Guide to Marlin Fishing in Cuba

by Jules on October 3, 2012

The sport of deep-sea fishing, especially for different types of marlin, is enjoyed by many people around the world and was a favourite sport of the famous author Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway spent much of his time in and around Cuba fishing for marlin and loved his adventures so much that the sport was the inspiration of his famous book The Old Man and the Sea. Marlin fishing requires a great deal of skill and body strength since marlin are very large, strong fish that are also very fast swimmers.

Deep-sea fishing is the most common type of fishing in Cuba and there are two kinds of deep-sea fishing. “Trolling” involves keeping the boat at six knots and using shallow lines, and when “bottom fishing” you stop the boat and sink deep lures about 200 feet deep.

Types of Marlin

There are several different types of marlin, which are fish with elongated bodies, spear-like bills, and long dorsal fins. Marlin belong to the lstiophoridae family and some common types of marlin breed are:

  • Black marlin – Makaira indica
  • Indo-Pacific marlin – Makaira mazara
  • Atlantic blue marlin – Makaira nigricans
  • Atlantic white marlin – Tetrapturus albidus
  • Striped marlin – Tetrapturus audax

White marlin average around 60-70 pounds, although they can weigh up to 160 pounds. Striped marlin are larger and can be found at 200-300 pounds. Blue and black marlin are among the largest and heaviest fish in the world and can be as large as a staggering 1,000 pounds, but the average is around 300-400 pounds. The most sought-after marlin is the blue marlin. Marlin are extremely fast swimmers and have been known to reach swimming speeds up to 68 miles per hour.

Marlin Fishing in Cuba

Cuba’s waters are home to numerous marlin and attract many deep-sea fishermen from around the world throughout the year. Some deep-sea fishing destinations are Marlin Marina Trinidad in Trinidad, Marlin Marina Darsena in Varadero, and Marina Gaviota in Villa Clara. Deep-sea fishing excursions can be booked in major resort areas and chartered yachts usually come complete with a crew and all of your tackle and equipment needs.

Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament

While fishing in Cuba, consider the Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament. The first of this tournament happened in 1950. It is a four-day event that occurs every June nine miles west of Havana. The contest hosts fishermen from around the world who use 50 pound fishing lines to compete for awards for first place, first capture, and greatest capture. The competition is a tag-and-release fishing event that encourages having fun in the sport of fishing and protecting the environment and its species. You can sail your own yacht or rent one at Hemingway Marina.

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