Im finally going to get serious and buy my own set ups and I
would appreciate a little critique from all you salts that
smell like fish and have cut up hands.
I need 30# and 50# conventional setups.
Ill be Florida Gulf bottom fishing with cut squid and sardines for
grouper and snapper. 6 to 8 oz. egg sinker above a swivel, a leader
with a bare hook. I find its better to keep it simple in the Gulf
when your time is short and your talent is limited.
Also working for Ajs and kings.
Minimal jigging and even less casting (none).
Figure to spend about $2000.
Here is what Im thinking:
30# setup - $848.53
Accurate 870 22oz 6:1/3:1 400 yds 50# spectra with 100+ yds 30# topshot $559.99
Calstar GFGR700MH 7' 8 Fuji 30-60# $288.54
50# setup - $1092.58
Accurate Boss B2-30 Spectra Spooling 300 yds 80# spectra with 50# topshot $629.98
Calstar GFTR765M 6'6" 7 AFTCO Roller 40-100# $462.60
Ill be using the 50# setup for deep drops and Ajs.
That should keep the Ajs from beating me up.
Figure the 30# will get 80% use.
Also your thoughts for cheap back up reels between Diawa Saltist and Newell or ?
That is excellent. I couldn't surpass that. Great times to be had , have a great time amigo!!!
Ice--If money is no object, I think those are fine choices. However, those outfits are overkill for what you are doing.
For you 30# snapper rig, I would go with a saltist. All the power you ever need. If you are doing the long range head boats I would buy a glass rod instead of the grafighter. Glass rods can be banged around. A 670 Seeker or Calstar glass rod would be perfect. Paired up to the Saltist and you are ready to go for under $400.00
As for the big rig, I do not think you need to go that big and heavy. Better choice for me would be the Avet HX 5/2. Much lighter weight and can easily handle 50/60. You could pair it to a glass Calstar rod and be on your way for around $650.00. Just make sure you order the avet before Sept.1 and the price increase.
It is not that I do not like Accurates. I have two and they are unbelievable reels. The 870 and 665 two speeds are techincal masterpieces. I am just not sure you need them for the fishing you are doing.
Have you played with those rods? I think I'd go with a 700M for 30# and a 765ML for 50#.
Ive always used the boat's equipment.
I used to do mainly 6 packs so the
equipment was pretty good.
Now I'm only doing 2 or 4 day party boat charters.
Their equipment is always decent but has
had heavy use.
It seems like me and the cook are the only ones using the boat's equipment.
@ MarkT Have you played with those rods?
I really know my walleye fishing equipment.
45 years experience and a couple of years as a wilderness fishing guide.
Until I started looking to buy saltwater fishing gear, seeker and calstar might as well be a clothing line to me. I'm depending on you to help me make the right choices. I know I could really screw this up. At first I was gonna buy a Penn 30VSW Reel /standup combo for 30# setup and a Penn 50VSW Reel /standup combo for 50# setup. Now I know that would be way overkill.
Anyways it sounds like you would prefer a notch softer rod. Would I be giving up anything for feeling the bite. Bottom fishing walleyes stiff at the tip is a good thing.I'm thinking for actually fighting the fish there wouldn't be a noticeable difference. Are you thinking the softer rod would be better for casting?
@FLLR Ice--If money is no object, I think those are fine choices. However, those outfits are overkill for what you are doing.
Im 55 years old and Ive found with most fishing and hunting equipment you really can't go wrong
buying better (more expensive) equipment. I own 9 shotguns but I only use my $2400 Browning. My $300 Stoger kills pheasants just as dead but is heavier and slower to the point.
I think what Your saying is the Accurate Boss B2-30 would be better suited for big tuna and sharks.That's a good point, I bought a Avet HX 5/2 today. So Ive taken care of the 50# reel anyway. Thanks for the heads up.This message has been edited. Last edited by: icestar,
The boat I'm doing my 4 day out of Key West this year posts updates on noreast.com.
They fish mostly cod off New England through the summer. On a recent trip they had trouble with the blues. Blue Sharks.
I suppose if this happened on a SoCal trip that shark would be in the boat in a matter of minuets.
At least he kept his lure
Enjoyed the pictures! On the gear, good selections on your part and valid suggestions from the guys, too. There's quite a range of great gear to consider, so pick things you'll enjoy now and look to the future applications as well. It's a long term investment, they'll last a lot longer than most guys cars or trucks.
I've noticed from various boards that guys bottom fishing for snapper/grouper seem to like really stiff rods that are way overkill for the line thy're using. Not sure why but a 700M is not a soft 30# rod. It's a 30# tuna stick and lots of folks use it for 40# too. The 700MH is more of a 'real' 40# rod but if you want a 30# rod that doesn't bend much it may be your best bet.
Sounds like you're using the Yankee Capts out of Key West. Have fished that boat with Capt Greg several times -- good bunch of anglers and crew
Here's what I'll tell you based on the trips my friends and I have done.
1. You want longer rods, not shorter. This is an "Up & Down" fight, not a horizontal fight, so the long, 8' rods give your line clearance from the boat's running gear and bottom. Of course, not that I've ever lost a fish to that!
2. Reels are fine, though a little overkill. Just remember, Capt Greg and the other anglers will get pissed real quick if you're fishing braid, so make sure you have long mono top-shots. You'll find a wide range of stuff on the boat, though for my money, I'd get a Daiwa Saltiga 40 for my light rig (30 or 40lb) and a Penn 113HN Baja Special for my 50lb rig. I use the Saltist 40 for 30lbs, a modified 113H (topless Tiburon frame, 4.0:1 Gears, and a T-bar light handle) as my 40lb rig for snapper. My 113HN Baja Special and a modified Shimano TLD 20II are my 50lb rigs.
3. Rods. I have a Seeker 670 for my 30lb. A custom 40lb stick from Biscayne Rods Co. and a Crowder LB 80H (a cut down Calstsr 900 Grafighter for my 50lbs rod.
The Crowder LB 80M is a great 30-40lb stick as well. Save money and skip the roller guides -- no need.
If you have any other Q's, ask away.
Tom in Tampa
A couple of things I miss when using the boats equipment is feeling a soft bite of a mangrove or realizing I got a big grouper on in time to turn him.
I thought a stiffer rod would be a better feel.
One thing that is hard for a freshwater fisherman to understand is 30# is light tackle to you guys.
I wont try to out think this, Ill get a rod that matches the line I'm fishing exactly. I certainly want the rod to do a lot of the hard work.
Your right about Yankee Capts.
BTW Love Tampa / Hate the #@%$^ traffic though.
Hard to get from A to B in Tampa
My fav partyboat is Viking out of Tarpon Springs.
Their 44 hr Middle Grounds is the best.
Wanted to do Key West though, never been there.
Actually their 4 day is cheaper than Vikings 4 day too.
From what Ive read live bait is the key to a good trip on Yankee.
I had figured to go with 7' rods.Ive figured out that the standup fishing I'm doing doesn't require rollers. Seems like rod choice becomes limited at 8' 50# and I feel better with the airline handlers at 7'. Anybody have any thoughts on airlines? I can see the advantages of an 8'. Crowder has a good selection too.
Also, I see you bring a 30# setup
A 40# for snappers.
A 50# I figure for groupers/AJs.
What is the 30 used for? Don't believe you use a Seeker 670 for porgies and grunts.
Damn you don't get me thinking I need a 40# too.
I was thinking a third set up would be a 80/100
I bring a 30lbs rig for when the Yellowtail Snapper show up -- and they generally do! Best eating around...
The key to bait is not live bait on the Yankee Capt's trips -- they don't have a livewell, you have to bring your own set up which is very awkward. The key is FRESH bait. We drive down and stop at several baitshops along the way and buy fresh ballyhoo and goggle eyes. We keep them on ice -- never frozen. Our last stop is at No Name Bridge off Big Pine Key and sabiki up fresh Pinfish mmmmmm good!
No need for an 80/100 rig at all. I bring 4 rods: a 30, 40, and 50 conventional. The fourth rig is a 20lbs spinner on a 7' rod for special situations like kingfish, sailfish, ... should they show up.
From some other blogs I've read, some people bring 120 gallon coolers converted to live wells with car batteries to run the pumps. This is a 4 day trip that goes out at 10 pm so I'm thinking by the third day fresh meat would be mushy.
I think they plan on bait fishing during the trip.
Could be wrong on that though.
I was thinking a $25 bubbler on a 30 gallon cooler would be worth it. Am i wasting my time on that?
You think fresh deadbait works just fine. Cut up or whole? Sure would make things a lot simpler than trying to maintain a livewell.
About your 40# setup Ive always thought that 1 in 10 Red Snapper are worthy of big grouper gear. Ive never seen a Mutton Snapper before. Do they size up like Reds? Every big Red I ever caught has been out of season
If I were to stop along the way to get pins Id have to buy a license wouldn't I.
Sounds like the 20# spinner for kings and sail would be for casting top water lures. Seems like that might be a little crazy on a full party boat. 20 sounds too light for sails but most certainly fun.
Damn I'm ready to go right now but I still got a full hunting season in front of me.
IceThis message has been edited. Last edited by: icestar,
I asked the captain of YankeeCapts about rod length and live bait and this was his response.
1.) I would use ALL 8 foot rods. Given the platform your fishing from it is the only realistic choice.
2.)Do we fish for live bait during the trip?
All my anglers use fresh dead. You can catch stuff during the trip. Kingfish was a great bait last year. Also get a few sabiki rigs to use during the trip.
Also read this-
Bait. Contrary to popular belief, what you have on the end of your hook is not as important as how it is presented to the fish you are trying to catch. Before anything, a bait has to look natural. Whether it is natural or not is actually secondary. Presentation is paramount to type of bait. Any type of fresh bait will catch fish if fished correctly. Keep this in mind at all times.
Moving right along, you find yourself in need of some bait for the trip. Worry not, the boat does provide bait for you to use. Your choices are usually squid, ballyhoo, and/or frozen goggle eyes. Again, boat bait works fine.
If you do find the need to add to your bait arsenal, there are several ways to approach the issue. It never hurts to have some fresh bait to fish with. With dozens of lines in the water, a fresh bait just might strike the fancy of that pool-winning fish.
Many anglers are simply too busy or do not have the facilities to catch bait on their own. The easiest options are (1) Stop by one of the myriad bait shops in the Keys or (2) There are several commercial fishermen in South Florida and the Keys who catch goggle eyes and the like and are more than willing to sell them to an ambitious Dry Tortugas angler. They are worth the pretty penny they occasionally fetch.
Since the theme is fishing, and a fishing adventure at that, many anglers with a little patience and some time opt to catch their own bait on the way down to the Keys. The bridges of the Keys cross some of the most fertile waters in the world. It should come as no surprise that all that bait you might need is often just a cast away. Almost all of the bridges on the Overseas Highway hold small fish that can be used as bait. Species such as ballyhoo, pinfish, threadfin herring, and scaled sardines are the main ones that come to mind. The exact species and the amount vary according to weather and season, but there is almost always something to catch as bait. Do keep in mind the local size and limit regulations for all species you are likely to catch.
Fish such as pinfish and small porgies and grunts tend to live in shallower water and on and near grass flats. To target these species, find a bridge/area with access to grass flats and shallow channels. Most bridges in the keys, such as Niles Channel bridge, are like this. Next, simply deploy a chum bag on the downside of the current near the channel edge and start to fish small pieces of squid or shrimp on a small weight. Make sure that you can hold bottom. Soon, you should start to catch pinfish and other small species.
If you aim to catch other types of bait, they are more hit and miss. Ballyhoo, herring, and scaled sardines are more migratory and move from bridge to bridge. They can be found with some effort. The best way to find these is to walk up and down a bridge such as Channel 2, Long Key bridge, or Niles Channel with a sabiki rig and a good pair of glasses. Keep an eye out for any sort of surface movement such as explosions or diving birds. Cast the rig up and down the bridge and you should catch them if they are there. If you do note bait but it is too far out, try deploying a chum bag on the down current side of the bridge. This many times draws the baitfish into range to catch.
This information should have you catching bait in no time. Also, don’t forget that you can use fish you catch on the boat as bait. King Mackerel, jacks, grunts, and porgies are readily caught on the boat and make great fresh chunk baits.
Yes, some folks go through extrodinary measures to put a temp/mobile livewell on the Yankee Capts -- but it's A LOT OF WORK and not much return.
The key again is FRESH BAIT -- either ballyhoo or goggle eyes. You can buy these baits at tackle shops in the Keys, put them in a Ziploc Freezer bag and then in your cooler. You can usually pick through your baits, selecting those with clear eyes and a bit of orange in the fins. Goggle Eyes (a scad) are a little tougher to acquire. You place an order (there's a phone # for Capt Jerry on the Yankee Capts) with a captain and he will keep yours on ice (if he's successful.).
The baits are fished as chunks, not whole. I get two baits from one ballyhoo and 3-4 out of a Goggle Eye.
Muttons Snapper are a tough fish. While Red Snapper are up in the water colomn, Muttons hang right on the bottom. 40lbs tackle is sufficient with a 40 or 50lb floro leader.
Fishing from shore/bridge/pier in FL doesn't require a license -- if you're a resident. However, I've never seen a FWC officer check anynoe on a pier/bridge/beach -- there are just too many anglers.
The 20lbs spinner is perfect for boat fishing with a 50lb mono leader and 12" trace of #5 wire.
i'm no expert at all but i use a seeker 6470 with an avet LX for 40# when snapper fishing. I love it. BTW i use straight mono.
my 50# is a 113h on a penn senator, old school and reliable, but maybe not what your after.
thanks for the info no these trips. i have thought about taking one one of these years soon.
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