Fly Fishing an Enormous System of Flats, Lagoons & Pristine Estuaries
The flats on the northern side of the main island of Cuba present an inviting combination of hard-packed white sand and a semi-firm mottled bottom that still provides good wading. Collectively referred to as Cayo Romano and Cayo Cruz this is our preferred destination in Cuba for those who like to wade or those who are focused on permit and bonefish (though tarpon and snook can also be found along with other target species). It’s very similar to Los Roques, Venezuela in terms of the vast area that’s wadable. Cayo Cruz and Cayo Romano waters demonstrate all the characteristics of a recently-discovered, virgin fishing territory – large numbers of fish, good size and an evident lack of exposure to flies and leaders. Add to this the natural beauty of the cays and water and you have a truly memorable place to fish with accommodations that are a five-minute walk to the skiffs.
For all Cayo Cruz trips, anglers will be accommodated in a luxuruy beach front hotel. This three story hotel offers 60 rooms, a swimming pool, bar, lounge, a variety of restaurants (including Japanese and Mediterranean themed restaurants), a bowling lane, a spa and a rum and cigar store and salon. The hotel is a five minute walk literally across the street to meet your guide and skiffs each morning. The second story infinity pool with views of the flats and nearby bar provide anglers with the perfect cool down option after a long day on the water.
Typical Length of Stay
The structured package is seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days. A normal week includes six full days of fishing. Also offering fishing packages of four (4) nights / three (3) fishing days if desired, though you will wish you stayed all week! Please contact Yellow Dog for more details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
This is a remote key off the northern coast of Cuba located in the mangrove and saltwater wilderness of the area surrounding the key of Cayo Cruz. Non-angling activities are limited to beach and resort activities. Overall this destination is best suited for anglers.
Wi-Fi is typically unpredictable at best in Cuba, though it is available at the hotel with the purchase of a Wi-Fi card. Check with your cell service provider to see if your U.S. cell phone will work in Cuba. Also, satellite phones are prohibited in Cuba and will be confiscated at the airport upon arrival.
How To Get There
There are direct flights to Camaguey (CMW) from Fort Lauderdale on Jet Blue and from Miami on American Airlines. Flights to Cayo Coco can be booked from Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Upon arrival to Cayo Coco or Camaguey, you will be met by a representative from Avalon. From the airport, you will be transferred to Cayo Cruz and your accommodations.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Please contact Yellow Dog when you are booking flights for the most up to date details on flights and times for this trip.
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Cuba and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the United States are also required to have a Cuban entrance visa can be secured when checking in for your direct flight to Cuba. You will be asked to sign an affidavit for your trip to Cuba and determine which OFAC category your trip qualifies for. Most of our trips qualify as an Educational or Person to Person trip to Cuba.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
General Fishing Information
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 on the eastern portion of the greater Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) fishery, commercial fishing within this designated area is strictly forbidden and rigorously enforced. The sportfish-only area is 366 square kilometers in size, meaning that on an 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 in the Caribbean. This is one of the primary reasons we have chosen this destination. It is still more or less untouched and has only seen a handful of anglers for a few seasons. The fish are plentiful and aggressive. Cayo Cruz is also privileged in having an extensive string of cays on its northern border which protects it from all but the most violent of weather patterns.
The flats present 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 very similar to Los Roques, Venezuela in terms of the vast area that’s wadable; there are places here where you can wade for 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 water and you have a truly memorable place to fish.
The average bonefish weighs in at a healthy three to four pounds. During the course of a week, it is not unheard of for anglers to land a fish or two in the eight-pound-plus 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 as well. 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 occur in other locations, but not with the consistency seen at Cayo Cruz. It is a rare day when you don’t encounter and get shots at permit. The permit will range in size from approximately eight to 30 pounds. The flats at Cayo Cruz are a little deeper than those found in other regions of Cuba, which means bonefish and permit are found in excellent numbers throughout the year. Aside from the exceptional flats fishing, guests need to keep in mind that this is a new fishery still very much in its infancy. Nonetheless, the fish are usually plentiful and aggressive.
Two locations within the Cayo Cruz area offer 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, and barracuda.
Each morning, skiffs will depart from Cayo Cruz to different zones, areas within the greater Cayo Romano / Cayo Cruz fisheries. From Cayo Paredon Grande in the north to Cayo Guanaja and Versailles in the south, there are countless islands, lagoons and bays that will keep anglers happy and on fish throughout the day. Much of the fishing takes place in the areas between the island and the mainland, in and around the massive island of Cayo Cruz. The average boat run to the fishing areas can range anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes in length and in some areas. The run time depends on where your guide wants to take you that day and what your requests are. With more than 50 square kilometers of fishing area available 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.
Boats and Equipment
The fishing boats used by Avalon are Dolphin Super Skiffs outfitted with Yamaha 60 or 70 HP motors. Radios and life jackets are carried aboard every skiff. As is the case with most areas in Cuba, be prepared to bring all your rods, reels and lines with you! Flies, leaders, tippet, all terminal tackle and all accessories should be packed as well, as very few items are available anywhere in Cuba. Yellow Dog will provide a complete pre-trip packing and equipment list for fishing Cuba.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. Prices listed below are per person and quoted in US Dollars (USD).
Low Season Rates
January 4th – March 14, 2020 or August 29th – December 26th, 2020
$3,299.00 (based on double occupancy)
Non-angling guest – $2,200.00
High Season Rates
March 14 – August 29th, 2020
$4,550.00 (based on double occupancy)
Non-angling guest – $2,500.00
- Reception at Camaguey Airport and transfer to ocean front luxury hotel
- Seven (7) nights in Cayo Cruz Hotel in double occupancy room (Single room supplement fee of $350 for single occupancy room for the week)
- Six (6) full days of guided fishing (two people per skiff)
- All meals at the ocean front luxury hotel, Cayo Cruz
- All taxes and GSTs
- All transfers to and from Cayo Cruz
What’s Not Included:
- International flights to Cuba (Yellow Dog can help arrange)
- Meals, drinks, taxis and any additional expenses while in Cuba
- Fishing tackle, equipment, flies and all terminal tackle (Bring it all with you!)
- Gratuities for guides and staff (must be paid in cash with CUCs)
- Other items of a personal nature
- Premium rum, cigars or snacks purchased on site
- Conservation Fee ($100)
Trip Deposit and Trip Cancellation Information
For all Cuba trips less than 90 days out, full payment is required to secure guides and reservations. For trips outside of 90 days, a 70% deposit is required within 10 days to hold and confirm reservations. Payment for all Cuba trips must be made in US dollars and can be made using check, money order or wire transfer only. Any cancellations on Cuba trips will incur a $250.00 Yellow Dog handling fee regardless of timing. Passport number, date of birth and full name (as printed in passport) is required to confirm any Cuba reservation. Outside of 180 days from the start of the trip, deposits are refundable minus an $800 Cuban operator handling fee, which will be held and retained by the operators unless the trip is resold. Inside of 180 days of the start date of the trip, all deposits and payments are non-refundable unless Yellow Dog or Cuban operators are able to resell your spot(s). No refunds are available for unused portions of packages. Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended. Please note that credit card payments cannot be accepted for any incidentals or expenses once in Cuba. All programs and execution of programs remain subject to weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Claims for refunds from Cuban operators will not be accepted.