Dominican Republic Marlin Release Record Falls

Tranquilo team continues their hot streak

blue marlin release flags
A string of blue marlin release flags signals a banner day out of Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic.Courtesy Tranquilo

The Tranquilo team, led by owners Ken and Amanda Cofer, are on a roll once again this year. They're coming off a win in the release division of the Bisbee's Black and Blue and victory in the sailfish division of the El Salvador International Billfish Tournament, their fourth in a row. So what do they do for fun? Go fishing, of course. Here's a recap of the team's big day out of Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic from team member Bill Pino, founder of Squidnation.

"Ken, Amanda and I were invited as guests of Kim Hermanowski to go fishing for a couple of days in early November after the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. We were fishing the FADs about 28 miles off Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic aboard Natural, a 52-foot Monterey, with Capt. Chuck Gregory and first mate Miguelito Santana.

We had good weather and calm seas but I guess we were a little bit rusty: we ended the first day going seven for 19 on blue marlin. The spread was a Moldcraft green squid chain, a Squidnation purple-and-white Flippy Floppy and two dredges: a black mudflap dredge on one side and a mullet dredge on the other.

The next day, November 7, 2016, we went back to the same FADs but switched to the Squidnation Slammers, which is a very tiny chugger head that’s about a third of the size of a standard mini chugger. We ended the day at 14 blue marlin releases out of 20 bites, which included a triple, two doubles and seven singles.

For tackle, we were using all Shimano TLD 30s on stand up. There was a lot of bait but not many birds, and all the marlin weighed around 100 to 250 pounds. We also switched to an electric blue squid teaser chain the second day because of the number of flying fish and I think that helped. The weather was cool and calm with a little rain, and we were fishing in about 2,500 feet of water.

We didn't realize what a big deal it was until we broke the inlet and were met with a drone flying above Natural along with photographers, the marina staff and a champagne shower when we finally tied up at dusk. It was truly a great experience."

amanda cofer blue marlin
Sometimes when fighting multiple blue marlin, an angler is forced to abandon their rod while the other fish are fought and released. Amanda Cofer prepares to put her rod overboard, attached to a sturdy poly-ball float.Courtesy Tranquilo
ken cofer blue marlin
Tranquilo owner Ken Cofer fights a blue marlin off the Dominican Republic on the team's record-setting day.Courtesy Tranquilo