When Dry Tortugas fishing, trolling or fishing the deep east-west ledges for the larger pelagic species like dorado, tuna, wahoo, marlin and sailfish can produce outstanding and multiple results. My old, 17-foot Whaler with a 12-gallon tank seemed a little inadequate for the trip, so I opted to take the Yankee Freedom, which arrives at Garden Key at 10:30 a.m. each day and departs for the return trip to Key West at by 2:45 p.m. Hi, you can go on the Yankee Capts out of Key West. With a little luck you will also see a solitary permit tailing as it digs crabs out of the coral rubble. Conrad (Marathon) 305.896.8763. You can also move out into the deeper reef areas and catch larger snapper and groupe… To catch the bonefish and permit, you need to get pretty close and present your bait quietly to avoid spooking the fish. Sometimes the fish aren't biting. Fishing the Dry Tortugas is an adventure all on its own. Hope that helps, good luck. If fishing is your thing, the Dry Tortugas is an excellent choice for an all day charter or a weekend adventure. I do not go there to sleep, but since your body does need it the trick is to sleep only when the boat is changing spots. A trip years in the making and months worth of prep and childlike excitement, we finally made the dream fishing trip to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The waters surrounding the fort are crystal clear. The boat is very comfortable, and breakfast and lunch are provided at no additional cost. The trick on overnight head boats is to fish where there are less people. The Seven Deadly Sins of Handgun Shooting: Doin’ the Bernie, Looking, Watching, and Seeing: Exploring Nature with Your Eyes, Controlling the Trigger: Paramount for Pistol Accuracy, Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week: Waterfowler Buddy-do List, Stalking Rio Grande Turkeys with Parrey Cremeans. The baits you can gather in the bridges or piers on the way to the head boat or charter boats will work; keep them iced down. Huge sharks also cruise around in the boat basin at night and can be hooked directly from the ferry dock. Still farther west is the Tortugas Bank, which is submerged. Dry Tortugas National Park Travel Tips The Dry Tortugas are in the Central Time Zone. Park rangers will provide information and maps to help you stay within the boundaries. The region is most famous for its huge schools of snapper which also go into deeper waters on the ledges. 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That is a good indication that the bait has not been in the freezer for months. There are no guarantees. Keep a cooler up on top of the boat filled with ice. Fishing Reports Updated 12/18/2021 Availability At-A-Glance Calendar Of Trips and Events Cancellation Policy Trips, Rates and Descriptions Tackle Rental, Suggestions and Requirements Dry Tortugas Tackle Dry Tortugas Rental © 2013 cudamanadventures.com You can easily hook it using light tackle, but fishing for Muttons on the fly here is an experience you should definitely try out. Tips and Tricks Specific to Dry Tortugas National Park I’m going to be frank, visiting Dry Tortugas National Park is a commitment. Tarpon in the 80- to 200-pound range are just about everywhere you look and relatively easy to hook up with live bait, dead bait or by trolling diving lures. Our charters accommodate your party of up to 6 people. Yellow tails, lane snappers are also great. Only ice in that cooler, it is to be opened only when you need more ice for your bait or food coolers. More than likely, your options include a high-speed catamaran, called the Yankee Freedom, that makes one trip per day, a commercial float plane that makes multiple trips per day, depending on demand, or a chartered vessel. If you need to purchase bait (goggle eyes and speedos) below is a list of Captains that sell it in Key West and near it. Kingfish, mackerels, and bonitos: you can use whole ballyhoo rigged with 3 hooks (flat lined) or with a bullet jig (red/white works great). Line, Leaders, Hooks, Bait etc…. In … Premium bait is not necessary, fresh ballyhoo and pinfish will do well too. Tricks and Tips on Fishing Dry Tortugas Head Boats. I didn’t know that the best bait to attract sharks is old frozen bait, and that fresh bait is key. Fishing is allowed in certain areas of Dry Tortugas National Park, though no lobstering is allowed, nor is spearfishing. First, getting to the park is more complicated than other national parks, and secondly, it’s pretty expensive to visit, especially when compared to other parks. I hope this helps some one. 5. Tips and Secrets The best time of day to go the Dry Tortugas is our first flight in the morning or our last flight in the afternoon. If you do not want to drive you can take the Ferry from Fort Myers to Key West . The best bait will be what you catch on the boat itself and that is flying fish, kingfish, blue runners,  mackerels, and bonitos (bleed the bonitos a bit so the strips will not attract sharks as much as they normally would). You may already know most of this but just in case here it is: To catch the bait on the boat, when things get slow assign one of your party at a time to catch bait when bait is present: Flying fish: Shrimping net or a small cast net. The rest of the waters of the park make up the Research Natural Area (RNA), designed to provide protection for important shallow-water habitats. Stay Andy’s Key West Vacation Rentals Don, Dangerous One, (Key West), 305.923.0468, 2. The reason: with the speed of the seaplane we beat the ferry to and from the island. Make sure you extract the bone spine and trim the fins to allow the bait to have a natural swimming presentation that will not be spining getting your line tangled up. With the exception of the visitor’s center and museum, which are accessible only during the day, Garden Key has no fresh water and no electricity. The clear waters in shallow areas surrounding the fort, seen easily in the photo, are popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. Read charter reviews and choose the best fishing charter. On the first night and if they get close to the boat, concentrate on catching them. Therefore the reefs surrounding the area are absolutely loaded with fish. Here are 3 tips on what to do and how to have a great time We make sure that each of our trips is unique and you will enjoy the Fort Jefferson at night while having a memorable catch. You can go to http://www.yankeecapts.com. One wreck will be stacked with Amberjacks in midwater … Sometimes the cheapest you can find live goggle eyes is at $40 bucks a dozen (which you will just put in an iced down cooler). Trolling, reef, wreck, and bottom fishing all in one trip. Custom day or overnight charter fishing trips to the Dry Tortugas and Marquesas Keys. I’m going on a Halfway Ledge trip on the Yankee soon, This is my first Yankee trip, I’m planning to concentrate on Slow Pitch most of the time but want to bring a bait rod as a plan B, what do you recommend me? There’s enough to go around, and you’ll be able to catch some trophy specimens of this bright-colored species. 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Join Captain Paul who has over 25 years of experience You will need to take your coolers with you. Yellow tails and lane snappers for bait: Small strip pieces of kingfish, bonitos, shrimp, or squid will do. Dry Tortugas, named after the presence o f sea turtles and lack of freshwater, is a group of islands located 65 miles west of Key West, Florida. I’d be interested in learning more about how to keep your bait fresh. For starters, the park boundaries encompass around 100 square miles of open water, but only half of the area is open to fishing and anchoring. A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to spend four days and three nights on Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park; the experience was one that I … Leaders are not necessary when fishing line shy fish, like yellowtail snapper, or … Fishfinder .Fishing was great. Choose from a 3-day/2-night trip or a 2-day/1-night trip. But don’t be alarmed. At night, bigger game are afoot. If wildlife viewing is more your thing there is also an 8-foot saltwater crocodile that sometimes visits the moat during the day and several species of shorebirds that nest each summer on Bush Key. I prefer 200 gram jigs my self but you never know how the current will behave. So make your plans for a fishing adventure of a lifetime at the Dry Tortugas, and don’t forget to record all of your catches on the iAngler phone app or at snookfoundation.org. Cudaman you been very helpful I’m going down to tortugas in June 14 on the Andy Griffith 6 pack one thing I haven’t seen is was size sinkers to bring to hit bottom I know it depends on current and stuff but what is most common weight to use. Presentation is key, a well butterflied bait is almost irresistible to the fish. For ice you can go to Fanci Seafood Mile Marker 22.3 Overseas Hwy, Cudjoe Key 305-745-3887 tell them you are going on the Yankee capts the price should be 5 dollars for 50 pounds of ice. Soon thereafter Charles and Ernest planned an extended fishing trip to the Dry Tortugas in the Stream 70 miles west of Key West. For bait take some oily baits like speedos and king mackerel. You can also move out into the deeper reef areas and catch larger snapper and grouper, but on medium/heavy spinning tackle, the 6- to 9-pound muttons were about all I could handle from a kayak. ( Log Out /  You may also see one of the resident goliath grouper hanging around the dock’s fish-cleaning areas, looking for scraps. Take one of each bullet head sizes: 1oz, 2oz, 3oz. Good availability and great rates. Use jigs that are 180 to 300 gram jigs. Sneaking up on a tailing 15-pound permit in 12 inches of water, presenting a live crab to it, and having the fish scream off a hundred yards of 20-pound braid on the first run will make your heart pump like just about nothing else! 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