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Top Fishing Charters in Dominican Republic

Fishing in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic fishing is as good as it gets. Cutting-edge cruisers troll for Marlin just a mile from shore, while flats fishers comb the shallows for Snook, Tarpon, and Bonefish. The island seems custom-built for awesome sportfishing, much like the boats which crowd Marina Cap Cana. 
 
There’s more to Dominican Republic fishing charters than glitz and glamor, though. This is an island nation with a long fishing tradition and generations of local knowledge. It’s also a gathering place for many of the world’s greatest charter captains. What we’re trying to say is that the fishing here is good. Really, really good.
 

Known For

Without a doubt, DR is best known for its bluewater action. The deep sea fishing Dominican Republic has access to is just one show-stopper after another. Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Swordfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi – the list just keeps going. What few people realize is that the inshore action is also good, with Permit, Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish, Barracuda, and more. You can target all these species on Punta Cana fishing trips, but your day will vary massively depending on which way you turn out of the harbor.
 

North Coast

The Marlin fishing Dominican Republic is most famous for happens along the island’s northern coast. The waters get much deeper much quicker here, and spots like “Thee Rocks” and “The Pink House” are the playgrounds of many seasoned sportfishers. In the heat of summer, the biggest Billfish are caught around FADs (fish aggregating devices) off Macao Beach. Double-digit releases and double or even triple-headers are an everyday occurrence here.
 

South Coast

The southern coast couldn’t be more different. You won’t find the epic Blue Marlin bite the North is known for. What you will find are vibrant reefs and some good flats, particularly around Saona Island. This is still within easy reach of Punta Cana, and is a popular spot for snorkeling and beach breaks. The area ticks all the boxes for a desert island dream: sandy beaches, sea turtles, palm trees, and crystal-clear waters full of tropical fish. 
 

East Coast

Punta Cana was a world-class fishing destination long before the Blue Marlin bite was properly appreciated. The reason for this is that, during their migration north, hundreds of White Marlin funnel right past the coastline, often less than a mile from shore. This time of year, you can experience multiple Marlin hookups and be back in time for lunch.
 

Dominican Republic Fishing Seasons

The Dominican Republic fishing calendar runs year-round. The offshore bite is always on fire, and the local reefs are just as reliable. Inshore, the action improves over the winter, but that has more to do with the weather than the fish themselves. That said, if you want the double-digits and triple-headers Punta Cana is famous for, you’ll need to time your trip. 
 
White Marlin make their way past the coast in the spring, first showing up sometime in March and mostly moving on by June. You won’t miss them too much, though, because Blue Marlin arrive in big numbers just as they leave. Blue Marlin spend the whole summer here, gradually moving on in September and October. Over the course of a single season, some 500 Blue Marlin and countless White Marlin can be caught and released.
 
And there’s so much more than Marlin. You know a fishery’s special when we almost forget to mention Sailfish. These guys show up in the fall, just as the Blue Marlin move on. They stick around in force until the White Marlin show up in spring. Billfish are literally always in season here. Throw in overlapping seasons of Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna, and you can pretty much show up whenever you want.
 

Dominican Republic Fishing Techniques

Trolling rules the waves throughout the Caribbean, and DR is no exception. Quality bait like Ballyhoo can be difficult to get hold of here, so many captains stick to artificials. If you really prefer live bait trolling, don’t worry. Large boats often have tuna tubes and you can catch Bonito, Blackfin, or Rainbow Runners pretty easily.
 
You can also find fly fishing specialists operating in Punta Cana. The fly fishing Dominican Republic is best at is big game battles against Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and Marlin. Both fly fishing and light spinning gear are used to great effect by inshore anglers, but most of the focus is on pelagic species.
 

Need to Know

Fishing licenses are not required aboard Punta Cana fishing charters, or even when fishing solo. Catch-and-release is mandatory for all Billfish, but you will have plenty of Mahi Mahi, Tuna, and other tasty fish. If you want to release all your fish, most captains won’t mind. Just be sure to let them know well ahead of the trip so they can tailor their equipment and tactics to healthy releases.
 
Whether you’re chartering a luxury yacht in Punta Cana or a stripped-back sportfisher in Puerto Plata, you can rely on a fun, family-friendly environment and a ton of huge fish. This is what DR does best. All the epic battles with none of the stress. Most captains pick you up and drop you off, loading you up with freshly-filleted fish along the way. And if you’re not all anglers, no worries! There are always the white sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters to enjoy. Dominican Republic has perfected the sportfishing vacation, and all you have to do is show up and enjoy.

 

Dominican Republic
4.3
Based on 7873 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Dominican Republic Fishing Seasons

What better way to start the year than by battling Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and more in the deep blue waters around Punta Cana? There’s nothing we can think of!

Locals celebrate their independence throughout the month, culminating in a masked Carnival on the 27th. Meanwhile, surfers and kiteboarders fight for the title of Master of the Ocean.

White Marlin are around all year in DR, but from March onwards things hit a whole new level. Hundreds of these guys can be found right along the shoreline, and even a half day trip is a serious workout.

White Marlin hit their peak in April, and boats crowd the eastern coastline for a slice of the action. There are plenty to go around, don’t worry. Lucky anglers can get 20+ releases in a single day!

May is the calm before the storm in Dominican Republic, and we’re not just talking about the weather. Blue Marlin madness hasn’t kicked off yet, so it’s a great time to hit the reefs for Snapper and Grouper.

Blue Marlin start to show up in larger numbers around the northern FADs, just as the White Marlin migration pushes north. The heavy tackle season has officially begun, so strap in and have fun.

Blue Marlin really hit their stride in July. This is some of the best Billfishing on the planet, with huge numbers of fish swarming the FADs in search of a colorful teaser or well-placed fly to jump at.

If you somehow get bored of big game sportfishing, head down to Santo Domingo to enjoy the Merengue and Caribbean Rhythms Festival. Expect great music and dancing well into the night.

September is the hottest and wettest month of the year, with tropical storms and crippling heat putting anglers to the test. This is also the best time of year for Blue Marlin, so it’s well worth it.

The Blue Marlin season draws to a close in October, but that doesn’t mean the end of the Billfishing. The Sailfish have just gotten started and will get better and better as time goes on.

Inshore fishing picks up in November, with better catches of Tarpon, Permit, Snook, and Bonefish. Offshore, Sailfish, Wahoo, and Mahi Mahi offer awesome trolling or fly fishing action.

Can’t face the crowds, clouds, and carols this year? Head to the Caribbean to enjoy warm weather, sandy beaches, and world-class Sailfishing instead. Sounds like a Merry Christmas to us!

Dominican Republic Fishing Calendar

What People Are Saying About Dominican Republic

"6 hour Mahi trip"

fished with High Z’s Fishing Tour on July 9, 2018

High Z's is a great deal and cooking the fish afterwards was rewarding.

"Fishing with Anthony"

Robert Adams fished with Atlantida Punta Cana - Marlin Fever on July 3, 2018

Get a boat with A/C it’s hot out there!

"Fishing Trip With High Z’s"

Robert Clarke Iii fished with High Z’s Fishing Tour on July 3, 2018

Book a trip with High Zs fishing tours and ask Nelson what fish are around at the time. He’ll get you on the fish!

"High Z's Fishing Tour"

Marcie Vázquez fished with High Z’s Fishing Tour on July 3, 2018

Water is rough so be prepared if you have sea sickness Book your trip with Nelson at High Z's. He is a great captain!

Top Fishing Techniques in Dominican Republic

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Dominican Republic

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (White)

Sailfish

Top Dominican Republic Destinations