I have been asked before to put a list together for two day trips I had it all on paper and finally had the time to type it. This is my minimal must bring if I can not bring anything else list for a Dry Tortugas trip or for any 48 hour trip. When you read “used” it means I actually went on a few trips and counted what I took in and what was left after my trip. These are just suggestions, you can use similar or better tackle and also cut down or adjust amounts to your preference. I just like to be over prepared. By the way Penn 4/0 reels and Shakespeare Ugly Sticks have done the job for many years for some good fishermen.
For Groupers: Accurate BX600 4:1 w/ 80 lb braid, top shot 100 lb mono on a GF850H Calstar (30 to 80 pound class rod).
For Snappers: Accurate BX600 6:1, w/ 40 lb mono on a GF800M Calstar (20 to 50 pound class rod).
Shimano Stella 8000SWPG on 300G custom Phoenix Titan Rod- My main vertical jigging rod
Saltist 4500 w/ 50 lb braid on Custom Jaws 15/30 pound test class rod – Popping, Flatlining and freelining bait for king fish
Shimano Sustain 5000 w/20 lb braid on G – Loomis live bait rod (8 to 17 pound test class rod) Bait and micro jigging
(20) 11/0 circle hooks—- for groupers –used all, lots of shark cuts when using big baits for grouper
(50) 5/0 circle hooks —–used 25
(25) 4/0 circle hooks —-used 15
(10) 3/0 circle hooks…to catch snappers for bait —-used 5
Since it is recommended to match your hook to the size of bait used, I do take a variety of hooks in other sizes, just not in large quantities.
(5) assorted bullet type jigs ( 1/2oz to 3oz) for king fish and night blackfins —-used 2
(15) Vertical jigs, Flutter jigs (5) 100gram (5) 150 gram (5) 280 gram
(5) Aki jigs (Lucanos), good for groupers, porgies, and snappers
(5) Big spoons — chrome, blue/green colors were used to get bonitos and kingfish mackerels
The weights are around this much:
(2) 1lb weights
(10) 8oz bank weights —-used 1
(10) 6oz weights — used 5
(20) 5 oz weights —- used 15
(20) 4 oz weights —–used 10
(10) 3 oz weights —— used 5 to catch bait, toothy fish cut them off
1 wheel of 25 yds each with 100lb test mono—-used most of it
2 wheels of 25 yds each with 50lb test mono—-used one wheel-used at night
2 wheels of 25 yds with 40lb test mono —used 1 wheel
1 wheel of 25 yds with 30lb flouro- used it in day time when I couldn’t get bites on regular mono
I also take extra spools of 50, 40, and 30 pound test lines in case I have to re spool a reel
I also take a small 5 foot net to catch flying fish when they approach the boat at night
Towel to keep hands dry and clean (you do not want your rod to slip when your hands have bait slime on it)
Ibuprofen – Yeah I am aging quicker now
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What setups would you suggest to put together for fishing from a private boat over Key West? We’d be focusing on reefs, and need a few setups.
One for yellowtails/mangos/average muttons/cero mackerel.
One for bait fishing big muttons, AJs, almacos, African pompano, grouper, barracudas, and sharks.
One for vertical jigging all of the species designed for the last setup, plus blackfin tuna.
Thanks for any help you can give
Hi, -For yellow tails and Mago size fish use 15 pound test mono with a 5000 or 6000 class reel and a 8 to 17 pound test class rod. 15 lb for yellow tails, 30 to 40 lb test leader for mangos and small muttons.
-For Groupers and medium : Conventional 4:1 w/ 80 lb braid, top shot 100 lb mono on a GF850H Calstar (30 to 80 pound class rod).
-For jigging any 250 gram and higher jigging rod will get all those species to the boat. Use slow pitch jigs for snappers, groupers and African pompano. AJ’s and Almacos should hit any jig. Conventional would be best, but spinning rods will work just as well. Use 50 pound braid and leader so you won’t worry about big fish lost.
Hope this helps.