Skip to main content

Reel Big Fish: Insider Tips For Catching A Bite

Maybe you aren't an avid fisherman, but angling can lead to some of your best water-memories. Make the most of your summer on the boat—catch the fish of a lifetime.

For Blue Marlin in the Caribbean it’s hard to beat the Dominican Republic. Fishing heats up for the summer off Punta Cana, where boats only have a 3- to 12-mile jaunt to the fish-attracting devices (call them FADs [say : “fads”] or risk sounding like a googan) where blue marlin turn up consistently. Local knowledge helps to find these devices but if you want to find them on your own look at the chart: When there’s 10,000 feet of water and you see a seamount rising to within 3,000 feet of the surface, chances are that’s where the FAD will be.


The more adventurous angler may decide to steer the boat across the Atlantic to Cape Verde off the West African coast to hit the spring-summer season. When the water clears, fishing heats up with blue marlin. No one really knows why the blues congregate in that area for certain, though of course speculation is rampant in the fishing world, whether it’s feeding or breeding or just a crossroads of migration. But one thing’s for certain: Those that spend the season in Cape Verde, such as the Big Oh skippered by Ronnie Fields, have the chance to put up hundreds of catches in a season.

Costa Rica has huge sailfish numbers all year on the Pacific coast. While Nicaragua has come on strong in the last couple of years, the numbers still tilt towards Costa Rica. One theory posited by Capt. Jon Duffie of Billfisher to explain why Costa Rica sees an impressive catch rate is simply because that’s where the boats are—we can’t spot fish in the spread unless the boats and anglers are out there looking.

Screen shot 2015-08-10 at 11.00.15 AM

And they’re definitely hunting them up off Costa Rica, where huge numbers are not that uncommon: 60 to 80 bites a day sometimes.

The waters off the Mid-Atlantic U.S. have long been reliable producers of great catches of white and blue marlin and a good share of tuna all summer long. Sometimes traveling the world makes sense, sometimes it’s better to stick close to home.

As the (successful) pros always say: Don’t leave fish to try to find fish. And the best way to make the most of your fishing time? Keep things simple. Too many lines, baits, and teasers in the water can stop productivity cold.

Just think, this could be your transom!

Just think, this could be your transom!

This post originally appeared here.