A group of us stayed at Cap Cana, a beautiful resort and marina right on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic. I can't say enough about the place, you have to see it to believe how impressive the whole complex of Cap Cana is!
Fished with legendary offshore Captain Ross Clark and mate Nick aboard the Loaner and with them, we hooked several Blue Marlin in the 500lbs range and lost them after hours into the fight. We finally landed a 200lbs Blue Marlin on spinning tackle at the waypoint listed some 7 miles offshore from Cap Cana Marina. Also had another 500lbs Blue Marlin eat a 30lbs Dorado right behind the boat! Plenty of Wahoo bites and a few White Marlin strikes as well!
While we were there, we also heard from the locals about some landlocked lagoons near Bavarro that had some "pescados raro y grande" (strange big fish!) Working with the Dominian Ministry of Tourism and Juan Carlos Sanchez Villa who was the director for the Ecological Preserve of the Bavarro lagoon we organized an exploratory into the lower reaches of the lagoon. With Juan and some of the the locals, we used machetes to cut access to the lagoon through the sawgrass that surrounded the upper lagoon and finally launched a little 10' boat that we used to explore the area!
It was disappointing at first as part of the lagoon was over grown with hydrilla, a type of fresh water weed that chokes the water and there was very little fish life that we could see, however there was plenty of bird life to see and keep us interested along the way. Where there are birds, there is usually food fish to sustain them so our hopes were high.
As we worked our way to the bottom of the lagoon complex, we came to a narrow channel that led into another smaller lagoon that was the closest to the coast and that was where we found the Tarpon. We caught several in the 40-50lbs class. Seemed like any part of this lower lagoon that was close to the salt water shoreline (within 300 yards) of the coastline held the largest concentration of tarpon.
Amazing how a seemingly landlocked lagoon could sustain fish of that size! The only thing I could figure is that at time of high water and surge (such as hurricanes) the coastal saltwater intrudes into this lagoon complex and with it comes a population of fish that get trapped in there and somehow survive.
Truly an amazing adventure for us to be the first fishermen in the area and find those tarpon in there!