WORLD CLASS TARPON DESTINATION
WORLD CLASS TARPON DESTINATION
ONE OF THE BEST TARPON DESTINATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN
Isla de la Juventud (Island of the Youths), is the largest island in the nearly 4000 islands that surround the Cuban mainland. Most fishing guests will overnight in Havana, and then fly to the airport near the island's largest town of Nueva Gerona. Anglers then transfer either to the Hotel Rancho, or to one of the two live-aboard options for this area.
Isla de la Juventud lies at the western end of the Canarreos Archipeligo, made up of nearly 350 islands. Cayo Largo, another fine angling destination is at the eastern end of this island chain. The habitat here is pristine, and seldom visited, except for a few intrepid divers, lobster fisherman, and anglers in the know. With mangrove islands, tannin stained interior bays, and close proximity to the deeper water to the south, tarpon flourish near IDJ as juveniles, and return as adults during their migratory months. The "Baby Tarpon" that live in and around the mangroves range in size from 5-30 pounds, while the migratory fish will range from 40-120 pounds. The the peak months for large Tarpon are April, May and June, although there are some larger fish available here throughout the entire year.
Although famous for the great Tarpon fishery, Isla de la Juventud is also home to other flats species, including Bonefish and Permit. Both these species become more numerous as anglers reach the outer islands of the archipelago, farther from the darker, mangroved lined water that juvenile Tarpon call home. In these locations, guests who enjoy wade fishing will find large, light colored flats where they can stalk bones, as well as slightly deeper borders where guides will know to find Permit.
Isla de la Juventud is a beautiful, and less- traveled part of Cuba. As a result, angling pressure is very low, and even the presence of foreign tourists is unusual. For anglers seeking world class Tarpon fishing, and who like to go where few others have gone before, IDJ should be near the top of their list.
The Hotel Rancho is located a few miles outside of the island's largest town, Nuevo Gerona. Although modest, this small hotel is very comfortable and friendly, and will accommodated up to 10 anglers in private rooms. Each room has air-conditioning, hot water, and a queen size bed. There is a nice bar where all guests can enjoy a mojito before dinner, and a private dining area for anglers that boasts a variety of Cuban staples for both breakfast and dinner. The hotel is a 15 minute ride from the marina, and the fishing areas anywhere from a 15 to 45 minute skiff ride.
Two different live aboard yachts are available to groups fishing Isla de la Juventud. Both comfortably accommodate up to 6 anglers. The Georgiana normally anchors near the eastern end of the Canarreos Archipeligo. From their moorage, guides and anglers fish the 10 different zones in this marine park. This ensures that both anglers and fish have little pressure. The Perola is a slightly smaller, more mobile option. It is very normal for the Perola to have 2 or 3 different anchorages, thus allowing guides and guests to move when they want new environs, or when fishing conditions dictate.