Jardines de la Reina
Jardines de la Reina
Named the Queen’s Gardens by Christopher Columbus, the Jardines de la Reina is a pristine chain of islands that run more than one hundred miles to the northwest from Cuba’s south-eastern coast.
Most of the fishing area is forty to fifty miles offshore and has been designated as a Cuban National Park. As such, there is no commercial fishing in Avalon’s exclusive area. There is no other pristine flats area in the world that has this size of fishery. With hundreds of miles of flats to fish, you will fish many areas where few anglers have ever thrown a fly to these bones.
The average sized bonefish is perhaps a solid three to five pounds, but there are opportunities for fish in the seven to ten pound class every day. The huge variety of species available here is an added bonus with everything from mutton snapper on the flats to wahoo and giant Cubera snapper on the drop offs.The flats environment here is a fantastic combination of wadable white sand and turtle grass flats that are accessed by skiff. Tarpon are prolific with many “baby” tarpon – fish in the 10 – 40 lbs class in the channels.
On the flats the average size grows to 45-80 lbs with some specimens growing to 120-130 lbs in the deep ocean channel. Permit are also found in good numbers, and many of these fish will be in the twenty to thirty pound class, with a few well over thirty.
For anglers that land a permit, there is an excellent chance of completing a Grand Slam the same day. Tarpon can be found at just about any time and tide level as can bonefish. Over the past five years, there have been numerous Grand Slams caught by fly fishermen. Fishing hours are totally at the discretion of the clients, unlike many other lodges.
The fishing day normally begins with breakfast at 7:00 am, and departing for fishing from 7: 45 am onwards. Lunch be taken back on La Tortuga or on the skiff and is at the clients discretion. One of the main joys of fishing here is the sunset hour. Often it is calm, and schools of tailing and laid up bones can be seen hundreds of yards away, their golden tails glistening in the light of the falling sun. This is the time that most operations are heading back to the lodge so this magical witching hour is missed.
While you are in Jardines de la Reina, accommodations are provided on two large live-aboard boats. The primary craft is La Tortuga, a large 110 foot long double decked floating hotel with seven cabins for guests. La Tortuga is an unbelievably solid boat made of steel and anchored in a protected channel, so it never moves about. The threat of getting seasick is non-existent. Each cabin has its own shower with hot water, toilet and individually adjustable high tech air-conditioning system. A large air conditioned dining room downstairs with both a foredeck and afterdeck make this a very comfortable home away from home. The Tortuga normally accommodates 14 clients.
For those looking for luxury there is Halcon, a 75ft luxury yacht equipped with six cabins, and three bathrooms. On the top deck there is a large sitting room, fully air-conditioned and a perfect place to have cocktails after fishing. The guides live aboard Halcon along with the guests, and having the flexibility to travel around this huge island system to find the absolute best fishing is a key to the popularity of the Halcon. The ideal group of anglers is eight, with four guides and four flats skiffs available at all times. Halcon is also suitable for non – fishers.
Dinners on both boats are primarily seafood; fresh fish every day, lobster and conch. For those that would like something different, chicken and pork are also available. Salads and a variety of fruits are served every day. Desserts such as flan and rum cake are delicious! Beverages available on board include bottled water, Mineral and Tonic water, various soft drinks (Coca Cola etc.), beer, rum and excellent wines.
Named the Queen’s Gardens by Christopher Columbus, the Jardines de la Reina is a pristine chain of islands that run more than one hundred miles to the north west from Cuba’s south-eastern coast. Most of the fishing area is forty to fifty miles offshore and has been designated as a Cuban National Park. As such, there is no commercial fishing in Avalon’s exclusive area.
“If you are looking for species variation and a relaxed atmosphere then Jardines is perfect. This year I have never seen so many tarpon out at Boca Grande and look forward to returning with my group next year”. J.S. – UK