tarpon, 177 bonefish, 24 barracuda, 9 jack crevalle, 21 snapper, 1 box fish, 1 shark and 676 Mohitos. The tarpon were a good size with one of 100lb, one of 80lb and another of 70lb. One of the permit was a bruising 20lb and took at least 40 minutes to land. I have never seen so many permit on Cayo Largo before.” P.B. – UK
Enjoy white sands and crystalline waters
Cuba is located 90 miles south of Key West, and lies at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Central America. While fishing at Cayo Largo you will enjoy an incredible natural environment little changed over the last 1,000 years. The marine scenery is magnificent with the ocean providing a kaleidoscope of colours. The neighbouring keys are inhabited by a plethora of flora and fauna, among which are iguanas, pelicans and turtles.