There is a lot happening in Cuba right now and if you are looking for a saltwater adventure that lands you in an unspoilt area of great beauty and can also land you a decent catch, there are a number of destinations in the country that should deliver everything you are looking for.
A great example of what awaits you in Cuba is Jardines de la Reina. The flats here are never commercially fished, so the waters are literally teeming with decent 1-14lb fish, and Tarpon are very abundant in this island system.
The wind in your hair, the fresh smell of the ocean. You can’t wait to get there. But, wait. You need the right type of rig for the job, don’t you? Here are some rigs you might use, and how you should be using them.
The Two-Hook Bottom Fishing Rig
The two-hook rig is probably the most widely used, and most versatile rig out there. You can use it to catch everything from pan fish to giant grouper. And, while a premade saltwater fishing rig is available, it’s pretty easy to tie your own using these simple knots.
For smaller fish, you should start with an arm’s length of 30 to 50-pound monofilament. Then, tie four 2 to 3-inch dropper loops and space them out 3 to 4 inches. Now, attach a sinker to the bottom loop, and then a hook to each middle loop. Finally, run the line running from your fishing reel to the top loop.
If you’re fishing for something on the larger side, you will need between 50 and 100-pound test line. You’ll also need a snap swivel, two three-way swivels and a regular swivel.
Now, tie an 8-inch piece of leader between the snap swivel and one of the three-ways. Next, fix a 10-inch leader and tie on the second three-way. Now attach another 8-inch leader to the second eye of the second three-way and tie the swivel on. Now, from each of the three remaining three-way eyes, you need to tie a short piece of leader snelled to a hook.
Make sure that these leaders are short enough that your hooks don’t get tangled up into one another.
Dress the hooks as you please.
Three-Way Saltwater Fishing Rig
This rig is similar to a two-hook bottom rig. The main difference here is that it only has one hook. To start out, you’re going to need a three-way swivel. Now, tie a short piece of leader to one of the eyes. Now, tie a longer piece to the other eye.
The shorter piece of your leader will be fixed with a jig or a weight of some kind, like a sinker. The idea here is that when the three-way is dropped into the water, the lure on the longer piece of the leader will hover just over the bottom.
The Carolina Rig
The Fishfinder, or Carolina rig requires some special fishing accessories, but it’s one of the best saltwater fishing rigs because you can use a natural saltwater bait or artificial bait. And, you can hang it near the bottom without it getting hung up on the bottom. To make it, you’ll need to start by threading the main line through an egg sinker. Now, tie a swivel to the mainline and attach a 12-inch piece of snelled leader to a hook or artificial bait.
The rig works with egg sinkers up to 4 ounces. If you’re using a heavier weight, you’ll need to replace the egg sinker with a fishfinder slide and then clip on a heavier weight. When using this rig, the fish can pick up the bait without detecting the weight of the sinker.
A popping cork is a rig that relies on a fish’s keen sense of sound. It features a short piece of stiff wire threaded through a foam or cork float and also a few metal or plastic beads.
Tie one end of the mainline and the other end to a piece of leader. A quick snap of your rod will make the float pop against the beads, which attracts the fish’s attention and causes the bait to hop below the water.
Now you are sorted and tooled up ready for fishing, check out some of the amazing places in Cuba that are just waiting to be discovered.
Finlay Wilkinson relaxes by heading out to do some saltwater fishing at every available chance. A travel consultant during the day, Finlay likes to combine his interests and passions by writing articles for travel blogs and websites.