Posts Tagged With: Caribbean

Catching Yellowfin Tuna in Punta Cana

Catching Yellowfin Tuna in Punta Cana

Catching Yellowfin Tuna in Punta Cana

Thunnus Albacares or Yellowfin Tuna is one of the coolest fish to catch, in my opinion. They’re unbelievably strong, put up a great fight and are exceptionally delicious to eat – both raw as sushi or sashimi or slightly grilled/seared.

General description:

After doing a bit of research online, we discovered that the Yellowfin Tuna lives in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world and is among the larger tuna species, growing up to 400 pounds / 180 kg. However, they don’t match up with e.g. the Bluefin Tuna that can reach more than 1,000 pounds / 450 kg! Allegedly, the 2012 record was a 427 pounds Yellowfin that some lucki fishermen caught in California.

The Yellowfin lives about 6 or 7 years and matures around the ages of 2-3. The female in the Caribbean spawns from July – November, every 3 days and can release between 1 and 4 million eggs during this season.

The name comes from the large second dorsal fins, anal fins and small finlets that have a bright yellow color. The rest of the body has different colors. The top of the fish is dark blue, the middle part is yellow and gold and the bottom (the belly) is silver colored.

Its body is shaped like a torpedo – built for speed and an incredibly strong and fast swimmer that can reach speeds of up to 50 mph.

Habitat:

The Yellowfin travels in schools, which may include other species of tuna – all of them more or less similar size. The Yellowfin is at the top of the food chain, feeding on other fish (e.g. flying fish and mackerel), crustaceans and squid and in return, other fish such as wahoo or marlins as well as sharks feed on the Yellowfins.

You’ll most likely find the Yellowfin Tuna in the warm surface waters in depths of less than 200 meters / 650 feet. The tuna is usually found in depths of approximately 100 meters / 330 feet, offshore and likes to hang around drifting wood or pallets and it may even follow moving vessels.

Fishing for Yellowfin Tuna:

We don’t catch tuna very often, but we were lucky enough to catch a beautiful Yellowfin Tuna on one of our recent fishing trips out of Punta Cana (actually, it was my first). It was a rather small tuna that only weighed about 18 kg / 40 pounds. We sliced a piece of it right away to eat as a very fresh sashimi and the rest went on the BBQ for a fantastic dinner that very same evening.

If you want to go fishing and try to catch a Yellowfin Tuna, you can send me an email anytime at ab@grouppalmera.com

Categories: Blog, Deep sea fishing, Dominican Republic, Fishing, Punta Cana, Yellowfin Tuna | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Barracuda Fishing in the DR

Barracudas are some of the common fish that you can catch pretty much year round when you go fishing in the Dominican Republic. These are great fish to catch as they put up a really good fight, which may include jumping out of the water; especially if you get the Barracuda on light tackle. If you happen to catch a Barracuda on heavy tackle (e.g. on a deep sea fishing trip where you are fishing with heavy gear), the fish runs out of energy relatively quickly and does not put up much of a fight.

Barracuda Fishing in the DR with our buddy Pico

Barracuda Fishing in the DR with our buddy Pico

Habitat:

The Barracudas, that are found in the ocean around the Dominican Republic, are known as the Great Barracuda. This type of Barracuda is common in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Barracudas live in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world.

The young Barracudas mostly stay near coral reefs or mangroves; areas where they can hide away from other predatory fish. The adults, however, are mostly found in the open ocean near the surface of the water, although some have also been seen at depths of approximately 100 meters / 325 feet. In Punta Cana, divers have also spotted Barracudas hanging around the shipwrecks that are found e.g. in the area close to the airport.

Barracuda Fishing in the DR

Barracuda Fishing in the DR

General description:

The Barracuda is fairly easy to recognize from its long and slender body, its pointed head with underbite and many sharp and fang-like teeth. There is almost no mistaking this fearsome appearance! The Barracuda’s body has mostly dark blue, dark green and gray colors on the upper body, silver-colored sides and a white belly. It will typically have several dark spots on its sides. The young Barracuda can actually change its color pattern in order to blend in with its surroundings and hide from predators.

Size, weight and lifespan:

The record size for a Barracuda is said to be 1.70 meters / 5.5 feet long and 44 kilograms / 103 pounds. The Barracuda has been reported at up to 2.10 meters / 6.9 feet in length. Any Barracuda that is more than 1.50 meters / 4.8 feet long is generally considered a large fish – and something to be proud of when you catch it.

The Barracuda can reach at least 14 years of age and becomes sexually mature when it reaches around 60 centimeters / 23 inches long.

Barracuda Fishing in the DR - Anders Bogebjerg

Barracuda Fishing in the DR – Anders Bogebjerg

Behavior:

The Barracuda is a voracious predatory fish that eats other fish such as Jacks, Groupers, Snappers and Tunas. Its sharp teeth enable the Barracuda to tear other fish in pieces or in half and also tear off the flesh in order to eat it. The Barracuda is considered an opportunistic predator that surprises its prey and uses short bursts of speed in order to attack. It has been estimated that the Barracuda is able to reach top speeds of up to 58 kph / 36 mph.

The young Barracuda may travel in schools while the adults are generally solitary fish.

Eating Barracudas:

Barracudas are not considered commercially valuable, although here in the Dominican Republic the Dominicans generally have no problem eating them. The Barracudas are common carriers of ciguatoxins, which can cause ciguatera poisoning. This is typical for predatory reef fish that eat other fish and become reservoirs of toxins that accumulate and are stored in their bodies and flesh.

Source: Florida Museum of Natural History

Categories: Barracuda, Blog, Deep sea fishing, Dominican Republic, Fishing, Punta Cana | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fishing Q&A with Anders Bogebjerg

Anders Bogebjerg, owner of Palmera Fishing, recently sat down and answered a few questions about fishing. Anders started fishing at the age of 4 and is today an avid fisherman. He rarely goes a week without fishing and usually heads out for some inshore fishing or deep sea fishing every chance he gets – with or without clients.

If you would like to ask him your own questions, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form HERE or drop him a line at ab@grouppalmera.com

Fishing in Punta Cana

Fishing in Punta Cana

Q: When is the best time for fishing in the Dominican Republic?

A: This all depends on what fish you are targeting. Most of the fish are here all year round, in smaller or larger numbers. Normally, April – July are the best months for white marlin. July – November is blue marlin season. Dorado and wahoo run all year but are greater in numbers from September – May. Barracudas and tuna run pretty much all year; depending on what side of the island you are fishing from.

The best season for inshore fishing is November – June and snook fishing is especially good from April – June. You can catch snappers, needlefish all year and yellow tales are abundant in November.

Q: When is the worst time for fishing in the Dominican Republic?

A: August tends to be a slow month. There are a lot of blue marlins, but no guarantee for catching them!

Q: Where is the best place for fishing in the Dominican Republic?

A: Generally, the fishing around the Dominican Republic is great and the ocean is loaded with fish. It all depends on what you are fishing for, which might make some areas better than others.

Q: What is your favorite fish to catch?

A: I love catching dorado (mahi-mahi). It is a fun fighting fish to catch and you find a school of them, you may easily catch 20 – 50 fish. Of course, the big blue marlin is every fisherman’s dream (including mine) and there are a lot of them around the Dominican Republic.

Q: Are there any spots in the ocean where you have a better chance of catching fish? 

A: All underwater structures create natural habitats for the fish and are great places to find and catch them. There are also several fishing stations in the ocean that attract a lot of fish and that we usually pass by.

Tarpon fishing in Punta Cana

Tarpon fishing in Punta Cana

Categories: Barracuda, Blog, Deep sea fishing, Dominican Republic, Dorado, Fishing, Inshore Fishing, Mahi-Mahi, Marlin fishing, Punta Cana, Q&A, Snapper, Snook | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Queen Triggerfish

Queen Triggerfish caught in Punta Cana

Queen Triggerfish caught in Punta Cana

This past Sunday I went fishing in Punta Cana together with my buddy, Pico, whom I often go fishing with. Pico has been fishing practically his whole life and works as the captain on The Marlin Chaser. We usually go in-shore fishing in a very small boat that we share and usually catch a lot of fish when we sail along the coast from the marina at Puntacana Resort & Club, past Tortuga Bay Hotel, La Cana golf clubhouse and all the way up to Playa Blanca beach club and the Club Med resort.

We were out the whole day and caught a lot of different fish (including Black & Queen Triggerfish, Mangrove Snappers, Jacks and Groupers) that Pico took home to his family and also to sell (he has a small fish & seafood store out of his house). One of the fish that we caught, which I have never caught before, was a big, beautiful Queen Triggerfish (QT).

The Queen Triggerfish – General Description:

After doing some research on this particular fish, I found out that there are actually about 40 types of Triggerfish that all live in the tropical and subtropical oceans around the world, including the Caribbean. The QT is oval shaped with a quite compact body, a large head with small eyes. It has beautiful colors of blue, purple, turquoise, and green with a yellow throat and blue lines on its fins and head. As soon as we got it out of the water, though, it lost some of its bold colors and became more dark. The QT can also change its colors as a defense mechanism or depending on its mood, e.g. if it gets stressed.

Mating and Spawning:

The QT is not a fish that you want to mess too much with or get “up close and personal with”, especially during its reproductive (spawning) season, which peaks in the fall around September and again in the winter around January. The QT has teeth and has been known to bite e.g. scuba divers or snorkelers coming too close to its territory and eggs.

The male QT makes its territory, a large sand bowl on the ocean floor approx. 10 meters / 33 ft. in diameter, and starts attracting a harem of female QTs to mate with. Once the eggs are laid in this bowl, both the male and females protect and defend them from intruders and predators, which may include other fish or humans. The QT’s small but apparently very strong jaw and mouth has a row with 4 teeth on each side and the upper mouth also has 6 additional Pharyngeal teeth, with with it can produce a grunting or clicking sound when grinding them together.

Outside of the mating and reproductive season, the QT is a fairly easy-going fish that moves about slowly during the daytime, poking around and blowing at sand, in search of food such as crustaceans, mollusks, sea urchins, starfish, crab and sometimes also small fish and algae. It typically lives on the bottom of the ocean (not more than about 3-30 meters / 9.8-98 feet deep) and around coral reefs.

What’s In a Name:

The QT gets its curious name from the fins and spines on its back, which it can “trigger” to raise and lock together, e.g. at night when it wedges into small, tight places between rocks to sleep. This is an excellent hiding place, which keeps it safe from other, predatory fish that roam at night for food. The particular locking mechanism of its dorsal fins and spines makes it tough for other fish to drag the QT out of its hiding/sleeping places in the rocks.

We caught a few of these QT. The biggest one was about 40 centimeters / 16 inches long and weighed roughly 3 kilos / 6.6 pounds, which is a typical size for this particular fish. The lifespan of the QT is anywhere between 7 and 13 years and it can become up to 60 centimeters / 24 inches long, although it is more common to find them at about half this size.

Eating the Queen Triggerfish:

As far as I have heard, the QT is supposed to be an excellent meal. I would assume, since this is a fish that eats other fish, etc., that some level of caution should be exercised when eating it since it might be somewhat toxic, although I was not able to find any information online about the mercury level in the QT.

Catch of the day - Jacks, Black & Queen Triggerfish, Mangrove Snapper and Grouper

Catch of the day – Jacks, Black & Queen Triggerfish, Mangrove Snappers and Groupers

Categories: Blog, Dominican Republic, Fishing, Inshore Fishing, Punta Cana, Queen Triggerfish | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snook Fishing in the Dominican Republic

Snook Fishing in the Dominican Republic

Snook Fishing in the Dominican Republic

General description:

Snook (also knows as Robalo, Sergeant Fish or Line fish) is one of the more popular fish to go catch here in the Dominican Republic. It is a fish that will put up a good fight and its soft and mild flavored meat makes it extremely delicious to eat.

The average size of the Snook is about 50 centimeters (1.6 ft.), however they do grow up to about 140 centimeters (4.6 ft.). The biggest one that I have ever caught in the Dominican Republic was about 20 pounds, and I have seen them up to about 50 pounds (is my guess).

It is a hermaphrodite fish that for some unexplained reason changes sex from male to female. You can easily recognize the Snook by the black line that runs horizontally throughout its entire body.

Where to find the Snook:

The Snook is rather sensitive when it comes to temperatures and, as it cannot stand cold water, it lives in the warm waters of e.g. the Caribbean, Florida and the Pacific. The Snook can tolerate a wide range of salinity (salt in the water) and can therefore be found in both the ocean as well as in fresh water.

The Snook is a predatory fish, a carnivore that lives off shrimp, small fish, crabs, etc. and is commonly found in areas with mangrove, close to land by rocks and cliffs, under docks or bridges, around currents in the water and even in murky water.

Here in the Dominican Republic the Snook is a common fish to catch on inshore fishing trips. You can even catch them when fishing right off the beach or shore.

Snook Fishing in the Dominican Republic

Snook Fishing in the Dominican Republic

Tips on how to catch Snook:

I usually fish Snook with a simple spinning rod and reel on a 20-pound test line. You can use live bait such as sardines or pinfish as well as artificial bait such as gulp. I like to fish with e.g. a white shrimp gulp, which has worked for me many times in the past when catching Snook.

Once you catch a good-sized Snook, you can look forward to an excellent meal e.g. as a ceviche or on the grill.

Categories: Blog, Dominican Republic, Fishing, Inshore Fishing, Punta Cana, Snook | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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