The Thrill of Punta Cana Fishing: A Piscatorial Paradise

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(We’ve asked one of the local legends of Punta Cana charter fishing, Captain Anthony Perez, to share his wealth of knowledge about the incredible world of Punta Cana fishing with our readers. His generous insights are scattered and italicized all throughout this article. Atlántida Punta Cana SRL is a charter company with over 10 years experience in conducting water excursions in the area of ​​Punta Cana.)

Wetting a line in the hauntingly beautiful azure waters surrounding Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, can be an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. Blue-water fishing can be had as close as 4 miles from your hotel room door. Punta Cana fishing is some of the best available anywhere in the Caribbean. It is the absolute #1 place for Wahoo and Mahi-Mahi, and trophy-sized billfish are not uncommon. Several IGFA records have been set, and broken in Punta Cana. From lagoon fishing, reef ranging, and fly fishing, to battling blue-water bruisers – Punta Cana has it all.  For the ultimate in salt-water fishing adventures, there is nowhere better than Punta Cana.

The Jewel of the Caribbean

Punta Cana, meaning Tip of the White Cane, is in the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic. The name obviously refers to the beautiful local cane palms that grace the landscape. Punta Cana has a full-time population of around 125,000, with over 81% being of Haitian descent. The province has 62 miles of coastline, with numerous tidal pools and sandy windswept expanses, with a barrier reef that averages from a few hundred yards off the beach, to 1/4 of a mile out. All but 2 of over 50 exquisite resort hotels are owned by Europeans, mostly Spanish hotel chains. They offer shuttles to and from the Punta Cana International Airport, one of the busiest and best-connected airports in the Caribbean, serving over 3 million passengers annually.
The wonderful tropical climate of Punta Cana is pretty consistent year-round, with day temperatures in the low 90s, and evenings in the upper 60s, with a constant humidity near 80%. Annual rainfall is around 40 inches, mostly in August, October and November.

Punta Cana has all kinds of activities available, especially for water-sports, like running speedboats, discovery cruises, sailing, diving with dolphins, sharks and rays, reef diving, whale-watching, and more. There is also a tournament-quality golf course, the Corales, which offers 18 holes of some of the finest golfing in the world. Above all, though, Punta Cana fishing is king of all the activities.

Punta Cana – Home of the Smarter Charter

Punta Cana fishing
Beautiful Dorado caught aboard La Kira, one of Anthony’s boats

Punta Cana fishing is rated as some of the best on the planet, and anglers flock here from all over the world. From near shore tight-lining to trolling for deep-sea monsters, Punta Cana has a charter that is just right for you. There are literally dozens and dozens of available charters, specializing in Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Barracuda, Cobia, Yellowfin Tuna, Bonito and more.

Q: How long does it usually take from the moment you step on board to the moment that you can start deep sea fishing?
Captain Tony: One of the great things about the Punta Cana area is that it takes just 3 miles from the marina to start deep sea fishing. You can be on fish in as little as 20 minutes!

For those of the fly-fishing persuasion, most charters are happy to take you out as well, although many may require you to supply your own fly gear. Most fly fishermen (this author included) prefer to fish with their own gear, anyway.  Most Captains have an acute knowledge of the waters you will be fishing, and will do their utmost to see that you have a fun, safe fishing experience you will remember for years to come.  In January through May, you may be startled to be sharing your fishing water with the local humpback whales, who come here to mate and birth their young. Seeing pods of these majestic giants in their own wild habitat is an awe-inspiring experience.

Q: Fly fishing – do anglers have to bring their own fly fishing gear if they go fishing with you? What’s the best time of year for taking your fly rod to the Dominican Republic?

Captain Tony: This type of fishing is very peculiar and personalized: usually, our costumers bring their gear, rods, sticks, rapalas and flies,  Nevertheless, we do have rods and Abud Garcias reels for casting and spinning, as well as rappalas and flies. Conditions for Fly fishing are good all year in Punta Cana.

All Types of Saltwater Fishing, for All Types of People

Shore fishing

Punta Cana fishing

One of the attractions of Punta Cana is that sport-fishing here is very lightly regulated. Technically, you are supposed to have a fishing license, but this regulation is never enforced. It’s been that way for so long, you’d be hard-pressed to find a place that had a license to sell you. The only real regulation is that billfish must be released. All other fish are fair game, for the most part.
Many say that there is no beach or shore fishing available at Punta Cana, but I have to disagree with them. I have fished in Punta Cana dozens of time, from the beach, and the shore. It is true that many ponds are posted “No Fishing”, mostly due to safety concerns, but there are plenty of tidal ponds and flats, and a few beaches where the reef is close enough to cast out to from the shore. In the wash between the reef and the beach, huge Permit cruise the shallows and are accessible with fly gear. Most of the resorts have private beaches as well, that are loaded with Permit, Snook and Tarpon.

Q: Where is the best place to go shore fishing in Punta Cana? What species can be caught fishing this way?

Captain Tony: Cap Cana channel, Cabo Engano. A variety of species can be caught, including, but not limited to: barracudas, snooks, palometas, jureles, lisas, grunts, poofers etc.

If you plan on fishing any of the private beaches at night, be aware that some of them are patrolled by security after dark, and they don’t like people on the beach after-hours. Usually it is only necessary to show them you are a guest at the hotel, but don’t violate the hotel policies.  My favorite beach to fish from is Bravero Beach, right in front of the Hotel Catalonia. It has great shallows, but if you wade, be careful and wear boots. The bottom is strewn with live coral, and it isn’t really possible to bottom-fish here. But with jigs, the action is usually fast and furious.

Some of the best tactics for surf fishing is to use an 8′ rod and casting spoons or jigs. Cast out to any ‘hump’ you see (the water is very clear and shallow), and likely as not, there will be fish there.  For bait-fishing, squid is the #1 bait, followed closely by shrimp and bait-fish.

For fly fishing, Lefty’s deceivers, Gotchas and Crazy Charlies are hard to beat. For Tarpon and Snook, Polar Fiber Minnows, and the classic Red and White Tarpon Fly are proven patterns. For Bonefish, Pompano, Jacks and Permit, Crazy Charlies and Chernobyl Crabs have always worked the best for me. You can increase your distance by using a shooting taper. I’d recommend at least a 10′ 9/10 weight rod, and a reel with a good disc drag. Punta Cana fishing with a fly rod is some of the best fishing in the world.

Don’t neglect the lagoons either. Many of them contain tons of fish. My favorites are Lagoon de Limon, in the Eco Park. It is very large and has thousand of Tilapia, Snook, and some really respectable-sized Tarpon. Lagoon de Nissibon, another great choice, is a little difficult to get into. Access is mainly by walking or horseback, but it is worth the trouble. I caught the biggest Tarpon I have ever caught there, 162 pounds, 3 oz., on a Red and White Tarpon fly. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having a heart-attack, so far.
If you want to fish the reef, and you promise to bring them back some supper, the hotel beach staff may even let you take one of their kayaks out to the reef for some world-class reef fishing for Snapper, Grouper, Wrasse, and other reef species. In my humble opinion, fishing doesn’t get any better than a fly rod and a kayak.

Q: Lagoon fishing? Which one would you recommend?

Captain Tony: Laguna de Nisibon and Laguna Cabeza de Toro – Cabeza de Toro is in the Punta Cana area and Laguna de Nisibon is about 40 minutes by car. Not only is Nisibon a better fishing spot, it’s also surrounded by traditional dominican villages and farms.

Inshore Fishing

There are plenty of charters that specialize in inshore fishing as well. From the sea-side of the reef, you can catch mangrove Snappers, some species of Grouper, Tarpon, Barracuda, Yellowtails, Parrotfish, and the delicious and beautiful Queen Triggerfish. The reef abounds with sea-life. While most hotels will not cook your fish for you, if you rent a cabana, they have kitchens, or private chefs, and many restaurants will be happy to prepare and serve your fish to you, for a reasonable fee.

Q: Inshore fishing – which species do you usually catch? Which ones do your customers enjoy catching the most?

Captain Tony: Customers have a blast fishing inshore either way, but they particularly like catching Snook and Tarpon. We also catch a lot of yellow tails, grouper cabrilla, jureles, agujones and barracudas.

The Briny Deep

bluebird

Deep Sea fishing is what Punta Cana is famous for.  Punta Cana is located at the junction of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, also known as the Mona Passage, a natural super-highway for pelagic fish.

Punta Cana has been responsible for some phenomenally large game fish being landed, and every year, thousands of hopeful anglers come here to try their luck in catching that “fish of a lifetime”. Pelagic species include White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Swordfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado, and large, fast sharks such as the oceanic whitetip, blue and mako.  Little can compare with the excitement and adrenalin-rush that comes with hooking one of these behemoths.

Q: When’s the tournament season in Punta Cana? What’s the record deep sea catch on your charters?

Captain Tony: Punta cana has 7 fishing tournaments, spanning from March to August – White Marlin classic, Billfish shoot out, The Big 5, Puerto Rico light tackle, The Cap Cana Blue Marlin  and Cabeza de Toro Billfish, Punta Cana Blue Marlin and Casa de Campo Blue Marlin. We’ve caught Marlins of up to 730 pounds on our charters.

Deep Sea trolling starts just minutes within leaving the docks. There is no need for a several-hours boat ride to the fishing grounds, as is true in many other places. Many times, billfish are caught in less than a half hour from the docks.

Although Punta Cana fishing in-general is outstanding year-round, certain species are more prevalent at certain times of the year. Here is a breakdown of the best times for different species:

  • Mahi Mahi (Dorado): Nov., Dec., Jan., Feb., and Mar.
  • Sailfish: Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., and Feb.
  • Wahoo: Oct., Nov., and Dec.
  • Blue Marlin:  Jul., Aug., and Sept.
  • Tuna: Jan., and Feb.
  • White Marlin: June
  • Shark, Snapper, Mackerel, Grouper, Cobia, Kingfish, Swordfish, Tarpon, Jack, Permit/Pompano, Bonefish: all year

Q: What kind of gear do you use on your charters?

Captain Tony: For saltwater fishing, we go out with Shimano Tiagra TLD 150A, Penn international 30vsw, Line 20 momois hi catch, custom rods, teasers and we use fresh balajus for bait.

Although no All-Tackle IGFA records have been set here as of yet, Punta Cana fishing has resulted in several Line-Class records, as well as being the host of the International Blue Marlin Tournament, the Club Nautico White Marlin Tournament, the Cap Cana White Marlin Open, and many more. Punta Cana fishing may not get you into the record books, but on average, more really large fish are caught here than anywhere else in the world.

Q: Any tips for catching a Blue Marlin in Punta Cana? Any local big game hotspots that you wouldn’t mind sharing?

Captain Tony: First thing you’re going to need is calmness and some ‘pasiencia’. A good captain will troll the fishing spots for a longer period of time. We usually arrive at the spot and stay there for 6 hours straight, working the area. In ​​Punta Cana, we have 3 good, world wide known spots. They are The 3 rocks, The Pink House and Macao Beach, all of them close by.

Q: When your customers catch a Dorado or something else that they can eat, where can they take the catch to be prepared? Who does the cleaning and filleting?

Captain Tony:  Most of the hotels can cook fish in several different ways, each of them very good. Our crew will take care of cleaning and then filleting the fish, and there are several restaurants in the marina Cap Cana where you can get it prepared gourmet-style.

How To Barter Your Charter

Most of the charters in Punta Cana have flexible and affordable rates, especially when you consider that due to the short transit times, most of your time will be spent fishing. Also, most charters are very accommodating if you want to do any special types of fishing, such as fly fishing or shark fishing, as long as they get enough notice. Punta Cana fishing charters can be 8 hours or more, or for a half day.

It is always best to set up your charter before you leave for your vacations, sometimes as early as 6-months in advance. Thousands of anglers come to Punta Cana each year to fish, and all the good charters stay pretty busy. Booking well in advance will ensure that you get the boat and crew you want.

Q: How soon before coming to Punta Cana do you recommend people book their fishing trip?
Captain Tony: It is always recommended that reservations be made at least several months in advance. I’d advise to make reservations during the winter, when you have just enough time before your fishing trip.

If you didn’t book your charter ahead of time…well, you just have to make the best of a less than ideal situation. There will be people in the hotels that will try to get you to book with them. Avoid them if possible. As a rule, they are not professional guides, just local people with a boat trying to earn some extra money. Their boats may be too small, unsafe, or they may just take your money and disappear. They care less about you catching fish than they do about them catching your cash. Always check them out with the hotel staff before agreeing to anything or giving them any money. And never book with anyone that has been banned from the hotel. There is a reason for this.

Size Matters

Tony's brand new catamaran, 'The Rich & Famous'
Tony’s brand new catamaran, ‘The Rich & Famous

There are more things to consider than just the crew. The waters around Punta Cana can be a little rough at times, with seas running as high as 6 to 8 feet. Don’t even think about going out on any boat below the 35-45 ft range, or longer. If you are prone to sea-sickness, be sure to take medication before you go out. Getting sea-sick can not only ruin the trip for you, but for everyone else as well. On most charters, if they have to come back in because you are sea-sick, there are no refunds.

Q: Waters of Punta Cana have a reputation of being a bit turbulent. Any tips to reduce risk of seasickness? What would be your recommended boat size?

Captain Tony:  A good-sized boat for offshore fishing is 42 ft and below. What we’ve learned over the years is that, for many people, seasickness is primarily a mental condition. Still, there are a couple of things you can do to try and alleviate the symptoms: have a light breakfast, don’t drink too much alcohol the night before, and if you want to take a Dramamine, do it about 90 minutes before going on your fishing trip.
Be sure that the boat has adequate life jackets and first-aid equipment on board. There should also be fire extinguishers. The boat crews do not practice catch-and-release, except on billfish, which is mandated by law. They don’t make very much money, and will sell your fish to pay bills, or take them home to feed their families, so you might want to cut them a little slack. Unless you had a really awful trip, you should also tip them at least $20.00. They could probably really use it.

Q:Apart from Billfish being released, are there any other fishing regulations you think our readers should know? 

Captain Tony: The only rule is that one:catch and release all billfish.

A Few More Safety Tips

Punta Cana is a beautiful place, but like any other place that attracts large numbers of tourists with money to spend, there is somewhat of a dark side as well. The area has it’s share of crime, and there are other hazards that outsiders may not even be aware of:

Don’t go swimming at night– it’s prohibited in most places. Not only is there a very real danger from the sharks in the water, but sometimes human sharks also prowl the beaches looking for suitable victims. Most private beaches are patrolled by Security personnel with shotguns, and in a swimsuit (or whatever your wearing), they cannot tell if you are a guest or not. Save the romantic moonlight swims for the pool.

Don’t walk around alone at night, especially if you are a woman. Again, human predators stalk the streets after dark, so it’s best to stay in your hotel at night, or travel in groups. Never go off with someone you don’t know.

Consider any water away from your hotel as potentially contaminated. Local water may not be as processed as water in the hotels, which will usually be filtered. Use bottled water as much as possible.

Use caution at the beaches and lagoons. Most beaches and lagoons are unsupervised (i.e. no lifeguard on duty), so use extra caution when swimming and wading, and try to avoid going alone.

Keep your personal belongings, passports and other travel papers secure at all times.Most hotel rooms have a safe, or one is available at the front desk. Make sure all your important documents, and anything else of value other than walking around cash and credit cards, go into the safe. If anything comes up missing, especially tickets or passports, notify the Police immediately.

Stars On The Water

Punta Cana fishing attracts anglers from all walks of life: from laborers who save up, sometimes for years, for that one chance at a monster billfish, to school teachers, professional people, and even the rich and famous. You never know who you might run into. Some notable people who have visited Punta Cana are Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Denzel Washington, Vin Diesel, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Pedro Martinez and more.

Make Punta Cana Your Next Destination For That Dream Fishing Trip

Punta Cana fishing is some of the best available anywhere in the world. When you get ready to book that fishing trip of a lifetime, give Punta Cana a try.

Q: Tony, tell us a bit more about your company, Atlantida Punta Cana?

Captain Tony: Atlantida Punta Cana has more than 6 years of charter experience in the Punta Cana area. We specialize in VIP fishing charters, and have 5 yachts from 38 ft to 53ft. Our vessels operate from the two most important Punta Cana marinas – marina Cap Cana and marina Cabeza de Toro.

Q: You’ve just recently added another boat to your fleet, the ‘Rich & Famous’?

Captain Tony: We are very pleased with our new boat, which is a mixture of fishing and family fun. It is a modern 38 ft catamaran funcat for up to 15 people, equipped with everything needed for an enjoyable experience on the water. The Rich and Famous is designed for the whole family. Leaving the exclusive marina Cap Cana, we take our clients inshore fishing in calm waters, then snorkel the reef. We also incorporate a visit to the natural pool or juanillos sand bar in our fishing packages, where everyone can just relax on the beach as we have a bbq lunch.

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Got any more questions for us or Captain Anthony Perez? Let us know in the comment section below!

57 Responses to “The Thrill of Punta Cana Fishing: A Piscatorial Paradise”

  1. Erik Owen

    Are there any beach fishing opportunities from Excellence Punta Cana with a fly rod? Erik

    Reply
    • Dino

      H Erik, here’s the reply from Captain Tony himself:

      Near the Excellence Punta Cana is La Laguna de Nisibon (the Nisibon lagoon – saltwater ocean entry to the lagoon) good for Tarpon, Snooks, Cobia , little sharks, Catfish, Loro fish, Yellowtail Snapper and more. There’s no specific tour for that lagoon, but I fish a lot there and its a great spot. Also, if you’d like, we can pick you up and arrange the boat for flats and gear. Tight lines!

      Reply
      • Shawn Erie

        We will be at the Excellance Resort July 13-25. 2015 for our honeymoon. Can I bring a fly rod with me and fish at the resort? We are planning a half day charter as well, what’s in season and who’s got the best “bang for the Buck”
        Would love a response
        Thank you

        Reply
        • Dino

          Most resorts don’t really let you fish on their property, although I’m not sure about the Excellence Resort in particular. Still, there are usually some great honey holes around the hotels; I suggest checking at the reception, as they usually know best.

          As for charter recommendations, I’d suggest a smaller inshore vessel such as the Rich and Famous , which specializes in fly and bottom fishing. July marks the peak season for a variety of both inshore and deep sea game fish, including Amberjack, Snapper, Marlin, Barracuda and more. Happy fishing!

          Reply
      • John venza

        Will be there 5/11-15 at tortuga bay. Would like to do half day charter focused on wahoo

        Reply
        • Xavier

          Hi John,

          La Vikinga is the boat to charter. Very affordable prices for a boat built for offshore sportfishing. Captain Tony will be happy to take care of you and put you on some big Wahoo!

          Reply
  2. David Jones

    I would like to fish in early Feb 2015. I am staying at the Riu Palace Macao. I would prefer inshore fishing because I like to catch a lot of fish versus 2-3 big ones. I would also considering a charter that strictly tries to catch Mahi Mahi.

    Any suggestions on which charters you would recommend for the above mentioned?

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi David,

      For that type of fishing, consider Captain Anthony’s catamaran, the “Rich and Famous” . It’s a brand new addition to Tony’s fleet that specializes in inshore fishing, and has had an excellent track record with Dorados for the last couple of months. Also, Mahi season usually spans from October ’till March, so your timing couldn’t be better!

      Reply
  3. Gord Weber

    tony, How is the flats/wading. I will be there January 28/15. Interested in tarpon, permit and bone.Can you help?

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Gord,

      Tarpon and Bonefishing is a year-round activity in Punta Cana, and Tony’s newest addition to the fleet, the Rich and Famous, is an ideal choice for fly fishing in the area. Bonefish bites tend to be more dependent on the specific weather conditions, so feel free to give Tony a call to discuss the best time to go after the Bones.

      Reply
  4. Jesper Traun

    Do you know if there any beach fishing opportunities in Las Terranes in January and December?
    I would like to catch snooks, but i dont know when and where. I would also like to target jacks, redfish, tarpons or permits if possible. Any suggestions? Regards Jesper

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Jesper,

      In Las Terranas, Tony says you can catch plenty of fish from the shore at old town bridge or mouth! Snook is abundant almost all year round, but Tony says time of the day is of the essence for Snook fishing – try to go fishing either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to have the best shot at catching one. Tight lines!

      Reply
  5. David Jones

    How much is it per person? How many people per trip? How long is a half day?

    Reply
  6. sheila blair-reid

    Is there bone fishing in Punta Cana?

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Sheila,

      More than a few! Bones can be caught virtually all year round, however your success will rely substantially on the overall weather conditions once you get there. That’s where an experienced guide like Tony really comes in handy 🙂

      Reply
  7. angie

    We will be at the exellence hotel
    Sept 13-20 what’s good fishing that time of year. We are coming on our honeymoon and I’d like to book a fishing trip or shark fishing for my fiance. Not sure who to contact to book this trip and a price.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Angie,

      Congrats on getting married! September marks the end of the Blue Marlin season, so if big game fishing is something your fiance enjoys, he should feel right at home. Although it might be a bit early for big Dorados and Wahoo, smaller specimen are likely to already be cruising the reefs during your stay. As for charter suggestions, the closest deep sea charter to your resort that I can recommend is Los Vinchi 2 – a 34ft vessel captained by Ramon Belen, who’s been fishing the local waters for over 12 years now. As you can see from the photos, they catch a lot of Mahi 🙂 You can get in touch with the Captain Hope that helps and have a great honeymoon!

      Reply
  8. Willie Marlin

    Hello, my wife and I are planning a trip tp Punta Cana in September of 2015. Although I know this is traditionally an off season time to come, are there any charters that you can recommend that will take us both out for deep sea bottom / fishing for Mahi etc. and provide the possibility of fly fishing or spinner fishing on the same trip out. Looking forward to booking something very soon.

    Thanks

    Willie

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Willie,

      Though you’re right about September not being peak season for most species (Yellowfins, Sailfish and White Marlin are all scarce), Blue Marlin should still be around, as should Mahis and Wahoo, at least the smaller specimen. Still, I’m not sure many charters could/would be willing to accommodate both deep sea and inshore/fly fishing during the same outing. What I can suggest looking into is a 42′ Hook ‘Em Up for a deep sea trip and a 19′ Mako for your fly fishing excursion. That should be one of the cheapest combinations I can think of. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  9. Sam

    I also submitted an email through Tony’s website. But here are my questions. I have a group of 4 that will be in Punta Cana Dec 16-23. We are looking to book a private 8hr charter dor deep sea fishing. We are ok with catching larger Mahi and Wahoo, but of course our preference is billfish (any variety). I am pretty serious fisherman and would rather have a few memorbable, large fish than 50 little 2lb Mahi. Is this realistic? Also, I am concerned with swells while out at sea. Though I am experienced, the other 3 are not as seasoned. Would it be better to book the day before, while already in Punta Cana? So we can read the weather? Are there smooth days in December? Reviews made it seem as if to expect 6-8ft seas every day.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Sam,

      December is a great time for big game fishing in DR, not the greatest for Billfish in particular though. There’s a possibility of going after Sailfish, but a safer bet would defiinitely be to target Mahis and Wahoo instead. 30-40lbs Mahis are pretty common that time of year: there’s also a fair chance of scoring some 50+ pounders, but that’s not something the captain or anyone can really guarantee.

      The swells in Puta Cana are usually around 4-6 feet (these are considered standard fishing conditions). Even though there’s often little wind, the sea itself can be quite rough since it is open towards Atlantic. If your friends are not used to such seas, I think an 8-hour trip could be too much even if they take Dramamine. As for booking in advance, that’s always a preferred option, since there’s a tendency for the Captains to be unavailable a few days or even weeks ahead, depending on the season. When booking with Captain Tony, if the weather conditions prove unreliable, you can either ask for a refund or try to reschedule if you’re flexible with dates.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  10. Zach

    Hello, I will be staying near puerto plata in July of 2016, my dad has been on 4 bill fishing trips and has not caught one, would it be worth it to try to catch a billfish in this area on a private charter

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Zach,

      What I can tell you is that – in general – July should be a great time for chasing Blues in Puerto Plata, and I’d advise at least an 8hr trip if you choose to do so. Still, as I’m sure you know, no one can guarantee a Marlin on any given day; if you want to play it safe, it’s probably best if you waited a month or so before the trip to make a commitment, so you can see what’s been biting recently. I wouldn’t prolong booking a trip too much on the other hand, as some charters can get booked a few weeks or more in advance during high season.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  11. Kyle

    Hi, I will be staying in Cabarete from Nov. 22 – 29 and will be bringing my fly rod. I am from south Louisiana and spend nearly every weekend chasing Redfish and Speckled Trout in my kayak. I would love to get on some snook and tarpon. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Kyle,

      Your timing is spot on, as both Snook and Tarpon should be in season late November. Unfortunately, most Captains that we work with in the Puerto Plata area run deep sea trips so I can’t really recommend a charter, but be sure to ask at the reception or the dock for some local tips and hotspots. Good luck!

      Reply
  12. Jack

    Hello I will be staying in THE RESERVE AT PARADISUS PUNTA CANA I am bringing my fly rod is there any good spots to fly fish from the beach ?

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi Jack,
      I’m not sure about fly fishing from the beach but we have a variety of charter boats in the area who offer fly fishing and might be able to help you out with shore fishing opportunities if you book a charter with them: take a look here.

      Reply
  13. James Purcell

    Trying to possibly book an inshore fishing trip for tarpon and snook for the week of 2-15-2016 through 2-19-2016

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi James,
      Maybe you’d like to try this nice looking skiff for some fun inshore fishing? If you’d like any more advice our customer service team is always here to help.

      Reply
  14. Jay

    My wife and I will be staying in punta cana, bavero beach area jan 12 – 17. we will have a car and i will bring rods reels and hope to surffish early in morning and late in the. I also would like to fish for mahi mahi as well from a sciff. i plan to drive up to macao beach and fish as well as the shallows around bavero beach. Can i buy squid for bait somewhere? would that be a good choice tipped on a jig or cast spoons? i would really like to catch something from shore before we go out on a boat. any assistance is much appreciated.

    Jay

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi Jay, thanks for your comment. In terms of fishing for Mahi Mahi around Bavaro, you might want to consider going a bit bigger than a skiff to get safely into the offshore areas. Maybe try Shekinah, a popular charter that has caught some big Mahis lately.
      The wind can be quite strong when you’re fishing from the shore so you’ll need quite a heavy lure. It should be possible to get bait in the area and shrimp sounds like a good option – contact your accommodation for specific information about where to find it in the area. It might be worth bringing some plastics too just in case.

      Reply
  15. Jerry Bratkovich

    My colleagues and I will be at the Club Med in Punta Cana 1/30-2/2 for company meeting. We have 1/2 days of free time the afternoon of 1/31 and morning of 2/1. A few of us are interested in near shore fishing (not enough time for Deep Sea) for Tarpon, Permit or any other game fish that will be active then. Can you provide information regarding charters/guides? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Jerry, you can see all available charters right HERE. All guides offer half day (4h) deep sea charters, so you don’t have to limit yourself to nearshore trips.

      I recommend booking with Tony Perez – this is one of our most trusted captains down there and he has you covered whether you want to go for an inshore or deep sea trip.

      Get in touch with our customer service team if you’re interested.

      Reply
  16. mark

    total novice sea fisherman here from scotland would really appreciate any advice on fishing from the beach we are staying at ifa bavaro resort and spa from march 14, would really like info on lures (colour size weight) to bring and if i should use wire traces any information really! i’d also like to try a half day charter but a bit worried about getting seasick!

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your comment. For shore fishing, you’re going to want to use spinning gear about 10lbs test and metal leaders. You should expect reef fish and possibly some Barracuda at night. You should use natural bait rather than lures – shrimp or calamari will work. You can get these locally. As for charters, I wouldn’t worry much about sea sickness if you only do a half day. The nearshore seas tend to be very calm and you should consider a motion sickness pill before the trip, avoiding coffee and orange juice that morning as well, as these drinks are acidic and may be a good part of the cause of illness.

      Hope this helps. Get in touch with our customer service team if you’d like to book a charter.

      Reply
  17. william rapson

    I am interested in fishing Laguna de Nisibon or Laguna Cabeza de Toro for tarpon and snook. Will be in DR 2/20 to 28. Is that a good time for such fishing? BIll

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi William,

      Fishing for Tarpon and Snook is excellent in that area at this time of year. I hope you have a great time! If you’re looking for a trusted guide in the area, these listings are a good place to start.

      Reply
  18. Adam

    We will be staying at the Royal Suites Turquesa Feb 18-21. Are there any beach fishing or lagoon fishing opportunities in that area? Also, on the Rich & Famous inshore charter what fish species will be targeted during that time frame and is that trip a combination fishing and snorkiling trip or is that a differerent charter? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi Adam,
      On the Rich & Famous inshore trip in February you will be targeting species such as Snook, Tarpon, Bonitos, Jacks, Yellowtail Snappers, Barracudas and more. This is a great time of year for inshore fishing in the area so it should be a good trip! Their snorkeling tours are a different trip as they involve going to different areas. Taking a charter with them is really your best bet for inshore fishing in the area as the beaches near your hotel can be quite busy.
      If you have any more questions contact our customer service team and they will be able to help you out 🙂

      Reply
  19. Traci

    My husband and I will be in Punta Cana at the Princess resort April 1-8. He is an avid fly fisher and I’d like to surprise him with a 1/2 day fly fishing excursion. What kind of money are we talking and how do I book that, arrange for transportation from our resort, etc.? I don’t fish but would love to come along for the ride.

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Traci, thank you for the comment! Fly fishing options in Punta Cana are aplenty, but they will be a trip away from your resort, as charters in Bavaro are mostly big game. Our recommendation is The Reef, one of the boats from our trusted Tony Perez‘s fleet. Let our customer service team know if you need help!

      Reply
  20. Chris Thompson

    We will be staying in Punta Cana in 2 weeks and would like to do some fishing. Would it be possible to fish offshore or inland rivers? I get seasick but I love to fish. Any suggestions on where to rent equipment and where to go? Maybe a short guided charter for 4 hours or so? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Chris, thanks for your question! We wouldn’t be able to advise on where to get shore fishing equipment (you can, however, check out my shore fishing recommendations in an above comment), but we can help out with charter fishing trips. I think a short trip on a big and stable vessel will be alright if you take some nausea medication and avoid acidic drinks on the morning of the trip. Big game fishing trips are available out of Bavaro or Cap Cana Marina in Punta Cana. My recommendation for the former is Big Marlin Punta Cana, and Barbie for the latter.
      An alternative would be something like a short inshore fishing trip. I would recommend The Reef for that. Get in touch with our customer service team for more info and help.

      Reply
  21. Chris W

    Hi all, my family and I will be out vacationing in Punta Cana and I plan on getting out and fishing in the early and late hours. I will be staying in the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda between
    08/13-08/19 and have read that there is a ship wreck somewhat close to
    shore. Are there flats accessible by wading this area? If they are not
    accessible by wading, do you have any recommendations on how to get
    there or which areas to target in general? Is it possible to take a kayak out in the morning?

    When it comes to tackle I am beginning to struggle a little bit
    considering I am a freshwater fisherman from Chicago. I am bringing a 7′ heavy travel rod with a 4000 sized reel spooled with 50lb braid and a 40 lb mono leader so I don’t think fighting a larger fish would be an issue. I prefer to fish with lures and have been trying to research casting jigs and heavy spoons but I am struggling to find exact names of what to look for when it comes to specific types and colors. Can you help me out with some recommendations on what kind of tackle to bring? How
    effective are crankbaits in the surf?

    If live bait is a necessity to produce fish I was planning to use a
    sabiki rig to catch any possible small fish on the bottom initially
    using shrimp (or whatever the restaurant can offer me the night
    before) and setting what I catch on a larger hook rigged through the
    spine and cast it out on above a pyramid sinker. What tactics would be most effective for which types of fish?

    Thank you for your time and hoping for more tight lines

    Reply
  22. Dominican Republic Punta Cana inshore? - The North American Fly Fishing Forum

    […] beaten path – they had security guys walking around the outside of the resort armed with MP-5's… The Thrill of Punta Cana Fishing: A Piscatorial Paradise […]

    Reply
  23. Al Messner

    Some coworkers and I will be in Punta Cana March 2 -7. I have fished Cancun and Cabo San Lucas with little success. I would very much like to experience a successful fishing outing while in Punta Cana. I have always wanted to catch a Tarpon or Sailfish, but would really like to just catch something big! (Anything). I am from North Dakota, USA, and am an avid fisherman. What can you suggest? Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Al,

      Thanks for your comment. I’d recommend you take a look at Barbie – this is a boat that consistently gets people on fish. Please contact our helpful customer service team if you would like any help with the booking process.

      I hope this will be your chance to catch a really big fish! 🙂

      Reply
  24. Bill

    We will be staying at Zoetry for 3 nights this week – fly fishing from the beach or one of their kayaks? Looks like a lagoon/river just NW of the hotel?

    Reply
    • Cat

      Bill,

      Why not try both! The hotel should be able to set you up with the gear you need, as well as giving you some advice about what’s biting best when you’re there. If by any chance you are also considering taking an offshore trip, there are some very popular boats right by your hotel.

      Reply
  25. Grant

    We will be staying at the Occidental Punta Cana in May 29-June 03. My son and I wanted to fly fish from shore. Can you fish at the beach behind the hotel? Where else is there to fish, that is close and accessible to our hotel? Thanks

    Reply
  26. Ron Sorensen

    Tony- We’re in Punta Cana through May 28 in the area around Grande Bahia Principe. Do you have someone that can take us to the lagoon Nisibon for a half day one of these days? We have our own gear. 2 anglers (we’re both fly fishing guides- myself in Montana, and spend my winters in Patagonia guiding with my buddy Diego).

    Reply
  27. Brian

    Greetings!

    A few question before heading your way:

    If billfish are “catch and release” which I understand the concept, why are they gaffed and brought on boats -i.e. Chapter Site photos and videos? This definitely taxes the fish after a long battle and gaffing it?

    Can your catch be shipped off the island or taken back via airlines?

    Best Regards

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Brian,

      Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand the health problems inherent with boating a billfish before release. Hopefully, as people become more educated about conservation we will see this happening less and less often.

      As far as importing seafood is concerned, the best option is to have it processed and shipped to your address. Otherwise, you could risk some problems at customs as you enter the country.

      Reply
  28. Brian

    Can your catch be fillet and packaged for airline transportation

    Reply
  29. Josh from Chicago,IL US

    Hello Captain Anthony!

    I am an avid freshwater fisherman form the midwest. I will be visiting Punta Canta in late August 2017 for a friends birthday trip and just happen to stumble upon your blog. It is very informative and what I was looking for. I sport fish most of the time and would love to do the same in Punta Cana. The only downside is my limited funds due to the trip being short noticed. I am unfortunately the only fishing enthusiast out of my entire group so there is no way I could afford a charter and don’t want to waste hard earned money on some “guides” that won’t be able to show what Punta Cana fishing is all about.

    I take that the prize fish during late August is the Blue Marlin, but I don’t mind going for other salt water species. I am very open to different fishing methods, but my main focus is sharing experiences and landing some fish. What do you recommend for the budget conscious and do you offer anything for 1 person just looking to get his line wet? I am willing to bring you a Chicago Hot Dog too if that will help lower the costs 😀

    Thanks for the long read and tight lines
    -Josh

    Reply
  30. Robert Mcmahon

    Absolutely don’t waste your money. I paid $640 for a half day to get one nibble. I know fishing is fishing but if you catch nada in the tropics you would think they would compensate you.

    Reply

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