The Dominican Republic is the ‘new’ hot spot to billfish in the Caribbean. In fact, the Billfish Report named this Greater Antillean island number one in its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year in 2013. Now, it’s Dominican Republic’s sport fishermen that are gaining recognition not only for their feats in home waters but around the world as well. One of these is Eduardo Read, who has enjoyed the incredible fortune to win tournaments, set a world record and release three grander marlin in a single day.
“I started fishing at the age of six with my father and brother off the coast of La Caleta in Boca Chica,” says Read. “My first catch was a seven-pound bigeye albacore tuna that I caught on 12-pound test line. The adrenaline of that catch hooked me on the sport for life. In fact, I’ve been fishing with my wife and son for three decades now. For us, it’s a family gathering but offshore.”
Read’s first claim to sports fishing fame happened back in 1974. He caught a 70-pound mahi-mahi on 30-pound test and set a world record that lasted for several years.
Next, Read started billfishing. He caught his first blue marlin at age 13. Luckily, the 197.5-pound fish reeled in 10 minutes before lines out won him Best Angler in a prestigious interclub tournament. This feat, by the events only junior angler to boot, came to the dismay of an adult opponent who was already celebrating what he thought was the title with a 165-pound marlin.
Since that time Read has enjoyed fishing further afield in locations such as Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Bermuda, Cape Verde, Prince Edward Island, Kenya, Madeira and Venezuela. His favorite place is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This is where Read experienced some of his best days of sport fishing.
“I boated a 1,084-pound black marlin in November of 2012 with Little Audrey Fishing Charters in Cairns. My video on YouTube of this catch has more than a million visits. I also released two more granders that day,” says Read, who has also hooked marlin in the 700 to 800 pound range in the Dominican Republic as well as Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Blue and black marlin are Read’s favorite fish because he relishes the thrill of the catch, fight and release.
Read fun fishes and angles competitively aboard his 54-foot sport fisherman, Malcriá. He, family and friends have competed in white and blue marlin tournaments in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Guatemala for decades. His team has won many of these events throughout the years.
Circling around to where it all began, Read is a great ambassador for sport fishing in the Dominican Republic.
“Come to the Dominican Republic if you want to release a billfish,” Read invites. “We have great marlin fishing all year long. The La Romana waters from January through April bring a consistent double digit blue marlin bite. Then in Punta Cana waters off the east coast there are sailfish, white and blue marlin from March through September, with mahi-mahi, wahoo and tuna all year long. Bring your own boat or charter a boat out of Casa de Campo, Punta Cana or Cap Cana, relax and enjoy.”
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.