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Your Florida Waterfront Home

Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Archive for September, 2014

BIG SHELL ISLAND

Posted by Shane On September 26th

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great. The weather here in Southwest Florida has been absolutely amazing.  Although we’ve had a lot of rain in the last week, it sure has cooled everything down from the hot, hot weather we had the weeks before. On our morning walks, we notice that the air is a bit cooler (well cooler for us Florida people). If you can dodge the afternoon rain storms, the boating and fishing have been great; this leads me into my next Boating Guide. I’ve had several people write in and say “Shane, what if we don’t have all day to go boating? Say we get a late start on the weekend or want to hit the water after work and don’t have time to run out to North Captiva or Cayo Costa… and we want to bring our pets???”  I’ve got the perfect place for you…..

 

This perfect place is called Big Shell Island at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. There’s a long sandbar at the north end of the island. This is where we go when we’re short on time and want to bring the dogs so they can run around, swim, and play. We love it here! Like I said, the dogs can run around chasing the Seagulls, swim in the shallow water, and roll around on the beach without getting away from us – we’re on an island!

 

My family and I live just north of the South Cape Coral Bridge so it’s a pretty quick and beautiful boat ride to get here. On this particular day it was beautiful and sunny.  We had a high tide and the water was as clear as I’ve seen.

 

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There are so many beautiful waterfront communities that you can see from the River, both on the Ft. Myers side and the Cape Coral side.

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This is what it looks like coming into the mouth of the River heading towards the Gulf of Mexico.

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Now if you’re planning on going fishing and haven’t gotten your bait, you have got to stop at Jasper’s Floating Bait House. They have all kinds of live bait that Jasper has delivered daily….If you need to call him ahead of time he can hold whatever type of bait you may need for you to stop by and pick up. Here’s his number 239-699-3469.

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Once you pass Jasper’s Floating Bait House, look to your southwest and you’ll see the sandbar I told you about. Yes, it’s this close.

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I took several photos of us pulling up to the sandbar after crossing over a submerged sandy ridge to reach the back side of the island. The reason I like coming to the back side is to avoid the boat wakes. There can literally be a hundred plus boats going through the mouth of the River at certain times of the day. Yes it’s all slow zone, but sometimes a few boaters go a little too fast and throw off a big wake. Well, guess what happens when you do that????

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The “man” will pull you over and you will get a ticket, or maybe a warning if you’re lucky…

Please, keep your tides in mind when crossing over the submerged sandbar.  When you get up to it, trim your motor or motors up and just idle across it. It’s deeper on the other side. You can pull your bow right up on the beach and throw out your anchor or drop your Power Pole.

 

By this time our dogs are having anxiety attacks and cannot wait to jump off the boat and onto the beach to chase the Sea Gulls and run and swim through the water.

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As I mentioned before, we just love it here. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “people watching”, well we come here to “boat watch” and of course watch the people on their boats. We see everything from little tiny John Boats, with little motors putting along to huge mega yachts – now those are a sight to see!! The current is always ripping through here which is a great thing if you like to fish.  Anne loves to set up her chair and just watch the dogs play and wave to the boaters.  Me personally, I cannot sit still, I need to be doing something while “oohing” and “ahhing” over all the boats going by. Well guess what I’m doing – you got it – Fishing!  Since the water is ripping through here this means there are bait fish, and bait fish bring the bigger fish. I’ve caught Snook, Redfish, Trout, Snapper, lots of Jack, right off this beach. This is the best of both worlds, Annie gets to relax on the beach, the dogs get to run around and play, and I get to fish and boat watch. This is almost better than going to a boat show.  Check out some of these photos….

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Now here’s something you don’t see every day. If you look closely in the water you’ll see a guy swimming across the channel. Yes, the same channel that all the boats are going through. He did make it across without getting run over.  I was thinking to myself, this guy cannot be the sharpest tool in the shed. Once he got to our island, I asked him what he was doing?  He said he just wanted to see if he could swim across the channel.  All I could do was look at him and say “Okay”… There was no wasting my breath trying to explain how dangerous this was.

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What an amazing, beautiful day. I don’t think we could have asked for a better day. The sun is shining, there’s a balmy breeze, just a great day…

 

It’s amazing how many people we know on the boats that are going by.  Actually, I recognize the boat first and then identify who the owner is. While enjoying this beautiful day, what do I see?  It’s a black Lake and Bay flats boat. Turns out it’s our good friends’ son, Bo, and my son, Wade.  They’ve been out fishing and saw our boat so they decided to come by and say hello…(Please note on the first photo below how he’s coming across the underwater sandbar , motor trimmed up)

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On a personal note, watching my son and his buddy pull up on the boat makes me think about how great it is, and what a blessing, to be raising our kids on the water – being able to boat, fish, dive, and enjoy the outdoors. Seeing my son standing on the bow of that boat, looking like a young man makes me so very proud of him. Wade is a fine young man!!! Yes, I’m very proud of my daughter Ciara as well 🙂 (she’s not pictured here.)

 

Words cannot even describe what a great day it’s been. Please enjoy some more photos…

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For those of you who may not have a boat, or your boat is in the shop and you want a quick place to drive to, how about going to the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach. It’s also located on the River at the southeast tip of the Cape. They have a great man-made beach and there’s a playground for the kids, showers, rest rooms. Right next door is a restaurant that just opened up this summer called “The Boathouse – Tiki Bar & Grill”. It’s all outdoor dining with a fun, relaxed atmosphere, really good food and drinks and live entertainment!!!!!! 

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Well that’s all for now….. Make time for your family and friends, life goes by so fast.

 

Until next time make it a great weekend!!!!

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

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A Snapshot Of Our Local Waterfront Real Estate

Posted by Shane On September 19th

 

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

 

Believe it or not we have had some cooler mornings and lower humidity here in Southwest Florida. I’m not sure if these are just mini-fronts moving down from up north or just the normal cooling down at this time of year. Once the sun goes down, it’s actually very comfortable outside at night sitting by the pool.

 

Fishing has been red hot here! I have spoken to so many friends and customers who have been out on the water catching all kinds of fish, inshore and offshore. The inshore bight, as I mentioned, is red hot – they’re catching lots and lots of Snook as Season opened on Sept. 1. There are also schools of Red Fish spotted up in Pine Island Sound and farther north along all the mangrove islands. The Trout bite has also been really good on the grass flats. Anywhere you can find nice healthy grassy bottom, you should find Spotted Sea Trout.

 

Offshore, my friends have been catching Snapper, Hogfish, big Black Grouper and Gag Grouper as well as Red Grouper. Last week I took my buddy, Frank from Chicago, and his cousin Elias from Greece, out about 35 miles and we caught some monster Red Grouper pushing the 30 inch mark.  Elias fishes all the time on the Mediterranean Sea but even he was amazed by the size of these fish!  Now these are big Red Grouper!  I’ve been hearing about other friends catching small Blackfin Tuna and Bonita as well.  If you haven’t been out on the water lately, you need to get out there. It’s awesome!!!!

 

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On a business note, our local Southwest Florida Real Estate Market appears to be steady. Waterfront homes are still selling very well –  if they’re priced at current market value, they will sell. Homes that are overpriced continue to wait for Buyers. Today’s consumers are very smart and they do their homework.

 

In the last 30 days, from Downtown Ft. Myers to Jonathan Harbour near the Sanibel Causeway, there have been 11 waterfront properties Sold and Closed. Sold prices range from $259,000 to $3,750,000.  In the same geographic area, there are 11 Pending waterfront homes under contract at this time. In Cape Coral, the same holds true. Properties that are priced at current market value are selling very well. I feel that with interest rates as low as they are, and waterfront prices still affordable compared to so many other places in the world, we will continue to see a strong waterfront market. As inventory shrinks, we’re going to see prices continue to rise. With so many cash sales and more restrictive lending, I think this rise will occur at a normal appreciation rate and not as some artificial bubble like we once saw.

 

If you have any questions about our Waterfront Market here in Lee County or Collier County, or would like detailed information, please feel free to call me and I will set you up on my program called Listingbook.  Listingbook will send you morning updates of all the properties that come onto the market that fit your search criteria. It will also let you know about price changes and you can change your search criteria at anytime. It’s a really great program to have at your finger tips, and, it’s FREE to you.  If you would like me to set you up, just give me a call or shoot me a quick e-mail with what type of property you’re looking for, or what areas you’re interested in.  Give it a try, it’s easy, it’s free, and I know you’ll love it!!!

 

Now on to the fun part of the Boating Guide. I’ve heard from many of you who want to know about all the different things to do here in Southwest Florida – Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Sanibel, Captiva, Naples – by boat.  So over the next several months, I’ll be highlighting specific Boating Destinations throughout our area.  There’s a whole myriad of things to do and places to go by boat that could fill up every weekend for the next year!  So stay tuned, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

 

Remember, make time with your Family and Friends, time goes by so fast.

 

Until our next issue, make it a great weekend…

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson 

 

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Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part 5

Posted by Shane On September 5th

Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing great!!!!

 

I’m going to skip the boring stuff and get right into the Boating Guide… Lobster Mini Season In The Florida Keys 2014 Part 5.

 

We left off with the first day of Lobster Mini Season where we went out early, had a great day, and caught lots of Lobster.

 

Well then, you know what today is don’t you…. It’s the second and final day of the two day Mini Season. Today we lost half of our crew, but it’s all good, they decided to go to Key West for a day of sightseeing and shopping.  Key West is a beautiful place, it’s at the Southernmost tip of the United States and about a 90 minute drive from Marathon. The seafood here is fresh, fresh, all the food is amazing, the Bars are a blast, and the water is sparkling clear with all kinds of watersport and fishing options. You meet people from all over the world here, yes, all over the world.  Everyone is in a great mood, and why not, they’re on vacation!  The locals are laid back and relaxed. There is so much to do and see – visit the Key West Aquarium or the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum, ride the Conch Tour Train, stroll along Duval Street, relax at Smathers Beach or Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, tour the Hemingway House, take in the sunset shows at Mallory Square, the list goes on…  And you have a wide variety of overnight options like staying in a cozy Bed and Breakfast, renting a private house or condo, or checking into a big fancy resort hotel.  If you have never been to Key West, you must go, there’s something for everyone. Check this out – a rooster in someone’s front yard off Duval Street.

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After walking around all afternoon, our crew made their way to Sloppy Joe’s. Everyone has heard of the world famous Sloppy Joe’s! The food is good and the live entertainment is even better and it goes on all day and into the night.

 

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Here’s the sunset on the drive back home from Key West to Marathon, Key Colony Beach…..

 

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As I mentioned above, half our crew went to Key West for the day. The rest of us hopped in the boat and headed out to our secret lobstering spot on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Keys. This spot is so secret, sometimes the Lobsters cannot even find it… Just kidding… It was a beautiful sunshiny day. There was a light breeze, the water was calm and so pretty. We had about a 13 mile run to the “secret spot”.

 

Along the way we passed the Key Colony Beach Club; here are some photos of the Club from the water. It’s a really pretty place with a restaurant, pool, and beach right on the Atlantic Ocean.  And check out some of these McMansions!  These homes are huge and so beautiful…  

 

 

 

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Those properties are just incredible.. Want to buy one or two? I’d be happy to show them to you and sell them to you 🙂

 

Back to our 13 mile journey to our secret spot….My crew consisted of three teenagers and me. So this means 6 Lobster per person equals 24 – we could get 24 more Lobsters today.

 

 

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The GPS said we were getting closer and closer and closer to our spot. Once again the anticipation was building and building. Will the Lobster be there? Will they be legal size? When we got to our spot we threw the anchor out and got lined up right where we needed to be with the wind direction and the direction of the current. We were right on it. Wade and I suited up with our dive gear and we hit the water. The water felt great – nice, cool and refreshing!!!!!!  We let the air out of our BC’s and slowly sank to the bottom…Oh my Gosh, does this spot have sea life! There was an outgoing tide so the water was a little murky, which was just fine. There were coral heads on this spot, small ledges, and a bunch of sea fans. This place is a fish haven! There were Snapper, Grouper, Hog Fish, Grunts, so many species that even I didn’t know what they were. Beautiful Angel Fish, so much sea life. Even though we were not there to spear fish, my son Wade brought his speargun down just in case. Check out these photos….

 

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Within a few minutes we found what we came here for…….oh yeah……..

 

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Oh Yeah, turns out they were too small, so we left them alone.  We searched some more and I thought I saw what looked like tentacles.  As I got ready to reach in the hole and pull the Lobster out, guess who peered out of his castle and gave me the look?  “Yeah, stick your hand in here buddy”,  it was a Spotted Moray Eel. Take a look…

 

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I made a quick choice, it was better to leave him alone and move on. I told you before that Moray Eels have teeth that are curved back, so when they grab their prey, it doesn’t get away.  Meanwhile, Wade found a nice rock ledge and was trying to get a Lobster out. In the struggle to get the Lobster out, Wade broke off his tentacles, then the little booger came out the other side of the rock for his getaway…  take a look…

 

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No fear, I gave chase and got that booger……We expanded our search and looked and looked. Again, there were sooooo many fish….mixed in with all those Snapper was a nice Hog Fish. He’s the fish with the black dot on his tail..

 

 

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We searched some more and holy cow, did we find the honey hole. Look at them all. In the rocks, on the rocks, hanging upside down. Now this was going to take some planning to make sure that they didn’t all scatter. Wade and I have our underwater hand signals. We determined which ones we were going to get first and how we were going to get them. Wade and I have done this for years and we are, I feel, the best team. He knows what I am thinking and I know what he is thinking always….. Take a look at the honey hole…

 

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Look at this next photo closely, see all those tiny little microscopic fish. They are so tiny. In the previous Boating Guides, we spoke about ecosystems within ecosystems. We spoke about the Sargasm Weed ecosystem way out in the Atlantic Ocean. We spoke about the ecosystem on the Gulf side at the ledges and holes. Now here we are on a completely different type of reef on the Atlantic Ocean side. Just amazing, all the life that is in this one spot. Wouldn’t it be nice for our kids, their kids, and future generations to be able to enjoy this too?  That’s why it is so important to do your part in keeping our environment clean and encouraging others to do the same…..

 

Needless to say we had almost reached our limit of Lobster on this one rock. We took the biggest ones and of course did not touch the small ones, called “shorts”.  We searched for a few more minutes and bingo, we found another rock full of Lobsters and a Grandpa Lobster –  he was a big one!

 

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While we were down there Wade saw a legal size Red Grouper. He gave me the hand signal, “can I shoot it”?  I signaled back “sure, it’s legal”.  Wade, in his stealthy way, snuck up on the Grouper which was sitting by a coral head.  As Wade approached the Grouper, I was thinking in my head –  wait for the clean shot, wait, wait. Wade got closer and closer, I was thinking in my head – wait, wait, make it a clean shot.  I thought in my head – NOW Wade, NOW!!!!!!!!  Within a second… BAM, Wade shot, a direct head shot, instant kill. No suffering on the fish’s part, and no thrashing around in the water to attract the sharks that live in this area. We had our limit of Lobster and Wade shot a nice Red Grouper. It was time to head to the boat and double check our Lobster to be sure they were all legal size.  Check out the photos…

 

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What a nice day’s catch…  and time to head back in. What an amazing day; the sun was out, the water was calm and beautiful…

 

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When we got back to the dock, we set out our Lobster and fish and took photos…….

 

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Another fantastic day on the water.. Words cannot describe how beautiful the Florida Keys are. The weather for us on this trip was amazing. The fishing was amazing, the Lobstering was amazing. Our friends and families were amazing. The memories we all created here will be imprinted in our minds forever. For the kids to experience this, they will never forget this vacation full of boating, fishing, Lobstering , swimming on the reefs. These are things they will always remember…

 

If you ever make plans to go to the Keys, remember, I was raised there. I can tell you cool places to go to and see, things to do, charter boat captains to use, places to stay. I would be happy to share my knowledge with you.

 

There was one more day in the Keys full of snorkeling Alligator Light and boating, but I feel you all want to hear about the boating and places to go here locally in Southwest Florida. So look out for next week’s Boating Guide, some of you have sent me requests to write about certain places here, and boy, there are plenty. If you want to know where to go by boat for anything, you let me know and I’ll share my years of experience here on the water with you.

 

Remember to make time for your family and friends. Make a plan and work that plan. Life is so short.

 

Until next time make it a great day and even better weekend.

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

  

 

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