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Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Pt 1

Posted by Shane On October 31st

Hello every one! I hope you all are doing great. I know it has been some time since I sent out the Boating Guide. I have had a lot of response from people out there who miss it. They say they miss the updates on our local Real Estate Market and what our market is doing.  I have had an even larger response from some saying they miss the boating guide itself, all the great boating adventures, places to go by boat, whether it’s really cool beaches, awesome places to fish, great places to go shelling, great restaurants and bars to go to by water. I have done this for years and years, we are all geared up and ready to share what is happening in the Waterfront Real Estate market as well as, I know  many cool places to share with you regarding boating,  beaching, shelling, fishing, restaurants, boating trips for places to go for the afternoon or longer boating trips for days. Please remember, no matter what I write about, please always feel free to contact me and ask me any questions. I am more than happy to share my years of waterfront knowledge with anyone who has questions. We are living The Waterfront Lifestyle and I could not imagine it any other way and I would love to share it with you.


Let’s start with our Waterfront Real Estate Market. 2013 has been a phenomenal year for Real Estate sales on the water. We have seen prices go up quickly. Why? Do you ask? There is only so much waterfront property available, our inventory of waterfront homes has come down. People who have always dreamed of being on the water are now living their dream of owning their home on the water and having their boat in the back yard ready to go boating anytime. Many people from up north and overseas are coming here and buying, because our waterfront property here, is still very much affordable compared to other parts of the Country. You have asked me what price ranges are selling, I would have to answer, all price ranges. Homes in South Ft. Myers are selling from the low $200’s to a Riverfront Estate listed at over $5,000,000 recently became pending, according to the MLS. There are waterfront homes with Gulf access in Cape Coral selling below the $200,000 mark to well in to the Millions in Cape Harbour. The sleeper area is North Ft. Myers in a neighborhood called Waterway Estates. You can buy a gulf access home there in the mid to high $100,000 range. Shoot down to the Estero and Bonita area and waterfront prices will jump up some, but you still have good access out to Estero Bay and then out to the Gulf of Mexico.  Now moving farther south to Collier County (Naples) everyone has heard of Naples. Waterfront homes here start in the Million plus range up into the tens of Millions of dollars. South West Florida has waterfront Gulf access properties for everyone at all different price ranges. If you are serious about an area and want to know prices for waterfront homes for sale, pending and what has sold? Call me or e mail me and I will set you up on a free program that will e mail you all the details of any waterfront property you have questions about here in South West Florida. It is free and I will be happy to get you set up.


Okay, now onto the fun part of the Boating Guide… Where to go by boat and what to do by boat??? Should we stay here in our local waterways? Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Picnic Island, Captiva Island, North Captiva Island, Cayo Costa Island, Cabbage Key,  Boca Grande Pass, Gasparilla Island or take trip to the Florida keys, Dry Tortugas(Fort Jefferson), Key West or the Bahamas?




Tell you what; let’s start with a trip to the Florida Keys for Lobster Mini Season. If you have never been, you have got to go. Mini Lobster Season is when the Lobster Season opens early for two days only, they call it sportsman season. It is a blast; there are a bunch of Lobsters to be caught. Another name for Lobsters is “bugs”, yes bugs…

This year as years in the past we went with a group of families. Our local Fort Myers families and some families from up north who have never done this before. We loaded the boats on the trailers and headed to the keys. The first day is the drive to Layton Key which is about 4 to 4.5 hours depending on the traffic. Once we got there we unloaded, got settled in and got the boats into the water and brought them around to the hotel, which is located right on the canal.


The next morning we got up to scout our area where we would be bolstering. We loaded up the boats and headed out to our secret spots. We guard these spots with total secrecy; you are not allowed to tell anyone where the secret honey holes are. When we reached our destination, there were other boats around doing the same thing, scoping out the honey holes for the next days catch. Let me tell you, it is so hard to see all those bugs just sitting under the ledges and you cannot touch them or bother them in any way or you will face stiff penalties! We did find several new honey holes FULL of bugs. Below is what we are looking for from the surface, once you see these ledges from the surface you jump into the water and dive down to the holes and ledges and see who is home.

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That lobster is looking me right back in the eye and saying, Ha Ha,, Cannot touch me. Ugggg….. Until tomorrow Mr. Lobster.


Check out this video, (turn up the volume)……

My son Wade looking for Lobster. If you look closely as soon as he goes down and looks in the first hole, what comes sticking his head out?? A Moray Eel. Yikes!!!!!!

click on the link…

Okay now Dad’s turn to go down and scout out some bugs for the next two days catch!!!

Can you say Honey hole?? Wow!!!!!! (turn up the volume)……

click on the link…


It is a great time for the kids as well, You never know what you are going to see. Look what Jake is holding. A big Horseshoe Crab..



We had so much fun the first day on the water. The weather was beautiful and calm. It was great to spend time with friends and family.

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After an amazing day on the water looking for the Lobsters we headed back in to swim in the pool and get ready for a big feast with everyone.

You will have to wait until next week for LOBSTERING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS MInI SEASON Part 2. I promise you, it will be very exciting and interesting.

Please remember, time goes by so fast!!! Make time for your  family and friends. As Nike says, “Just Do It”. Time goes by  soooo fast…..see you next week.

Make it a great weekend!!!!!



City chooses Ford’s Boathouse to take over Yacht Club restaurant location

POSTED Tue, 07/16/2013 – 2:05am | POSTED BY Jeff Koehn


Ford’s Garage officially opened in the former Leapin’ Lizards location on July 4

On the day one era ended at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, another one began.

On Monday night, the Cape Coral City Council accepted the proposal of Zak Kearns one of the owners of local restaurant Ford’s Garage.

Ford’s Boathouse, as it will be known will take up residency at the former home of KC’s Riverstop at the Cape Coral Yacht Club pier, hopefully within the next four months.

Kearns says Ford’s Boathouse will be an extension of Ford’s Garage, which opened its Cape Coral location just a few weeks ago at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge.

With their latest venture, the company will look to create a waterfront destination that would be family oriented with hamburgers, hot dogs, seafood, and drinks targeted to accommodate beach goers and boaters, “We are going to go above and beyond to make it a hang out.”

Included in the plan would be a possible extension of the restaurant’s deck, live music and entertainment, and possible beach service for food and drinks. Kearns also said the company is looking into the possibility of adding sunset cruises aboard a pontoon boat.

Ford’s Boathouse was one of three proposals the city received to take over the restaurant, fuel dock services and bait/tackle shop after the city decided not to extend the lease of current tenant KC’s Riverstop. Cape Coral’s Dixie Roadhouse and T&D Adventures of SW Florida were the other proposals received.

However, Dixie Roadhouse announced late Friday afternoon that they had withdrawn their proposal to concentrate more on their current business and expansion of that business.

With Dixie Roadhouse withdrawing, that left the council with the choice between Ford’s Boathouse and Poppy’s Grill at the Yacht Club.

Poppy’s Grill was proposed by T&D Adventures of SW Florida, owned by South Cape Diner owners Tom and Debra Timmerman. Also, part of the T&D Adventures team was former Cape Coral Mayor and owner of BJM Consulting Joe Mazurkiewicz.

Mazurkiewicz made the announcement of his involvement in the project while presenting the proposal to the city council at Monday night’s meeting.

Mazurkiewicz explained that between his 45 years in the community and the Timmerman’s years of experience in owning restaurants both in Cape Coral and New York, Poppy’s Grill would be just a piece of a larger puzzle, “This is bigger than a restaurant, this is about the entire Yacht Club,” he explained to the council. “We want to evolve this into the jewel of the Southeast Cape Coral.

He also stated that the two proposals were not that different, other than their approach, “T&D wants to evolve the site into a destination, and that will take 3-5-10 years.”

T&D said part of their growth strategy would the possibility of adding a roof covering three quarters of the deck in the second five years of their lease.

According to their written proposals, both establishments agreed to pay $3,500 per month in rent plus property tax. However, both told the council they were negotiable when it came to the amount of rent the city would charge. Both were asking for a five year lease, with Ford’s Boathouse asking for two five year options following.

For the council, while there was excitement generated by the proposals, there was also some questions, “I have some concern about the hours of operation,” explained council member Rana Erbrick, who said the restaurant’s location in a neighborhood area does not allow for late night music enjoyed at some establishments.

Council Member Kevin McGrail echoed Erbrick’s concerns, “I have a scary vision of bad karaoke at midnight.”

Both Ford’s and T&D explained that it was their goal to develop a strong relationship with their neighbors, and would have to adjust their entertainment accordingly in order to not have a negative impact on the area.

Another concern was the lack of parking available at the Yacht Club. No one had an immediate solution to that problem that has plagued the Yacht Club for years. However, both said they would work with the city to at the very least optimize the parking that is currently available.

In the end, the council commended both firms for having impressive proposals, but went with Ford’s Boathouse in a 5-3 vote with council members Marty McClain, McGrail, Derrick Donnell, John Carioscia, and Lenny Nesta voting for the proposal.

Kearns says they expect to have the improvements completed in time to have the new restaurant open for the upcoming season.

Now having two restaurants in the city, they are hoping to have a positive impact on the entire South Cape district, “It takes one to start a fire. I think Ford’s Garage is going to be the igniter. When we put them all together, along with all the other establishments in the South Cape, we can only make them better. We are extremely excited about adding Ford’s Boathouse to that mix.”

This article is courtesy of:

Tarpon Lodge On Pine Island

Posted by Shane On June 14th

The water is warming up and the fish are biting again in Pine Island Sound and Boca Grande Pass areas. I have a really cool Historic/Nostalgic place to go to.

This is the one and only Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island. This place is really neat and offers something for everyone. You can go there for the day for lunch or dinner or make it a long weekend and stay at this amazing property. The accommodations are awesome. Stay in the Historic Lodge built in 1926. The rooms in the Lodge are awesome. Or you can Stay in the boat house or the Cottage, the choice is yours. Enjoy the Four Star Dining, Lunch or Dinner.

There are many things to do, of course for the boater you can bring your boats and moor up to the dock over night. For those of you that are not aware of the fishing in this area, it is outstanding, Snook, Red Fish,Trout,Flounder,Snapper,Sheep Head and many more species. Take a short boat ride to Boca Grande Pass and catch Grouper, Big Mangrove Snapper and Tarpon if your timing is right. Boca Grande is the Tarpon Fishing Capital of the world.

For those that are not into boating there are so many things to do at Tarpon Lodge. Hang out by the pool, grab a book and go sit on the dock and watch the wild life abound. Ospreys, Bald eagles, marine birds, so much wild life.

I could go on and on. Tarpon Lodge has got an amazing web site, so you have to go to it..

You will have a fantastic time!!!!!!


Doc Ford’s Rum Bar And Grill

Posted by Shane On June 7th

I have got another great place to go to by boat after a day of boating and fishing or just relaxing on the beach. You may or may not have heard of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill on Ft. Myers Beach. It just recently opened. It is where the Bridge Restaurant used to be for years. This is a great place to go to and try different types of food and drink, such as the Banana Leaf Snapper or their Island Mojito drink.

Doc Ford’s offers a great atmosphere. You can dine inside in the air conditioning or dine out side on the deck and enjoy the expansive views of the bay and Shrimp boats.

Please go to the website, it is very well done…

How do you get there?

Coming into Ft. Myers Beach from the Gulf of Mexico, head towards the big sky bridge. Go under the bridge and take a left following the well marked channel. Look to your left and you will see Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill


Visit Doc Ford’s Sanibel Bar & grill on Sanibel   975 Rabbit Road Sanibel Island  239-472-8311

Look for Doc Ford’s opening soon on Captiva!!!


Charlie’s Pass

Posted by Shane On May 29th

Hello Again,

I have been getting a great response from all of the subscribers that get the boating guide weekly.

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


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Here ya 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 plenty deep 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 with in 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 below, 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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Bayfront Bistro On Ft. Myers Beach

Posted by Shane On May 24th

Bayfront Bistro is simply amazing. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is great. This entire facility is new and it shows. I cannot even begin to tell you the best dish on the menu, because everything is so great there. From the appetizers toany of the meals, lunch or dinner. You will not be disappointed.

There are beautiful views of the marina and back Bay from the upstairs dining area. Or you can go down to the bar area and enjoy the out door facilities


For us boaters, there is a full service marina and much more.

This facility offers so much, I think it would be better just to go to their website and check it out for your self. You are going to love this place. Below are just a few photos for you to enjoy.








How Do I Get There?

The are two ways to access Bayfront Bistro. Coming from the water, come around the north end of Ft. Myers Beach (Matanzas Pass) and follow the well marked channel south. Or you can come from the south end of Ft. Myers Beach through Big Carlos Pass and head north, north west. The channel is well marked. When you get to Bayfront Bistro and Snook Bight Yacht Club & Marina, you cannot miss it.

Make it a great time!!!

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For more information on this facility go to: OR


Dolphin Fishing In The Keys – Part 2

Posted by Shane On May 17th

Hello everyone,

I hope you all are doing great. The weather continues to get more beautiful here everyday. The Tarpon are back in the passes rolling, the Sharks are back as well chasing the food they feed. The Snook bite has picked up as well as the Red Fish and the  Spotted Sea trout bite is on. OffShore, my friends went out and limited out on Gag Grouper and Snapper. They caught King Fish and plenty of Spanish Mackerel. Come on the down the fishing is red hot and so are the deals on waterfront property. I never ever thought we would see waterfront prices this low again. It is really crazy…

Now back to part two of the Dolphin Fishing in the keys. We left off at Alligator light. It is an amazing reef off of Islamorada. The water here is so beautiful. The undersea life is just incredible and yes it is all protected, it is a no take zone period which is a great thing. I am going to share many photos with you so you too can enjoy the beauty of this magical place

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Alligator Reef is just an amazing place. The water is so clear the sea life is out of this world. So much to see and experience. Check out these photos..

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We decided to climb up in to the light house. Oh my Gosh what a view, just amazing. Check out the photos…

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We had just swam back to the boat for lunch when the United States Coast Guard pulled up and got on there loud speaker and said. “It is a federal offense to be up in the light house. Disperse immediately!!!” Yikes.. We still had a blast though

I am going to show you some really amazing photos that my friend Jesse took. I could not believe it my self..

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Jesse was able to follow this Juvenile Logger Head Sea Turtle around for about 25 minutes. What a neat experience. This place is just so absolutely incredible. These photos do not do it any justice at all.

If you do make it to the keys, please do not hesitate to call me or e mail me for places to stay, places to eat on the water, fishing charters, Dive Charters, Boat rentals, homes to rent on the water. What ever you need , tap my years and years of knowledge. All I can say is you must get to the Florida Keys one day.

Until next time, make time for your family and friends. Life goes by so fast enjoy it. Another tid bit for you. If you ever wake up one day feeling no so great, please look around you. There is family, friends and loved ones that care about you and that you care about. Be very thankful and grateful for what you do have, not what you do not have. There is always going to be someone out there that has it way worse off than you. Life is a gift, you can choose to live it and enjoy it icon smile Dolphin Fishing In The Keys   Part 2

Take Care and enjoy you weekend.

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

Dolphin Fishing In The Keys

Posted by Shane On May 8th

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are doing great. The weather continues to warm up here in SW Florida. It has just been beautiful out. We are beginning the get our afternoon thunderstorms which are really nice. It cools everything down and the air smells so crisp and fresh after the hard rain. The rain does not last long at all.


For those of you who do know and those of you who do not know, starting the Middle of May the Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) start there annual migration. The schools of Dolphin are thick along the coast of Florida out in the Gulf Stream and sometimes just off the reef in a few hundred feet of water.

For those of you that have larger boats that you can stay aboard with a cabin there is a place called Plantation Yacht Harbor. They have an amazing facility there. Fuel docks, 30, 50, 100 amp service, water, fish cleaning tables, clean bathrooms and showers. There is a 42 acre park with pool and white sand beach. It is located right on the bay and minutes through Snake Creek to the Atlantic Ocean. One of my Broker / Managers has his boat there in the water for the next 3 months. For the cost of keeping your boat in the Marina or renting a house or condo for 3 months, the Marina is a much better value. Please check out the website….

This time of year off the Reef the sail fishing is slowing down and the Dolphin and Tuna fishing is picking up. The reef fishing has picked up too for Yellow Tail Snapper and other reef species.

My son Wade and I headed over to Brad’s boat right after sunrise. Brad and Jesse had the boat all ready to go. We boarded the boat and headed out. It was a flat calm day, no wind at all, nice cool morning breeze. We headed about 7 miles out and began to troll for Dolphin or Tuna. We had a hit pretty quickly and pulled up a small Black Fin Tuna. These are great eating, white meat fish. Just be sure to bleed it as soon as you get it in the ice box.

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After Trolling for awhile we decided to head out farther, to about 23 miles out. You will see a lot of big ships when you are out this far. We were trolling and saw a bird frantically flying over the water. I said Guys there is fish under that bird you watch. We trolled by the bird and whammm!!!! Fish on!!!! It was a nice 48 inch Dolphin. Brad struggled with the fish and got it to the boat, I gaffed it and swung it in to the fish box

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Off in the distance you could see the dark clouds building up, nothing to be concerned about, just aware. As the dark clouds moved closer, Brad said, Shane is that a water spout? I said yes it is and they can be very dangerous. Check out the photos. It is the cone shape dropping from the clouds. A water spout is like a Tornado except over the water. The winds can be from 10 MPH to 90 MPH. I have never stuck around so I could not tell you personally. I always head away from them. Check out the photos…

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The fishing was slow so Brad asked where a great place was to go snorkeling. I said Alligator Light. The ref is amazing and so is the wild life and you can jump off the light house into the water. So we headed to Alligator Light. The water there is just so amazingly beautiful. Check out the photos….

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When you come to the Keys, you must get out to Alligator Light. It is so beautiful, the water looks like you are in the Bahamas. I have much more to share with you but I am out of time. Next week though I will finish up the boating guide. Please, Please, when you plan your trip to the Keys and need a home to rent on the water, need a great hotel to stay at, a ramp to put your boat in, cool places to go by water or great places to go fishing, Please send me an e mail and I will be happy to help you any way I can.

Make it a great weekend and remember make time for your family and friends, Enjoy!!!

Til next time….

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson



The Gulf Shore Grill & The Cottage

Posted by Shane On March 21st

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Have I got a place to go for you this weekend in the boat. Have you heard of the Gulfshore Grill & The Cottage on Ft. Myers Beach? This is a great time of year to go (Spring Break). If you like to people watch and have a great time you have got to go. Once you have anchored off of Ft. Myers Beach, you can walk up to the beach and get lunch at the Cottage. At The Cottage you can sit out on a deck or inside over looking the beach and Gulf of Mexico and watch all the people, it is really quite amusing. 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 and people watch. Or throw a Frisbee or 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!!!Oh, do not forget you camera. Enjoy the photos.

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How Do You Get There?

How do you get there? This is easy. Starting from the Sanibel Causeway. Head towards Fort Myers Beach VIA the intra coastal waterway. Keep heading down parallel to Ft. Myers Beach. You will see the big Concrete pier, just past the pier, you will see a large green building. Right to the left of the Lani Kai (the green building) you will see The Gulfshore Grill and The Cottage. You cannot miss it.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I hope the season is treating you all well. It’s been a busy buying season in Southwest Florida – not only are people busy out on the roads buying presents, they are also busy buying HOUSES! If you are interested in buying a home in Southwest Florida, give me a call!

Also I wanted to share with you a Southwest Florida fishing charter guy that we just love. If you have a fisherman in the family that you are still trying to figure out a gift idea for – a GIFT CERTIFICATE for a Southwest Florida fishing charter with Capt Bill at Endless Summers Charters, can help you out, without leaving your home. You can buy and print the Gift Certificate right from your computer & printer.

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