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Old 03-04-2019, 04:28 AM   #1
NativeSalt
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Bahamas or Tortugas ?

Wife and I are planning a trip to either Tortugas or Bahamas in June not sure where we wanna go? We will be wanting to primitively camp and do a lot of spearfishing and rod and real. Plan is to either trailer to Jupiter inlet and shoot over to west end or down to Key west and over to Tortugas. If there is anyone who has done both trips advice and pointers really just wanting to know where the better fish are. I already know there is nothing in tortugas as far as supplies and I already know pole spear only in Bahamas Iíll just get that out the way lol.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:14 AM   #2
grey2112
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

I've visited the Bahamas years ago (no diving) and have been to the Tortugas (snorkeling and tourist-ing). I'd personally prefer to to the Tortugas, since you can do some great fishing, spearing (with spearguns, which you can't do in the Bahamas), and a really fun experience - plus you are still in the United States, and I can't think of a cooler place to camp out overnight.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:46 AM   #3
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

Awesome thanks for response 😎🤙🏼
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:46 AM   #4
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

I use to go to Cat Cay, refuel and head south. I quit going. Check out the costs of fuel, ice, bait, fishing permit etc.. Check on bringing back fish rules. Pole spear or Hawaiian sling and no scuba tanks for spearing. No trigger devices for spearing. The Defense Force that boards you wanting free booze and smokes after checking your paperwork. Weren't happy with me. I don't do either. Got boarded twice in one day by the same guys. Maybe, the locals have a better attitude now. I went in a 25' boat. So, I bought everything vs. a big self sustained yacht. Have gone to the Tortugas several time on the charter boat Playmate. Max. is 11 divers. The Ultimate Get Away takes about 20. You could go on one of those first to get a feel of the Tortugas. Before, going on your own boat. The costs will be less than Bahamas. You can scuba and spear gun as Eric mentioned. A float plane goes to Fort Jefferson about everyday. Thinking about a medical emergency and getting to a good hospital. Next, either place you have to find the fish. CMOR and other companies have great fish maps of the Tortugas. The fort has park rangers and USCG is nearby to assist in emergencies and communications. Other boaters and campers too. In the Bahamas, I was 95% on my own. I didn't go back to a marina at night. Anchored close to a small island or reef cropping at night. To blend in. Never know whose out there looking for an opportunity. My choice is the Dry Tortugas. Best of all your in US waters under US laws and spending your money in the USA. Just my experience and opinion.

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Old 03-04-2019, 11:06 AM   #5
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

Here is where the wife and I did and trip to the west end a couple of years ago and it was great. http://www.bootlebayfishinglodge.com/

Vida is a great guy and you will be comfortable and safe. Rooms are clean and affordable. The staff is all family and while the amenities are slim the food is great and ac is cold.

No worries on security of your boat or gear. There is a very friendly gentleman that sleeps during the day and watches over all the boats at night. Hell, after the first night I left all my gear and electronics on the boat with zero concerns.
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:02 PM   #6
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

Thank you guys for the info much appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:16 PM   #7
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

The island is under a travel warning. Beware if you go there.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:54 AM   #8
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

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Originally Posted by searaydiver View Post
The island is under a travel warning. Beware if you go there.
Way scarier places in the US. Warnings apply to drunken coeds visiting unsecure party zones outside of the normal tourist spots.

When you check in you can follow the rules and keep firearms and ammo on your vessel as long as it is declared. When we go it's not in areas where there would be trouble or concerns. The traversing fishing crowd is treated very well. They bring the $$$$$$ and avoid areas and behavior that invite problems.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:46 PM   #9
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

There is no better place to camp than the Tortugas. The night sky is unbelievable. You can see the Milky Way (I think that is what it is - if not, still damn cool).
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:11 AM   #10
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

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There is no better place to camp than the Tortugas. The night sky is unbelievable. You can see the Milky Way (I think that is what it is - if not, still damn cool).
Bugs? I'm plenty used to camping on the boat but it needs to anchored far enough offshore to make sure there is no bugs.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:19 AM   #11
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

Never had a bug issue in 3 times there. On the other hand, the MASSIVE hermit crabs (as large as a fist) are creepy.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:27 AM   #12
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Re: Bahamas or Tortugas ?

Funny story - My first time there, I camped with my daughter, who was about 8. Ferry leaves and it is just us and another family. We are in a giant tent. It is just the two of us and we could put all our gear in the tent and still had plenty of room. Behind the next tree stand is the other family and they are not well prepared - 6 people but a four man tent, small cooler, etc... Around 10:30 the father scolds the kids to behave and go to sleep. The mom is not happy and they have a mild argument. Dad tells his boys that they need to behave "like that little girl in the other tent". The mom chimes in that that maybe they would if they could blow off energy and ride their bikes in the tent like the little girl could. And she was not far off. To this day we still laugh about trying to ride a bike in that tent.
Also learned...if you put apples in the cooler with dry ice, they get "fizzy". And we still do that to this day.
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