Don't know about punta cana, but they say if you find an island that you can walk out to in the surf with deep water on the side facing the ocean or near a deep drop off on the ocean side, on the carribean sea side of the island, you can catch barracudas that are bigger than people. The problem is getting bait (but if you ask the bellhops and give them a few bucks they usually can help--not just with bait but with fishing in general).
As for catch and release. Not saying its right or wrong, but they will probably tell you that only the good fishermen are capable of getting a billfish into the boat while they are still a little alive just after it attempts to get into its death dive. Supposedly, boating a billfish before it goes into the death dive is too dangerous and improper. Technically, hooking the fish and chasing it down with the boat doesn't really count as "landing" the fish. No one can catch 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 billfish in the same day, unless they are just hooking them and chasing them. At least that's what I heard (and maybe felt like too
). Supposedly, they don't jump after the hookset unless the boat is leaning into them too heavily for a picture