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Spot check: the Dominican Republic.

As water temperatures slowly begin to cool down into the low 80s, dorado fishing around locally homemade fish attracting devices (FADs) heats up in the Dominican Republic. Although some of the fish have migration on their minds and can only be stopped with a live bait, many fish up in the 50- and 60-pound range will be taken on trolled ballyhoo or artificial lures. Large concentrations of blue and rainbow runners around the palm fronds of a homemade FAD make jigging up a well full of live bait easy. Trolling small rubber squids or your favorite tuna lures will produce plenty of 2- to 5-pound blackfin tuna, perfect for bridling up and trolling upcurrent of the surface structure, as far as 1/2 mile. This is where you will get the most bites from the bigger dorado and blue marlin.

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Captain Randy Rode, a 40-year veteran of fishing in the Keys, who is now fishing out of Cabrera on the North Coast says, "Sometimes I like to troll two live tuna, one on the surface and one with a pound of breakaway lead on a copper rigging wire, way up current of the FAD, and then shut the motors down and drift back toward the structure.

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"While drifting, I like to deep jig for wahoo and bigger yellowfins, the heavier the jig the better. I usually mark plenty of fish all the way down to 200 feet or deeper. The fish around surface structure can get shy on you, so stealth is important. Light leaders and small hooks equal more bites."

The North Coast of the Dominican Republic has the advantage of very deep water close to shore. It is 1,000 feet deep only one mile offshore, and 3,000 feet deep three miles off, so there is plenty of bottom structure to explore a few miles from the beaches. Trolling lipped plugs on downriggers will produce plenty of bites from big king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, and even mutton snappers and groupers, which will come up and meet your lure halfway in 50 to 75 feet of water.

As we get into the spring months, the white marlin bite on the east end of the island, in the Punta Cana area, will heat up. Raising up to a dozen or more of these feisty marlin is not uncommon, along with a lot of wahoo cutoffs. When you get tired of too many toothy bites, try long shanked J hooks, before resorting to wire leaders.

All year, nighttime yellowtail fishing can be productive, especially on the dark of the moon. Locally available glass minnows, mixed with your "secret" formula of cracked corn, hog feed, and sand will get 'em going.

Whatever type of fishing you choose in the Dominican Republic, don't be surprised if you fish all day without seeing another boat. This is a virtually wide-open fishery, largely undiscovered and unknown. Very deep water close to land, and a total lack of fishing pressure present a winning combination for all types of blue-water fishing here.

For more information regarding fishing in the Dominican Republic contact Capt. Randy Rode at www.dominicanrepublic sportfishing.com or call 809-464-1557.

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Author:Suroviec, Joe
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Geographic Code:5DOMN
Date:Dec 1, 2010
Words:532
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