Isla de la Juventud (Island of the Youth), is the largest island in the nearly 4000 islands that surround the Cuban mainland. 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.
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 to one of 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.
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.
Avalon Fleet I:
The Avalon Fleet 1 is a luxurious yacht, built and designed for ultimate comfort while at the same time feeling cozy and intimate. Overall capacity for the AF1 is 18 passengers with a crew of 8. For fishing groups, we find 8-12 anglers is perfect. Guests aboard the Avalon Fleet 1 are housed in 8 deluxe cabins, 7 of which have their own bathroom and shower. Also standard in each room is air conditioning, multiple electrical plugs, and drawers for storage. In the evenings, once the fishing is done, the aft deck is a perfect place to enjoy a drink and appetizer. This is also where the main dining area is located. The upper deck is equipped with a hot tub, and offers beautiful views of the surroundings and evening sunsets. Service aboard the AF1 is hard to beat, with a plentiful staff available to help guests with all their needs. Meals are exceptional, especially given your location so far from land. Fresh squeezed juice is always available, and dinners largely comprised of the days catch of seafood.
2019 Rates: $4,767-$6,850 for a 7 night/6 day package (based on group of 12 anglers)
Included: All accommodations and meals (except nights in Havana), guided fishing, 15 beers per angler/per week, wine with dinner, welcome cocktail after fishing, 35 drinks (water & soft drinks) per angler/per week, all ground transfers inside Cuba, national park license.
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Havana, lodging and meals in Havana, fishing tackle, departure tax, personal expenses, taxis and meals in Havana, staff & guide gratuities
Fish Species: Tarpon, bonefish, permit, jacks, snook, baracuda, snapper
Yacht Capacities: 6 anglers