Florida Fishing Guide
Come enjoy the fishing you’ve only dreamed of, spending a week in the beautiful Florida Keys exploring the ocean as you try to hook that trophy fish! Play in the largest scout camp in the world, spanning from the Gulf of Mexico to the Florida Straights in the Atlantic Ocean. The Florida Keys boast several different ecosystems you will have the opportunity to fish and explore.
On your scheduled arrival day, you will arrive between 1:00 and 4:00 pm at the Brinton Environmental Center, located on Summerland Key, 20 miles north of Key West. After a brief check-in, your Fishing Adventure Mate will show you to your air-conditioned quarters, followed by a tour of the facility. Next up, it’s into bathing suits and into the water for your swim review. At this point, you will be issued a mask, fins, snorkel and a Sea Base dive bag that you will have for the week of your adventure. If you have your own snorkeling gear, you are welcome to bring it with you. We will then provide a snorkel instruction lesson so you are comfortable with your gear. After dinner, we’ll give you an exciting introduction presentation which describes your week in detail and the wonderful creatures you may see.
The Brinton Environmental Center will be your base camp. You be housed in air conditioned dormitories overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. There are hot showers and laundry facilities available, as well as our ship’s store, Big Munson Outfitters, to accommodate your needs.
We will provide all of the top-of-the-line fishing tackle, rods, and reels that you’ll need, so don’t worry about bringing personal rods and reels. Most fishing crews are able to add some fresh fish or possibly lobster to the menu during their stay.
Every Adventure’s fishing schedule is different due to the weather. Ideally, you will spend one day offshore trolling for various pelagic fish such as mahi-mahi, tuna, sailfish, and wahoo. You will spend another day targeting snapper and grouper on North America’s only living coral reef. You will also spend one day stalking tarpon, permit, jacks, sharks, and the elusive bonefish on the flats of the Florida Keys. Finally, no fishing adventure would be complete if we didn’t include some time targeting big sharks wrestling “Jaws!” In addition to your daily fishing, you will be taught fishing skills such as casting, knot tying, cast netting, and jig tying. Your crew will also be involved in various fishing discussions on the art of catching and conservation. Fishing may be luck, but catching is a science!
Your fishing adventure itinerary also includes a trip to Key West. It is the southernmost town in the continental United States, and is rich in history and unique culture. Your dinner in Key West is the only meal not provided during your stay. Dinner choices in Key West range from fast food to more expensive restaurants featuring local cuisine. Dinner prices range from $10 for fast food and up. For your visit to Key West, you may want to plan on spending around $30 for museums and other side attractions, in addition to dinner.
Your last night at the Brinton Environmental Center will involve a luau dinner, patch presentation and closing ceremony. We ask that everyone depart the following day by 11:00 am so that we may adequately prepare for the next round of arrivals.
Fishing Adventure participants 16 years or older MUST purchase a 7 day Florida fishing license for the week.
The current Florida fishing licenses costs as of September 2011:
For residents of Florida:
-$17.00 for a one year saltwater license There are no 3 or 7 day licenses available for residents
For non-residents of Florida
-$17.00 for a 3 day saltwater license
Lobster tags (resident and non-resident)
-$5.00 for one year (needed for adventures during the last consecurtive Wednesday and Thursday in July and August 6th-March 31st)
Florida fishing licenses can be pre-purchased for the desired dates with a credit card:
By Telephone: Tool Free (888) 347-4356
The Florida Fish and Wildlife adds a convenience fee of $3.33 plus 2.5% of the toal sale per person for using the telephone line to purchase licenses.
By Internet: httt://www.myfwc.com
The Florida Fish and Wildlife adds a convenience fee of $2.31 plus 2.5% of the toal sale per person for using the online website to purchase licenses.
WHAT TO BRING FOR OUT ISLAND, KEYS AND FLORIDA FISHING ADVENTURES:
BRING FOR ALL ADVENTURES
- 1 Set Field or Activity uniforms
- Short-sleeve T-shirts (2-4)
- Lightweight rain gear (pants optional)
- Sunglasses with strap (Polarized are best)
- 1 Pair of tennis shoes or comfortable shoes (optional for Out Island Adventure)
- 16 oz of SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion (no sprays)
- 1-2 pairs of comfortable shorts
- Toiletry kit
- Wide brimmed hat
- 2 – 3 pair of Socks
- Large-mouth water bottle with carabiner, (If you like coffee, a mug in addition is good)
- Sleeping bag or light blanket/ sheet for island sleeping (if you just bring a light blanket/sheet for island sleeping be sure to bring an additional blanket for sleeping on base as the room can feel cold)
- Swim trunks or board shorts (males)
- One-piece swimsuit (females)
- 1-2 towels
- 1 small pillow
- Baby Powder or Gold Bond® (to cut down on chafing)
- 1 pair flip-flops or sandals
- Insect repellant
- Prescription Medication
- Florida Fishing License (if you are 16 or older)
- Proof of age/photo ID
- Copy of Medical Insurance information
- Hawaiian style shirt (for the Luau)
- Flashlight or headlamp
ALSO BRING FOR OUT ISLAND and KEYS ADVENTURE ONLY
- Sleeping pad - Backpacking style
- Lightweight long pants & longsleeve shirt (bug and sunburn protection)
- 1 pair of booties, aqua socks or water shoes with hard soles
- Hammock (optional)
OPTIONAL ITEMS FOR ALL
- Camera (waterproof is optimal)
- Personal snorkel gear (Sea Base will provide it if you do not have your own)
- Extra money ($100—$125)
- Bonine® (for seasickness)
DO NOT BRING
- MP3 players, Fireworks, Skateboards, Spear guns, Scout inappropriate clothing.
- Portable DVD players
- Mess Kits
NOTE: Make sure you can successfully pass the BSA Swim Test.
NOTE: Make sure your name is on the crew roster your leader sends us.
NOTE: Don’t forget to bring a photocopy of front and back of insurance card.
Most of the items on the “What to Bring List” are carried in our Ship’s Store with the exception of shoes, socks, and sleeping gear. The Florida Sea Base supplies everything that you would need for the adventure. $100 to $125 is adequate spending money unless you want to buy a lot of souvenirs.
*BEING PHYSICALLY FIT*
Every participant in the Florida Sea Base High Adventure program needs to be physically fit for the strenuous demands that will be placed on their body. The Sea Base programs are PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING. Get in shape! Stay in shape! You will be in the water a great deal, so go swimming with your crew at your local pool often. Do some light exercises to increase your stamina. You will be frequently lifting your body in and out of the water to boats and docks. You have dedicated a lot of your personal time and resources to come to Sea Base. Get the most out of your experience by being ready - physically and mentally. All High Adventure Participants should not exceed the suggested weight to height guidelines, which are listed in the BSA Health and Medical Record. All participants must be in good health evidenced by a BSA Health and Medical Record filled out and signed by your doctor within the past 12 months. The unique tropical environment has very different requirement from most Scouting and outdoor activities. All programs involve snorkeling and entering and exiting a vessel via ladders rated to only 295 pounds. People weighing 295 pounds or over are not allowed to participate in Sea Base High Adventure. Participants not meeting this requirement will be sent home at their own expense.
PARENTS - Do not send mail. Sea Base offers programs to hundreds of Scouts on the sea, on the land and on the island. We will not deliver mail from home to Scouts unless it is mail of urgency, i.e. glasses, medicine, etc. left at home.
Key West Infomation
Keys and Fishing Adventure Crews and Sea Exploring Crews
Crews participating in these adventures will have a chance to explore the unique and historical town of Key West. Literature about Key West and its attractions are available when you check in, or contact the Key West Chamber of Commerce for information so you can plan your day ahead of time.
You will travel to Key West in a bus or van provided by Sea Base (Sea Exploring crews will be docking in a local marina). Your crew will be dropped off near Mallory Square and you will be given instructions as to when and where to meet for the return trip that evening. Once you are all back aboard, we’ll head North to base.
Crew Conduct in Key West
- Shoes and shirts are to be worn at all times.
- The buddy system is a must, and is required by Sea Base while exploring Key West.
- There is no renting of jet skis or scooters and no para-sailing while in Key West.
FOR SAILING CREWS DOCKED IN KEY WEST
- When using marina facilities, leave areas clean – cleaner than before you arrived, if necessary.
- Do not use the grill on board while at dock; use shore-side charcoal grills on marina grounds.
- Fish only at designated pier, and not off the boat.
- Do not board other boats in the marina.
- Please respect other marina guests. Keep noise level down and not rough play on the docks.
- Scouts must be with adult leaders if out after dark and return to the marina no later than 9:45 p.m.
- Curfew is 10 p.m. Captains, leaders and Scouts must be aboard by 10 p.m. Evening showers and phone calls must be finished before curfew.
Emergency Phone Numbers:
- Florida Sea Base Program office (Sea Exploring) 305-664-5627
- Brinton Environmental Center (Keys Adventure / Fishing Adventure) 305-393-1073
- After-hours emergency phone (Duty Officer) 305-664-7766
Reminder to Adults of crews visiting Key West:
Although you are not at Sea Base or the Brinton Environmental Center, this is still a Scouting function and there is no place for alcohol in the Boy Scouts of America. If you choose to do so, you will be asked to leave with out any refund. This may compromise the “two-deep” leadership in your crew.
Key West has many beneficial opportunities for Scouts, but it also has temptations as well. You know your crew: if you feel your Scouts will be tempted, please accompany them, otherwise, groups of three (3) or more are preferred, while two is the absolute minimum. You, not the captain or mate are responsible for your crew while ashore in Key West. If you have any problems please notify your Sea Base contact immediately. Please have an enjoyable time visiting this colorful and historical city.