dry tortugas trip

irishff727irishff727 Posts: 939 Officer
Hey guys, I am graduating medic school soon and my gift is going to be a trip down to the dry tortugas fishing trip. So I have a few questions. Where do I start? What's a good boat to go on? What do you normally have to bring. What is a good setup for a trip like that, coolers ice bait.... what kind of rigs chicken, knocked, mono, flouro, leader size and length. Basically take me to school when it comes to one of these trips. Any and all info is welcome.
time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time

Replies

  • Plane Fish nPlane Fish n Posts: 6,428 Admiral
    Hey there,

    I know nothing about the Dry Tortugas although we are talking about fishing the Marquesas soon.

    I just wanted to post you up and congratulate you on a great achievement. Where will you end up working? :beer

    Take care and good luck to you my friend.


    Cheers
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Eric
    PLANE FISH N
  • duke6543duke6543 Posts: 336 Deckhand
    What type of trip are you looking to do? Day trip - Multi-day trip (3-4 days) - Party boat.

    My thoughts are if you are going to be in KW for a couple days for a vacation then a day trip.
    My preference is the multi-day trip with four or five fishing buddies. With the questions about gear to bring it sounds like you are asking about a multi-day trip.
  • irishff727irishff727 Posts: 939 Officer
    Yea multiday trip for sure probably do 7 or 8 days in kw with a few of those spent @ the dry tortugas
    time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time
  • irishff727irishff727 Posts: 939 Officer
    Hey there,

    I know nothing about the Dry Tortugas although we are talking about fishing the Marquesas soon.

    I just wanted to post you up and congratulate you on a great achievement. Where will you end up working? :beer

    Take care and good luck to you my friend.


    Cheers

    actually doing para medicine aka Paramedic. So everything I do will be pre hosp on a rescue
    time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time
  • XafXaf Posts: 937 Officer
    If you don't mind party boats, I would recommend the Yankee Capts. There website is http://www.yankeecapts.com/ They have a variety of trips from 2 - 4 days, including some limited load trips. I don't know when you are going but they have a special for Fantasy Fest this year. You might want to check it out.

    I'm by no means an expert but have gone on a few of their trips. My recommendation is to treat it like a camping trip. You will need bedding/sleeping bag and a couple changes of clothes. Remember you are hours from any stores & pharmacies, so you need to take things like extra tackle, sunscreen, aspirin or any meds you might need.

    Food - They have a galley on board so you need to decide if you are eating from the galley, taking you own, or a combination. I'm on a restricted diet so I usually take my own food and eat a hot meal from the galley occasionally. You will need to take plenty to drink, water Gatorade, etc. The sun is brutal and you need to stay hydrated.

    Tackle - The recommendations on their website are pretty much spot on.

    Bait - No need for live bait, but you want fresh bait. The boat provides bait but most everyone brings their own. You can buy it or catch it yourself. If you buy bait, it can be expensive. Last year I think goggle eyes (usually the go to bait) were going as high as $45 -$55/dz. Ballyhoo, pinfish, squid, etc. also make good bait.

    Coolers - depends on the number of people, length of trip, amount of food, drinks, etc. I usually take at least two coolers, one for food and drinks and one for bait and ice.

    I'm sure there are others who will chime in with recommendation & differences of opinion. The main thing is to enjoy yourself and celebrate your achievement. If you have any specific questions PM me and I'll try to answer them.
  • duke6543duke6543 Posts: 336 Deckhand
    Multi-day trip. First thing is you will need is five other guys to commit to the trip and the money. Find a charter that is open during the time frame you all can go.

    Bait is usually provided, and fresh bait can be caught while out there.
    Gear is a long list, but I will start with the what you are asking in your post;
    3 large coolers = 1 for food, 1 for beverages, 1 for more beverages and extra fish space
    Rods for entire crew, bottom rigs spooled with 50-80# line. I preffer braid. Small rods for YT spolled 12-15# mono.
    Leader material - 30,60,80,100#
    Lead - Plenty of 6oz, 8oz, and soom small weights 1oz, 2oz and 1/4oz jig heads
    Swivels - at least 75, I use 200lb
    Hooks 6/0, 5/0, circle and J hooks, 1/0 for YT
    Small assortment of trolling lures
    I always take four filet knives, usually loose at least one.
    Ziplock bags for cleaned filets and 2 sharpies.
    Food, drinks, waters for all including the captain.
    This is a start for what you may need.

    The only captian I have chartered with for the last ten years is captain Yuri and he stays booked but you can look at his calender. http://www.tortugasfishing.com/home.html

    There are other that are good that I have not fished with. Two names are Capt. Paul Benson and Capt. Eddy Griffiths
  • johnDjohnD Posts: 6,376 Admiral
    I'd listen to the comments above..From everything I have heard and read over the last few years, Capt. Yuri or Yankee Capts. is the way to go.
  • irishff727irishff727 Posts: 939 Officer
    Was thinking party boat over 6 pack just for the mear fact stated above that I dont have 5 other guys to go with cash on hand.
    time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time
  • duke6543duke6543 Posts: 336 Deckhand
    Eather way you go, you will have a trip of a lifetime.
  • Prop BlastProp Blast Posts: 375 Officer
    There are several ways to go about fishing the DTs out of Key West. What option you choose will depend on your specific situation (requirements and resources = $$).

    Opt #1. Headboat. You are doing this by yourself or with one or two friends with a limited budget say of $2-400 per person for the trip. Go with the Yankee Capts who runs weekly trips fo varied length to the DTs beginning in Oct through April. He's in Massachusetts from may through early Oct. XAF above gives you a good rundown. You can bring your own tackle or rent from the boat.

    Opt #2. Private Charter. You have 3-5 fishermen who will pay a little more for a "do it yourself" adventure. For this, look to Andy Griffiths Charters and another Capt by the name of Capt Yuri. Here you're hiring a captain and his boat, but you provided everything else; food, tackle, bait, sunblock... You tell him what you would like to target, he takes you there within reason. Capt Yuri was with Andy Griffiths, but broke off on his own. Both are quality operations.

    http://www.fishandy.com

    http://www.tortugasfishing.com/home.html

    Opt #3. Hire a private captain to run you or your buddies over in his boat. This is usually more expensive, but he provides the tackle and anything else you need other than food/beverage. Trip schedule will vary and cost will depend on a variety of things. I suspect Capt Ralph Delph and his sons still run charters there as do other KW charter capts.

    http://www.delphfishing.com

    Hope this helps,

    PB
  • spinfreakspinfreak Posts: 5,204 Officer
    I am FAR from a Tortugas expert, but I can offer some advice. First off, if you're doing it alone, then you'll have to do a head boat trip, unless you want to foot a multi-thousand dollar charter on your own. That leaves the Yankee Capts, as the only other head boat that ran DT trips was the Florida Fish Finder, but they no longer do the trips (that's ok, as the YC is the better choice anyway). Now, the YC is up in Massachusetts right now, so you'll have to wait until they get back down here in September.

    First off, if you want to just go on the trip and have a fun time with minimal effort, you can just bring your clothes and necessities, and hop on the boat. They have gear, tackle, bait, food, drinks, fish coolers, and all on board. The only thing you'll need is a cooler to bring your fish home.

    If you want to get a little more involved, you can bring your own gear. A 20lb spinning rod (for dolphin/kingfish), and a 40lb conentional rod (for muttons/bottom), will suffice. You can get more involved if you want, but those 2 rods will get you through 90% of your needs.

    I'll leave terminal tackle out of this, as 1) it's already been mentioned, and 2) they have plenty on board if you just want to get it on the boat.

    Next is bait. The boat offers frozen bait, which is ok, but the top catchers on the boat will always be freshly killed/iced bait. Goggle eyes are #1. Pinfish are another good bait, but are not a substitute for gogs. Then you have all your other secondary baits....pilchards, sardines, threadfins, speedos (an awesome mutton bait), flying fish (probably the #1, can't be bet, mutton bait. A half of a flyer sent down, is almost a guaranteed mutton. You can dip net them on the boat at night if you bring a net, or sometimes someone is gracious enough to let you borrow their net), and whatever else you can get your hands on. Any of these frozen aren't that great, but as a last choice, it's still better than the boat's bait.

    Food.....realistically, the "galley" food on board, isn't galley food at all. It's full fledged, home cooked meals, and St reasonable prices. And it tastes really good to boot. The first trip I went on, I brought my own food. I didn't bother on subsequent trips, as it's easier and doesn't really cost much more, to just buy your food on board. As for drinks, it is cheaper to just bring your own, but they're not price gouging you on board if you choose to just buy it from them.

    As for actual fishing in the DT's, it's not much of something that an be explained. I'm still learning. I think 20 year veterans are still learning. Just keep a close eye on the ones catching fish, and try to emulate what they are doing. Most of the regulars on the YC are a friendly bunch (have thick skin, because ball busting is a major part of these trips. Don't get offended, and don't take it personal), and if you ask nicely, most of them would gladly give you some tips, and I've found most will even share their own bait. Also, the captains and crew are always willing to help someone that's looking to learn and listen (if they tell you something, and you don't listen, then they might clam up on you, so they don't waste their breath), and as long as the deck isn't crazy with tangles or fish needing to be gaffed, they'll help you out.

    The most important thing I will tell you, and I can't stress this enough, is that when you are mutton fishing (the boat will stop on different grounds throughout the day depending on conditions....some spots might be mainly for grouper, or for yellowtails, or whatever, but you'll know when you're on what type of spot because the captain will usually let everyone know, but if not, the anglers will usually mention it)...but anyway, when you are on a mutton spot, once your sinker hits bottom, DO NOT BOUNCE YOUR SINKER UP AND DOWN!!!. Doing so will turn off the mutton bite. Not only will you most likely not catch a mutton, but neither will anyone around you, and you don't want to **** them off, or ruin everyone's trip. Leave your sinker on the bottom no matter what, unless hooking a fish, or winding up. If your sinker is too light to hold bottom, and you need to keep leaving line out in order to hold bottom, reel up and put on a heavier weight. Don't bounce that sinker!!!

    If I can be of any further help to you, please feel free, but there's others that an help far better than I can. I hope you have a great trip.
    Exiled Dungeon Master of The Freakshow :cool:
    YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP! Seriously. Do it for yourself and loved ones. You have issues
  • duke6543duke6543 Posts: 336 Deckhand
    All good advice from Spin.
  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    Xaf wrote: »
    If you don't mind party boats, I would recommend the Yankee Capts. There website is http://www.yankeecapts.com/ They have a variety of trips from 2 - 4 days, including some limited load trips. I don't know when you are going but they have a special for Fantasy Fest this year. You might want to check it out.

    x2 on the Yankee Capt's. They are the best multi-day party boat in KW.
  • triplenettriplenet Posts: 747 Officer
    Get a few friends together and hire a boat - 3 days is all u need there.... fish hard in the mornings,,,, snorkel in the afternoon and enjoy the fort and BBQ ing from 5pm to sunset...

    One of my favorite spots on the planet ..... Enjoy
    Gause Built 26
  • Bimini BillBimini Bill Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    I've been out to Fort Jefferson 3 times on day trips, and it's one of my favorite places to go when I'm in Key West, it's hands down some of the best water to snorkel and dive in! My girlfriend and I are going to camp there for a couple of nights later this year, we go out there with Sunny Days, You're not going to want to came back after being out there.
  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    Prop Blast wrote: »
    There are several ways to go about fishing the DTs out of Key West. What option you choose will depend on your specific situation (requirements and resources = $$).

    Opt #3. Hire a private captain to run you or your buddies over in his boat. This is usually more expensive, but he provides the tackle and anything else you need other than food/beverage. Trip schedule will vary and cost will depend on a variety of things. I suspect Capt Ralph Delph and his sons still run charters there as do other KW charter capts.

    http://www.delphfishing.com Hope this helps, PB

    If you have only a day or two, chartering one of the Delphs is the way to go. :thumbsup

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