Dry Tortugas

I'd like to do a trip to ft Jefferson camping and fishing for 3 days. Ive done Lots of canoe trips up in Maine and camped on Carl Ross key before it was closed so I'm not a rookie. Have any readers done this trip and would you like to share your experiences? This trip sounds like it could be a blast. Oh let me make it clear I'd be taking the Yankee fleet boat out to the fort and just paddle around with the wife an catch dinner. Any Ideas ?


  • Nick561Nick561 Posts: 339 Deckhand
    I've never yaked there but I am doing a 3 day mutton trip on the yankee capts in a few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes
  • jnezjnez Posts: 12 Greenhorn
    Nick561 wrote: »
    I've never yaked there but I am doing a 3 day mutton trip on the yankee capts in a few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes

    That trip is awsome!!!! I've been 4 times. Filled two 128qt coolers with muttons flags and gags!!!! Im jealous. Wish I could go.
  • drod13drod13 Posts: 259 Officer
    Hey are they all booked up? My buddy was just talking about making that trip.
    2013 OK Trident 13/2015 Hobie Outback :fishing jig.gif
  • Nick561Nick561 Posts: 339 Deckhand
    no its open sign up i love the company
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,817 Captain
    After you do the trip, post some photos to let us know how it went, thanks.
  • Nickipod98Nickipod98 Posts: 277 Officer
    Tip: if you are going to fish, as soon as you get of the ferry a couple hundred yards to the right there will be a lot of pilings. Fish there if there's no snorkelers. It is full of keeper snappers I have also seen quite a few grouper and tarpon. I went there a few days ago to snorkel and that's what I saw.
    boatless for now
  • Nickipod98Nickipod98 Posts: 277 Officer
    I mean to the left
    boatless for now
  • maine guidemaine guide Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    This forum rocks. You guys are always helpful even to a downeaster like me. This trip takes a lot of planing but should be really fun. I'm going with another kayaker to be safer. What would you suggest to use for bait frozen squid and shrimp or bring a cast net. When I was camping on Carl Ross we caught tons of nasty catfish and almost nothing else but that wasn't really a fishing trip I'd hope to do better this time
  • Nickipod98Nickipod98 Posts: 277 Officer
    To be honest I didn't really see any baitfish
    I'd use either frozen small white bait or shrimp.
    boatless for now
  • Mako254Mako254 Posts: 64 Deckhand
    I've camped at the fort many times and it is absolutely amazing. We normally go in the early summer (May/early June) before it gets too hot. The fishing can be spectacular and the views are amazing. On one trip, I was catching bait at the pilings mentioned in a previous post and had a 60-70 pound amberjack start attacking the pilchards in my cast net. After dumping most of the baits in the well, we started clearing baits off the deck and throwing them overboard. The AJ, along with misc other species were blasting the pilchards as quick as they hit the water. We could have just stayed there and we would have had a blast. Somewhere, I have a video of me hand-feeding four 200+ lb Goliath grouper from the boat as we cleaned some yellow tail for dinner (This is in like 5 feet of water just off the beach next to the campsite). Its worth it just to go and walk around the fort; the architecture is amazing and the view from the top is incredible. My only advice: plan ahead and watch the weather. You have to bring EVERYTHING you need with you (If you are planning on bringing back fish you will need LOTS of ice). Bad weather can ruin your trip: Its a very long ride home if the seas kick up.
  • Lead slingerLead slinger Posts: 449 Officer
    Pilchards, squid, ballyhoo. Bring a castnet to restock. Keep in mind you are limited to 60 pounds per person excluding water. Gallon per day minimum on the water.

    When you thinking about coming down?
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