had high expectations. Several friends who had trolled the waters off the Dominican Republic all returned with reports of amazing marlin fishing, often just a few miles offshore. As someone who regularly runs 100-plus miles to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast Canyons for a bite, I found the prospect of a quick trip to the grounds enticing. So, a few years back, I jetted down to the Cap Cana Resort to see if I could bring back my own fish tale. I was fortunate to have use of a 47-foot Riviera convertible, which proved to be a solid platform for both marlin fishing and the sea conditions.
The Mona Passage — which connects the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea — was running hard with consistently lumpy waters between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The Riviera cruised without a care for three days of steady 5- to 6-footers, and the occasional 8-footer. A strong breeze was constant. Waves sometimes crested as white foam stretched across the horizon.
But the drop-off was close to the beach. My captain and mate kept the spread simple:
IAND THEN HE APPEARED. A MANIACAL WHITE MARLIN WAS SLASHING, TRYING TO NEUTRALIZE THE PLASTIC FISH.
two daisy-chain teasers with two short outrigger ballyhoo baits; two long outrigger ballyhoo baits; and two pitch baits at the ready in the cockpit rocket launchers to port and starboard. It wasn’t long before the action started. On the first morning, our crew had a bull mahimahi hooked up within five minutes of putting lines in the water. Then another. A 30-pound-class yellowfin tuna crashed our right long rigger with reckless abandon. The fast and furious bites from these great-eating pelagics were welcome, but I was focused on finding those famous Dominican Republic marlin. Standing in the starboard aft corner with my Costas glued to my head, I peered into the blue, looking for that windshield wiper swiping aggressively on the daisy-chain teaser.
And then he appeared. A maniacal white marlin was slashing, trying to neutralize the plastic fish. I dropped the short rigger bait into free-spool. The marlin crashed onto my bait and took off for Puerto Rico. After some fast maneuvering, the frenetically dancing fish was boatside. It wasn’t even noon on day one.
Within an hour, a linebacker-size blue marlin showed up too. But that is another story.