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Cuba part 11

I will start his by saying sorry to people who are not interested in exotic overseas trips,its just that if you get the chance you grab it with both hands and I make no apology for that

I wish everyone could have the experience,I just hope this blog is as good as being there

One of the benefits of Cuba  are no  Americans,

I mean well but it makes for an unspoilt place to visit

These guys mean well but can be tooo much for us shy englishmen sometimes

I have met some really  interesting people though and made some good friends

Its whats life is about I hope

Bonefish feed in the shallowest of water


Bonefish of course is what this type of fishing is all about

In Spanish they are called Macabi or ratfish and that is a great description

they push onto the flats with the tide,which follows that tides make a great difference to the fishing

they can pratically beach themselves hunting for shrimp and crab and leave tell tale holes in the bottom where they suck the sand out

A common mistake is to use too light or too heavy a fly and to cast too close to the fish

you have to anticipate how deep the water is before you see your fish and change your fly accordingly

Use the lightest flies for the shallowest water often with weed gaurds tied in

Heavier flies for the deeper water

try to anticipate where the fish is going when first seen(difficult enough) and cast a good 15 feet in front in calm clear shallow water.

Let the fly settle on the bottom and dont move until the fish is within 5 ft

The shallower the water the less chance there is of the fish seeing it due to the sight window there eye will see.

When the fish is close enough move the fly in short positive strip ,this generally gets the fishes attention as the movement creates a puff of sand and make a noise and vibration in the water

Often all that is needed now is to tweak it again and let the fly drop to the floor

The fish will hopefully move over the fly and dip his nose down on it

This is the take,you will not feel it.

If there is more than one fish chasing all the better as the competition generally means one will have a go.

When the fish stops over the fly you know its taken at


At this stage you do another long positive strip not lifting the rod but tightening the fly line on the fish

Only when you feel the fish tightening back do you lift the rod

If the fish hasnt taken it you will chase it and probably try to eat it again

Now he is really annoyed and even if pricked by the barb will still chase as he thinks his prey is fighting back

This is really different from any other kind of fishing

I have had up to 5 takes like this in one cast and eventually the fish was hooked only a rod tip away from me

Once hooked the demented dancing begins

I call it this as that is what it looks like


A bonefish,any bonefish moves fast and you need to make sure the fly line clears the rod rings ,your feet and the reel without being caught up somewhere

This is what causes the dance

On a boat I often prefer to fish in stocking feet so I know I am not standing on line,when casting or when a fish is hooked.

a large Bone taking exeption to the guide


As they say first hook your bonefish


Once hooked then fun begins


The first run is always fast and long


How long depends on the depth of water and how big your fish is

I prefer to play a fish on a very loose clutch and palm the reel

If the clutch is too tight on a reel it gets even tighter as the backing whizzes off the reel

Just be careful of the handle which can bash your knuckles as well as causing the line to break

Gloves which protect your hand from the sun and your stripping finger really are a must

Once stopped the fish will probably move back towards you at spedd causing slack line that must be wound in as fast as possible

They normally do this as Bonefish dont really like rushing out into deep water where predators such as barracuda and shark await

Ifa predator gives chase immeadiatly give your bonefish slack line to give it the best chance to escape


Its amazing seeing a bone outpace a shark while still on the line


A barbless hook is good as often it will luckily drop out giving the fish the best chance of escape


Dont worry,wheres there 1 bonefish there are usually more.


a second and third run of smaller and smaller distance are common until the fish is yours


To handle a fish is too remove its slime and give it a sent that Sharks will follow

Photos shoud be done in the water or as quick as posible using gloves

If the fish is turned upside down it will stop thrashing about

A barbless hook is  also quick to remove

Allow the fish to recover before letting it swim off so it can outrun any predator


I have noticed big bones take a long time to recover and are keenly sought out as easy prey so I will lead them on the hook away from the area of action

sometimes this can be 200 meters or more before I let them go in a safer area  making sure I am not being followed.

Sucess, a big bone


Barracuda are a particular menace in Cuba but can be fun to catch as well


Often really difficult to get on a fly rod as the fly has to be stripped so fast a spining rod and lure often does the buisness


I prefer the red headed popper, takes are spectacular

Hokkaido Sierra Pop Popper 115m


And the result of reeling one in very FAST


On light spinning tackle Barracuda are tremendous fun,often becoming airbourne in the fight.


Barry the bonefish eater