Most anglers head to Isla de la Juventud for the world-class tarpon fishing, which is without a doubt some of the finest found anywhere in the Caribbean. This area is home to great numbers of tarpon, and while the spring and summer months typically see the most consistent action and largest numbers of tarpon, there are fish here throughout the year. When the waters are calm and winds fairly low, then you can expect to pole the flats for shots at tarpon in the 30 to 80-pound range. Larger fish are in the area as well, and can be found on a fairly regular basis during the late spring and early summer months.
Fishermen stay aboard Avalon I, your luxury yacht for the week. Offering all the amenities of a land based lodge, these accommodations have you sleeping with the fish.
The guides are local and have mastered the fishery. They all share the hospitable nature of all Cubans. They go the extra mile each and every day.
A valid passport and Cuban visa are required.
8-10 anglers per week
Just off the southern coast of Cuba in the Canarreos Archipelago lies the largest of Cuba’s islands, Isla De La Juventud.
Jose Marti International Airport (HAV)
Migratory tarpon, bonefish, permit and snook
What does it cost?
High Season – $72,000
March 28 – July 4, 2020
Low Season – $52,000
Feb. 29 – March 7, 2020
July 4 – Aug. 1, 2020
Tidehead services are always free. Always. Our prices are the same prices as booking directly with the lodge. You never pay more.
All rates are priced on a 7 night/6 day lodging & fishing package.
All prices listed are with boat in exclusivity. Other combinations may be available. Please contact us for details.
The huge chain of keys and islands to the southeast of Nueva Gerona offer some of the most spectacular waters and pristine flats you have ever seen. This is an area that is home to not only tarpon of all sizes, but also some very large bonefish and decent numbers of permit. The bonefish here are some of the largest in all of Cuba, and these fish can be found on a very regular basis in all types of conditions. The snook fishing in the area is also amazing - hands-down the best on all of Cuba. Expect multiple shots for all types of species, and come prepared with multiple rod set-ups for tarpon, bones, permit, snook, ‘cuda, and more.
This part of Cuba really is ideal for those who are interested on focusing on tarpon for the week. The reefs, channels, mangrove lagoons and bays all hold tarpon in good numbers, particularly from March to June, where 100 pound + fish are landed each month. There are lots of other opportunities at other species when fishing from Avalon Fleet I, including bonefish and on occasion, permit. But, the Isle of Youth really is a tarpon oriented area and guests booking trips to this live aboard should be aware of this. Barracuda, jacks, snappers and the odd snook are also available in the waters around the Isle of Youth. Fishing Tarpon or Sabalo, as it is known in Cuba, can be divided into three categories: Baby Tarpon (those that they weigh up to 30 Lbs), Medium Tarpon (those that weigh 30 Lbs up to 80 Lb) and Monster Tarpon (those of
more than 80 Lb and sometimes can surpass the incredible mark of 150 Lbs). Obviously, the last category is hunted hard, but unfortunately, these behemoths are much less common.
While tarpon exist year-round in Cuba, these lager migratory tarpon show up between April and June.
Avalon's IDJ guides work and live amongst this vast tarpon fishery. Because of this deep history and wealth of knowledge, along with Avalon's professional and progressive training measures, IDJ features some of the best and most professional migratory tarpon guides in all of Cuba and the Caribbean. Avalon’s guides speak English well and are eager to share stories about their Cuban heritage and unique fishing experiences with the guests. These guides will go the extra mile for each and every one of our clients while exhibiting a passionate drive towards success while pursuing the fish of a lifetime.
The Avalon guides run 16ft Dolphin Super Skiffs. The skiffs have a deep v hull that enables them to make runs through choppy, open water, yet they only draft 8 inches so they can be poled on the skinniest of ﬂats. Equipped with Yamaha 60/70 HP motors and 27-gallon fuel tanks, the Avalon skiffs are prepared to take you as far as you want to go quickly to maximize your time on the ﬂats.
Year-round for juvenile tarpon. Peak season March-June for migratory tarpon.
Generally, tarpon flies for Cuba don’t need to be extremely large. 3-4 inches is plenty. The best flies incorporate materials that create subtle movement. A selection of various colors is important. Tarpon are much more opportunistic than selective feeders. So presentation reigns supreme.
Bonefish in Cuba are usually pretty eager to take both traditional shrimp-imitating patterns as well as some of the newer ties, like EP’s Ascension Bay Mantis. Both work. If you tie, it’s hard to go wrong with rubber legs and tan bodies. It’s always a good idea to have a variety of eye weights from bead chain (shallow water) to lead eyes (deeper water).
Year-round, peak season is February-June.
The waters of Cuba hold large numbers of permit from big, cruising singles to schools of smaller fish. Cuba is the perfect place to hook into your first permit or to continue adding to your personal score card. Crab patterns are the name of the game, so having a good variety is essential for success.
Populations of snook can be found in most locations around Cuba, some of them very large. They are often found in many of the same areas where you might be targeting bonefish & juvenile tarpon. But most of the guides have special areas where they know snook lurk. Red and white fly patterns are, by far, the number choice for snook.
Your ﬁshing accommodations will be aboard the Avalon Fleet I. This is an intimate, comfortable and stylishly designed yacht, where each space is created to provide its guests with maximum comfort and safety. The overall capacity is 18 passengers and 8 crew members. We suggest between 8-10 anglers for optimum comfort.
There are 8 deluxe cabins with queen beds, 7 private bathrooms and air conditioning/heat controls. Each room has panoramic windows to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Caribbean beaches. There is a spacious and comfortable lounge/dining room/bar area on the boat deck. This is where you’ll do much of your socializing and dining. In cabins and common areas, there are electrical outlets available for personal electronics (220 volts and 110 volts).
Each boat is properly stocked with all of the necessary groceries for a week’s fishing trip. What makes the Avalon dining experience more enjoyable is that chefs make use of the water’s plentiful bounties. Once fishermen have departed for the day, the crew members take to the waters in search of fresh snapper, grouper and other delicacies for dinner. All of which are prepared fresh and accompanied by a variety of vegetables, rice and beans, freshly baked bread, and a bottle of wine.
Each morning, breakfast is cooked to order with eggs, bacon, fruits, freshly baked bread. “American” coffee is ready by 6am. And if you’d like to indulge in a cup of strong Cuban coffee, all you need to do is ask, they’ll be happy to oblige.
Lunches are set out in the morning during breakfast. It’s up to you to prepare your lunch for the day. There will be a variety of proteins, starches and fruits for you to choose from. The staff will make sure it finds the appropriate cooler for the day’s fishing.
Après fishing! Served on the back deck, guests are served pizza appetizers and cocktails all while exchanging the day’s events. Lies, mostly!
Included in your trip is an all-inclusive drink package. Waters, soft drinks, Cuban rum and mixers are all readily available at the bar. Cuban Mojitos, Cuba Libre and Daiquiris are among the favorites. If you have a personal preference, it’s encouraged that you pack it in your luggage prior to departing for Cuba. The cruise director of staff will be happy to accommodate you.
Flights arrive/depart into Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. Domestic flight from Havana to Nueva Gerona, Isla De La Juventud.
Weeks begin and end on a Saturday. You must first fly to Havana on the Friday before and overnight in Havana. The next morning, Saturday, you will take a domestic flight from Havana to Isla De La Juventud. From there, it’s a short drive to the boat.
Upon return, it’s recommended you overnight on Saturday and depart on Sunday.
A valid passport that must be valid up to six (6) months beyond the duration of the trip. A Cuban Visa is also required to enter Cuba. The Cuban visa can be purchased online prior to the trip or at the final departure gate for your trip to Cuba.
Immigration and Customs forms are given out on your flight to Cuba or at a help desk near your departure gate for Cuba.