If you follow our blog you might remember that back at Christmas Derek went over to Cuba fishing, and within hours of returning home had already booked himself another trip out there! This trip has now been and sadly gone so I've got all the news and info ready to share with you.
This was a trip Derek that had wanted to do for a while now and after looking into it on his last trip finally got round to booking it. It was a full week living aboard a fishing boat, so fishing 24 7...living the dream! As with most of these trips cost is always an issue so Derek needed another two fishing fanatics to tag along with him to share out the cost. These guys were not difficult to find, John Jones a big friend of Dereks who's been to Cuba with him before fishing and Chris Cain, a life long Foxons customer and fishing fanatic. Their age ranges (alothough i can not reveal ages!) had 40 years difference between them, but as I'm sure you understand fishing (and beer) bring together people of all types and ages. Needless to say they all got on a treat, Chris even came into the shop today, he said it was to drop some photos off, but really I think he's missing Derek already!
The boat, Coral Blanca is owned by the Cuban company Marlin. It is a fully equiped fishing boat and comes with El Chino the captain and chef Roly (poor Derek told me he's sick of fresh Lobster now, it's a hard life!). This is all very good but when you want to fly fish in shallower water you'll still need a smaller boat/skiff, so this is why they decided to pay the extra and have 2 guides come and live on board with them for the 6 days. This was certainly worth the extra as the guides knowledge over such a large area was invaluable and when the conditions got rough, as they did on many days, that extra pair of trained eyes helped spot out some precious fish. The boat resides at the marina at Cayo coco and travels out along the coast usually doing one day charters. The boat is well equiped and perfect for a lads (or girl like me!) holiday, it's not a first class cruiser or house boat like the Avalon set up, but then it's a fraction of the price. Derek and the lads had booked themselves in at the Sol Cayo hotel for a few days either side of the week on the boat, just for travelling and resting purposes.
There were far too many great fishing experinces for me to tell you about them all, but I can tell you that they had a fantastic trip catching a huge assortment of species using various methods from fly to deep sea trawling. Most days catching their dinner! If you are after a Grand slam, this trip could certainly get you one if conditions are right. The boys were lucky with the weather on the first couple of days and that's when the fly fishing was excellent, but unfortunately it turned rough for the rest of the trip making spotting and casting that bit tougher. If the conditions had stayed good for the whole trip Derek thinks they would have had a chance of all 3 of them having a grad slam!
One of the highlights of the trip was when Chris caught his first ever Tarpon, going straight in for it with a 100lb plus fish on the fly!! He'd only ever seen 3 tarpon before in his life, never had a cast at one, then goes and hooks the first one he tries for....that's got to be some sort of record I think. He'll be in for a shock next time he tries for one i think! In all fairness I'm sure him landing this fish was all down to good angling and skill playing it in, for all two hours of the fight! CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS!!!
Finally the icing on the cake, infact icing on the birthday cake for Derek was him finally catching one of those impossible Permit on a fly. I know that the last several trips over to Cuba Derek has spent days on end after one of these little buggers and finally, as it always does, persistance has paid off and he landed himself the most beautiful Permit. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEREK!!!
John enjoyed the trip and had some cracking fish too, including big cudas, but you've got to hand it to these guys, they both had their fish of a lifetime. BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME JOHN!!
If you'd like any more information on this trip or need help and advice about tackle for another overseas adventure just call in, we'll all be happy to talk your ears off about this exciting way of fishing!