Tackle Sugestions for 3 Day Dry Tortugas, FL Trips

This is my normal list for a Dry Tortugas trip. When you read “used” it means it is about what I would use on a fishing trip there. You can use similar or better tackle and also cut down in amounts. I just like to be over prepared.


Accurate BX600 4:1 w/ 80 lb braid, top shot 100 lb mono on a GF850H Calstar (30 to 80 pound class rod).            For Groupers

Accurate BX600 6:1, w/ 40 lb mono on a GF800M Calstar (20 to 50 pound class rod).                                               For Snappers

Accurate 665 6:1, w/ 30 lb mono on a 7’ custom (30 pound class).                     Backup —used for for catching gogs with sabiki and 5oz weight

Jigmaster500 backup reel-did not come out of the bag


Shimano Stella 8000SWPG on 300G Spinal Rod- My main vertical jigging rod

Shimano  Saragosa 10000F on 200G Spinal Rod – jig 150 to 250 grams jigs

Saltist 4500 w/ 50 lb braid on Chaos 15/30 pound test class rod            Popping, Flatlining and freelining bait for king fish

Daiwa Tournament SU 4500 w/15 lb braid on Gloomis live bait rod (8 to 17 pound test class rod)       Bait and light jigging


20 11/0 circle hooks—- for groupers  –used all, lots of shark cuts

20 10/0 circle hooks—- used half

50  7/0 circle hooks —-used only one

50  6/0 circle hooks —-used about 5

50 5/0 circle hooks —–used all of them

25  4/0 circle hooks —-used all of them

25 3/0 circle hooks…to catch snappers for bait —-used about 15


10 assorted red hawk jigs ( 1/2oz to 3oz) for king fish and night blackfins —-used 5

50 Vertical jigs, Flutter jigs

10 Aki jigs (Lucanos), good for groupers

Big spoons — all kinds mostly chrome, blue/green colors were used

Big plugs (red/white, blue, green bombers, etc) —used a few time to get kingfish and bonitos

Trolling lures, just in case —barely use them

The weights are around this much:

(2) 1lb weights

(5) 10 oz weights

(25) 8oz weights      —-used 5

(30) 6oz weights      — used 5

(30) 5 oz weights     —-all used

(20) 3oz weights      —–used 10

(10) 2oz weights      —–used 5

(10) 1 oz weights     —— used 1

Leader wheels

2 wheels of 25 yds each with 100lb test mono—-used one wheel

2 wheels of 25 yds each with 80lb test mono—-used one wheel

1 wheels of 25yds each of 60lb test mono

3 wheels of 25yds each with 50lb test mono—-used one wheel

1 wheel of  25 yds with 50lb flouro —-used it

3 wheels of 25 yds with 40lb test mono —used 2 wheels

1 wheel of 25yds with 30lb flouro

1wheel of 25yds with 25lb flouro —used it

1wheel of 25yds with 20lb flouro

I also take extra spools of 50, 40, and 30 pound test lines

I also take a small net to catch flying fish when they approach the boat


© 2013 http://www.cudamanadventures.com


6 thoughts on “Tackle Sugestions for 3 Day Dry Tortugas, FL Trips

  1. Cudaman, i’m going to be going on a 2 day tortugas trip with the yankee capt in november, and wanted to get your opinion on a few things:
    1. first off i have a shimano tyrnos 50 reel, and wanted to know if i should put braid on it or not? and if so, what kind?
    2. What kind of mutton rigs would you recommend? I’ve seen people use the cross swivel rig before, wanted to see if you recommend it?
    3. What kind of fish do you think we will catch the most of in late november?

  2. 80 lb braid, top shot 100 lb mono Is what I use for groupers but on a Tyrnos 50 that would yield you over a 1,000 yards. You can easily go with 100 lb braid on that reel, but I would only use it for grouper fishing with yellow tails, lane snappers, or small spanish mackerel as bait. Jerry Brown or Tuffline XP are good lines I also like Diawa Boat Braid. A smaller 40 0r 50 pound class reel would be better for mutton snappers. And take a bait rod with some sabikis size 4,6,10 will do. You will need that bait rod to catch the yellow tails as well. Fish finder rigs are the most commonly used for muttons. Main line with sliding egg sinker and a bead to stop the weight from fraying the knot and mainline tied to a 150 to 200 lb swivel then up to 10 feet of leader line. Leader for groupers 100 lb and for muttons from 30 lb in day time to 50 lb at night. If the current is ripping then switch to a bank sinker or any other flat surface sinker to prevent it from rolling in the bottom. Late November expect some groupers, mostly muttons and Yellow tails. There will be plenty king mackerels and bonitas to catch and use for bait. Good luck!

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