Cayo Cruz is Avalon’s newest destination. Located on the north shore of the eastern province of Camaguey, the Cayo Cruz fishery is an enormous system of flats, lagoons and pristine estuaries. Located in Jardines del Rey, Cuba’s largest archipelago, commercial fishing within this designated area is strictly forbidden and rigorously enforced. The sportfishing only area is 366 square kilometers in size, meaning that on the average day, each skiff has over 50 square kilometers to itself. The fishing area is virtually untouched and represents one of the cleanest and most biologically diverse ecosystems ever fished. It has only seen anglers for three seasons! The fish are plentiful and aggressive.
ACFC assumed stewardship of this fishery in 2013, and for the first 2 seasons hosted limited numbers of anglers accommodating them in the charming Hotel Casona de Romano. However, the hotel is about a 50-minute drive from the Cayo Cruz dock so for the 2015 season (February through June), Avalon sent the luxury yacht Avalon Fleet I around to the north shore to give Cayo Cruz anglers the option of either land based or live aboard accommodations.
The skiffs depart from Cayo Cruz each morning and depending on the guide rotation that day, you may be heading to any number of areas to spend the day. From Cayo Paredon Grande in the north to Cayo Guanaja in the south, there are countless islands, lagoons and bays that will keep anglers happy and into fish. Much of the fishing takes place back towards the mainland, in and around the massive island of Cayo Cruz. The average boat run to the fishing areas is about 20 minutes in length and in some areas, you can be into fish within minutes of leaving the mother ship. It just depends on where your guide wants to take you that day and what you are interested in targeting. With 50 square kilometers per boat, the options are just about limitless. There are so many great aspects to this fishery that it can truly be a sensory overload at times.
The flats are an inviting combination of hard packed white sand and a semi-firm mottled bottom that still provides good wading. And what a place this is for those who like to wade! It’s similar to Los Roques in terms of the amount of area that’s wadable and there are places here where you can wade for 4 straight hours without heading back to the boat
Cayo Cruz demonstrates all the characteristics of a recently discovered, virgin fishing territory – large numbers of fish, good sizes and their evident lack of exposure to flies and leaders. Add to this the natural beauty of the cays and of the water and you have a truly memorable place to fish.
The average sized bonefish is a healthy 4 pounds and during the course of the week it is not unheard of for guests to land a fish or two in the 10 pound range. Tailing bonefish are common and guests can expect to see bonefish in singles and doubles, all the way up to schools of several hundred fish. What really sets this location apart from so many other fisheries is that guests can expect to encounter and get shots at good numbers of permit each day. There are very few places on earth where guests can fish for big bonefish each day and also get shots at tailing permit. This combination may take place in other locations but not with the consistency that is virtually guaranteed at Cayo Cruz. It is a rare day when you don’t encounter and get shots at permit. The permit will range in size between about 8 and 30 pounds and average 16 – 20 pounds. Cayo Cruz may be as good a permit fishery as Cayo Largo.
There are two locations within Cayo Cruz that offer very good tarpon fishing. Guides tend to save these areas for when an angler has already boated a permit and is looking for a Grand Slam. These fish will range from 30 to 90 pounds. Besides the fishing for permit, bonefish and tarpon, you will also cast for other challenging species as mutton snapper, snook, cubera snapper, jack crevalle, barracuda, etc.
After an Friday overnight in Havana, Saturday morning anglers fly 250 miles east to the Cayo Coco, and from there make a 1 ½ hour ground transfer to Cayo Romano, to board a launch to transfer to Avalon Fleet I. Anglers spend 7 nights on board AF I enjoying 6 full days for fishing, returning to Havana the following Saturday for a Sunday morning departure.
Our Services are Free!
Please call Angler Adventures 1-800-628-1447 for Pricing details at Cayo Cruz, or for help picking the right Cuban destination for you.
Included: Reception in Havana Airport; all transfers from Hotel in Havana – Cayo Cruz – Hotel in Havana; 2 nights accommodation in double room base in 5-star hotel in Havana (on arrival and departure) with breakfast included; 7 nights accommodations on the Avalon Fleet I; all meals while in Cayo Cruz; 6-full days fishing (two people per skiff); Beverages on board – 10 beers & 30 drinks (water & soft drinks).
Not Included: International Airfare; VIP service on arrival at the Havana Airport; Meals and drink in Havana beyond Breakfast; Fishing tackle (please notify of interest in rentals at time of booking); Cuban Visa; Departure Tax; Gratuities; Personal expenses; Beverages other than stated above; Taxi Transfers Havana Airport – Hotel – Havana Airport; Diving.
Traveling to Cuba Overview
2015 will be remembered in Angling history as the year it became legal for US Citizens, in possession of a “people to people” travel letter from the non-profit fisheries research and conservation organization Bonefish Tarpon Trust (BTT), to sport fish in Cuba.
2015 is also the year travel restrictions were lifted, making it legal for US airlines to fly to Cuba, US travel agents to book travelers to Cuba and US insurance companies to offer travel insurance to US Citizens traveling to Cuba.
Angler Adventures has been assisting a limited number of US anglers traveling legally to Cuba for several years. But, the easing of restrictions in general and the travel license from BTT in particular, opens the door for any US angler wanting to fish Cuba.
What hasn’t changed (and will take years to catch up) is the tourist infrastructure within Cuba and the transportation network to Cuba. Traveling to Cuba is still complex. We recommend using a knowledgeable, qualified travel agent, whether it’s your first trip or your twelfth.
In addition to having a staff of fishing experts, Angler Adventures is a full service travel agency, licensed to sell travel insurance. Angler Adventures can assist you in selecting a fishing location in Cuba, prepare you for what to fish for and what to bring, assist you in obtaining the travel letter from the BTT, assist with your Cuban Visa, create the most efficient travel itinerary for you and your group and offer you the protection of travel insurance for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and more.
Call us today at 1-800-628-1447. There is so much more we’d like to share with you about this fascinating country and phenomenal saltwater fishery.