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

Your Florida Waterfront Home

Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Archive for the ‘Scuba Diving’ Category

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

 

 

Hi Everyone … I made some changes to the last post, Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 2.  There are some great Photos, take a look and enjoy.  Maybe next year I will see you down there!!!

click here to read more on Lobstering in the Keys part 2

 

 

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Pt 2

Posted by Shane On November 9th

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Part 2

Hello everyone, I hope you have had a wonderful week!!! We are doing great here in Southwest Florida and the weather is beginning to cool down some. The fishing for Snook, RedFish, and Trout has been red hot. There are even Tarpon off the beaches right now chasing pods of bait. The offshore Grouper bite has been hot as well. I cannot wait to get on the water and wet a line!

 

The Real Estate Market is still moving right along. If homes are accurately priced to reflect today’s market value, they are selling. Of course, the homes that are overpriced continue to sit on the market waiting for buyers. As you know, interest rates dropped again this last week with 30 year fixed rate loans just above 4% and 15 year loans just above 3%. Keep in mind this will vary some from lender to lender and depend on how many points you may, or may not, pay.  As I said before, the homes on the water are moving. All price points are selling – from Gulf access homes in the high $100,000’s to the multi-million dollar homes. There is also a lot of new construction going up all over. In my neighborhood, there were three homes scraped and new homes are being built right now. I am seeing more and more of this type of turnover in many of our waterfront neighborhoods.

 

The snow birds are already here for the holidays, the roads appear to be filling up, and the restaurants are getting busy. I do not see a slowdown in sales of waterfront property; there is only so much of it and people from around the country and overseas want their own piece of paradise. If you are curious about what you can get for your money in Southwest Florida, or specifically about waterfront property values, please feel free to contact me and I will set you up on my FREE program that will automatically e-mail listings to you when they come on the market. It’s a neat program and I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

Okay now on to the fun stuff..

 

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Pt 2

We left off last week down in the Florida Keys looking for Lobster and scouting out new spots before the mini season opened up. If you missed last week’s Boating Guide, go to my archives and look up Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Part 1.

 

Well today was the big day. The opening of Mini Lobster Season in the Florida Keys. We all got up at about 4:30 am as to get the boats loaded, beat the crowds of boaters out onto the water, and get to our secret spots.

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Yes it is still very dark out. I have to tell you there is nothing more peaceful than planing off in your boat at night on flat calm water. No wind, no waves, not a ripple on the water. Just the smell of the ocean, and the boat hull gliding along the surface of the water. I will try to show you a photo of what this looks like. This photo does not do it justice though…

 

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We ran about 7 or 8 miles South, Southwest to our spots. What an amazing ride, so quiet, so peaceful. When we finally got to our spot, it was still dark out, so we got our lights and gear and splashed in to the water. The first spot had a few on it, nothing to write home about. Below is Paige and Mr. Craig; they would double check the size of the lobsters to be sure they were legal size.

 

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I cannot even begin to tell you how calm the water was, there was not a breath of wind. This is really good, so when we are scouting the ledges on the bay bottom, it makes it much easier to see…   Look how calm it was…

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We decided to move on to another spot, when we got there, we saw a lot of tentacles sticking out from under the ledges. Everyone jumped in. It is good to have spotters so if you are reaching up under a ledge and the Lobster shoots out the other end, you have a spotter to chase him down and get him!!! The spot we were on had a deep ledge, so we needed to bring down a scuba tank with us. My son Wade went to reach into one hole and out popped a Moray Eel. Bad news! They have razor sharp teeth that will slice you wide open, not to mention their teeth angle backwards, so if you try pulling your hand out of its mouth, it will tear your hand up. Wade decided to leave those Lobsters in that hole where the Moray Eel was. Check him out….

 

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It was okay though, we had several other ledges to check out that were full of Bugs.. (Remember Lobsters are also called Bugs) We had everyone in the water – the catchers, the spotters, the chasers – everyone plays a roll, an important roll. Enjoy these photos….

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Remember I mentioned earlier, we have spotters up above that watch for the runaway bugs!!!  Well, Anne saw one getting away, she wasted no time and caught him, bare handed by the way, no gloves on!!! It tore her hand up some, but she was not about to let that bug get away!

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I gotta tell you what Team Work we had. Bernie, Craig, Wade, Anne, Tyler, Paige we all had our positions and jobs to do, Team work!!!!!

 

We decided to hit one more spot; we were getting close to our limit of Lobster. When we got to our other spot, we found just off of it, a Lobster Motel. This is where someone uses some type of man-made object, whether it is a barrel, a sunken boat, a car hood, anything man-made. We came across a barrel full of bugs, they were all shorts though…

 

 

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We found another ledge full of bugs. We all took our positions. We had to bring down the air tank this time so we could get more bottom time…Craig was on his mark to be sure no bug escaped!!!!!

 

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We did great at this hole. By this time we had reached our limit of Lobster. So we decided to head on back in to get the other kids so they could have a chance to catch some bugs as well.

We had a fantastic boat ride back for the 10 mile run. Flat calm crystal clear Florida Keys water!!!! Enjoy the photos……

 

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What an amazing morning we had boating, looking for bugs, spending time with Family and Great friends. Words cannot even describe what an amazing adventure we had this morning…

 

This is all the time we have this week so stay tuned next week for our afternoon Lobstering outing with all the kids. Until next time, make time for your Family and Friends. Time goes by so fast. Just DO IT!!!!

Make it a great day!!!!!!!

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?

 

LOBSTERING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS Mini SEASON Part 1

 

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…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65htXNglFLM

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…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15IGAxYLHx0

 

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..

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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!!!!!

 

 

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

Hello Everyone. I hope you all are doing great. Our local Real Estate market still remains strong, contrary to what you may be seeing in the National News. Homes are still selling and our inventory of homes to sell is getting smaller and smaller. As I said last time, banks are lending money to buyers who can truly qualify for a mortgage. Yes, you have to qualify for the mortgage. (wow what a novel idea.) Interest rates are low, low, low…..Like crazy low. Try around 4% for a 30 fix rate loan, this is amazing. We are still seeing many foreigners from other countries coming here and buying property as well as the Northerners. They are coming here to buy for their retirement now while prices and interest rates are soooo low, they retire here in a few years to a home they bought at the bottom of the market. It you have any questions on the Real Estate Market and what is happening as far as values, what is on the market, what is selling. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. I will set you up on a computer program that will give you full access to our MLS. It will even e mail you new updates whenever a property fitting your description hits the market. It is really a neat way to track our market and best of all, it is free… Yippee!!!!!!:-) Just let me know.

Okay on the fun stuff..
Mini Season Lobstering in the Florida Keys 2011 Part 3

We last left off Lobstering at a secret spot. We caught some bugs and and Stone Crab and saw some really cool fish. Of course we released the Stone Crab, cause they are out of season. About this time everyone started getting hungry, so we all decided to go to the Island Grill right on the Ocean. It is a cool place to go to by boat. It is right on the Atlantic Ocean. There are three areas to sit. One area is out on the beach with great views of Snake Creek and the Ocean. The next is inside in the A/C…. UGGGGG….The other area you can sit is on the canal side, it is all under cover and the ocean breeze feels great. Go and check out the website.. http://keysislandgrill.com/ It is a really cool place. Oh yah and try the Tuna Nachos, oh my, they are great!!!!! Check out the photos.. sorry I only got a few photos, I totally forgot to walk out to the beach bar and take more ☹

Well with our bellies full we headed to a different spot. This is another secret spot, so do not tell anyone…

Well as it turned out this spot was so very secret the Lobster could not find it either. There was nothing there. Now of course I have to hear it from my crew… Dad , Mr. Shane you could not find a Lobster if your life depended on it. Well of course my competitive nature kicked in. I said oh Yah, “Well. I am going to take you to a spot where I know there will be lots of Bugs (Lobsters) to get and no one knows about it. My crew on the boat was like Yah RIGHT!!!! I said you will see. So we headed off the top secret spot. I cannot take photos of the spot or you may know where it is, but I can show you what we caught.. Yes Capt. Shane redeemed himself J Oh Yessssss!!!!! See the photos……

It was now getting late and we decided to head home. We first ran south in the boat to Upper Matacmbe  to drop Nate off at his home. Nate also lives on the water. It is such a beautiful ride seeing all the nature, birds, fish, skinny little mangrove channels. Check out the video and the photos…



How cool is this, to have a channel in your back yard carved out of Coral Bed Rock to a basin in your back yard. I thought it was neat. Check it out…

We headed back north in the boat going home it was getting late.  Ya know I always say you never know what you are going to see on the water. I also know there are people out there that take their Lobstering very serious. Even if they do not have a boat to go out in they find some way to get on the water. We drove by these Kayaks that had dive flags and scuba tanks and diving gear on them. I thought this is very interesting. I do not think I would ever do this my self, but again it was interesting to see..

As I said before you never know what you are going to see on the water.. Well check this out!!!! Now I have seen it all..  I looked off in the distance and I see what I think to be a car driving on the water. I am thinking no way. Maybe I have heat stroke. I looked again and this car driving on the water was getting closer and closer. Now  my crew sees this thing and they say,” what the heck is that?, It looks like a car driving on the water.” I thought to myself thank goodness I am not losing it. A Cadillac Deville driving across the bay…”REALLY”

I am sorry to say now, but I have to go.  Stay tuned for “Mini Season Lobstering in the Florida Keys 2011 Part 4”

Remember make time to smell the roses, spend time with your family and friends.  Just make the time, schedule it out and JUST DO IT!! Life is way to short.

Until next time make it a great week.

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

Hello Everyone, I Hope You Are All Doing Great.

Posted by Shane On August 12th

We are great here in super sunny South West Florida.. It is warm, but the afternoon showers cool everything down which is very nice. The fishing still remains hot. Spoke to some friends who landed a few Tarpon up in the River. They are still catching Snook, Red Fish and Trout. My other friends ran off shore, not even to far and caught their limit on Grouper and Snapper.

As far as the Gulf Oil Spill, from what I am seeing on TV and reading it is still capped off. There in NO OIL, NO OIL here or anywhere near us. This does not mean the folks who got hit up north are not suffering with the devastation of the wetlands, animals, sea life, birds. It is just awful. Please keep all these folks in your thoughts and prayers as they have a long road ahead of them.

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Dry Tortugas Weekend Trip

Posted by Shane On July 24th

Hello Everyone, I hope each and everyone of you is doing Great.

We are going to mix it up a little this week. I have many, many people asking what about boating trips some where. There are a bunch of neat places to go out and stay on your boat. Either just over night or for many nights or just take you boat to one of the many resorts we offer or you take your boat and set up camp on an island. This next place I am going to tell you about is probably going to be for the more experienced boater with a long Fuel range.


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