Bonefish and tarpon. Permit, snook, cubera snapper, jack crevelle, and barracuda are also available.
SEASON OF OPERATION
November 1 to August 30. September and October are prime hurricane months so we do not recommend these months to book a trip. Please note that the bonefishing in the summer, while excellent, is strongly influenced by the temperature. Because the flats are so shallow throughout Salinas, the water heats up quickly and the fish are generally off the flats by noon, regardless of what the tides are doing. This means getting up very early during the week to fish during the summer months
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE LOGISTICS
The normal week runs from Saturday to Saturday but we can be flexible in terms of arrivals and departures when given sufficient notice.
Our trips are based out of the hotel at Playa Larga, which is the only hotel in the area permitted to accommodate foreign guests. The hotel is located right on the edge of the National Park and is about a two minute drive to the park entrance. The cement bungalows are cool, roomy and pleasant. This is no means luxury accommodations. However, when you consider how remote the area is (they say there are more crocodiles than people in the Zapata) the cabanas are more than adequate and actually quite comfortable. The cabanas accommodate two anglers and each has its own private bath with hot and cold water, A/C, a sitting room with TV (CNN and ESPN) and small fridge for drinks. There are two bars at the hotel, one of which is on the beach. It must be emphasized that this is a very remote location and that there is no nightlife to speak of, other than that found at the hotel.
Angling capacity at in the Zapata is 10 rods.
This is one of the most unique and diverse fisheries we’ve ever experienced and there are three principal areas that can be fished: the flats, the river and the Bocas.
The flats are a wade fisherman’s dream as roughly 80% of the 100,000 acres of fishable water can be waded. The average water depth of the inner flats is between 6 and 18 inches. There is more shallow water bonefish habitat here than any place we know of and it would take a lifetime to fish it all. Because of how shallow the water is, our hard working Cuban guides pole their anglers for the entire day, from start to finish. It’s the only way to access the majority of the flats. There are deeper water flats on the outer edges of the park and this is where we often find permit. This is classic old time flats fishing.
The river is about an hour drive from the hotel but still located inside the National Park.
The river is a superior juvenile tarpon fishery with the average tarpon weighing between 5-25 pounds. Sixty to 80 pound tarpon are not uncommon and there is a healthy snook population living in the river as well. Guests will fish the mangroves as well as the wider bays and tributaries for rolling fish.
The Bocas are the outer islands and channels that protect the inner flats of Salinas. The Bocas are approximately a 75 minute boat ride from where the bonefish skiffs are launched each morning, but well worth the trip. These pristine outer islands hold excellent numbers of tarpon, cubera snapper and snook. The water is 4 to 10 feet deep and crystal clear. Time after time our guests marvel at how visually stunning the Bocas are and they almost always come back with stories of epic battles with tarpon and snook.
Each guest has his or her own guide for the duration of the week in each of the three fishing areas.
BOATS AND EQUIPMENT
As a result of the shallow water flats conditions, the skiffs we use to fish out of at Salinas have been modified and adapted to accommodate the environment. The skiffs are made of fiberglass and are about 12 feet long. They draft about 4 inches of water, which means that your guide can get you into the “super skinny” water with no trouble at all. The skiffs are very stable and can hold two people, fishing gear, plus a cooler for food and drinks. For guests heading out to the Boacs, we use a little larger boat, powered by a 9.9 engine. The boats on the river are John Boats with 25 horse powered engines. Salinas is a fly fishing only location while you can fly and spin cast on the river. No rental gear available from this location.
Guests will fly into Havana where you will be met by a Slipstream Angling representative as soon as you clear customs. You will be driven into downtown Havana where you will spend the night enjoying the sights and sounds of this dynamic city. The next morning, guests will depart Havana in one of our modern air conditioned vans or buses, depending on group size. The trip takes 2.5 hours and we will usually stop once for refreshments. Las Salinas is the small launch site inside the National Park, where the bonefish skiffs leave from each morning. In order to get down to Salinas, guests have to pass through a Cuban Military check point located at the edge of the park boundary. There is only one road down to Las Salinas and all visitors heading into and out of the park are closely monitored to prevent the poaching of fish and wildlife. The ride from the hotel through the park and down to Salinas takes 35 minutes and we have a full time professional driver who handles all the driving and is with you for the duration of you trip.
Slipstream Angling is a full service travel company and can handle international airfare, Cuban Visa applications, as well as a host of other services relating to your trip. Please contact us directly at 1 866 644-7703 for assistance.
INCLUDED IN PRICE
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
Mandatory Cuban Medical Insurance Policy as of May 1, 2010
- It is often difficult to pay for things with credit cards in remote locations like the Zapata. Cash is king
- Electricity is 220 volt
- The Tide fluctuation at Salinas is about only 10 inches
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
1) A valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months after your departure from Cuba
2) A Cuban Entry Visa.
RATES FOR 2012-13
$3,400 USD – $3,850 USD