NOTABLE CATCHES

The sail­fish bite is on in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic

Marlin - - CONTENTS | DEPARTMENTS - BY SAM WHITE

Capt. Charles Gre­gory led the Nat­u­ral team to a sin­gle-day catch of 29 sail­fish re­leases, set­ting a new record for bill­fish re­leases at Ma­rina Casa de Campo in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic. De­cem­ber 17, 2017, proved to be a blue-rib­bon day for Gre­gory and his team of an­glers and mates aboard the 53-foot Mon­terey owned by An­thony Rizzo.

As any ex­pe­ri­enced cap­tain will say, it’s im­por­tant to work with the weather and make the best of the sit­u­a­tion. With a strong north­east wind and a pass­ing cold front in the fore­cast, Gre­gory knew the sail­fish would be stacked up off Isla Saona, just off the south­east­ern coast of the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic and about 28 miles from their slip in Cap Cana. He also knew it would be a bru­tal up­hill run back to Cap Cana against the wind and seas, so Gre­gory planned to head for Ma­rina Casa de Campo in­stead, ap­prox­i­mately 25 miles away but on a much bet­ter head­ing for the weather.

“It was pretty squally and rainy,” he says. “But the fish were def­i­nitely there. It was solid ac­tion all day long, with mul­ti­ple dou­bles, triples and quads. At one point, there were more sails than I could count be­hind the boat and we ran out of rods.”

By the end of the hec­tic day of fish­ing, the an­glers, in­clud­ing An­thony and his fa­ther, Capt. Tony Rizzo, had re­leased 29 sail­fish from 45 bites.

The ac­tion con­tin­ued the fol­low­ing day as well, when they caught nine out of 15 bites and quit fish­ing by 10:30 a.m.

“Capt. Neil Or­ange turned us on to this sail­fish fish­ery off the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic about five years ago,” Gre­gory says. “He held the pre­vi­ous record out of Ma­rina Casa de Campo, with 23.”

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