Newbie wants information

IcemanIceman Posts: 24 Greenhorn
Newbie wants information!
I am a newbie, and plan on purchasing a 26' center council either a Scout or Everglades in the next few weeks. I would like some ideas as to what kind of equipment I need to purchase. I have fished in the Great Lakes for over 40 years and some charters in the Oceans. I plan on living in Marathon island during the winter. I would like to be set up for some bottom fishing, then the tuna's at the humps, and then for the majestic sails. I would like to start up with two sets of four rods and reels, what kind of reels, rods, gaff, throw net and etc. I would appreciate any ideas and best places to purchase any of the equipment.

Replies

  • Go MongoGo Mongo Posts: 2,107 Captain
    Some may not like what I am about to tell you, but to be honest based on the information you provided, I would not purchase anything right now. My advice (for what it is worth) is to get set up for your first winter, hang out with the locals, take some chartered fishing trips and spend a season figuring out what you may like/need. Less expensive than spending alot of money on what you think you may need and finding that you are wrong.

    For your first season, put your resources into "experience" with some knowledgable capitans and guides. There are many great ones down in the keys.

    After your first season, reevaluate. At that point you will know better what you want and need.

    Good luck.
    “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 4,839 Captain
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,438 Captain
    Amen... Save you bucks until you actually have some idea of what works. You'll learn more in day or two with a local guide than you will in a year on your own. It's also very helpful to have local guys who might actually answer all the questions you're sure to have as you learn. Enjoy the ride - it will also give you a really good idea of what you like and don't like in a boat. That's likely to save you more than money it the long run.... Good luck.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Plane Fish nPlane Fish n Posts: 6,439 Admiral
    Go Mongo wrote: »
    Some may not like what I am about to tell you, but to be honest based on the information you provided, I would not purchase anything right now. My advice (for what it is worth) is to get set up for your first winter, hang out with the locals, take some chartered fishing trips and spend a season figuring out what you may like/need. Less expensive than spending alot of money on what you think you may need and finding that you are wrong.

    For your first season, put your resources into "experience" with some knowledgable capitans and guides. There are many great ones down in the keys.

    After your first season, reevaluate. At that point you will know better what you want and need.

    Good luck.

    :Agree:Agree:Agree

    Excellent advice from Dennis, Nick and Bob.

    Iceman, welcome to the forum and our part of the world. :beer

    You did the right thing by asking questions... so continue to do so.

    When you do buy something, take pictures and post them. When you fish, post your reports.

    This your forum buddy. :thumbsup

    Cheers

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N
  • charlie tunacharlie tuna Posts: 730 Officer
    The above replys are right on the MONEY and will save you MONEY in the long run. And you may come across a total package right in your neighborhood. I had a friend, lived in Big Pine Key sell his entire fishing and diving package for less than half what it was worth! Decided to sell his place and move up in the Jacksonville area.....???? And at least you will "REALLY" know what you NEED and buy it only once !
  • YaksquatchYaksquatch Posts: 499 Officer
    Definitely invest in knowledge from A LOT of guided trips first. However, AFTER you've obtained your basic know-how and your boat there are a few things to consider before you start dropping $$$:

    1) When you buy brand new gear, if you decide you don't like it after a season or 2 you can expect @ 50% loss (depending on market and condition) of your investment when you sell it to upgrade. If you do buy new, be sure to hang on to all the reel boxes and any accessories even if you don't think you need them they'll bring the resale value up. Also have them serviced by a credible shop, the factory is even better, once a year.

    2) Keep your eyes open for used gear, particularly someone else who recently started from scratch and is selling a batch of tackle to upgrade. This way your investment upfront is lower till you figure out what you really like. Even more importantly, this lets you keep 75-90% (again depending on condition) of the resale value if/when you decide to upgrade.

    3) Get on really good terms with a local tackle shop. Talk em up, get to know them, don't be a pest but become a regular, ALWAYS buy something even if it's a little pack of hooks or a single lure, bring in friends who're looking for a good shop, give them reports on what/how/where (honey holes stay secrete of course) you've caught fish. Be sure to get on a first name basis with the owners and employees. It may take some time and money up front but after a while the rewards will pay you and the fishing community back.

    Good luck,
    Alex
  • Mango ManMango Man Posts: 11,096 AG
    Iceman, welcome to the Forum. :beer

    You have some great advice here. You can also IM Rob (Got To Go) as he lives in the Keys and would be a great help. Good Luck!


    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
    Abraham Lincoln
  • IcemanIceman Posts: 24 Greenhorn
    Thanks! How hard is it to get to go out with some of the seasoned captains? I would be willing to help in the cost of the trip without paying for a whole charter.
  • tekmunkitekmunki Posts: 668 Officer
    Iceman wrote: »
    Thanks! How hard is it to get to go out with some of the seasoned captains? I would be willing to help in the cost of the trip without paying for a whole charter.

    Many of the FS regions subforums (if not all of them) have a "looking for ride" thread/subforum, post in your region and ask to go along - do some searching and make sure the person offering is worth your time/$ (my experience is, that most here are). Be sure to, at the very least, offer to pay at least a good portion of the gas - get with some friends and book charters, when you evaluate what you'd be spending on your own rig, the gas, registrations, licenses, tackle, etc- even paying a full charter on your own is competitive to a month owning an offshore capable vessel.
    sigsmallx.jpg
    Q: How much fishing equipment can a man have before his wife throws him out?
    A: I do not know for sure; however, I believe that the experiment is almost complete!
  • DrCatcherDrCatcher Posts: 24 Greenhorn
    If you run out the financial schedule of hiring a charter 10 times a year versus owning a boat. You will come out way ahead on chartering with far fewer headaches, boat cleanings, tackle setups and beat the learning curve. plus, you can charter when you want, whereas you will feel obligated to take your boat out and utlize on your investment. Just my .02 for whatever that's worth....
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 4,644 Moderator
    What you don't get by chartering is the satisfaction and/or frustration of catching fish on your own terms. You are paying the captain to lower the hill you must climb to master the sport. It's a very steep learning curve, and while a charter captain can help tremendously, it's a lot more satisfying to eventually do it yourself.
  • Plane Fish nPlane Fish n Posts: 6,439 Admiral
    What you don't get by chartering is the satisfaction and/or frustration of catching fish on your own terms. You are paying the captain to lower the hill you must climb to master the sport. It's a very steep learning curve, and while a charter captain can help tremendously, it's a lot more satisfying to eventually do it yourself.

    :signs

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N
  • jah sonjah son Posts: 236 Officer
    Going on a charter once for each kind of fishing you want to do is a good idea, but it's no replacement for a boat of your own. If you are familiar with rigs, knots, etc. for saltwater and you have a good gps/bottom machine there's no reason you can't do it yourself.

    I visited the keys and rented a boat for three days, cost me about $1,000 + gas. We caught tuna on the hump, sails, reef and bottom fish. We also went snorkeling, sight seeing, island hopping, swimming, it was great. Can't really do that off a charter and if you could it would be 10 times as expensive. So if you're not 100% committed you might try that first.

    And with the price of boats nowadays there is no reason not to get your own, financially anyway. The hassles maybe, but not the money. 21' - 27' center console will do everything you mentioned. I suggest you buy a used whatever-boat-you-want. The cheap ones are, well, cheap, and the nice ones have good resale value so if you're committed to this for at least a few years you'll turn out fine dollars-wise. If you have a dock or feel comfortable trailering then there's not much cost to get it wet. Plus you'll have a boat for all the other fun stuff to do in the keys.

    As for gear, I recommend you get 4 Penn Senator 113h spooled with 30 or 40 pound mono on 6' rods for trolling and bottom dropping. You can get four of them for $300 or so ebay or craigslist. You'll also want a spinning rod or two in the 20# class for casting, small jigs, pitch baits, etc. When/if you ever decide you want different tackle, you can sell them back on ebay/craigslist for the same $300 or so.

    I don't recommend lever drag reels as there is a learning curve for you and for your guests before it's worth using them.

    For tunas troll small feathers, bucktail jigs, or squid skirts with a weight and a hook in them. Run them way back and fast. For sails live bait on a circle hook is usually most effective. For bottom fish live or dead bait, circle hook, carolina rig or knocker rig.

    Without experience, throwing a cast net is hard. Throwing it from the deck of a moving boat is even harder. As far as that goes, I recommend NOT getting a cheap net. Otherwise, start with sabiki's and small jigs for bait.

    If you're committed to doing this, there is no reason not too!
    Knowing is half the battle. The other half is violence.

    9 out of 10 times alcohol IS the answer.
Sign In or Register to comment.