Cuba Surpasses Itself
By Charlie White
It is impossible to go to Cuba without a smile on your face. Just knowing you will be surrounded by epically friendly people, wonderful temperatures and world class fishing is a recipe for traveling with anticipation and excitement.
Yet again, Cuba did not disappoint and that anticipation and excitement was translated into tangible results for our whole group – be that from the superb fishing to the sublime staff on board our boat, we could not have been more rewarded.
Ten of us met up in Havana and took the bus journey to Canarreos, a destination that was new to me. Just a three hour bus trip before getting onto the boat for the week was a real win and we all arrived fresh and eager.
We fished in six different zones throughout the week and whilst all of them differed, they all offered great sport and every evening at the back of the boat was a riot of swapped stories, broken rods, huge smiles and importantly, cold drinks.
We landed some very big bonefish – worldclass in fact and it was perhaps this that stood out the most during the week for me. Bonefish never get boring but it is true that catching a lot of 2-3lbs can be a bit repetitive but that was not the case during our week. Backing was flying, knuckles were being wrapped and the sheer strength of these wonderful fish had to be seen to be believed.
Collectively we jumped a lot of tarpon – up to around 60lbs - but collectively we did not land many of them! A combination of bad luck, operator error (mine!) and the fact that tarpon are just fun and hard fish to land meant that not many were boated but we laughed a lot in trying to do so.
We saw some big permit, we cast to some big permit and we got some big permit to follow but as is often the case, only one was hooked and sadly that spooled the rather surprised client!
Other species often get overlooked but playing jacks, snappers, barracuda and a range of other mind-blowingly strong fish is just great fun. It also means that every day races by in a bit of a blur and it is only in the shower at the end of the day, do you get a chance to process it all and try and remember each fish.
We were fortunate enough to have been allocated Darling as our hostess for the week. A harder working, more smiley, more personable person you could not hope to find and her help, alongside some fabulous food, meant that the week flew by with a host of memories made for life and importantly, new friends who all gelled extremely well as a group.
Some people have told me that they are nervous of being on a boat for a week – don’t be. It takes you to fishing that is hard to find anywhere else in the world, is very good value and you will almost certainly laugh more than any other fishing trip you have been on.
Cuba is a fabulous country with riches that are not obvious at first sight – do go if you can, it is extremely unlikely that you will have anything other than a superb time.