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With all the talk of new fishing areas in Cuba, I have neglected to point out that the original, shallow Bay of Pigs fishing area called La Salina is still open and regularly fished by international anglers. The drawback to the area is the severe limit (it used to be a complete ban) on the use of outboard engines there, which means most anglers are outfitted in very small boats that have to be poled from the dock. This results in a good part of the day being spent simply sitting, waiting to arrive in a good fishing spot. That limitation aside, there is still good bonefishing in La Salina, albeit for fish that are typically not very large, along with a chance to take a permit. Also, trips to La Salina typically include a day or so of tarpon and snook fishing in a nearby river.
One of the principal players in this fishery is Mike Mirecki ([email protected]) of Cuba Welcome (www.cubabonefishing.com, which is still under construction as this is written). Here is how he describes his current program: My usual La Salina package includes six days of fishing (four days on the flats and two days on the Hatiguanico River), seven nights full board accommodation at Hotel Playa Larga in a single room (one drink with each meal), packed lunches each day, and all private transfers within Cuba. The cost for that runs £1,450 per angler (about $2,204 US), based on a minimum of two anglers. One angler would have to pay a supplement of £250 for taxi transport on his own. A three-day fishing package with four nights accommodation costs £870 per angler (about $1,300 US), based on a minimum of two anglers. A single angler would need to pay a supplement of £165.
I try to arrange that each angler gets at least one day on the flats with a motorized boat, but I cannot guarantee this. I can also book hotels in Havana such as the Hotel Nacional and the Hotel Conde de Villanueva both at £60 per night (about $96 US). I can also cater to non-fishing wives by offering tours of the Zapata area, including guided nature tours, guided bird-watching tours, guided tours to sunken caves known as cenotes, diving tours, snorkeling tours, visits to a crocodile farm, and day trips to Cienfuegos
and Trinidad. Don Causey.