Cap Cana Billfish Shootout 2017

June 7-11, 2017
Story by: Art McDonald

And the brochure reads:” Cap Cana is a tropical paradise located on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, facing the rising sun, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic, and the Mona Passage embraces the shore” – which is all fine and dandy.  What they don’t tell you is that just offshore is one of the most prolific Blue and White Marlin fisheries on the globe.  Taking full advantage of this has been the annual Cap Cana Billfish Shootout – now in its 8th year after a long tenure in Venezuela.

A total of 11 IGFTO Observers (John Pugsley, Barbara Evans, Sine Mate, Evan Hipsley, Jr., Tess Sheil, Karen LeComptre, Bill Slaughter, Ken Brio, Bruce Key, Carol Ott, and Art McDonald) were on hand and eager to continue the great billfishing tradition that has become Cap Cana.  After a quick Observer Meeting on June 7th – followed by the Kick Off party at the marina office got the rules in order and an opportunity to meet the teams who would compete over the next 3 fishing days.   Day 1 belonged to the Team Tomahawk who quickly released a Blue Marlin early – followed by 4 Whites to, easily, forge into first place.  Day 2 also saw Tomahawk score with a Blue and 3 Whites – they were in the lead by over 600 points going into the final day.

Sometimes the fish gods look your way – and, it seems, sometimes they just ignore you.  Somewhat out of nowhere the Casa Dura (who was that distant 2nd place boat) came storming back on Day 3 with an impressive 3 Blue Marlin, 4 White Marlin day to cap the Tournament win by the difference of a White Marlin over Tomahawk.  Team Dulce Coco took third with a total tally of 7 White Marlin and one Blue.  A Gala Awards Banquet as held in the waterfront courtyard of the Al Sol Resort – lots of great food and, of course, plenty of spirited libations.   High Point angler was Tomahawk’s Luis Fernandez, while Dulce Coco’s Lisa Evans was High Point Lady Angler.  All-in-all there were 30 White Marlin & 6 Blue Marlin released for an impressive 6 Billfish-Per-Boat average for the Tournament – not shabby at all.

For those of you who have not had an opportunity to fish this Tournament – you’re missing some great billfish action.  Cap Cana is probably the premier place in the Caribbean for a Grand Slam – and several Super Grand Slams have already been rung up so far this year.  In case you haven’t already heard….. last November & December the FADS off the Mona Passage side produced an incredible Blue Marlin Bite…. With one boat (Bluebird) releasing a world record 23 Blue Marlin in one day – and 53 in three days….. that is NOT a misprint!!!   Rumor has it, a Tournament is planned for late November/December 2018 – and trust me, I’LL BE THERE!!!!  A World-Class Marina – World Class Fishing – World Class Boats…………….. what more could you ask for?