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Your Florida Waterfront Home

Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Archive for the ‘Florida Waterfront Home’ Category

Estero Island and Ft. Myers Beach

Posted by Shane On October 3rd

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great!!!!  Welcome back to the latest issue of The Boating Guide.  I’ve had some of my readers write in and say, “what if we don’t live on the water; where’s the best place to put our boat in? Where are the closest waterfront restaurants and watering holes that we can get to by boat?  We don’t know the waters that well in Southwest Florida and don’t want to run aground”.  Well, I would be happy to answer all of these questions.

 

In Fort Myers, the most centrally located boat ramp is the Punta Rassa Boat Ramp at Sanibel Causeway. It was all redone a few years ago, allows you to put in 4 boats at a time, and there’s plenty of parking. Punta Rassa also offers a large fish cleaning station and restrooms. At the end of the day when you’re pulling your boat out, it’s fun to check out what other fishermen have caught. I’ve seen Grouper, Snapper, Sheepshead, Redfish, Snook, American Red Snapper, King Fish, Spanish Mackerel, all kinds of fish.  Remember, there’s a $10.00 per day parking fee or you can buy an annual resident pass for $60 per year; just go to www.leeparks.org and search “parking sticker” for all the information. The annual pass also gives you access to several other ramps as well as parks in Lee County.

 

Punta Rassa Boat Ramp is really easy to find; from Hwy 41 go west on Summerlin Rd. towards Sanibel. Right before you get to the toll booths at Sanibel Causeway, stay to your far right, you’re going to veer off to the right onto Punta Rassa Rd. and then turn left to the boat ramp, you can’t miss it. Sometimes instead of leaving from the house, we trailer our boat to Punta Rassa Boat Ramp and put in there.  That way we can get to the Gulf quickly without going through the slow zones in the Caloosahatchee River. Take a look at some of the photos…

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Today we’re going to head to Ft. Myers Beach on Estero Island. It’s a short ride from Punta Rassa and there are plenty of bars, restaurants, marinas, fuel, etc., plus, the beach!  You can see Ft. Myers Beach as you go under the Sanibel Causeway Bridge heading South. The channel here is very well marked and you have plenty of water.  As you come from the Sanibel Causeway Bridge heading south, be sure to stay on the right side of the markers because on the other side, there’s a large sand bar.  Follow the markers to Ft. Myers Beach and once you get to the north end of the beach you’ll see more markers very clearly marking the channel going around and behind Estero Island. Once you’re at this point you’ll see San Carlos Bay behind and to your left; ahead and to the right there’s a public park at the northern tip of Ft. Myers Beach called Bowditch Point Park – a great place to anchor up, hang out and relax.  There are public restrooms, grilling areas, picnic tables, metered parking, and a little snack bar. The park underwent a beach restoration project several years ago substantially increasing the size of the beach and enhancing sea turtle habitat.

 

As you head south on the back side of the Island, you’ll come past a great big beige building to the right, this is the Pink Shell Resort. What a great place to stay, it’s right on the beach, has a great pool area, plus restaurants and bar right there on the Gulf.  There’s also a newer restaurant at the Pink Shell Resort on the Bay side; I haven’t eaten there yet, so let me know how it is?

 

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As you continue south towards the big Sky Bridge that connects Ft. Myers Beach to San Carlos Island and the mainland, you’ll see some really neat cottages along with huge “McMansions”…

 

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There are also several marinas where you can stop and get fuel or even keep your boat there.  There’s Moss Marina on the Ft. Myers Beach side and across the Bay there’s a new facility for larger boats and yachts, Diversified Yacht Services. Right next door is the United States Coast Guard…

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At the foot of the Sky Bridge to Ft. Myers Beach you’ll see a multi-colored building on the right called Nervous Nellie’s. The food is great and soooo much to choose from on the menu. At the very top there’s a bar called Ugly’s which has indoor and outdoor dining offering great views of the Bay… See the link below.

 

http://nervousnellies.net/

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Once you go under the bridge look to your immediate right. There’s another restaurant called Matanzas On The Bay. The food here is equally great with indoor dining and a large deck for waterfront dining! Matanzas also has an upstairs bar and dining called The Upper Deck.  This is another great spot to enjoy the Bay views or to catch a football game. Just next door is the Matanzas Inn with cute updated rooms and dock space for your boat. Check out the link below..

 

 http://matanzas.com/

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We had planned on visiting several other eating and drinking establishments on Ft. Myers Beach today, however, as you saw in the above photos, there was a very bad squall heading our way. I had been watching it build and build as we were eating lunch at The Upper Deck. As it drew closer and closer we could hear the thunder and see the lightning off in the distance – It was time to go! I must warn you, if the storm is too close, please stay put and wait for it to pass. Please keep in mind, I’ve been on the water my entire life and If I thought for one moment that we would be in danger, I would have stayed put. I told Anne, “it’s time to go right now”! It also helps that we were in the Lake and Bay flats boat which runs just over 80 MPH. We said good bye to our friends, hopped in the boat and took off. We were back to the ramp in no time at all. As soon as we had the boat pulled out and were on Summerlin Rd. the sky opened up!!!  Wow!!!  What a storm.. of course as most afternoon storms in Florida, they come quickly and pass quickly while cooling everything down – at least for a little while.

 

Stay tuned for next week and we’ll finish our tour of the back side of Estero Island (Fort Myers Beach).

 

On a serious note: I want to thank the United States Coast Guard, Lee County Sherriff’s Department, the Sanibel Police Department and any other law enforcement that helped rescue our friends last weekend. Thank  goodness for their quick response time… We have some friends who were fishing off Sanibel last weekend with 7 people on board – 4 children and 3 adults. No one knows why yet, but their boat sank. It was a 30 foot plus boat; the bow was the only part of it left floating up and out of the water. Thank goodness everyone kept their heads on straight. The kids were wearing life jackets and the adults put theirs on as the boat was sinking. They were able to call and give their coordinates to the authorities. Thanks to the quick thinking of the crew and everyone remaining calm, everyone is okay. Beyond scary to say the least.  Years ago, I used to get irritated when I would randomly get pulled over for a safety check on my boat. Checking life jackets, flares, other safety equipment, etc. I now welcome it, because I have had other similar situations, in which my buddies and I have rescued people from sunken boats. Having the proper safety gear on your boat in an emergency can save lives. Just think, if our friends had not been prepared, it could have turned out very bad. I don’t feel comfortable posting the youtube video of the rescue, however, If you choose to pull it up, go right ahead. Google “capsized boat off Fort Myers Beach”. Once again, I commend the captain, the crew and law enforcement who did an amazing job on their rescue.

 

Until next week. Make time for your Family and Friends, life is so short.

 

Make it a great weekend..

 

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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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Lobstering In The Florida Keys 2014 Part 4

Posted by Shane On August 28th

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great!!!!!!!! Before we jump into “Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Four”, I want to give you an update on our local Real Estate Market in Southwest Florida.

 

Properties continue to sell as long as they are priced within market value. Tear down houses on Gulf access canals are selling from the mid $200,000 range and up.  Homes in the $500,000 plus range are selling as are the homes priced well over $1,000,000. There seems to be a steady balance at this time; as properties are selling, others are coming on the market. I am also seeing another trend, many of the homes that have been on the market for a while are now getting price reductions.  We’re seeing more activity with them going pending and then sold within a few weeks. This is a great thing!  This also tells me that Buyers today are not dummies! They keep track of what is on the market for sale, they see when a property goes pending and then what it sells for. Buyers today are better informed than ever. It doesn’t appear that the waterfront market is getting stupid crazy like it was during the “boom”.

 

If you’re interested in knowing what’s happening with prices on properties in a particular area or neighborhood, please let me know and I’ll set you up on my Listingbook program.  It’s free and allows you to search whatever houses or lots you’d like. It will notify you of new listings on the market and it will also let you know when properties go pending; it’s a great tool. Even if you’re not looking to buy or sell at this time, it’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of our local Southwest Florida Real Estate Market.

 

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help you anyway I can…:-)

 

Okay now on to the fun stuff…..Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Four..

 

To recap:  Last week we left off with our crew going out in the boat scouting out our Lobster spots. After that we took the boat to Sombrero Key Lighthouse for an afternoon of snorkeling on the reef.

 


Well today is the big day!!!! The First Day of Lobster Mini Season…  Holy cow you have no idea how exciting this is… We got up early, early, like before the sun came up and headed over to pick up our friends, the Mazzola’s. We headed out to our spots approximately 10 miles out in the Gulf in the pitch black early, early morning night sky. It’s quite an eery feeling. The water is flat calm and the wind is whistling through the T top tubing on the boat as we cruise 35 mph. You cannot see a thing until you look up in the sky and see trillions and trillions of tiny little stars. If you look up long enough you will sometimes see shooting stars – meteors entering the atmosphere and burning up. It’s a really cool sight to see…

 

It’s also really neat to watch the dimly lit GPS while it’s taking us to our secret Lobster holes. The anticipation  builds as we get closer and closer – 8 miles, 6 miles, 3 miles, 1 mile to our destination… beep beep beep, you have reached your destination. All the while, you have that feeling of not knowing if you are going to get to your Lobster spot to find that all of the Lobster have moved during the night. Or not knowing if you are going to encounter a big Moray Eel living on the same ledge as all your lobster; or a Nurse Shark resting in front of the ledge which holds all of your Lobster… Ya just do not know!

 

By this time the sun was just getting ready to come up as we jumped into the water. Underwater is pure darkness. You can’t see a thing and you don’t know what sea creature may be watching you invade his home. All you see is the beam of light coming from your waterproof flashlight that you threw in to mark your spot. But now it was time, Wade and I jumped into the water right on top of our spot..and SCORE!!!!!!!! – packed full of Lobster. Wade yells up to the boat, “throw in the scuba tank, cause we’re gonna need it”! When you’re on some of these spots, the Lobster go way deep back into their ledges and it can take some time to get them out. Sometimes you have to reach way up under and feel your way around with your hands (on a serious note, unless you are experienced, do not ever do this, it can be very dangerous and you never know what’s living in the ledges, again DO NOT do this). I know you’re thinking “well Shane, why do you do it? Are you brave or just stupid?” I am neither. I have been doing this since I was a little kid growing up in the Florida Keys. Yes, there is a technique I use to minimize any damage to my fingers and hands. Yes, I have been bitten by Blue Crabs, Stone Crabs (those are almost the worst – ouch!) small Moray Eels, and other things that have tried to latch on to my hand. To this day, I still have no clue what animal it was that I made very angry way up in that ledge?? I’ve been stuck with Black Sea Urchin spines and even a few very close calls with the poisonous Lion Fish. On this ledge there were none of those creatures, just us and the Lobster. Wade and I started pulling Lobsters out one by one. We handed them to Annie or Paige and they would swim them over to the boat where Craig would measure them a second time to be sure they were legal size to keep. Once we harvested all the legal lobster from that hole, we moved on to the next hole, then the next one. With each stop we were getting closer and closer to our daily limit of Lobster. Take a look at some of these photos of our ride out to our spots. Remember it was pitch dark and the kids were half asleep…  🙂

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As we hit our other spots the sun was beginning to rise – how beautiful is this?! Photos do the sunrise no justice; words can’t explain the sheer beauty as this part of the world awakens. Now the darkness is turning into light. Now we can see the thunderstorms that had surrounded us in the night sky. All you could see were the flashes of lightning, way, way off in the distance…

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Before we knew it , we had our limit and were headed back in. The sky was so beautiful as sunrise approached creating a bright orange glow….

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It was interesting coming back into Vaca Cut. We already had our limit, however, the late sleepers were just heading out to start their search for Lobster…

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We got back to the dock and unloaded our catch into a livewell to keep the Lobster fresh…

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You are only allowed to harvest 6 Lobster per person per day so we had 18 more Lobster to catch. Three of our crew members had decided to sleep in but still wanted to catch Lobster, so we picked them up, loaded more supplies, and headed out. This was going to be much more challenging now due to the fact that EVERYONE was up and out on the water looking for Lobster!  No fear .. we’ve got our numbers and we will find more Lobsters!!!!! It was a beautiful ride out. The water was calm and the sun was coming out, making it so much easier to see our spots from above…

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We arrived at our spot and “splash!”, Wade was in the water. He went down for a look. He shot up to the top of the water and yelled “DAD!!!!!!! come on!!!!! We have got some monsters here!!!!!”  I said “Wade are you sure”. Wade replied ” Dad, seriously!!!! Come on!!!!!!”  We were on a mission. The others in the boat couldn’t resist so they also got into the water to check it out. Well, Wade was right, there were some really big ones and they moved way back into the ledges. Well, they can’t hide from us… so we went in after them!!!!!!!!!! Wade, Craig, Annie, Paige, Tyler and Peyton. They would be our look-outs in case any of these Lobsters tried to escape through a back hole.

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It did take a little more work to get our Lobsters this time, and a little longer, because many of the holes were cleaned out, but we did reach our limit and decided to head back in. We had plenty for our family and we wanted to make sure we stayed within the law.

 

The ride in was a great ride, the seas were calm, the sun was out. As we approached Vaca Cut we noticed a couple of wave runners with guys on them – they really looked out of place. These guys were fully clothed, hats on, and what appeared to be some type of utility belts. I said to Craig, “something doesn’t look right”.  All of a sudden one of the wave runners spins around, heads right at us, and comes up from behind. It turns out he was an undercover police officer checking all the incoming boats to make sure they were following the law by keeping within proper Lobster limits. The officer was very nice. He asked us if we caught anything and we said “yes”. He asked us to open our livewell and he pointed at what he thought was the smallest lobster and said “Please pull him out so I can measure him”.  Without any hesitation, we reached in, pulled the Lobster out, and gave it to the officer. He said “you’re all good and free to go”.  Soooooo, ya see right there, we were following the rules, complying with the law, and being respectful. And of course, we didn’t have any “shorts” (too small Lobsters) on board. By the way, if you get caught with a short Lobster or Lobsters onboard, it’s a $500 fine per Lobster, a court appearance, and even possible confiscation of your boat. I took a few photos of the officers on Wave Runners; that’s something you don’t see everyday!

 

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We went back to the dock to admire our catch and start cleaning the Lobster.  But of course, we had to get photos first…

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Now comes the part that many people think is gross. By cleaning the Lobster you have to twist off their tails. Then you have to clean out the “pooper trail” with one of the lobster tentacles.

 

Everyone got involved with this (well, not everyone). It’s actually kind of fun!

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A few hours later after we cleaned all of the Lobster, as well as the boat, the kids hopped in the Lake and Bay and headed over to our friends’ place by water.

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The rest of us decided to join them and have a cold beverage and share stories about our great day on the water. Come to find out, the other five families in our group also did very well Lobstering that day. They cooked up some of their Lobsters and we grilled the fresh Mahi Mahi we caught the day before. We had a seafood feast!!!!!!!

 

What another amazing day on the water with family and friends. I just wish I could show you all first-hand how much fun this is. I can show you thousands of photos and write 20 pages of words, but nothing compares to the real thing. Being here and experiencing this. These are memories and experiences our children and friends will remember for ever.

 

Remember make time to do the things you want to do. Make a plan and work your plan. Just make it happen.

 

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

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

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!!!!!! 🙂

 

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 

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!!!!!!!!! 🙂 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!!!!!! 🙁

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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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

 

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