cuba - saltwater Fishing

The area is huge; more or less like Jardines de la Reina with white sandy beaches, mixed coral and deep turtle grass. The area is a marine park, and nearly all the Cayos offer good fishing. Isle of the Youth is a typical tarpon destination.

Trip Overview

The Isle of Youth is the largest Cuban island and is located 70 miles to the southwest of mainland Cuba. The area is huge; more or less like Gardens of the Queen with white sandy beaches, mixed coral and deep turtle grass. The area is a marine park, and nearly all the cays offer good fishing. The Isle of Youth offers one of the best tarpon fishing in the Caribbean Sea, from giant tarpon in deep channels to juveniles on shallow flats or babies along mangrove shorelines. The Canarreos Archipelago is unbeatable with excellent bonefishing as well, some fish averaging over 5 lbs.
Snook, big size snapper, mouton snapper, horse eye jack and other species you can find in the flats and channels. Permit have been seen on 5 different flats, up to 20lbs. The area is very protected and rarely exists the chance of cancelling the fishing day for bad weather. Occasionally, there may be a short run to another spot through some rough water due to a cold front, but within a matter of minutes you will reach new flats away from the wind.


The package includes: reception in Havana airport; ground transfer in/out marina; 6-full days of fishing and 7-night accommodation in the "AVALON FLEET I " yacht. Meals and beverages, open bar.

High season starts on mid Febrary till last week of June. Low season starts on January till mid February and July.


The AVALON FLEET I is an intimate, comfortable and stylishly designed yacht, its overall capacity is 12 passengers and 8 crew members. We suggest between 8 and 10 anglers for optimum comfort. The design and interior decor give the yacht a touch of intimacy, refinement, a sense of warmth and simplicity. The boat has the perfect balance of substantial exploration capabilities and a unique and noble style.
There are 5 double deluxe cabins and 3 single cabins all with private bathrooms, and 2 more small single cabins with external bathroom. All cabins with air conditioning and heat controls, electricity plugs, as well as storage in drawers.
There is a spacious and comfortable combination lounge, dining room and bar area on the boat deck. This is where you will do much of your socializing and dining.

Tackle and Flies

Complete saltwater fly fishing tackle: #8 Wt; #10 Wt and #12 Wt. It is advisable to take at least one tackle for line #8 and two #10; 1 (one) spare line WF 8 F and WF10 S. Sinking line for tarpon is highly recommended.

Flies for Bonefish: Crazy Charly; Gotcha; Bonefish Special; any kind of Shrimp; Clowser Minow.

Flies for Permit: Merkin´s Crab; Rag Head Crab; Nick´s Casablanca.

Flies for Tarpon: Black Death; Purple Death; Cockroach; Stu Apte; Seaducers; Sea Streamers; Tarpon Toad.

Some poppers.

Others: Leaders for Bonefish 9 feet and 13,2 pounds; for Tarpon butt 50 or 60, and 80 or 100 lb. fluorocarbon shock tippet. Spools with 12, 20, 40, 60 and 80-pound fluorocarbon tippets. Silicone to clean the lines. A pair of pliers to remove hooks and pincers to cut steel. Steel line stretch for Barracuda and Shark. Hook sharpener. A wide-brimmed hat, with neck protection. Polarized glasses. Neoprene boots with rubber soles for sea-wading. A light water-proof jacket. Sun block, SPF 40 or higher. Medicine for headaches, stomach aches, anti acids, etc. Insect repellent. A valid passport.

Crab Fly Rag Head Crab # 4, 6 y 8 Crab Fly Brown Special Crab # 2, 4, 6, 8 Crab Fly Peterson´s Spawing Crab # 1, 2, 4, 6 Bonefish Fly Deep Water Crazy Charlie # 2, 4, 6, 8 Wet Fly Mangrove Muddler # 1, 2, 1/0 Wet Fly Clouser Minow # 4 - 2 - 1 - 1/0 - 2/0 Wet Fly Tarpon Fly # 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 Wet Fly Cockroach # 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0 Wet Fly Black Death # 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0 Wet Fly Brown Trapon Fly # 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 Bonefish Fly Boogle Head Perl # 6, 8 Bonefish Fly Bonefish Bitter # 6, 8 Wet Fly Red and Brown Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly Parrot Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly Red and Black Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly Yellow Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly White Bunny # 1/0 - 2/0 - 3/0 Wet Fly Toad Wet Fly Toad Wet Fly Toad

Image Gallery

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Perola Yatch



2023/24 - AVALON FLEET I US$ 8,250.- HIGH / US$ 4,900.- LOW

~ Per person sharing boat and accommodation. ~

Rates include: Reception in Habana. Bus transfer Havana / marina / Havana. 7-night accommodation in the AVALON FLEET I yacht full board. 6 fishing days with guide and skiff. Fishing license.

Rates do not include: International airticket. Cuba visa voucher, personal health insurance, accommodation and extras in Havana, fishing equipment and flies, staff and guide gratuities. US$ 300.- "conservation fee".

Notes: The actual rate is for 10 anglers, but the yacht can host up to 12 anglers. Ask for rate.

Fishing report

The weather has been good but windy, the fishing has been good but irregular. There are good tarpon in the reefs and channels, few tarpon have been seen in the shallows and on the beach.


Best trip to Cuba

By: Jörgen Berggren - June 2019

After a week of hooking 39 tarpon and landing 22 I am exhausted! In total, more than 330 tarpon were hooked during the week, fantastic! Aided by low winds and the sun giving good visibility on the flats most of the fishing was ”sight-fishing”.

Staying onboard the Avalon Fleet I Yacht was comfortable, exquisite food and competent staff made our stay second to none. Moreover we found schools of big bonefish, casted for permit, landed both seabass (pargo) and barracuda. All in all a great week!

Also a big thanks to Daniel for picking a good week for fishing an insuring that everything ran smoothly. For probably the best fishing for tarpon in the world, go to Isle of Youth!

Great fun!

By: Dave - June 2018

Hi Daniel,

We had a really nice trip.  The pre-fish tour with Myra was outstanding. We got a great view of Cuba and her organization really removed the complexities. 
The fishing was excellent as well. We had a mix up at the domestic airport as the Avalon rep still had an old name on the list (Davison) and didn’t have Sambrillo but we worked that out. The crew was excellent. Great food, super service. We enjoyed all the guides. I was looking forward to fishing with Reinier or Landy but they ended up with the Argentines.

I’m not sure of our fish count. Not as good as yours but even beginners caught fish. Attached is a shot that one of the Argentines got on our first day. I lost this fish in one of the narrow channels. Into and out of the mangroves, 100+ yards backing, etc. Guide estimated over 100 lbs.
Great fun!
Keep me posted on the trip week. I’m going to ask around the group.

Will repeat ASAP!

By: Sebastian Piaggi - June 2018

Hi Daniel, I must say the trip was awesome, the fishing, the weather, the organization, the on board service is excellent, the guides always well disposed and committed with the angler to fish and not to mention your effort for making things go well and smooth.
Even though I was able to fish many species in this trip (bonefish, jack, cuda, snapper) the tarpon fishing is unbeatable, the adrenaline once hooked these beasts is difficult to compare with other species!!!

Overall everything was perfect and very thankful for this amazing fishing week. Will repeat as soon as I can.


Very thankful!

By: Roque Barboza - April 2018


As every year, this past April with a group of 12 friends enthusiasts of the fly fishing, we traveled to Cuba. More specifically to Isle of the Youth which awaited us with sunny days and plenty of fish. We had enough tarpon, bonefish and other species but the best part of the trip was the good vibes and companionship among the group, sharing the same passion for fishing. All this is possible thanks to our families and also to Daniel and the team of Fly Fishing Caribe always delivering a good trip and excellent service.
Roque Barboza

Trip of a lifetime

By: Bob - March 2018

Dear Matias,
Just wanted to thank you for setting up such a wonderful trip for Chick and me, everything was just outstanding. The boat, the guides, the crew and the people who met us at the airport were most friendly and did everything to make our stay perfect.

I must add that the food and accommodations on the boat were truly unbelievable. When you have lobster everyday with options for fish, chicken and pork what more could anyone ask for.

Our guide Reinier was truly the perfect guide, spending time each day to help set us up on fish, without his tutoring it would have been a totally different experience.

Again, thanks for everything, it truly was a once in a lifetime fly fishing experience. We hope to return someday soon.


Ojalá pueda repetir / I wish I could repeat it!

By: Raul Brea - Junio 2017

Isle of the Youth PEROLA, June 2017

The program is very interesting, especially for me since it was my first experience fishing on the fly in saltwater.
We fished a lot, amazing the tarpon and much fin the bonefish. The yacht very comfortable and impeccable, captain and staff excellent and all guides were experimented and did their best to make us have a successful day. My friend and fishing partner Alberto Goyenechea, and the other fishermen closed the experience circle to perfection.
Daniel's organization was outstanding. I wish I could repeat the experience.

Just spectacular _ Simplemente espectacular

By: Oruga Gentili - May 2015

Dear Daniel,

I wanted to tell you that our fishing trip was spectacular. The fishing was great and the service in the Perola yacht was unbeatable, the guides worked hard to make our days the best possible.

It's been 7 seasons that we travel to the Isle of the Youth and I must tell you that this year was the best fishing of all. We landed many tarpon of around 44 lbs and 3 of 88 lbs, without counting the ones that couldn't be landed on the skiff. An amazing trip!

Thank you very much for all the organization.
Best regards,

PEROLA YACHT: surpassed expectations!

By: A&S - May 2014

Dear Daniel and Martina,

We had always dreamed of having the opportunity to be on a Mother ship and fish by day on a skiff. The Perola surpassed our expectations. We loved the experience: Great food, great company, lovely surroundings, awesome guide. So sweet to catch tarpon in such a beautiful place. Every day was new and exciting. We will definitely come to Cuba again.

Everything was perfect at Isle of the Youth (Cuba)

By: Ricardo Gabriel Bugliotti - May 2011

Hi Daniel,
Everything was perfect at Isle of the Youth. Very good people, good fishing and the best fishing guide, Manolo. The fishing was beautiful, on sight all the time by the way. It was very windy for sailing, but we managed. I enjoyed it a lot.
A hug,

We had a great time in Isle of the Youth

By: Chris & Shauna - July 01 , 2010

Thank you so much for setting up our trip to IDJ. We had a great time and were so happy to have all the opportunities to hook, jump and land Tarpon. IDJ is a wonderful Tarpon destination, with excellent guides, good service at the lodge, and a wonderful manager. We were very impressed with the organization and attentiveness to the fishing, lodging and every need we expressed. Despite the weather being a bit windy everyone on our trip had chances to land giant Tarpon! Our boat had tarpon everyday, sizes ranging from 25lbs all the way up to over 100lbs, incredible! We are excited to try another Cuban Fly Fishing Trip with FlyFishing Caribe!

Thanks very much and I hope your next week is more fruitful.

Chris & Shauna

We spotted many big size tarpon in Isle of the Youth (Cuba)

By: Roberto Gentili - May 27th - 2010

Dear Daniel.

I'm sending some pictures of the fishing week in IDJ.
The fishing was very good despite the windy days. We spotted many big size tarpon.

The guides put their effort into looking for alternatives to the wind, allowing us to get good catches. We caught (landed and photographed) many tarpon weighing between 40 and 60 pounds. Of course we lost many other hookups due to the fierceness of these fish and our lack of expertise.

The best thing that happened to my friend Eloy and me was that both of us were able to achieve a Grand Slam, while we were fishing on the same skiff on the same day. What an unforgettable experience!

We had already landed a snook each by 11 o´clock in the morning. Before midday, Eloy succeeded in hooking a bonefish and by 2 in the afternoon, both of us had caught a tarpon. Eloy had achieved his first Grand Slam and we had some celebration! I only had to catch one bonefish and I still had 4 hours to fish. I can´t describe how nervous we felt. Eloy let me have the rest of the fishing time so that I could also reach the Grand Slam. We searched for bones everywhere, but they wouldn´t show up. We sailed lagoons and every flat we could. For security reasons, the guide set the limit of 19 hrs to return.

By 6 in the afternoon, I felt really down-hearted despite the constant encouragement of Eloy and our guide Michael. At 6.55, right when we were starting the countdown to go back, 3 bones showed up 20 meters away, in a current of water coming into a flat. I cast, and we watched one of the bones following the fly without taking it. When I cast again, the bone took it. As soon as I hooked, the fish darted away from the skiff. My nerves were on the edge to collapse. The only thing I could think of was holding that bone in my hands and celebrating the achievement with my friend.

I handled it gently until I landed it on the skiff, and that was when we started to celebrate. The three of us hugged each other as if we had accomplished an amazing achievement. It was incredible having succeeded by the end of the fishing day!
Arriving at the marina, meeting the rest of our friends, the mojitos, the toasts at dinner time & all of them were very emotional moments that only those who feel the passion for the fly cast can understand.

Lastly, I would like to mention the excellent service of the hotel staff, the marina personnel, the guides and the rest of the people who were with us.

They all made this a perfect fishing trip, not to mention your organization. Everything would have been harder without your participation.

A big hug,

Oruga (Roberto Gentili)

Isle of the Youth (Cuba). The trip was fantastic!

By: Sebastián Tacchino - July 30th 2009


The trip to Isle of the Youth was fantastic. Everything turned out perfect. The staff was always very kind and committed.

I have no words to describe the fishing. I have never thought that I'd be able to see so many tarpon everywhere and of all sizes.

We fished in total:

* 11 snook. One weighed 12 pounds and we were the only boat catching snook in the whole week.
* 56 tarpon were hooked, but we succeeded in landing 23 of them. The heaviest weighed 75 pounds ( 64 inches long, 28 inches of diameter), a 60-pounder, 2 weighing 50 pounds, 5 weighing 40 pounds&
* 47 bonefish, one weighing 6 pounds and 24 inches long and another one weighing 6,5 pounds and 25 inches long.

Isla Juventud

Our guide Manolo deserves to be mentioned too. He was an absolute genius.
A big hug and I hope to go back soon.

Sebastián Tacchino

Isle of the Youth - Cuba

By: Roberto Gentili (h) - May 19th, 2009

Hello Daniel,

First of all, I´d like to thank you for your services, as this allowed us to get to know Isla de la Juventud.

It was a real pleasure to spend those days surrounded by so warm and attentive people. The people in charge, the chef, the waiter and all the staff made us feel at home in the Hotel Rancho.

With regard to the fishing and the guides, we can only say they were truly praiseworthy. Michael and Osmani were our guides, who were always dedicated and eager to help us land the desired and hard tarpons.

We had many strikes of giant tarpon, but our lack of experience made us miss most of them. We could also see many of them in different spots but we weren´t able to cast due to the winds or the dense vegetation, but without any doubt there is plenty of them in the island. We were able to land 40 to 50-pound tarpon, but some of them managed to escape, one of which weighed between 70 and 80 pounds.

With regard to the baby tarpon, we saw considerable amounts in different places. We hooked about 15, but we had over 40 strikes. Fishing them has proved to be fascinating.

We found bonefish too, but as they were not our aim, we didn´t make many attempts

A big hug,

Roberto Gentili (h)

Isla Blanca

Isla Blanca

Isle of the Youth - I had a great trip !!!!

By: John Neaves - June 10th, 2008

Dear Daniel,
I have just returned. I had a great trip and will prepare a report with photos over the weekend and send it to you. Iparticularily enjoyed the stay at the Isle of the Jouth where I found that the fishing was challenging but more rewarding. I think that I landed about 40 tarpon of all sizes with the largest 85 to 90 lbs. I had some superb fishing for permit but no bites.
Thanks for everything.
Kind regards,

Isle of the Youth. First of all can I thank you very much for organising the trip !!!!!!!!!

By: Graham Frost - July, 04th 2007

Daniel - first of all can I thank you very much for organising the trip in June 2007. I would encourage anyone who hadn't been to Cuba before to combine the fishing with at least a couple of days in Havana beforehand to start to appreciate the country, its history and its people. I would recommend they stay in Habana Vieja and to take a run along the Malecon at dawn to see the real fishers bringing in their catches!

The fishing itself was a great adventure. The set up is very professional and friendly, and I particularly appreciated the real effort that the guides put in to finding the fish and making the trip special. I enjoyed the varied fishing - from mangroves to channels, from flats to sandy shore - and the variety, quality, and size of the fish.

I also liked that the guides ensured that even if your flies were not right they had their own special flies to ensure your chances were maximised! As ever I learnt a lot - but know there is still so much more to tropical salt water fly fishing - and look forward to continuing my education both in Cuba and elsewhere with FlyFishingCaribe and your own advice and guidance.

It was also great fun to meet the lively spirits that are Mike and John - and the Canadians!..........

With best regards

Graham Frost

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