Your Florida Waterfront Home - Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Your Florida Waterfront Home

Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Hello everyone, I hope you are doing great!!!!!

 

I am going to jump right into Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Three. Last week we left off with a great day of fishing and hanging out with family and friends at the sandbar. Today is the day before the Big Day, “Opening of Lobster Mini Season”! We’re going to head out and scout out our spots in the Florida Bay. We’ve gathered these spots for several years and while we are out, we look for new spots to hit as well. The night before, Anne asked if we could take her water skiing first thing in the morning. I said “sure, we’ve boated, fished, gone diving, the least we can do is take Anne water skiing”. We got up early, pulled into a cove and pulled Anne. I have to admit, she’s really good.. take a look….

 

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On the way back in we really began to admire these homes here in Key Colony Beach. Some of them are massive huge and others are not so huge, but the architecture is amazing. There is even one home that looks like it was designed around this big catamaran yacht; almost like a house for their boat. Take a look..

 

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Now it was time to head out for the day and scope out our secret spots for Lobster, so we cruised over to pick up our friends, the Mazzola family. The part of the Florida Bay where we look for lobster is shallow, with depths in this area ranging from 2 feet to about 8 – 10 feet. We have saved all of our secret spots we’ve found over the past couple of years in our GPS so we know right where to go. Keep in mind, season has been closed for months, so most of these spots are going to be full of lobster. We ran out about 10 miles to the first spot and “whammy”, the GPS indicated we were right on our spot, and by golly, we were on it!  We jumped into the water to check it out and wouldn’t you know… we had lots of Bugs (Lobsters). You can’t touch them though at this point, they’re still out of season. We just wanted to check and make sure that these spots were going to produce. Take a look, this is what it looks like once you’re in the water looking down toward the ledges and seagrass. It’s pretty neat…

 

 

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There were a lot of Lobster at this spot!

 

Take a look at this beautiful Queen Angel Fish swimming into a hole..

 

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We went to another spot, and yet another spot, and they were all full of Lobster…

 

 

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We went to more spots and they were full too..:-)

 

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Now look at this next photo…  I put the camera underwater and pointed it into a hole on a rock ledge – see the long green thing, that’s a Moray Eel. Bad news if you reach into a hole for a lobster and he clamps onto your hand, you’ll be lucky to get your hand back in once piece. Their teeth are angled backwards so when they bite on to something it can’t escape. If you look to the top of the photo there’s a tiny red cleaner shrimp. These little shrimp are known to crawl into the mouths and gill slits of a fish and clean off all the parasites in the fish’s mouth and gill slit areas. No, typically the fish do not eat these shrimp. This is what you would call a symbiotic relationship. Now look to the bottom of the photos; see the brown rounded shape? That’s a baby Nurse Shark’s head. As I mentioned earlier, there’s the ecosystem in the Sargasm weed line in the Atlantic Ocean, and then there’s a whole other ecosystem on the Bay side. All of these creatures live in entirely different ecosystems with some dependent on each other, and others just getting along and sharing a home. Either way, it’s never a good idea to blindly stick your hand into a hole looking for a Lobster or you may get a not so nice surprise…

 

 

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We moved on to another spot to check for Bugs (Lobsters) keeping in mind that when we come back tomorrow for opening day, I should not stick my arm in the hole where the Moray Eel and Nurse Shark live.:-)

 

Look at our other spots, I think we’re all set…..

 

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We scouted almost all of our holes and came to the conclusion that we would have plenty of spots and we would surely limit out on Bugs in a short time.:-)  Everyone was getting hungry so we decided to go have lunch at a place called Shuckers Raw Bar & Grill on the water in Marathon. The service was great here and so were the food and drinks…

 

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After lunch we decided to go home and rest up, but then someone suggested we run out to Sombrero Lighthouse, so we headed out to the Lighthouse. It’s such a beautiful place, the water is crystal clear, there are thousands upon thousands of fish everywhere. Tall coral formations, small caves and ledges, just beautiful.  In this first photo, if you look way out into the distance you can see the Lighthouse.  We had leftovers from lunch so we fed the fish; within 20 seconds there were hundreds of fish all around us, pretty amazing…

 

 

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What a stunning reef, one that I’ll never forget.  When we arrived at the Lighthouse, my buddy Craig jumped into the water and saw a Nurse Shark swimming very slowly and gracefully away from him.  Craig swam underwater to get closer; the closer he got, the shark would get that much further away. Craig came up for air and went back down. Once again, Craig was within a foot of the Nurse Shark, and as he tried to get a little closer, the Nurse Shark would stay just far enough away. After Craig told me of this encounter, I mentioned to him that the shark knew exactly where Craig was at all times and he stayed just far enough away for his own comfort. Craig thought this was the best!!!!!! and it was!!!!!!! 

 

By this time it was getting late, nearly 6:00 pm and time to head in after a long, wonderful day on the water. What a fantastic day. The weather was great, the water was great, the company was great!!!!!!

 

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Just wait until next week, the Big Day… Opening of Lobster Mini Season… Wait until you read and see the photos of this adventure!!!!  You are not going to want to miss it.

 

Until next time… Make time for your family and friends. Do the things you dream of. Make your plans and stick to your plans. You will make it happen….Time goes by soooo fast.

 

See ya,

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

 

 

Hello Everyone, I hope you are doing great!!!! I am going to jump right into the Boating Guide with the fun stuff, Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Two. We left off with a great day in the boat fishing, going to Sombrero Lighthouse Reef to snorkel, and finishing off the day with our family and friends at the Key Colony Beach Sandbar…

 

Today is a new day and a new adventure. Since we didn’t have much luck yesterday, we decided this time we would run 20 plus miles offshore in search of Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi). We loaded up the boat with all of our gear and bait and headed over to pick up my buddy Craig and his kids. It was a beautiful run out. The Ocean had small 2-3 foot swells and we quickly ran out to the first shipping lanes. You do not realize how huge these cargo ships are until you are right up on them. Take a look…

 

 

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We saw some birds and weed lines so we put our lines in and… nothing. I said to my crew, “let’s not waste time like yesterday, we are gonna run out 20 to 25 miles and look for birds and weed lines”. So we pulled our lines in and headed out farther. We saw quite a few weed lines, but no birds. I said “let’s go out farther”. We saw several pods of diving birds all around some weed lines. I said “guys, this is it, get those trolling rods out, quick, quick!!!!!”  In about 10 or 15 minutes…. Bam, Fish on!!!!!!! Rod number one, Bam, Fish on; rod number two, Bam, fish on; rod number three. We had three fish on at one time… Holy cow!!!!!!!! Controlled mayhem!!!! Craig got his fish up to the boat and someone gaffed it and put it in the fish box. As the other two Dolphin were pulled to the boat, the whole school of 60 plus Dolphin were swimming all around!!!!!! check it out…

 

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I yelled “chum, chum, get some cut bait in the water quick to keep the Dolphin around the boat”!  Craig jumped into action, cutting up the Ballyhoo and chucking chunks into the water. Meanwhile, Boogie has a fish on, Wade has a fish on and Tyler has a fish on and Paige has a fish on!!!!!! and we have three rods out of commission with no hooks. (Sometimes it’s easier to cut the line, throw the fish in the fish box, and get the hooks later). Once again, controlled mayhem!!!!  We got Tyler’s fish in the boat, Boogie’s fish in the boat and tried to get Paige’s fish in the boat, but the line broke. We rigged the other three rods with missing hooks in a matter of minutes and had them back in the water pulling up more fish, one after another.  

 

 

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If you think these Dolphin are beautiful fish in these photos, wait until you see them in real life. The colors on these fish are spectacular greens, blues and yellows…..Wade said “Dad, I have always wanted to spear a Dolphin”.  I said “Wade hop in and get some”!!!!!  Wade put on his gear, jumped in the water, and about this time the Dolphin went deep, too deep to chase.

 

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I said “guys let’s regroup and get our rods ready and baited and ready to go for the next school of fish we find”.

 

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We ran to another group of birds and weed lines, dropped our lines in and began to troll. After about 10 minutes, something didn’t feel right. I cannot explain the feeling I had. Something told me to have Craig turn the boat to another fat weed line near some birds. Once we got to it, I said “stop the boat and drop your lines”. Wade said “there’s nothing here Dad”, I said “yes, there is”. Call it luck, call it a hunch or a feeling….all of a sudden a dozen plus Dolphin came shooting out from under the boat. Bam, Bam, Bam fish on, fish on, fish everywhere. Craig was already on the chum, throwing chunks into the water. The kids each had a Dolphin on their rods!!!!  Wow, once again, controlled mayhem. One fish was gaffed and brought into the boat but missed the fish box. These fish are strong, I mean strong, ask anyone who Dolphin fishes. A 30, 40, or 50 pound Dolphin flapping around your cockpit can cause some serious damage. As they are frantically flapping around the boat, you had better get out of the way or you could end up seriously hurt. Broken bones, massive bruises, broken fishing rods, flying gaff if left on the floor of the boat. This Dolphin was under 15 pounds and still, blood was flying everywhere. We jumped on it and Craig opened the fish box and we shoved the fish in and Craig slammed the fish box lid!  Thank goodness, ’cause when that lid shut it sounded like an angry 220 pound man banging on the fish box hatch lid from the inside!!!!  Oh boy, we were covered in blood, the cockpit was covered in blood, what a mess, but what fun. One of the kids used the salt water wash to clean up the blood and the other kids were still fighting fish. After all this, we were able to bring a few more to the boat.

 

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My son Wade says, “Dad can I get in and spear some fish”. I said “sure”. Keep in mind we are 22 miles out in 1,000 feet of water.  Within 2 or 3 minutes I see Wade swimming to the boat; he jumps out of the water and pulls up his spear cord from his spear gun. He was soooo excited!! His first speared Dolphin, he was in Heaven. He said “Dad can I go back out”?  “Sure son, go spear another one”.  Meanwhile, everyone in the boat is still pulling in Dolphin.

 

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Here comes Wade with another Dolphin – I was amazed. Craig kept the chum chunks of Ballyhoo in the water which kept the Dolphin coming back so Wade did not have to venture far from the boat..

 

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I think Wade speared about 4 Dolphin. Of course, throughout this entire process while Wade was in the water with everything going on, I kept a watchful eye on him. Suddenly his swimming demeanor changed, he was not swimming normally. He was swimming briskly back to the boat, back first, facing the opposite direction of the boat with his spear gun pointed straight in front of him. In my mind I am thinking one of two things, he speared a big Dolphin and was having a tough time pulling him back to the boat, or he had a shark in his sights. I have always taught my children if you ever see a shark in the water, DO NOT panic, keep your cool. You keep your eyes on that shark and you do not take your eyes off that shark until you reach the boat. If you have a spear gun, pole spear, a spear shaft, you keep that between you and the shark. If that shark starts to get too close, you jab that shark as hard as you can and he’ll turn away. Thank goodness Wade did not have to do that. He got to the boat and out of the water and said,  “Dad…”  I finished his sentence and said “you saw a Shark.” He said “yes, a big one, about 8 or 10 feet long”. So many people have misconceptions about sharks; 9.9 times out of 10 they are not there to eat you. In this case, the Shark smelled the blood in the water from the fish, he sensed the thrashing fish in the water and was coming in for a closer look and maybe an easy meal. No, not Wade, the injured fish.

 

At this point we had 25 Dolphin in the boat and that was plenty to feed our families and bring some home to freeze. What a beautiful day, sunny, breezy, the seas laid down, what a great ride home from 22 miles out in the ocean.  Again, coming in and watching the changing colors of the water is amazing. It goes from the dark purple to dark blue to light blue, just beautiful….

 

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Now comes the fun part, Haaaa, cleaning all the fish. This is a huge job in itself, but can be fun sometimes to look in their stomachs and see what they have eaten. Most of the time you will find file fish, small jacks, small crabs and other types of fish. When we are chumming the water we will later find those chunks of Ballyhoo or squid in the Dolphin’s stomach. I know all this sounds nasty, but it really is not. It teaches all the kids that watch us clean the fish, and the adults too, about the natural food chain and how important our ecosystem is. It teaches them how important it is to keep our oceans clean; it’s like Marine Biology 101. We are showing people that if the weed lines are not healthy, they may become non-existent. If there are no weed lines, there are no nurseries for the baby, shrimp, crabs, and fish to live. No baby shrimp, crabs, fish, then there is no food to sustain the Dolphin, Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, etc. that live in the open oceans.  I read somewhere that Dolphin are voracious eaters and can grow an inch per week. I think the article said that Dolphin are the fastest growing fish in the ocean.

 

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Finally, we got all those fish cleaned and packed on ice. A friend texted to tell us that everyone was hopping in their boats and running to a sandbar for some cold beverages and to hang out and relax in the warm ocean water. Well, you didn’t have to ask us twice. We loaded up all the  boats and headed to the sandbar….

 

 

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What a long, great, fantastic day!!!!!!!!  Fishing, relaxing with family and friends. It doesn’t get any better than this!  Well, yes I guess it does. The girls informed us that the men were taking them out to dinner with the kids because they were NOT cooking.. why not ??;-) ….so we all went out to supper and had a great time. When we got home everyone hit the beds and they were out in a minute, dreaming about our big day tomorrow – scouting out our secret Lobster holes…

 

This is all for now. Please look for the Boating Guide next week to read Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Three. We’re going to take you to my top secret Lobster holes out in the bay, I cannot wait!!!!!! icon smile Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Two...

 

Until next time, make time for your family and friends. There is nothing more important than your family so plan to make time. I hear so many people say, “there’s not enough time to do everything”. You know what? You’re correct. In that case, you must prioritize those things that are most important to you in life.  Make a plan, stick to your plan, and you will have no regrets.

 

Make it a great week!!!

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson 

Lobster Mini Season

Posted by Shane On August 7th

Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part One…

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great!!!!!!! You know what time of year it is, don’t you???? Lobster Mini Season!!!! This is where there’s only a two day time frame to catch Lobster, (Lobster Mini Season) and the commercial Lobster folks are not allowed to put out their traps until right after the two day mini season. Let’s talk some business first, and then we can get on to the fun part of The Boating Guide. Our Southwest Florida Real Estate Market continues to be very good with more lots  and homes being put on the market for sale. As always, the properties that are priced at current market value are selling. The homes that are overpriced are sitting on the market with very little activity. Today’s consumer is very savvy. With all the information available on the internet plus assistance from his Real Estate Professional, today’s Buyer knows a good, or fair market value when he sees it based on what else has sold in the immediate area. Many of the overpriced homes I have been tracking for months and months are still on the market for sale; I have also tracked numerous Sellers who have adjusted (reduced) the price of their homes to be more competitive in the marketplace. Keep in mind, these are not “give away” prices,  but fair market value. Interest rates are still at historic lows, in fact, I saw a 30 year 4.1% interest rate last week, with no points. That’s cheap money! In some cases, it’s better for a Buyer to get a mortgage at such a low rate and keep his cash in investments where it could be earning a higher interest rate. You will have to talk to your financial advisor about this :-).. There is another trend that I see that has been evolving for some time. I’m talking about “scrapers”. These are homes on the water that make no financial sense to remodel or add onto. The value in these properties is in the dirt (the land). We are seeing more and more properties being bought, scraped and replaced with brand new beautiful homes. All in all, our Real Estate and New Construction are moving right along. Many, many sales. The inventory seems to be stable at this time, however, when a great value hits the market, it’s typically gone within a week. If you have any questions about our Southwest Florida Real Estate Market, please feel free to reach out to me on my cell phone, by text or e-mail. I will respond to you. If you want to keep up to date with the properties in your neighborhood or a certain area you select, I can set you up on my Listingbook program (FREE) and it will send you daily status reports. Please let me know however I may assist you….

Now on to the fun part of The Boating Guide….

Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part One….

 

Every year we head down to the Keys for Mini Season. This year we stayed in the town of Marathon which is about halfway down the Florida Keys. There’s a city within Marathon called Key Colony Beach; it’s a really neat place to stay, close to shopping, food stores, fuel, dive shops, Marinas, boat ramps, you name it. Key Colony Beach even has its own Marina, hotels, rental houses, restaurants (on and off the ocean), swimming pools and beach. Everything you could want is right there. There are multi-million dollar homes and there are more modest homes, down to 600 sq. ft. duplexes – there’s a property for any budget. Oh, and best of all, you can keep your boat right in your backyard and within a few minutes you are out in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf via Vaca Cut (a navigable channel). Other than where I was raised in Islamorada (the Upper Keys), this has got to be one of my favorite places. It offers something for every member of your family. You can boat, fish, dive, snorkel. There are world famous reefs, a beautiful beach, restaurants, coffee shops, gift stores; or take a drive to Key West, approximately 50 miles away. There is some type of activity for everyone :-).. And best of all, it’s only a few hours drive from Fort Myers.

 

We headed to the Keys on Saturday with 5 families and boats in tow. Once you enter the Keys and get down towards Islamorada, it gets very narrow and there are many bridges to go over which give you spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. The views are to die for with beautiful crystal clear turquoise blue water in every direction. As you look farther out into the ocean, the water turns to a darker blue then almost a stunning purple color.  You’ll need to see it with your own eyes to understand what I am trying to explain. Talk about anxiety (good anxiety)!  We cannot wait to put the boats in the water and go explore. The rest of our drive is almost unbearable with the excitement of knowing that in a short time we’ll be out on the water!!!!! Before we even get unpacked and settled into our accommodations, we unload the boats and motor them around the canals to the docks behind our rental houses that will be home for the next week. And, we made the trip with no issues, thank goodness.

 

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Once we unpacked and got settled in, we sorted through all of our fishing and diving gear to get ready for the days ahead. I went down to the boat to double check that we had all of our safety gear, life jackets, flares and first aid kit. I double and triple checked all the bilge pumps, through hull fittings, and electronics on the boats to be sure we’d be set and prepared for any unplanned issues.  By this time it was getting late, so we jumped in the boat to go out and watch the sunset and prepare for the next day.

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We got up the next morning and prepared to run offshore to look for Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi). We loaded all the rods, tackle and snorkeling gear to hit Sombrero Light Reef on the way back in.  Here are some of the amazing and beautiful homes in Key Colony Beach that we passed each day as we headed out to the Atlantic or Gulf. Check out these photos…

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Heading out into the Atlantic Ocean or into the Gulf is a beautiful ride in itself. To watch the color changes as the water gets deeper and deeper and deeper is just an unbelievable sight. The light blues, then turquoise, then darker blue as the water gets deeper. Once you are past the 600 foot mark, the water is a brilliant purple color…

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Once we got about 12 miles out, we began to see weed lines. Weed lines hold crabs, shrimp, fish. With this micro ecosystem in place, it attracts the bigger bait fish, which in turn attracts the larger fish we are targeting – Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi), Tuna, Wahoo, etc. It was a beautiful, calm day out on the ocean. The sun was out, there was a light breeze, and lots of weed lines. We saw birds diving on bait near the weed lines so we trolled over to see what we could catch..

Bam !!!  Fish on.. the drag screamed for half a second and then it stopped. We all thought this was strange???

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It looked like a Bar Jack hit the lure we were trolling and then something big hit the Bar Jack. Look at the photos, it’s bit right in half.

 

After trolling for awhile the kids were kind of bored and Wade wanted to stop at the next weed line to spear some fish for dinner. Keep in mind the water here is about 600 feet deep and we are 12 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean…Check out these photos….

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The water was sooooo clear and there were tons of bait fish, but nothing worth shooting to take home for dinner. These weed lines are their own tiny ecosystem in a massive ocean. We found this small female crab holding her eggs..

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As I said above, there are tiny shrimp, fish, crabs, so many small little creatures moving around that even I don’t know what they all are. Very, very cool creatures of the sea..

By this time the kids wanted to head in to Sombrero Lighthouse which stands above an amazing reef – a “no take” zone – so it’s teeming with life and marine sea creatures. The ride in to the lighthouse was beautiful.. The seas were calm, a light breeze, and the water was beautiful...

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Heading into the reef the color changes of the water were just amazing!!!! Words cannot even describe it. Everyone was so excited to get there, the water was so crystal clear that we could see all the fish, coral heads and marine life from above the water. Once we got into the water, hundreds of fish would swim up to check us out ……

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Swimming around you will see hundreds and hundreds of different species of fish. However, on every single reef I have ever been to, there are always your “resident” Barracudas, along with some of the most amazing reef fish you will ever see..

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One of the best parts of swimming on the reef is hand-feeding the fish. It’s so cool to have them come right up to you and eat out of your hand…

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At Sombrero Light, there are some amazing ledges and small caves you can swim through. (Do not attempt to swim through these small caves, it can be dangerous). Take a look at these photos..

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Before leaving, the kids wanted to feed the fish again….

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We were all ready to head back in after an amazing day on the water. The weather was great, the ocean was beautiful, and everyone had a great time..

 

On our way in, we saw the other families we were vacationing with at Key Colony Beach, hanging out at the sandbar swimming and having a cold beverage and snacks before dinner. We decided to stop so everyone could visit and share stories about their amazing day!!!!!!!….

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What an amazing end to our day on the water!!!!!! Well it’s time to go.. Wait until next week for Part Two of Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 .. 

Until then, make time for your family and friends.. Life goes by so quickly. Just make your plan, work your plan, and stick to it. 

 

Until next time make it a great week..:-)))

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

Fishing

Posted by Shane On July 31st

Hello everyone, I do hope you are doing great. Have I got a great adventure for you on this week’s boating guide!!!

 

First, let’s talk some business and then on to the fun stuff. I get many e-mails from folks asking how our waterfront real estate market is doing?? Let me tell you, it is great! If Waterfront Homes are priced at market value, they are selling. Of course, some sellers who have their homes on the market that are over priced have the perception that the market is bad and nothing is selling. That is way wrong! I watch the Waterfront Activity Report every day, and of course, I’m out in the market everyday, and there are more waterfront properties pending right now in south Ft. Myers than I have seen in a long time. There are more properties over $1,000,000 going pending and closing than I have seen in a long, long time. The lower priced waterfront properties are selling; the mid-range waterfront properties are selling; and the $1,000,000 and above are selling. Interest rates are still at all time lows. I do get some people saying to me, “oh can you believe interest rates are up to 4.5 percent?”   I have to chuckle inside. Come on guys, 4.5%… hello, that’s amazing. I remember when interest rates were 8%, 9% and 10%.. Remember in the 1980′s when rates were 18%?  Interest rates as I said, are still very, very low. You can buy a lot of house for your money and property is still affordable. If you have any questions about real estate, feel free to call, text, or e-mail me and I will do my best to help you any way I can. Remember, I have this really cool program (yes it is free) that will send you new listings in your area as well as property going pending. You can actually set it up to search any area you would like. It is really neat, I have a bunch of folks using it and they love it.  Again, it’s a free service that I offer to my Boating Guide followers.

 

Okay, now on to the fun stuff…. Fishing.. Oh My Gosh.. The fishing has been amazing!  I do not think there is a day that goes by that friends, fishing buddies, customers, clients, are not sending me photos of fish they have caught. You would not believe it – Snook, Red Fish, Trout, Mackerel, Flounder!  My other peeps fishing offshore are catching Black Fin Tuna and Dolphin (Mahi, Mahi), yes, out in the Gulf. Not huge ones, but good sized gaffers!!!!! They are sending me photos of Red Grouper, Gag Grouper, Black Grouper, Red Snapper, Lane Snapper.. All these guys are killin’ me!!!!!!!!! icon smile Fishing That’s it, I have been busting my behind at work – WE are going out fishing ourselves!!!!

 

I called a buddy and his family and said “let’s go fishing; we are gonna hop in the boat and run 30 plus miles out, and on the way back in we’ll stop and spear fish!!!!”

 

Sunday morning we loaded up the boat with my buddy, his wife, their two daughters, a boyfriend and another friend. I loaded my family onboard – Wade, Annie, our neighbor Nancy – and we headed out!! The weather was so calm, flat calm, just a small ripple on the water. Take a look at our motley crew…….

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Yes it was flat calm out, what a beautiful run out to our spot about 30 miles. On the way, we saw so much marine life. We saw Dolphins jumping. We saw numerous Loggerhead Sea Turtles. We saw Flying Fish. There were lots of birds circling over massive pods of bait. Nervous bait. “Nervous bait” means that there are groups or “pods” of bait that are being chased and eaten by predatory fish below.  The smaller fish, or bait, are getting pushed up to the top, so the birds can eat them as well.

 

It is hard to explain this through words, but as you get farther out to sea, the water begins to turn colors. Closer to shore it’s like a milky turquoise color. As you go farther out, the water clears and turns to a beautiful emerald blue and as you get even farther out, it turns to a more brilliant cobalt blue. It is soooo pretty. I tried to capture it on camera for you, but it did not come out. After just short of an hour run we were coming up to our spot, the kids were getting so excited to catch some fish. We pulled out the frozen squid and Spanish sardines; Grouper love this bait! Jordan, Mark’s daughter, was the first to hook up….FISH ON!!!!!!!!!  Jordan fought that fish like a true champion fisherwoman..she pulled up a nice Red Grouper.. Yum Yum…

 

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No sooner had Jordan dropped her bait down again – Bam – FISH ON!!!!!!!!! Then her sister Madison had one on!!! We had a double header guys!!!!!!!!!!! Check these fish out… Jordan’s Red Grouper was even bigger this time.

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Holy cow! The girls, three fish; the guys, NONE!!!!!! icon sad Fishing

As we were fishing, we noticed a large remora fish swimming under the boat. These are the fish that you see stuck on sharks along their sides and bottom. Remora eat the scraps of food that the sharks do not. My son Wade thought it would be fun to catch and show everyone, then let it go. Once we got it in the boat, Wade showed everyone how it will suck on to your chest (do not try this at home :-)……

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See the suction cup head the remora has? Pretty neat. And yes, it stuck on Wade’s chest pretty hard. We never thought about that..LOL!  Wade was left with a faint “remora tattoo” but was fine, and we let the fish go. What were the other girls doing? They were up on the front of the boat being silly having a great time enjoying the beautiful ocean air and sunshine. It really was an amazing day.

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We said “we cannot let these girls beat us by catching more fish!”, so the boys caught a keeper Red Grouper…

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By this time, believe it or not, some of the crew were getting bored…. I said “let’s hit it!!! Let’s run into some shallower water and spear some fish” so we ran about 15 to 18 miles to a top secret spot. It is so secret we were not even sure the fish knew where it was. We set the anchor; Mark suited up and was over the edge. Wade and I suited up and we went over the edge with spear guns in hand. I swear, it seemed that by the time we got to the bottom, Mark already had Grouper and big Mangrove Snapper on his stringer. There were hundred and hundreds of fish, crabs, marine life. We even saw a nice Lobster..(they are out of season). We hand picked the biggest Snapper and Hogfish to shoot. When we spear fish, we DO NOT decimate! We only take what we need to have a few nice meals. After about 45 minutes on the bottom we came up with our fish. I must tell you, Mark is a spearfishin’ fool. He is good!!!!

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After this photo the girls piped in, “hey what about us????” Okay, Okay… Here ya goooooooo…..They wanted to show off the fish too…..:-)

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On the way back in the wind kicked up and the seas got a little choppy, but it was nothing for the 31 T Contender with Twin 350 Horsepower Yamaha motors. She sliced through those waves like it was nothing!

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What an amazing fun filled family and friends day. We could not have asked for better weather and better company. Everyone had a grand time!!!!

 

Yes, we all took fish home that day and oh my gosh was it good, good, good……

 

Until next time make it a great week. Make time to do the things you want to do. You must plan it. Because if you do not plan it, it will not get done and may never happen. Enjoy your family and friends now so you will never look back with any regrets, saying I wish I would have done that, or gone there, or seen him or her. Like Nike says!!!! JUST DO IT!!!!!!!

 

Make it a great adventure…!!!!

 

Shane” Waterfront” Wilson

 

 

Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon

Posted by Shane On July 24th

Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon

Come by Land or By Sea

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A  nice place for you to go check out for lunch or dinner. It is called Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon on Sanibel. After a morning of fishing and boating you can pull right up to Gramma Dot’s in the boat. Gramma Dot’s has a lot to offer. The food is great and they are famous for their Grouper Sandwich. I believe it has won the people choice award 7 years in a row. When coming by boat, call the Dock Master at Sanibel Marina, he monitors channel 16. Let him know you are coming for lunch or dinner and he will find you a boat slip. Stay for the afternoon or several nights at Sanibel Marina. Gramma Dot’s has a great atmosphere and the people you meet here are really nice. You are only minutes to the beaches here, amazing sunsets in the evening, and fishing. 

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How Do You Get There? If you know where the C span part of the Sanibel bridge is, it is the last span of bridge before you get to Sanibel. From there head down the Sanibel Coast towards the light house. Keep looking to your right, you will see a set of markers to guide you into the marina. You will see Sanibel Marina and Gramma Dot’s. Enjoy!!!! -

Click on the links below:

http://www.sanibelmarina.com/gramma.html

http://www.sanibelmarina.com/menu.html

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The Gulf Shore Grill & The Cottage

Posted by Shane On July 17th

Have I got a place for you to go boating this weekend.  Have you heard of the Gulfshore Grill & The Cottage on Ft. Myers Beach?

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This is a great time of year to go. If you like to people watch and have a great time you have to go!  Once you have anchored off  Ft. Myers Beach, you can walk up to the beach and eat lunch at the Cottage. You can sit on a deck or inside over looking the beach and Gulf of Mexico and watch the people, It is really quite amusing.

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The food at The Cottage is really good an the cold beverages are great too. If you want to dine inside in the air conditioning walk next door to the Gulfshore Grill which also offers amazing views of the beach and Gulf of Mexico. The food here is really good as well. After lunch you can go down stairs to the Beach Bar and hang out, enjoy a cold beverage, people watch,  throw a Frisbee,  play smash ball or just relax in the refreshing waters of the  Gulf of Mexico.  You will have a great time here, everyone is happy and having a great time!!!  DO not forget your camera.

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How Do You Get There?

This is easy. Starting from the Sanibel Causeway, head towards Fort Myers Beach VIA the inter coastal waterway. Keep heading parallel to Ft. Myers Beach. You will see the big concrete pier. Just past the pier you will see a large green building, the Lani Kai. The Gulfshore Grill and The Cottage are to the left of the Lani Kai.Have fun.

 

Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa

Posted by Shane On July 10th

 

 

 

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Pool Bar and Grill

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Hotel View From the water

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Hotel Main Pool

If you have never been to The Sanibel Harbour Resort, you have got to go. After an early morning fish in your boat or spending the first part of the day at the beach by boat, head over to the Sanibel Harbour Resort.  This place is absolutely amazing!!! Once you get your boat secured at the dock run a couple of spring lines, There is a lot or boat traffic in the inter coastal water way that makes it a little choppy at the dock. Walk  to the Resort style Pool and outdoor Bar and Grill, (The Cove). The drinks are great here and so is the food. Take a dip in the massive pool or sit around the pool enjoying the tropical paradise created right there. Or you can sit by the water and watch the passing boats and the Dolphin play in the water. There is small beach the kids can play on as well. If you like to fish, you can fish right off the dockYou can catch some big Snook, Red Fish and Snapper. You will love it here, so check it out.

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How Do I Get There?

Coming from the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, head towards the Sanibel Causeway. Just before getting to the causeway, look to your leftyou cannot miss Sanibel Harbor Resort. Look at the photos and you will recognize it when you see it.

 

For additional info. go to….   www.Sanibel-Resort.com

Parrot Key Caribbean Grill

Posted by Shane On July 3rd

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Looking for a fun get away, but still near everything?  Try Parrot Key Caribbean Grill. It is located at Salty Sam’s Marina. Going by water is the best!!! For the land lubbers you can go by car. (See below for directions by land or by water)

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This is a great place to take friends and family to have a fantastic time. They have live entertainment nightly for your enjoyment. The menu is to die for with the wide variety of food that is offered. You can choose to sit inside or outside by the water to enjoy the awesome sunsets. The staff is extremely accommodating to your needs to make it your most enjoyable experience. You will not be disappointed!

Directions by car:

From I-75, take exit 131 and follow Daniels Parkway West to Summerlin Road then turn left. Next, turn left on San Carlos Boulevard and then turn left on Main Street at the foot of the Matanzas  Pass Bridge. Parrot Key Caribbean Grill is at the end of Main Street.

Directions by boat:

From the Gulf of Mexico, enter the intracoastal waterway at the north end of Fort Myers Beach, go under the Matanzas Bridge.  Stay to the left and the Parrot Key Caribbean Grill is at channel marker 24. Boaters can hail the dockmaster at Salty Sam’s on channel 16 or 17 for docking instructions.

2500 Main Street,  Fort Myers Beach.  Phone: 239-463-3257 Fax: 239-463-2415

 

RumrunnersWaterfront Restaurant

Posted by Shane On June 26th

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Escape, Dine & Unwind.  Casual Waterfront Dining.

The above says it all.  We absolutely love this place!! I love to take the family, friends,  and clients here by water. The greatest feeling is to pull out of your canal with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and cruise down the river nice and slow enjoying every minute. Watching the sky turn a brilliant reddish/orange color as the sun begins to set. Once the sun has set, we cruise up to Rum Runners and dock. Depending on the time of year, there is normally a wait. You can call ahead for reservations (542-0200). This place is well worth the wait. The atmosphere is second to none and the food and service is outstanding. You can dine outside on the water or inside in the AC.  I think you will truly love the entire feel of Rum Runners.

 

If there is a wait, the fuel dock is right next door. Fuel up your boat while waiting. Please remember, it will be dark by the time dinner and dessert is over. Be sure you are comfortable driving your vessel home at night. Things to remember, bring your spot light.

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http://rumrunnersrestaurant.com/menu/

 

How do I get there?

By Boat or by car … This is easy.

Coming from Cape Coral Yacht Club, get into the ICW and head towards the mouth of the river. As soon as you get to the slow zone, look to your right, there is a series of red and green markers. Follow these markers in as if you were going to Tarpon Point. Make a left when you get to the rock/mangrove jetty. Follow the markers down around the corner and you will see Rum Runners. Boat smart and have a great time!!

By car:     The address is   5848 Cape Harbour Drive

Phone: 239.542.0200 Open 11:30am-Close

 

Charlie’s Pass

Posted by Shane On June 21st

Many folks want to know where to go by boat to beaches that are not packed with a lot of people and only accessible by boat.

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Here you go.  Have you heard of Charlie’s Pass? It is located on North Captiva Island. Charlie’s pass is an unofficial name for it, but everyone calls it Charlie’s Pass. Years ago when Hurricane Charlie came through, it literally blew a hole right through the island, hence the name Charlie’s Pass. It was deep enough to bring larger boats through it. In a short time, The pass began to close up to where it looked like a little creek that only skinny water boats could get through. A very short time later the creek closed up. Now it is an amazing place to go to. We love to spend the day here on the beach. The neat thing about the beach here is you can anchor and back right up to the beach within feet of the dry sand. (No long walks to shore). The sand here is the nice white sugar sand and loads and loads of sea shells. Most people set up an umbrella or canopy right on the beach and enjoy the rolling waves on to the beach and the gentle sea breeze. My children and I cannot sit still, so we swim in the beautiful blue green waters and shell along the beautiful Beaches

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Okay this is the really fun part if you like to fish,walk East,  opposite of the Gulf,  about 200 yards and you will come to the back Bay, it is a natural estuary full of marine life. Birds, Crabs, Fish,, you name it. You will see in one of the photos my son throwing his cast net catching bait for his friend Jo Jo, who caught a nice Snook and of course released it. Enjoy the photos, this is such a beautiful place, unspoiled and full of nature. You are going to love it and you will not want to leave. Have fun!!!!!

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How do you get there?

Coming from Pine Island Sound,  head towards Redfish Pass. Hint, South Seas Plantation is on the south side of the pass. Once you are in Redfish Pass, head north up the beach . You will see a few homes on your right. Keep heading north and you will come to an area where the trees are gone and you can see clear over to the Bayside. You are there. Enjoy..

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