Items that are provided for your trip Items you will need to bring
Crushed ice Rods, reels and terminal tackle
Bait (includes chum, thread herring and squid) Rags for wiping hands
Gaff, chum bags Fishing pliers, bait/fillet knifes
Ice/Fish boxes, bait freezer Coolers for food/drinks/fish
Live well Polarized sunglasses
Cast net Sunscreen, rain gear
Clean sheets for the bunks Pillows, blankets
All cooking pots, pans, serving dishes Personal items, towels
Salt, pepper, most spices Sea sickness medicine
Toilet paper Change of clothes
Dish and hand soap Paper towels (at least 3 rolls)
Coffee, creamer, sugar Zip-Loc bags (for fillets)
Paper plates, plastic cups
Plastic forks, spoons, knives
Drinks (water, beer, soda)
DIRECTIONS TO THE BOAT
Pay attention to the mile marker signs heading South on highway US1. After passing mile marker 6, start
paying close attention. You will pass a Shell gas station on your right hand side around mile marker 5 1/2.
You will then pass a blinking caution light, get in the left lane and SLOW DOWN. Look for a Burger
King hidden off to the left. Make an immediate left after the closed down Burger King. At the stop sign, go
straight. You are on Fifth Street. Continue on to the next stop sign and you will be at a four way intersection
of Fifth Street and Fifth Ave., make a left. Make the next right onto Shrimp road, after passing Bernstein Park on
your right. Take Shrimp road down about 1/10 of a mile past the park on the right and apartment
buildings on the left. Right after passing the apartment buildings, turn left onto Boat Yard Row road. In
about 150 yards turn right on to the Perry Hotel parking lot and go straight to the (North) sea wall. Boat is
located down the ramp on floating dock A which runs parallel with the back of Perry Hotel and the
West sea wall.
Keep an eye on the wind forecast 2-3 days before your fishing trip. Please call us 1-3 days
before the trip to verify there are no issues with the weather and your trip is still on. Generally,
we need at least 1 descent fishing day, winds <20 kts. to put a decent fishing trip together. We
normally cancel a trip if the winds are forecasted to be greater than 25 kts. o n the main fishing
Check the weather sources provided in the links below, and if it looks like it might be bumpy, be
prepared. Sea sickness medication is highly recommended. Most effective is either a Transderm
Scop patch available from your doctor with a prescription or Meclizine pills (non drowsy
Dramamine or Bonine) . Both work well for most people.
Other over the counter and natural remedies do not work as well. You do not want to be seasick
on a boat for 3 days!
NOAA marine weather forecast for Dry Tortugas
PARKING AND LOADING ON THE BOAT
Park along the North seawall of Perry Hotel parking lot for loading/unloading. Use the hand
carts and wheelbarrows on the floating dock A (the dock down the ramp in back of Perry Hotel)
for transporting your gear to the boat, which is located on the same dock.
20 MINUTE ONLY parking is allowed along the North seawall WHILE LOADING AND UNLOADING
ONLY. Please park at one of the designated hotel parking spaces DURING DAYTIME HOURS ONLY.
IMPORTANT: You will need to get a marina parking pass from the Perry Hotel consierge
to park overnight at the designated marina parking lots (A and B). If your vehicle is left overnight
along the seawall or at the Perry Hotel parking lot it will be towed! Please make sure you are
parked at the correct lot with a parking pass visible on your dash from the outside before your
The captain or crew member will show you where and how to stow all your gear on the vessel.
PLEASE DO NOT PLACE YOUR GEAR ON THE VESSEL BEFORE OK'D BY THE
PACKING FOR THE TRIP
IMPORTANT: Please keep all your fishing and personal gear to a minimum . The catamaran is
roomy, but is weight sensitive, and there is a load limit. Bulky and especially heavy items such
as large tackle boxes, hoop nets, large coolers and lead sinkers not only reduce boat performance
and safety, but also get in the way when fishing Too gear also makes it hard for the crew to do their job.
This is important, so please advise all anglers in the group to pack light! We have plenty of tackle and
other items on board if someone runs out of anything. If something is not on this list at the top of this page,
it is best be left behind. Metal ammo boxes are not allowed on board. Best container for sinkers is some
type of canvas or nylon linesman bucket, such as can be found here: Duckwear Canvas Tool Bag.
Limit your rods to 5 per person, please. Do not bring more than 2 trolling rods, and advise us in
advance if you would like to bring your own electric reels.
Stow all the heavier items, such as cases of water, beer, soda, lead sinkers etc. toward the
forward part and starboard side of the cabin.
COOKING AND FOOD/DRINKS:
Aboard our vessel is a fully equipped galley which includes a stove , microwave, toaster oven
and a grill. We can prepare just about anything you could have at home. If the weather allows,
the captain w ill be happy to cook breakfast and dinner for the group, anything you would like.
There is nothing like enjoying freshly caught and prepared fish fillets right on the water. If the
weather forecast is windy, pre - made or easily prepared foods are recommended. Please notify
the captain of your food preparation intentions and needs in advance.
For breakfast, most people bring eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, cereal, bagels, etc.
For lunch sandwiches are always good as well as chips, fruit, vegetables, or other snacks. Don't
forget the condiments- ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.
Dinner may include freshly caught fish or other seafood at least one of the nights. Pre-made or
frozen meals such as lasagna, fried or roasted chicken, roast pork, pizza, are all easy and make a
great meal. For sides try rice, pastas, beans, potatoes or other veggies. We can also grill up hot
dogs, hamburgers or steaks.
SUGGESTED FISHING TACKLE (for each person):
Our fishing rods and terminal tackle are available free of charge, and will include everything you
need for fishing in the Tortugas. Please let us know ahead of time if you would like to use our tackle.
For those that would like to bring their own fishing gear, here is what we recommend:
The 5 types of rods listed below will cover all Tortugas fishing conditions you might encounter.
Limit your number of rods to 5 per person during the trip, please!
If shopping for a new reel for the trip, look for 4 or 5:1 retrieve ratio, or a 2 speed is ideal. The
extra torque of the lower gear reel will really help when you hook into a large fish. Top of the
line reels for conventional bottom fishing are Daiwa Saltist, Shimano Talica 2 speed Okuma
Makaira 2 speed, and Accurate Boss 2 speed. More affordable reels that are also excellent are
Daiwa Saltist, Avets, Penn Special Senator 113 H2, etc. When purchasing rods for these, look
for all graphite 6'-7' med/heavy rods. No roller guides, which are heavy, bulky and mostly used
on trolling rods. There are many rod choices. Shimano Trevala or Terez or similar, or most rods
made by Black Hole are sensitive, strong and light to hold all day without fatigue, which you
will appreciate after 3 days of fishing.
Many people bring spinning rods that are too light for the type of fishing we will be doing.
Your spinning reels should be 25 -30 lb. mono-filament class rod/reels. Yes, even for yellowtail
snapper! It is very important not to use braided line on spinning outfits you will use for
free-lining snappers (because unlike mono-filament, it floats and therefore has different bait
presentation), use mono-filament only!! For jigging with spinning rods, braid line is preferred,
with a 6-10' mono-filament leader, 65-80 lb. class.
You could easily get away with using only one 50 lb. bottom rod and one 20-30 lb. spinner, for
all fishing on our boat. But if you want to cover absolutely all bases, this is what we suggest:
1 conventional bottom rod, 50 lb. test mono-filament
1 deep water/heavy current/ backup conventional bottom rod, 65 lb. braid line
1 heavy spinning rod, 30 lb. test mono-filament
1 med/heavy. spinning rod, 20-25 lb. test mono-filament as a backup and for catching bait.
1 extra heavy bottom rod, 80-100 lb. test for large black grouper, sharks, Goliath grouper, etc.
You should only have 1 or 2 of this class rods down (fishing) at a time, preferably with larger
Metal butterfly and slow pitch jigs usually work much better than bucktails, but require
specialized gear (rods and reels). 100-200 gm. for water up to 300' Larger sizes can be used for
deep dropping in greater depths.
We mostly use 6 or 8 oz. egg sinkers during the trip. 12-16 oz. bank sinkers can also be used
for heavier currents with a 3 way swivel dropper rig. Please avoid bringing more lead than is
suggested here! We highly recommend a compartmentalized canvas or nylon linesman bag to carry
your sinkers because they will not mark or tear up the boat, they do not slide or roll around in heavy seas,
they are compact, sturdy and corrosion proof and the sinkers are fast and easy to access. The best sinker
carrying and storage bag for the Tortugas we found can be ordered here: Duckwear Canvas Tool Bag.
SINKER SIZE QTY:
16 oz. - 4
12 oz. - 6
8 oz. - 10
6 oz. - 10
4 oz. - 6
Whichever brand of hooks you choose, most important feature of the hooks that are intended for
the Tortugas is they need to be very strong (heavy wire, 2X or 3X strong) . There will be many
opportunities both intentional and unintentional of hooking into big, strong fish. We see many light
wire hooks (such as used inshore) bent out or break resulting in a lost fish. Non stainless, non offset circle
hooks are now required for fishing all waters around the Dry Tortugas. Smaller hooks than what is
recommended on the next page can be used to catch bait. We have plenty of hooks on the boat,
you are welcome to use them if you run out. Don’t forget to bring some sabiki rigs to catch live
bait. Med. sized iridescent fish skin type sabikis without the glow bead will work the best.
HOOK SIZE QTY:
4/0 - 25
6/0 - 25
7/0 - 5 0
8/0 - 20
30 lb. mono-filament
50 lb. mono-filament
80 lb. mono-filament
65 or 80 lb. braid
AFTER THE TRIP
If the captain worked hard and did a satisfactory job, do not forget to tip! Customary tip is
10-15% of the cost of the trip.
Please tidy up the back deck on the way in and throw away any garbage. Unload your personal
gear as soon as the boat is docked . The captain or crew will help you to unload the fish into 20
gal. plastic cans.
Excellent fish cleaning facilities are provided for your use at our dock when
you return from your fishing trip. 12' fillet table will accommodate up to 4 people. Large, airy
sun roof will keep the sun and rain off your back.
When unloading your gear and while cleaning fish, keep the center walkway clear for other marina guests.
All fish carcasses need to be placed in trash cans provided. Do not throw anything in the water. Leave all
garbage including empty drink containers on the boat, and do not mix any garbage with the fish remains!
Please be courteous and clean up the dock and table after you are finished. If you would like to take a
shower before heading home, ask the captain for marina shower facilities door unlock code.
We have a commercial chamber vacuum sealing machine for your use. Vacuum sealed fish
fillets will be of fresher quality and will last 3-4 times longer in the freezer! This vacuum sealing
machine uses any regular polyethylene bags up to 10" wide. We have 10" x 15" and also 10" x
8" bags. Each vacuum cycle takes about 45 sec. A $20 donation will be appreciated to cover
the cost of the bags and the machine. The captain or the mate will show you how easy it is to
operate the vacuum sealer.
For those that are lacking fish filleting skills, or motivation to clean fish, a professional fish
cutter can be made available after the trip.
Here are some additional tips to help both you and us to have a fun, easy and
productive fishing trip:
Try to unload your gear no earlier than 1 hour before your departure . Gear on the dock
or the boat before the designated loading time makes it difficult for the cleaning crew and
the captain to do their work and preparations.
Have confidence in and be respectful to your captain. Ask questions if you do not
understand anything or if you need some help. Follow his/her advice and directions, be
attentive and clean up after yourself! Communication and courtesy is the key to develop a
good relationship with the captain and with other passengers on board during the trip.
Pay attention to the safety briefing and make sure you are familiar with the location of all
Compact all garbage, especially aluminum cans and water bottles and throw away all
trash. It is important to also throw away into the garbage cans and not onto the deck all fishing
line and all line cut off tag ends. Fishing line trimmings on the deck will make their way into
the bilges and can cause bilge pump malfunctions.
Wash the back deck regularly and immediately after catching a fish with the salt water
hose provided. Dried chum or fish blood makes it extremely difficult and time
consuming to remove. It only takes a few seconds to hose down fresh blood and chum .
Pick up the chum bags out of the water and place on the deck in between moves.
Do not leave the rods in the rod holders on the side of the back deck where the anchor line
is being towed , move them to the opposite side.
Keep the rods not being used either in the rod holders or in the overhead racks . Do not
store on the deck or inside the cabin.
Notify the captain if you need ice for any drink, food or fish coolers.
Do not climb onto the gunnels, or climb to the wheel house while the boat is underway !
Ask the captain ahead of time if you would like help preparing breakfast or dinner.
He/ s he will be happy to cook or prepare breakfast or dinner for you.
Follow all fishing regulations. If you are not sure of what they are, please ask the
Use a dedicated fish measuring ruler provided , not any other measuring devices.
Non stainless circle hooks are now required in all waters around the Dry Tortugas while fishing
natural bait only.
If you run out of any supplies or forget any items , please ask the captain. Often we can
provide the missing items for you.
Heavy drinking the night before the trip is strongly discouraged, especially if the weather
forecast is windy. For your own safety do not overindulge with alcohol during the trip.
If there is any chance of becoming sea sick, taking sea sickness medication before the
trip is always a great idea. We recommend Meclizine or a Scopolamine patch.
Fishing on side gunnels or on the bow is allowed in light to moderate sea conditions,
however there is no wash down hose there. Take a bucket and a wet rag with you in to
immediately clean up any fish or bait blood.