Jardines de la Reina
Capt. Dexter Simmons
February 8, 2016
Jardines de la Reina - Saltwater Fishing Report
JARDINES DE LA REINA, CUBA, Feb. 1, 2016
The fishing trip begins around 7:30 am. My guide Leonardo takes me on a 20 minute run to the Bonefish grounds. We hunt in shallow water flats surrounded by mangrove bushes. Some are tailing on the turtle grass, others are schooled up on the silty sandy shallow bottom mudding. Over a three hour hunt we hook up ten, most from three to four pounds, two in the six to eight pound range. It is great fun, feeling the line tighten, watching and listening to the Bonefish rip fly line off the reel into the orange micron backing. Whirring reel music fills the Cuban tropic air. By mid morning my gloves and are half leather and half Bonefish slime.
"Pull it in Dexter" Leonardo moves us into a channel flat and hands me an 8 weight loaded with floating line and a Tarpon leader. "Your Tarpon fly box please." He points to a brown-tan-orange Sand Devil Fly, "this one is good." After twenty minutes of poling along a clear shoal, Leonardo finds a school Tarpon in about 6 feet of water coming our way. "You see them Dexter?"
"Okay, I've got them, two o'clock, 80 feet". Leonardo positions the bow for a cast to ten o'clock. The school is now moving slowly toward our skiff, about sixty feet. Looks like there are a dozen or so juvenile poons. "Okay Dexter, cast now." I false cast once for aim and launch the fly line, leader and sand devil, turning it over for a soft landing 6 feet in front of the lead fish. " "Wait, wait, okay stripping, stripping, stripping," Leonardo coaches. Three strips and the lead Tarpon turns on the fly and eats but no hook up. I recast the fly and another Tarpon eats the fly, but is off after a 5 minute tug of war with no jumps. The school circles around and a third Tarpon eats the fly and is jumping! After about a 10 minute battle, the fish is landed! A 20 pound Tarpon caught with the Sand Devil fly!
I turn to Leonardo and say "this means we must hunt for Permit to complete the grand slam!"
We spend the next three hours and find four Permit, one of which is a good shot. The Permit is tailing on a shoal bank, about 100 feet at 1 o'clock. A back cast flies within 5 feet of the trailer. Leonardo says "good cast, wait, wait, wait, strip two short, now one long...following, strip short, strip, strip, now long strip..." But no luck, as the Permit swims away out of range. "No hungry", Leonardo is spot on. A great day of fishing as the sun sets on Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.
Jardines de la Reina Fishing Forecast:
Excellent grand slam fishing for Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit!
Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit
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