By Randy Rode, 20-May-2013 02:10:00
I am happy to report that the fishing during the month of May has been very good. So good, in fact, that I really haven`t had time to keep up with my fishing reports.
The weather has been perfect in every respect, light breezes, and clear skies, a bit different from last May, when we had quite a few thundershowers and rain.
We have been catching quite a few really big Dorado, up to 50#`s and more, although we don`t weigh them, these are big fish, even the cows are big!
We have been staying really busy, keeping up maintenance on the boat, buying and processing fresh baits, and generally up-grading the entire operation.
We have been using SPOT, satellite tracking technology, along with terrafin.com SST data to zero in on prime fishing locations, and it is working!
Check out the big cow Dorado, and our new satellite tracking system.
By Randy Rode, 12-Apr-2013 13:00:00
In addition to our great fishing trips, we offer sightseeing tours of the area, both by water and land.
We offer beach lunches, beachcombing, exploring limestone dissolution caves, visiting naturally formed freshwater swimming holes, and much, much more.
We have been living here more than seven years, full-time, and we really know the cool places to visit.
Just give us a call or Facebook us, or fill out the contact page on our website, and we will be happy to guide your tours, or just point you in the right direction!
By Randy Rode, 11-Apr-2013 01:41:00
April begins some of the best weather in the Dominican Republic. Scattered showers, although generally dry, high temperatures in the very low 80`s and lows in the mid to high 70`s at night. The seas are generally calmer, and the fish are biting.
The big bite of Dorado is persisting, and strong. Plenty of good dorado are being caught on every outing. We have been filling in with some nice bottom fishing, fishing ledges in 120`, sitting on the edge of a drop off to 250` and bringing up the bigger fish from the big hole.
We are bringing in some big lane snappers, and some really big porgies, along with the regular collection of groupers and snappers.
Call me now at 809-464-1557 or click on the contact page, and I will get back to you right away.
By Randy Rode, 24-Mar-2013 12:00:00
The Art of Handline Fishing by Capt. Randy Rode
The absolute simplest technique for fishing has to be the handline. Just take a length of fishing line and tie a hook on the end. Add a piece of any kind of bait, and you`re fishing.
In developing countries fish are an important source of protein, and an important part of the local diet. More often than not, where there is water, there are bound to be fish. The techniques used for catching fish are as varied as the fish themselves, but here in the island nation of the Dominican Republic, the art of handline fishing has been refined to an exact science, through generations of trial and error. Many a hand has been burned by a hard-fighting fish on the other end of a handline, and fishing with handlines is”hands down” a very productive way to fish.
The typical Dominican handline consists of three parts….the spool, the line, and the hook. Let`s start at the fish`s end and investigate hook design and size. Typically the hook is sized to the species of fish you expect to catch, although many really big fish have been caught on small hooks. A discussion of hook designs could take up several books, but a condensed version of the science of hooks is easy. Stainless steel hooks rust less, hold a sharper edge, but can be brittle because of their hardness. Long-shanked hooks are generally better for trolling, short shanked hooks are better for live bait fishing, and circle hooks can be used for any kind of fishing, although they are generally more effective for static fishing, or when using un-attended fishing lines. For the purposes of this discussion we are not going to be talking about catch and release, the subject of another book. We are just going to concentrate on the CATCHING part, which is what subsistence fishing is all about. No fish, no dinner.
The mainline of a typical Dominican-style handline varies, depending on whether you are trolling or drifting. Trolling rigs are generally heavier pound test, and oftentimes incorporate an elastic section in the mainline, to absorbe the initial shock of the strike. A strike at 8 or 9 knots. a fast-trolling speed, is basically a make or break event. Either the fish is well hooked and stays on, or the hook pulls out, or something breaks during the initial strike.
The working end of the trolled handline is always tied to the boat, with a good bit of slack coiled on deck, and then carefully held by the fisherman`s un-gloved hand or pressed to the deck with one foot. Gloves are never used, instead a short piece of bicycle inner tube is slipped over the forefinger. The line is wrapped in a certain way between the piece of rubber, and the fingers, as to provide chafing gear and drag all at the same time. Clever and effective, zero cost.
The trolling rig is basically used to travel from one Fish Attracting Device (FAD) to the next.(reference to previous article on FADs) Many fish are caught while fast trolling, but the real meat hits the deck when the floating/drifting handlines are deployed.
The floating handline consists of a piece of dense polyfoam, the kind used to make commercial fishing floats. Any other material can be used, as long as it has good floatation charactristics, and can be carved into the desired shape. I have also seen a section of PVC pipe used, capped on both ends, and a variety of other materials, as long as the spool material floats.
The foam is carved into the shape of a large sewing spool, larger diamater on both ends and smaller diameter in the middle. Sizes can vary from small to large, and the line they are spooled with can range from 12# test, used to catch bait around the FADs, all the way up to 400 or 600# test for marlin and big tuna.
The “rollo” or “toiletera,” as they are called, is spooled up with anywhere from 30 yards to several hundred yards of appropriately sized monofilament fishing line, the hook baited with a fresh piece of bonito, tuna or other fresh bait, or better yet, a live bait. Several yards of line is stripped off, and the line placed in a slit on the side of the spool and thrown overboard, up-current and up-wind of the head buoy on the FAD, and allowed to drift, free of the boat.
This technique has many advantages. Firstly the rollo, having very little windage, drifts much more slowly past the FAD, or other floating material, thus maximizing the hang time in the strike zone. The second big advantage is stealth. The annoying underwater exhaust of the two stroke outboard is silenced when the motor is turned off. Multiple rollos can be deployed simultaneously, increasing productivity. Many times a handful of cut bait is thrown overboard along with the drifting rollos, as chum. In addition, any stray Dorado, for example, that oftentimes follow a hooked fish to the boat, can be easily baited up by just tossing over a baited up hook, and either letting the fish take line, or just toss the whole rig overboard and let the hooked fish tow the buoy around until things quiet down, and there is time to retrieve the hooked fish.
Multiple tangles are common, but productivity is high, and the fish is brought to the gaff quickly and efficently, minimizing the fight time, and lowering the chances of something going wrong and losing a valuable fish.
Stories of epic battles lasting for hours are common, mostly with blue marlin over 200#`s, but many large fish are boated with great regularity, a testimonial to the effectiveness of the technique and the tough, stubborn nature of the hard-working Dominican commercial fisherman. They routinely battle nature with a determined single-mindedness to come back with a good catch, fishing in all sorts of conditions, in small boats,armed only with simple equipment and decades of knowledge passed down through generations.
By Randy Rode, 22-Mar-2013 12:00:00
Unlike a lot of other Caribbean destinations, the North Coast of the Dominican Republic will not be reseiged by "Spring Breakers", thanks goodness! We will, nevertheless, have a lot of local visitors from around the country come to our side of the island to enjoy the beautiful beaches and the great, seemingly never-ending parties.
Stages are being set up in our central park, and many of the beaches as well, so Party On!
They are even setting up the annual "Laguna Gri-Gri" lagoon party, where the stage is actually set up in the middle of the water, now there`s a novel idea.
So if you are looking for a fun place to come and party, where it is not too crowded, and the fishing is un-paralleled, "Come on Down" to Cabrera" where the party never ends, the water is blue and the rum is fine.
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