I am traveling from the east coast to port A during the second week of feb. We are thinking of doing the 8-12hr day trips as well as a 30 hr on the dolphin and a 48 hr with capt kelly's. here are the questions
what type of rods and reels am i going to need to bring?
as well as Terminal tackle, jigs, poppers, etc
what kind of fish can we expect to encounter on the different trips?
and if anyone has some recommendations/advice it will be greatly appreciated
1. February is typically the coldest month of the year in CC. I remember from living there in the 1950's, it snowed several years betw Feb 12-14. Feb is also likely to be windy and wet. Got boots, Grundens?
2. The DDocks boats are generally slow. That's not a bad thing, just means they have to be more cautious of sudden weather changes in the GOM--less likely to make long trips. The floaters (Hoover/Diana, Boomvang, Nansen are 100 or so miles out; and, in the La Pesca or the Dolphin (9-10kt boats), that could be a 12-17 hr trip out, depending on wind and sea state. But there are hundreds of other places (rocks, reefs, rigs, wrecks) to fish.
3. One guide to the fish you'll see are the pics of the fish they have landed in Jan, Feb and Mar 1991-2007. See Dolphin Dock Inc. Currents fishing photos....
. Not a lot of pix were taken before 1999; and before then, only a few folks fished for YF or BF tuna or had the tackle or know how to land them in numbers. Also before 2000, I doubt the DD boats had the CGuard certificates required to take folks more than 100 mi offshore. So, don't be dismayed if you don't see many tuna displayed for that time. Don't recall when the Hoover/Diana was installed.
4. 50-80# tackle generally does the trick. You're better off bringing your own rigs if you have them. The boat will provide hooks, leaders, sinkers, bait.They may even sell you artificials, but better to bring your own if you're going to go that way--but, I'm not so sure that does much for you in Feb.
5. If you particularly like AJ or grouper fishing, it's nice to have a 130# rig to pull them off structure before they can wrap you up. And, you may want to bring a couple of 2-3 lb sinkers for such a rig, because the currents may be strong. Typically, you can take about as much of your own tackle as you want; but, there's no good place to stow extra rigs. You have to improvise (e.g., milk crates w/ rocket launchers or lean it up against the walls toward the back and the end of the benches on the Dolphin or La Pesca).