Freshwater and Inshore Fishing
Cuba’s freshwater lakes and lagoons boil with tarpon, bonefish, snook, and bass. The star of the show is largemouth bass, which is best at Lago Hanabanilla in the Sierra Escambray; Embalse Zaza in Sancti Spíritus Province; and Lago Redonda, near Morón in Ciego de Ávila Province. As for bonefish and tarpon, few (if any) destinations can compare. This feisty shallow-water gamefish is abundant off Cayo Largo and the Cayos de Villa Clara; in the Jardines de la Reina archipelago south of Ciego de Ávila Province; and in the coastal lagoons of Zapata Peninsula.
The only centers for inshore fishing are Villas Gran Caribe Ecolodge on Cayo Largo and live-aboard boats in the Jardines de la Reina.
CubaWelcome (U.K. tel. 020/7731-6871, mike [at] cubawelcome [dot] com) offers fishing tours and has an office in Havana. In Cuba, EcoTur (tel. 07/641-0306, www.ecoturcuba.co.cu) offers fishing trips.
So many game fish stream through the Gulf Stream that Ernest Hemingway called his “great blue river” that hardly a season goes by without some IGFA record being broken. The marlin run begins in May, when they swim against the current close to the Cuban shore. The Cubans aren’t yet into tag-and-release, preferring to let you sauté the trophy (for a cut of the steak).
Fishing expeditions are offered from marinas nationwide.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition