Permit Bonefish Tarpon

Premier Flats Fishery

Diverse & Untouched
Cayo Cruz is a small, narrow, barrier cay located on the north shore of the eastern province of Camaguey. The small island borders the open ocean to the east and an an enormous system of flats, lagoons and pristine estuaries to the southwest and inland side. This area is located in Jardines del Rey, where commercial fishing within this designated area is strictly forbidden. The fly fishing only area is 366 square kilometers in size, meaning that on the average day, each skiff has over 5O square kilometers to itself. The fishing area is virtually untouched and represents one of the cleanest and most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. Most other destinations in the Caribbean have been heavily overfished for decades.
Cayo Cruz Map

The Fishing

Cayo Cruz epitomizes the qualities of a newly discovered, pristine fly fishing nirvana—abundant fish populations boasting impressive sizes, yet untouched by the presence of flies and leaders. Set against the backdrop of breathtaking cays and crystal-clear waters, this destination promises an unforgettable fishing experience.

The bonefish here average a robust 4 pounds, with guests frequently encountering specimens in the 8 to 10 pounds range throughout the week. Tailing bonefish are a common sight, appearing in singles, pairs, and even schools numbering in the hundreds.

What truly distinguishes Cayo Cruz from other fisheries is the consistent opportunity to encounter and target permit each day. This is truly a world class permit destination and one of the best places anywhere to catch a permit on the fly. Few places offer this perfect combination where you have the chance to pursue sizable bonefish while also enjoying shots at tailing permit reliably. It’s a rarity not to encounter and engage with permit, which can weigh between 8 and 30+ pounds. For the angler seeking the ultimate thrill of catching a permit on the fly, Cayo Cruz stands as one of the premier destinations on the planet.

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The flats at Cayo Cruz are a little deeper than those found in other areas of Cuba, which means that the bonefish and permit are found in excellent numbers throughout the year. There are two locations within Cayo Cruz that offer very good tarpon fishing. Guides tend to save these areas for when an angler has already boated a permit and is looking for a Grand Slam. These fish will range from 30 to 100 pounds. Besides the fishing for permit, bonefish and tarpon, you will also cast for other challenging species like mutton snapper, snook, cubera, jack crevalle, barracuda, etc. Much of the fishing takes place back towards the mainland, in and around the massive island of Cayo Cruz The average boat run to the fishing areas is about 20 minutes in length and in some areas, you can be into fish within 5 minutes of leaving the boat docks. It just depends on where your guide wants to take you that day and what you are interested in targeting. With 50 square kilometers per boat, the options are just about limitless. The amount of great aspects to this fishery can truly be a sensory overload at times.

The Fishing Program

The skiffs depart from the marina at Cayo Cruz each morning after you finish a hearty breakfast. There are 7 different sectors that are included in the fishing rotation and depending on the guide rotation that day, you may be heading to any number of them. Stretching from Cayo Paredon Grande in the north to Cayo Guanaja in the south, the region boasts an abundance of islands, lagoons, and bays that offer an endless playground of productive areas to keep anglers happy. 

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A significant portion of the fishing activity occurs in the lagoon system between Cayo Cruz and the mainland. Typically, it takes just about 20 minutes by boat to reach the prime fishing spots, although in certain areas, anglers can find themselves fishing within a mere 5 minutes of departing from the docks. The specific destination zone for the day and the targeted species determine the route chosen by your guide. With 50 square kilometers per boat, the possibilities are virtually boundless. The sheer abundance of fantastic opportunities within this fishery can sometimes overwhelm the senses of any passionate angler.

Permit, Tarpon & Bonefish

Fish Species OF Cayo Cruz

Cayo Cruz is a truly special place offering ideal habitat and excellent angling for all 3 premier flats species. If permit are your passion, it is a world class permit fishery that should be on your short list of destinations. During the tarpon migratory period, trophy tarpon are abundant and you’ll get multiple shots throughout the day at double and triple digit fish. The bonefishing is truly spectacular with very large bonefish found prolifically roaming the flats. Beyond the abundant bonefish, permit, and tarpon , there are a diverse array of other available species present as well including barracuda, snapper, jacks and more.

Bonefish

Permit

Tarpon

Cayo Cruz Cuba Fly Fishing Photo Gallery

Seasons

From January to March, in Cayo Cruz, like most destinations, there’s a potential risk of cold fronts sweeping in from the northeast. However, Cayo Cruz benefits and is well protected shielding most of the prime fishing spots. During this period, fishing remains quite good, especially for sizable bonefish, small to medium resident tarpon weighing between 20 to 30 pounds, and the ever present permit.

April to June emerges as the optimal window  of weather conditions and the arrival of large migratory tarpon, alongside the consistent presence of bonefish and permit.

Although quite warm, July and August mirror the productivity of spring and early summer, and from strictly a fishing perspective is the best time of the year. During these summer months there is an increase in permit numbers on the flats, presenting ample opportunities for prime shots at the black tailed devils throughout the day.

September to December marks another great time period, offering great fishing for all species. 

Blue Sanctuary

Blue Sanctuary Map

One of the primary reasons for the continued unspoiled and intact ecosystems found in Cuba is a result of conservation efforts implemented by Blue Sanctuary

This conservation organization has been working with partners in the Jardines del Rey Archipelago for the past 27+ years. This is a massive no take marine preserve in the Caribbean, with a primary conservation goal focusing on research, management and economic issues related to what are considered the most healthy and extensive coral reefs in the Caribbean region.

Blue Sanctuary works  closely with the Cuban Center for Coastal Ecosystems and Marine Research Center of Cuba to better study the natural resources of the region while also assessing their economic and social values. Project Blue Sanctuary is a comprehensive, aggressive and forward-looking program to research and protect the unique and pristine ecosystems of the Jardines del Rey Archipelago. This research ensures that these protections will endure in perpetuity, serve as a compelling model for marine protected areas worldwide, dramatically advance human understanding of how healthy coral reef ecosystems function, and yield critical insights to inform management decisions for protecting coral reefs globally.

Furthermore, this ecosystem and educational research model is bringing Americans and Cubans closer together. Former fishermen and their families are now employed in diving and fly fishing operations. Through this they are continually creating human connections by educating visiting ecotourists creating a sustainable way of life; which in turn, is fostering future generations of stewards in this marine park.

The Guides of Cayo Cruz

(Alphabetical)

Many of the guides at Cayo Cruz boast extensive experience having guided anglers from all over the world for many years. Their backgrounds include having previously worked as commercial fishermen in the area. Raised amidst the flats, lagoons, and mangroves, they possess an intimate understanding of the ecosystem. This rich history, coupled with professional training, positions them as some of the most skilled guides in both Cuba and the wider Caribbean region.

Fluent in English, our guides are enthusiastic about sharing tales of their Cuban heritage and unique fishing adventures. Committed to client satisfaction, they consistently go above and beyond, driven by a fervent passion for success and dedicated to helping you realize your fishing dreams.

Antonio cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Antonio

Boris cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Boris

Eddy cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Eddy

Elder cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Elder

Joandi cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Joandis

Jorge cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Jorge

Leovany cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

LEovany

Yilber cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Yilber

Yoandry cayo cruz cuba fly fishing guide

Yoandry