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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back from the Queen's Gardens in Cuba. Just spectacular!

I have just come back from Cuba. The location is the same, the Queen’s Gardens, thus this time we explored an area I have never been before, and this is something because I have already fished the place 12 times…. Our route was heading east, towards the Cabo Cabeza del Este, on the very other end of the area I know. Quite a chellenging trip, nothing we knew about the area, the fish we could find and the environment. I just knew it couldn’t have been bad.

We left the jigging rods at home. The boats there have no sounder and to be very honest with you, my friend and I just wanted to use top water lures, both on light and heavy tackle. I had 5 rods with me: 1 heavy popping rod the Daiwa Saltiga GT86, 2 medium spinning rods, one built casting and one built spinning. Same blank, the good ol’ TP7030SP better known as Caranx Medium by Lamiglas. Las but not least, I carried in the suitcase 2 light Lamiglas Travel, XTC7025 casting up to 1 1/2oz and XTS704 spinning, up to 3/4oz. Eventually, the latter two became my favourite together with the heavy popping rod.  The very light one was with me for the Bonefish. Small jig heads, tiny grubs and good sight needed. Thus, I used it a lot with offset hooks and weightless soft plastics, like the Super Fluke, an all time favourite. I matched the rod with a tiny Daiwa Bradia and Tuf Line XP 10lb line with a 15lb fluorocarbon leader. Incredible good fun! Amazing fishing! I landed a couple of Snappers in the 10lb range in less than 10ft of water. Fought hard, digged the rocks, got stuck and finally hopped into the boat.

The 7025 was the walking the dog stick. Rigged with a Daiwa Fuego low profle baitcasting reel and 20lb braid, handled pretty well the majority of the mid size fish, including several snappers, Cudas and Tarpon. Had is rought moment when fighting a very large Cubera in 20ft of water: almost managed to turn its head to finally give up on a big rock where the leader parted. Twice it happened, not much to do about it… Didn’t use much the Caranx Medium rods, either I wanted to fish lighter or heavier, I wasn’t a trip for grey tones, mostly black and white. The Daiwa GT86 showed everything it can do and pulled hard on the big fish. Hooked three Cuberas and landed them all on 80lb braid and 130lb wind on leaders (I’m making them pretty decent now…) . The rod is a beauty to use, not the best for popping thus a great pole for stickbaits.

To make a long story short the 5 days of fishing have been nothing short of sensational. Between the two we counted more than 120 fish landed with probably as many strikes of fish we hooked and lost. Best day topped almost at 50 fish, most of them in the 4 to 10lb range because we really wanted to fish light tackle in the small pass and canals among the mangroves and the shallow reefs. Mutton Snappers, Dog Snappers, Jack Crevalle, Yellow Jack, Barracuda, Groupers, and then Bonefish and Tarpon, the ultimate gamefish of the flats. Our skipper, Vicente, an old fried, sure is the major responsible of our success, in fact nobody know the place for top water fishing as he does. The guy holding the Cubera is him :-)

I have been to this place many times as I said at the beginning, 13 now if I’m not wrong, and for some reasons I haven’t been back since 2005 but, I promise you, as soon as the skiff started crusing among the calm lagoons, running between the mangroves I asked myself.” Why on heart did I take so long to come back?” This is the place where I have learnt most of the things I know about saltwater spinning and tropical popping. I think I have lost some great years of amazing fishing in one of the best places I have ever had the pleasure to visit.

The Queen’s Gardens is one of the lost paradise of this poor planet. The nature is untouched, the fishing nothing short of amazing and the people the best you can find ever. The whole crew we had on the boat was amazing. Great guys, right attitude, good food, excellent service and total dedication. If you don’t want to go there is because you are either crazy or maybe … crazy! For me it sits among the Top 3 fishing spot around the globe. I have been away for too long, not going to do the same mistake again.

Check the web site here: Cuban Fishing Centers

1 comment:

hector200 said...

excelente reporte mi estimado, felicidades por las capturas, saludos y un abrazo.