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Old 26-03-2020, 09:20   #16
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Re: Dry Tortugas?

Apparently Marquesas Keys are in a separate entity, Key West National Wildlife Refuge. Don't know if it makes practical difference.

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Old 26-03-2020, 09:37   #17
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Re: Dry Tortugas?

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I was anchored in Fort Jeff last February (no fishing). Had a pair of Goliath Grouper come up to the boat and hang for a while. Man, they were big fish - probably close to 5-feet long and 250 lbs I'd reckon. Slow, lethargic fish that would be easy prey for anyone with a spear gun and thus have been protected throughout Florida for a long time.



While anchoring isn't likely to draw attention even if it's not currently permitted, fishing in the wrong parts of the Key's will get you in serious trouble. Relevant LEOs will definitely make the effort to enforce if you're discovered.



Peter
Yes, those two Goliath Grouper have been there for decades. Sure would be sad if anyone caught them.

However, there are areas where you can fish recreationally with the proper permits. Details at link below:

https://www.nps.gov/drto/planyourvis...al-fishing.htm
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Old 26-03-2020, 09:46   #18
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Re: Dry Tortugas?

Those groupers up close looked the size of an 8ft dinghy. Still got those pics somewhere.
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Old 26-03-2020, 10:35   #19
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Re: Dry Tortugas?

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Those groupers up close looked the size of an 8ft dinghy. Still got those pics somewhere.
I was rowing ashore years ago in an 8' dink and they sure looked about as big. I put my hand in water and gave it quick wiggle, like a fish flapping its tail and they made a quick turn towards my hand...my reflexes proved to be plenty fast!
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Old 26-03-2020, 10:49   #20
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Re: Dry Tortugas?

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Yes, those two Goliath Grouper have been there for decades. Sure would be sad if anyone caught them.
That is so cool that they've been around for long enough that folks know them. Thanks - more incentive to return
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Old 26-03-2020, 11:24   #21
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Re: Dry Tortugas?

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That is so cool that they've been around for long enough that folks know them. Thanks - more incentive to return
Just looked up their lifespan. Its up to about 37 years. If its the same two then they are getting old now!
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Old 26-03-2020, 11:32   #22
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Re: Dry Tortugas?

It was murky when we were there anchored right by the fort where the seaplanes land and where the fast boat docks.
Get in the water to clean your prop, one of the Jew Fish will show up with its mouth wide open like it’s going to eat you.
There is also at least one that lives on the old wreck in the park too. There is a mooring that your only supposed to stay in for a few hours at that wreck, but the whole tim ewe were there this large power yacht was tied to it, so we couldn’t dive there.
Jew fish is what the were called until the more political name came about. Just like Mahi Mahi were called Dolphins, but the People from NY and NJ wouldn’t order and eat them, cause they didn’t want to eat flipper.
Anyway they are pretty common, several used to live in the “wrecks” at Panama City where you dive. During their mating season they made a very deep thumping sound, you can’t tell where it’s coming from and it took awhile for me to ensure they were making it.
Groupers as a whole are very much predators, honestly as much as sharks are, and a big Jew fish could maybe eat a person, but I have never heard of one being aggressive to a person.
There are videos of them eating fish taken by fishermen and even a shark or two, get the fish or shark up close to the boat and out of the deep this monster comes up and eats it.

They are getting so plentiful there keeps being talk of allowing them to be fished again, apparently they eat just about anything to include several species of sportfish.
They are not just old regular groupers that get large with age as we used to think, they are a whole separate species
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