Although a fast-growing tourism destination, the Dominican Republic’s (DR) ranking as a top fishing spot has remained a well-kept secret—that is, until now. Featuring an impressive array of gamefish such as marlin, wahoo and yellowfin tuna, partnered with an abundance of world-class marinas, the DR is the ultimate place for fishing enthusiasts of all levels to reel-in an impressive catch.
“The DR’s waters have always been plentiful with an array of gamefish,” said Isidro Castillo, Marine Port Director at Punta Cana Resort & Club. “The reason the DR has progressed into a top-notch fishing destination is because of the outstanding facilities that are now available to fishing enthusiasts.”
Several sought-after species of fish make the DR their port-of-call as they pass through on their migration journey in Caribbean waters. The east and north coasts feature white marlin, blue marlin and tuna (prevalent May through August), while the north coast has sailfish (abundant November through April), and wahoo, king mackerel and dorado (found year-round). On the DR’s southern coast white and blue marlin and barracuda (common June through September) and sailfish and wahoo (found October through January) are plentiful.
The DR currently features four full-service marinas and is in the process of either expanding or adding eight more.
Each of the DR’s marinas offers plenty of amenities to accommodate fishing and boating enthusiasts alike, including full service slips (some include fueling pumps), unique shops and mouth-watering restaurants. Trendy Casa de Campo’s marina and yacht club ( http://www.casadecampo.com.do/ ) is frequented by celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Sammy Sosa.
The marina recently expanded and now includes 350 boat slips, with 167 devoted to large yachts; and added 10 stores, a restaurant serving seafood and Spanish cuisine and piano bar.
These are in addition to its current offering of condominiums and villas with private slips situated among cobblestone paths and an Italian-themed plaza. Cap Cana ( http://www.capcana.com/ ), a substantial 30,000-acre resort community located in Punta Cana, is currently under construction and upon competition will house more than 500 boats.
The harbor here will include a shopping village featuring luxury boutiques and will offer shuttles to ferry guests to and from their yachts.
“The marina at Casa de Campo is among the best I’ve encountered anywhere in the world and its charter fleet is well-equipped and professional,” said Capt. Dave Lear, an avid angler and former Executive Director of The Billfish Foundation.
“And based on the plans and attention to detail that I witnessed during my visit to Cap Cana, it too will be a top-notch operation.”
With such a complete marina infrastructure, charters are widely available, complete with experts who know what species are running when and where.
When securing the services of a captain and crew, visitors should be sure the charter holds a license and that the boat has life preservers, safety equipment and a working radio.
Those who enjoy watching other professionals reel-in record-breaking catches, ESPN2’s Billfish Xtreme Tournament will be held at Punta Cana Resort and Club’s marina June 4 - 6. For more information on the tournament and potential resort specials visit http://www.puntacana.com/ .