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Dry Tortugas Trip Tips

Old 06-07-2019, 10:07 AM
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Default Dry Tortugas Trip Tips

Getting ready to head down to the Tortugas in July with Majestic Seas Charters and was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on types of jigs and jig technique that do well down there. We do a lot of this out of Charleston SC but this will be my first time down there so I am very green and know there is a lot to learn with the fishery down there. Any advice will be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:49 PM
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I used the Shimano Butterflies last year and did well with Tuna and Kings, although several were cut off. This year I will add a small 6” piece of wire.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:14 AM
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Thanks. Any grouper on the jigs?
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:53 PM
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No. I was fishing in deeper water and the jig would get hit pretty quick on its way down
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:15 AM
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I do very well with a small (1/2 oz or less) naked yellow jig tipped with half a big shrimp. Yellowtails in the mid-20" range.

On the bottom, guys tip their jigs with small, whole ballys as well as either whole, smaller squid, or half a big squid.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:19 AM
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Thanks Gary. Who do you normally fish with down there. Have you ever been in July?
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:51 AM
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Gary usually fishes with Yuri.
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Old Yesterday, 05:30 AM
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is the full moon a positive or a negative when fishing down there?
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Old Yesterday, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by FINLOCO View Post
is the full moon a positive or a negative when fishing down there?
I've fished the Tortugas on full moons, new moons, 3 days before and 3 days after...etc. IMO just put in your time at the rail and you'll come home with plenty of fish. Whether it be on the YC or a 6pack, I always see ppl (or friends) not put enough time in at the rail and then ask how I caught that many fish. I choose to only sleep when moving spots or in the middle of the day when it's extremely hot. Sleep on the way out to the fishing grounds and on the way home.

Full moon might mean the current is ripping so bring some decent weight and a few heavier jigs just in case. The key is being prepared and putting in time.
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Old Yesterday, 07:22 AM
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That is what I hope. I don't mind putting in the time at the rail. Last July when I booked my trip(6 pack on Majestic Seas), I didn't realize it was on the full moon. We leave on a Monday and full moon is Tuesday. Thanks for the advise.
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Old Yesterday, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by FINLOCO View Post
That is what I hope. I don't mind putting in the time at the rail. Last July when I booked my trip(6 pack on Majestic Seas), I didn't realize it was on the full moon. We leave on a Monday and full moon is Tuesday. Thanks for the advise.
I'll be honest....early on I was just so excited I would book any trip. Then I started getting picky with moon phases and have had slower days lol. It's a crap shoot IMO.

Like I said, bring some heavier weights and jigs in case the current is ripping. You may need to go shallower if it is, but just talk it out with the captain. Communication is key on these trips. I've been on a 6 pack where the captain had us shallow because of the current and I had to tell him we were all experienced Tortugas fishermen and we preferred to go deeper.

/ Lastly...a lot comes down to your captain too. He needs to put you on the fish. Never heard of Majestic Seas and not sure who your captain is, but good luck!
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Old Yesterday, 07:46 AM
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Steve Sanchez is the captain of Majestic Seas. This is one of the Andy Griffiths boats down there.
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Old Yesterday, 05:08 PM
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Fished with majestic seas last June. Came home with giant muttons, big red grouper, flag yellowtail, mangroves, dolphin, kingfish, ceros, and more. Great trip and plenty of fish. Also took us to a spot where we were able to freedive and shoot some hogs and mangos.
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Old Yesterday, 05:46 PM
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The jigs that you’ll need are as follows

hammered diamond jigs gold or silver 8-12oz

Williamson Benthos 100g whatever color you like

buck tails in 8 and 10 oz (tip with bait)

with these jigs you’ll be set to catch on traditional conventional tackle .. if slow jigging is your aim then we are talking a whole nother ball game

i haven’t fished a ton of GOM Florida boats but I’ve fished a few and Yankee Capts still has my vote as the top ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

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