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eamakatu

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1,001
Reply with quote  #1 

How far out of John's pass do you have to go to find a reef or structure?  I'm in a small boat so I want to hit the closest reef, any size,  any depth.  


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kodiak

Registered: 04/14/06
Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #2 
Treasure island reef and madeira beach reef are the closest.
grouperADDICT

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Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 123
Reply with quote  #3 

Try the betty rose barge. Went there last week and it was loaded with LARGE kingfish, grouper, snapper, and spanish macks! It is 13 miles due west out of Johns pass.


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kingfishingirl

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 982
Reply with quote  #4 

Roughly a mile south of Betty Rose is South County reef... great place to get bait and if you get there early before all the divers, bait for kingfish. Troll from south county reef to Betty Rose or around South County reef.. there are kingfish and large mackerellies... Or, bottom fish, again before the divers show up, but put out blue runners on flat lines, you are sure to find a king or two. If you are lucky, because it's still early early fall, you might get a gag. Plenty of short reds to catch in that area. Again, might catch a keeper red or two...


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mneal

Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 279
Reply with quote  #5 
You said "small boat"   , what is "small"?    I have a 17 CC and have been ~14 miles out off homosassa on dead calm day with 2 other boats.  Around here I run to TI reef, that is about it, everyone's definition of small boat is different.   Like anything, you gotta pick your days.    Worst conditions I have experienced in little boat were coming in Pass-A-Grill one afternoon. 

Don't forget the migration reefs, they are just off the beach too. 

eaglesfanguy

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Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 1,732
Reply with quote  #6 
Go to T.A Mahoney's.. get  some charts. There amazing. Theres reefs and stuff inside Tampa bay that hold massive fish.
 Top Spot maps no. N205 is good
 And then get Chart #155F Best for this area . Has gps numbers and all. Theres so much stuff out there!

TheFishWhisperer

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Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 534
Reply with quote  #7 
You can go as far as you want if you pick the right day and weather conditions. We go up to 50 miles in a 19 footer. Just learn your weather patterns and prepare for the worst. 30 miles is where you start finding consistant keeper size fish. Forget the reefs unless you want little fish.
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DAL1955

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #8 
kingfishergirl;
Not to doubt your knowledge, which I'm sure  is better than mine since I don't fish that area regularly, but my coordinates for the Betty Rose place it at 27 42.595N 82 58.266W, and the South County reef at  27° 43.370'N   82° 58.540'W, which is North of the Betty Rose. Is there a section of the South County reef also south of the BR?

DAL


kingfishingirl

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 982
Reply with quote  #9 

Okay... flip your map over and look again South County is South of BR... and there are several pieces of both. South county is marked with a big yellow marker that actually say "South County Reef", betty rose it not. Been awhile since I fished there but I don't think it's changed.


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DAL1955

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #10 

South County Reef   
Yellow buoy
Depth 45 feet   N 27º - 43.375'   W 082º - 58.500'

fish

Pinellas County Utilities built this reef site in response to public requests for a reef at the south end of the County. You will find this reef approximately one mile north of the wreck "Betty Rose". It lies ten miles from the John's Pass entrance marker and 11.5 miles from the Pass-a-Grille channel.

Kahuna

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Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 2,497
Reply with quote  #11 
Here's a small gag from this past Sat around 6.54 miles out.
MsLynnfish003.jpg picture by Kahunapics

MsLynn had fun. We loaded the box again with Mango and then went less than a mile n for the last hour. A 3' ledge with swiss cheese bottom on the top n side. She bounced a bucktail and just got wrecked by short red grouper. She had a great time as they were all a good fight for her and I didn't loose any rods. We seen about an 8' bull turn in the chum cloud, that was an impressive sight. Spanish were around but no major King shows this day. A few big hits but I did not have a stinger on. When I put it on nothing came back. I have some closer spots to hit but I think I'll wait till after this cool front. We should start seeing some bigger grouper. You don't have to go far, you just have to go.

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eamakatu

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1,001
Reply with quote  #12 

Is 16ft aluminum V  small enough?   I go beyond the Johns Pass entrance marker a little ways but that's it.  I'd really like to know how big of a boat I'd need to comfortably go out to the main ship channel or approx 30 miles. I've been to the ship channel in 5 foot waves in a 28 footer,  but I don't want that big of a boat.   What do you guys recommend for offshore?


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Kahuna

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Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 2,497
Reply with quote  #13 

Things could get a little sketchy pretty quickly for a 16 alum. I would want to be in swim distance. A 20 would get ya to whistler and there abouts safely but sounds like you would be comfy with a min of 23' deep v as your talking 30 miles out, really 25-28 is best suited for a decent offshore trip. Unless your name is Jim and own a 23' Parker.


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capthammer

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Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 224
Reply with quote  #14 
any quality boat 19 or bigger will get you out 25 30 miles on a good day.

If you have the money get something 25' or bigger with twins or at least  a quality 4 stroke. Right now it is a buyers market. Myself I would like a Parker of Grady 28 wac or pilot house or a contender. hydra sport. yellowfin. dusky or pursuit 34' center console or a 40' cabo with the ips. 

I looked real hard at the 23' triumph and all most brought one from a dealer in Delaware loaded for 49500. A business deal went south and so did the economy so i didn't and it may be a while till a new boat is more than a dream. Just running my head. Hope you find what your looking for.

drop me a pm and maybe we can get on some fish.

Blessings to all


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ElMortePescado

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Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 934
Reply with quote  #15 
Don't listen to anyone telling you to go 50 miles offshore in a 19 footer.  That is just plain stupid and selfish. We towed in some stupid A-hole in a small boat like that from over 50 miles out in 6-7 footers.  His engine died, he only had 200 feet of anchor line, and he was drifting and drifting and had no idea.  He thought he was only 10 miles offshore.  He was actually over 50 miles offshore, and there were NO other boats around.  If we wouldn't have spotted him, he probably would have been gone forever and died.  His passenger, too.

When we got back to the ramp, we told him what an idiot he was.  We also told him to get his head out of his azz and stop putting other people's lives in danger (he had his wife with him).  He actually had the nerve to tell us that WE were the A-holes because we didn't tow him back fast enough.  He still thought we only towed him 10 miles.  HE didn't understand why it took us 4 hours to get him back to the ramp.  We told him how far he was, and then he shut up. 

We should have told him to sell his boat, because he was the type of person who does stupid stuff and gets other people hurt or killed.

I have a 17 foot aluminum boat, never been more than a mile offshore with it, and I never would.

My father has two boat- one is an 18 foot catamaran that is mroe sea-worthy than a 20 foot V hull.  Never been more than 10 miles offshore in that, never been far enough out the NOT be able to see the land.  That boat has an EPIRB, VHF radio, etc.  My cell phone still works out there, too.  That's the rule with that boat.  Never out of cell phone range, if something goes bad, we can radio for help, call 911 and give them our exac GPS coordinates, and if all else fails we have an EPIRB.

He also has a 25 foot World Cat (catamaran) with twin 4-stroke engines, EPIRB, 200 gallon fuel tank, etc.  We have been up to 65 miles offshore in that, and I would feel comfortable going further.  He has taken it to the Middle Grounds, no problem.

You can "pick your days" based on weather reports/ forecasts/ etc.  But those are usually wrong.  You are not more powerful than Mother Nature.  Things change, weather changes, a 10 knot wind going against the currect the right way can create 4 footers that are steep and will swamp a small boat.

If I was you, I would stay within a mile or so from land.  Don't go far enough that you can't jump up and down and get someone's attention in somethign goes wrong, especially if you don't have a VHF radio onboard. 

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