The Dry Tortugas is the last, great vestige of sportfishing in the northern hemisphere. This remote group of islands are surrounded by more than ten thousand square miles of fishing resources that have remained relatively untapped due to the time that it would take to cover this vast and remote area. Almost every species of fish that frequents South Florida may be taken in the waters of the Dry Tortugas.
Massive Black Grouper, monster Mutton Snapper and mammoth Red Snapper are the prime targets of this unique area. The cobalt blue waters of this region also offer up great catches of Wahoo, Sailfish, Tunas and Kingfish. We prefer to use lines of 20 or 30 pound test in the quest of these gamesters. Fishing with shy tackle contributes to more bites, therefore more fish to put in the box.
Chumming with live pilchards while fishing the jagged, deep water ledges and reefs that lie to the south of Fort Jefferson result in the great catches you see on the Carts Full of Fish page. The famous Pully’s Ridge lies northwest of the fort and the grounds of a commercial long line fishery for Yellowfin Tunas, closed by the government in the early 1960’s, lies to the west of the fort. These are some of the untapped potentials of this area.
In the waters immediately surrounding the fort, you will find some of the best shallow water, grouper and snapper fishing to be found. Full bag limits of Red Grouper are a daily occurrence along with many Mutton Snappers, big Ciro Mackerel and King Mackerel. Floating live baits while bottom fishing, Blackfin Tuna, Dolphin as well as a variety of other surface species may also be taken.
Our Expertise in the Dry Tortugas
Delph Fishing Charters and the Dry Tortugas go hand in hand. With more than twenty five years of experience fishing the Dry Tortugas, combined with over 3000 GPS way points, we know the area like no one else.
Double, triple and even quadruple hookups are common when fishing with us. We have thousands of spots and know how to fish them. This is the benefit of fishing this remote area with Delph Fishing Charters and why 80% of our trips are to the Dry Tortugas.
It is still common for us to run across a virgin area in this great expanse which really brings the fishing action. Coming across virgin ground often ignites a barrage excitement and anticipation as every one scrambles to be the first one to reach the bottom.
When you find an unspoiled area like this, the first one down gets the first strike, however, the surrounding fish do not head for cover. Any other baits or jigs in the area are in turn targeted by these denizens and everyone on board is hooked up. This is the time for those who really enjoy jigging to employ their skills as well.
A Comfortable Experience
Our Dry Tortugas fishing charters are aboard our 40′ Seahunter open fisherman, allowing you and your party to have a private experience with plenty of room to fish. The comfort of fishing aboard a 40 foot boat and not having to deal with strangers is what sets our Tortugas fishing charters apart from the rest. We do not bring separate parties on board, nor do we have cramped quarters and designated fishing placements. With Delph Fishing Charters the entire boat is yours.
We worked with Seahunter Boats, Inc. while our 40′ boat was under construction and paid close attention to every detail. We customized the boat with fishing charters in mind and made sure that it would be a comfortable, well organized and effective fishing charter vessel. We can fit parties of up to six people, easily allowing all individuals to fish simultaneously.
No need for you to bring ice, we stock all coolers with over 160lbs of ice before we depart, free of charge. Our Seahunter’s built in ice box can fit more fish that you can possibly catch. There is also a separate food and beverage cooler. At the end of the trip we will gladly help you filet your fish. We do not keep any of the days catch, its all yours.
Check out our Boats Page to read more about our charters boats. Read the specs and view more photos of our 40′ Seahunter with 3/300hp Yamaha outboard motors.
Single Day Dry Tortugas Fishing Charter
Our boats are large and fast enough to get you to the Dry Tortugas and back in the same day. Your catches will definitely fill the carts to capacity and you will get a good nights sleep on clean sheets and in quiet rooms when you get back on land. Boats that advertise that “We do not charge extra for fuel” are never seen in the Dry Tortugas. Due to the distances covered fuel costs are never the same. A flat rate charter boat will not take the risk of using more fuel than is already included in their price. Delph Fishing Charters is one of a select few charters that venture to the Dry Tortugas. We know the area and have the spots to put you on the fish.
Wreck Fishing in the Dry Tortugas
The numerous wrecks surrounding the Dry Tortugas offers an even greater variety of species. Each wreck is unique and no two wrecks are ever the same. One or more species will favor a particular wreck. One wreck will be stacked with Amberjacks in midwater with Red Grouper and Mutton Snapper on the bottom.
A completely separate wreck will favor giant Horse Eye Jacks and African Pompanos in mid water while having Black Grouper and Red Snapper on the bottom. Yet another wreck will favor Cobia, large Mangrove Snappers and Goliath Groupers. Our experience with the Dry Tortugas has proven that the combination of fish species over particular wrecks are seemingly random, however they remain consistent with time.
The variety of species offered on these wrecks is what makes wreck fishing in the Dry Tortugas so much fun. Different fishing techniques and different depths can produce different types of fish.
The really cool part about fishing these wrecks is that it is common for Wahoo, Dolphin, Kingfish and huge Barracudas to be taken as a by-catch while targeting other species. You absolutely never know what species of fish will hit your line on a particular cast and that is what makes wreck fishing in the Dry Tortugas so much fun.
Black Grouper in the Dry Tortugas
The Black Grouper tops the list of the most sought after species in the Dry Tortugas. Using our techniques and knowledge, we believe, gives you the best chance of a real giant of this species. See our Black Grouper species page of this web site or check out the photos below. Remember, we don’t take photos of every Black Grouper that our customers catch.
Black Grouper Photos
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Mutton Snapper in the Dry Tortugas
Mutton Snapper are the next most requested species. Anglers seeking to catch a Mutton in excess of 20 pounds fill our bookings during the winter and spring of each year. Again, the lighter lines and shy terminal tackle along with our knowledge and expertise enable more anglers to attain this quest each year. The quality of the fish that we take out of this area is second to none. See our Mutton Snapper species page of this web site or check out the photos below. Remember, we don’t take photos of every Mutton.
Mutton Snapper Photos
Red Snapper in the Dry Tortugas
Red Snappers are one of the most populous species in the deeper waters of the Dry Tortugas. They also have a very short harvest time, a few days during the month of June at the present time. We produce some great catches during that time frame. Currently, the I.G.F.A. world record Red Snapper was taken with us, a whopping 34 pounder, by Kevin Lockwood. Full bag limits are enjoyed by most anglers during this short season. Red Snapper are great eating and one of the most beautifully colored fish in these waters. See our Red Snapper species page of this web site or check out the photos below. Remember, we don’t take a picture of every Red Snapper we bring on the boat.
Red Snapper Photos
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Wahoo in the Dry Tortugas
While fishing the Dry Tortugas we often encounter many pelagic species including Wahoo. The Wahoo is a fast moving pelagic species that always puts up a great fight. Wahoo is superb table fare and is considered one of the most delicious eating fish species in the world. It is typically served as a steak and is also highly sought after by sushi restaurants. See our Wahoo species page of this web site or check out the photos below. Remember, we don’t take a picture of every Wahoo we land.
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Visit Fort Jefferson
Although fishing in the Dry Tortugas sounds as if it is only for the hard core and adventurous angler, we have a great adventure for the family as well. When the weather moderates during the month of April and thereafter throughout the summer and fall,you can go to Fort Jefferson and take an historic tour where you can see the sights that this famous national historic site offers, snorkel in the pristine waters around the fort, eat lunch, and still catch a mess of fish before you head home. If you take a seaplane or Ferry service to the fort, you will miss the great fishing and diving that makes these waters so famous. This trip requires special licenses that we have. We can also offer a flat rate fee for this trip.