Ten-Year-Old Angler Releases Blue Marlin

Hot marlin fishing continues in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

bruce and jeff cohen with blue marlin release flag
Bruce and Jeff Cohen celebrate Bruce's first unassisted blue marlin release.Courtesy Jeff Cohen

At just 10 years old, Bruce Cohen has the experience of anglers far more his senior. His first fishing adventure, a trip to the Turks and Caicos islands, occurred when he was just three months old, where he fell in love with the ocean and the fish that inhabit the seas of the world. Since then, he's been on countless trips with his father, Jeff, aboard the family's two Spencer boats, both named Da Bait.

da bait spencer yacht jeff cohen
Da Bait heads for the fishing grounds off the Dominican Republic.Courtesy Garrett Penley

On a recent trip to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, Jeff decided it was time for young Bruce to tackle a blue marlin on his own, unassisted by the crew (Bruce has released over 30 marlin but always had help hooking or fighting the fish). With Capt. Mike Lemon assisting in the cockpit and Capt. Cecil Lemonds at the helm, it was Bruce’s chance to take on one of the ocean’s toughest adversaries, one on one.

bruce cohen blue marlin release on da bait in dominican republic
Releasing a blue marlin without assistance from the crew is a feat that is held in high regard by anglers all over the world.Courtesy Jeff Cohen
bruce cohen blue marlin release on da bait in dominican republic
Bruce Cohen battles his blue marlin from the fighting chair on Da Bait while Capt. Mike Lemon keeps a watchful eye on things.Courtesy Jeff Cohen

They had their chance when a 150-pound blue marlin crashed a pink Moldcraft squid chain on the right bridge teaser. As he has done hundreds of times before, Lemonds worked the fish in closer as Cohen free-spooled a mullet on the pitch rod spooled with 20-pound-test Sufix. The hookup was near instantaneous, and then Cohen went to work. He fought the fish standing up for the first 20 minutes before transitioning to the chair for another 25 minutes before finally gaining the release.

bruce cohen blue marlin release on da bait in dominican republic
Cohen keeps up the pressure on his marlin with some helpful advice from an old pro: Capt. Mike Lemon.Courtesy Jeff Cohen
bruce cohen blue marlin release on da bait in dominican republic
The fish is almost ready for release.Courtesy Jeff Cohen