Home to some of the world’s best beaches, Punta Cana is the perfect spot for your next sun, sand and sport fishing getaway. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, you’ll find it’s always the season for Punta Cana fishing.
Known for its world-class all-inclusive resorts, Punta Cana has a wide variety of fishing grounds, both inshore and offshore. Its offshore waters are world renown and home to an abundant variety of fish species that make fishing an exciting year-round activity.
Most exciting fish species in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is nothing short of a fishing paradise. If you want to know why the Dominican Republic is ranked the #2 billfishery in the world, then you must go marlin fishing in Punta Cana. The blue and white marlin bite is strong and plentiful in the offshore waters east of Punta Cana due to its geography and proximity to the Mona Passage: a 65 kilometer channel between the island of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
Marlin & Sailfish
The Dominican Republic is ranked the #2 billfishery in the world, and fishing these waters means marlin, swordfish & sailfish. The blue and white marlin bite is strong and plentiful in the offshore waters east of Punta Cana due to its geography and proximity to the Mona Passage: a 65 kilometer channel between the island of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
The best time to catch Sailfish is wintertime. They visit the waters off Punta Cana from November through to February.
White Marlin show up towards early spring and they are caught until late August. The peak season for White Marlin in Punta Cana definitely is June.
This is also the month when the first blues are released. The blue marlin fishing season on Punta cana runs from June to September, being August the best month.
The Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans) is probably the most wanted fish in the sport fishing world. The magnificent fighter usually feeds during day time on fish, octopuses and squids. Blue Marlin is mainly caught trolling with artificial lures or with dead bait (bonito, mackerel…). Blue marlin grow to be up to 14 feet long and can weigh just short of 2,000 pounds.
White marlin are smaller than other billfishes. They can grow up to 2,5m (9ft) and weigh up to 80 kg (180lb).
The dolphin fish, dorado or Mahi-Mahi is a very common species in the waters off the Dominican Republic. They’re present all year but are most numerous from October through April.
Mahi Mahi is an aggressive species that will bite almost any lure fished trolling, jigging or spinning. Especially close to floating obstacles off shore, dropping a jig or trolling feathers close to this obstacle can produce great results.
Their streamlined body make them very fast swimmers. These fish can weigh more then 35lb (15kg) and measure a metre.
Although they can be found off Punta Cana & Bavaro in Winter, early spring and in fall, peak season for Yellowfin Tuna Punta Cana fishing is January & February.
Yellowfin range in length from 59 inches to 88 inches long. They’re known for their torpedo shape, with a pointed nose and a sickle-shaped tail, and have dark blue backs with yellow sides (thus their name) with a silver underside. They are mostly caught trolling with artificial lures such as Rapala, Halco, trolling skirts, Skirted Ballyhoo Lures, cedar plugs, etc. On top water poppers, surface jerkbait and crankbait jigs.
Anglers can expect Wahoo year-round in these waters, being October, November & December the best months to land one of these torpedoes.
Wahoo have a blue-green upper body which shifts into silver towards their belly. They also have blue vertical striping along their sides. Wahoo are torpedo-shaped and have razor sharp teeth.
They are caught trolling or jigging, mainly inshore. These great fighters extremely fast: they can reach a speed of 48 mph / 77 kph. Only blue marlin and saifish do better!
Inshore species: Tarpon, snook, permit, jack crevalle…
For those who fancy inshore fishing, fly fishing, spin fishing or reef fishing, there’s a wide range of exciting species around. In the shallows you can stalk tarpon, snook, permit and jack crevalle with artificials or with the fly.
If you like fly fishing or spinfishing in crystal clear waters and near beautiful reefs in Punta Cana, you might want to book the boat REEF. On board this custom designed 23ft Center Console you my expect exciting species including Yellowtail Snapper, Bonefish, Amberjack, Barracuda, Grouper, Mangrove Snapper and Tarpon.
Types of fishing in Punta Cana
Top Fishing Charters in Punta Cana
To enjoy 100% from the best Punta Cana fishing there’s nothing better than chartering a great boat with a professional fishing guide. The captains are out there every day and know exactly where to find the wahoo, dorado, marlin and tuna.
Also for your inshore trips it’s interesting to go out with a professional.
Onboard everything has been taken care of. You’ll have the best fishing gear, good (live) bait, drinks, food, licenses… You only have to worry about your hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. And most fishing charters offer free or very cheap transportation from your hotel to the boat and back to the hotel. When you make your booking, the charter operator will contact you to arrange the pick-up.
Shore fishing in Punta Cana
Walking along the beaches you can stalk interesting predators such as Permit, Barracuda, Snook and Jack Crevalle. Early in the morning and towards the evening these fish patrol the beaches looking for bait fish. With topwater lures like poppers, pencil poppers or walk-the-dog lures you can target these inshore species.
Top Fishing Spots for Punta Cana Fishing
- Cabo Engaño: great inshore fishing destination in Punta Cana: Permit, Tarpon, and Snook.
- Lagunas de Nisibon: 30 minutes north of Punta Cana. Fantastic lagoon very good for Tarpon.
- Mona Passage: Punta Cana is right next to this fish highway, with easy access to game fish such as wahoo, dolphin, tuna, and every species of Atlantic billfish. In addition to the accessibility, the Mona Passage also boasts of a unique series of banks, known to locals as “the rocks.” These underwater rocks are attractive to pelagic species because they provide reef-like shelter and food sources for bait fish.
- Macau: this is a very interesting fishing area 30 miles off Punta Cana. Although the marlin season in Punta Cana is from June to September, since a couple of years now, some fishing charters are catching Blue Marlin here from December to February.
- The Pink House: good for Marlin, Dorado, Sailfish.
The Fishing Regulations
Punta Cana a Great Destination for your next Vacation
Spend your days soaking up the rays along the pristine white-sand shores lining the coast and stroll along the beach for miles. The crystal-clear waters are ideal for snorkeling, where you can swim alongside exotic marine species like sea turtles and parrotfish right off your resort beach. Head out on a catamaran excursion to visit the exotic desert island of Saona Island and spend the day at an exclusive beach club.