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Cuba - bass fishing charter - 1994

 I had always wanted to fish the world record ;large mouth bass that frequents Cuba’s lakes. World class fishing is available in many Cuban lakes and the chance of angling a 28 pounds ia a dream for all of us that fish.
 I was staying at the Bucanero resort near Santiago when by chance , I met another fishing tackle designer from Ontario. he told me about Cuba’s bass fishing and we decided to do a charter. We got hold of the resort guide and we booked a full day trip for the next morning at a cost of US $ 40.00 each.
 Our guide then asked " Would you like me to bring along some cold beer ? "
My new fishing partner asked how many beer I needed for a day on the lake ? I responded  " Two will be enough for me. " He then told the guide " Bring us 24 very cold ones.  I thought to myself " This new friend is a very serious beer drinker ! " I told them I would meet them in the lobby next morning at 5 AM and then ordered a take out lunch from the resort restaurant.
 The morning came quickly and the three of us headed out in an old Lada to the lake. After about an hour we reached the fish camp. It was very basic , but the boat looked good. It was a Boston Whaler type with a 40 HP Yamaha. My new friend brought his tackle box which was loaded with bass gear. I had only brought along a few salmon lures so I picked some of his for my use. The ones I choose  all had good salmon lure colours.I had never fished large mouth bass before so went on instinct.
 After about 20 minutes we hit the fishing hot spot. This lake is man made and the power poles were still sticking out of the water. I also noticed a few brick chimneys poking out of the lake. The guide told us that this was once a town but was dammed ans flooded to provide water for the sugar cane fields.
 To be continued on Tuesday ::::


Part two :::
 I was first to cast my plug into the lake and beat others with three bass in the fish box. I was using sink,jerk and retrieve. M yrod was catching most of the fish. The new friend said it was my colour choice so I took his rod and showed him my method os sink and jerk. After he learned the system we all had many , many fish.
 We fished real hard but our largest was only three pounds. a local boat was fishing beside us they had a six pounder. Every time we passed another boat my fishing friend would toss them cold beer. I do not like to drink when I am on the water so I consume only two.
 In the afternoon it started to get very hot so we decided to call it a day. I requested that we try the deepest part of the lake so I could test the B.C. made Buzz Bomb. The guide moved the boat to a 12 ft. deep hole and I tried the metal lure. On the secnd jig I brought in a nice large mouth bass. I angled a few more but lost the Buzz Bomb to the bottom so we returned to the marina. The guide could not believe such an odd looking lure would catch bass.
 When we arrived at the dock everyone stopped their work and came over to see our catch. They were very impressed with our full fish box.
 At this point I told my partner we should square up with the guide. We gave him US $ 80.00 and told him he could keep the fish as a tip. He was very happy with the tip and invited us to come to his house where his wife would make a fine fish supper. I had a date for the Trpicanin the evening so I declined. The guide now gave us the bill for the 24 beer - US $ 48.00. My new friend said " That is US $ 24.00 for each of us… There were only two beer left in the cooler so I grabbed both. before I passed him the US $ 24.00.
 The charter was certainly worth the price but I should have asked the price of the beer before it was used.

 The Bucaner resort was recently damaged by an hurricane and is no longer operational.

Lots of fish in that reservoir. Jiggin’ eh?

I think the present day stories of lurker bass in Cuba are nothing more than urban myth and wishful thinking about days long in the past. With zero conservation efforts and catch-and-release unheard of the days of big bass in Cuba are long gone.

You can still have lots of fun on Lake Hanabanilla - I caught a pile of 2 - 4 pounders a few years ago - but the price has since skyrocketed. Lake Zaza is especially bad.

It’s a real shame.


Thank you Gordon for your writings. Glad you kept them. And like Terry, I wish Cuba had a stricter policy on ecological programs. But still, you are telling us about the past (hard to believe we’re talking about 20 years ago!!). Like to read some more of your musings.

A lot of people in Cuba fish for food !!!

As do a lot of people in Canada! Next weekend trout season opens in our area and the guys are chomping at the bit to go fishing.

Freedom Ryder 8-)…

At the time I did that charter there was a serious problem for the Cubans to get food. There was a lot of Cubans fishing from the beach with hand lines.