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Your Florida Waterfront Home

Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 4

Posted by Shane On December 16th

Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 4

 

Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing great! We have been very busy here in Southwest Florida since our last issue of the Boating Guide.

The weather has actually gotten warmer since we spoke last and it is beautiful out, a little windy, but sunny blue skies. The snowbirds are definitely coming down, roads are filling up.  Restaurants are busy, the waterways are full of boats, and people are enjoying the climate, fishing and beaches.

The fishing here continues to be on fire! I’ve spoken to many of my friends who’ve been on the water fishing and they’re catching large mangrove snapper, large Snook (which are being released because they are out of season), and catching lots of Redfish, as well as Mackerel off the beaches.  The bait fish are everywhere with big threads at the Sanibel Causeway. Small white bait and green backs are being caught off of Fort Myers Beach and the grass flats.  Now is a great time to have your line in the water !!!

 

Another great thing is, the Army Corps of Engineers has stopped dumping water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River. Our waters have become so clear it is absolutely amazing. I wish the water would stay like this year ’round!  We are getting lots of Snook, Redfish, Snapper and many other species moving up the River again. There are large schools of mullet and dolphin migrating back up into the River as well.

 

I’ve spoken to some other friends who’ve been offshore fishing for grouper and here’s a recent update from FWC… 

NEW: At the September meeting, the FWC Commission eliminated the February 1 through March 31 grouper closure for black, red, yellowfin, yellowmouth, rock hind, red hind, and scamp. These species of grouper are now open year-round in state waters of the Gulf.

My fellow anglers are pulling in lots of Grouper, Cobia and Permit out on the artificial wrecks and ledges.  All this talk of fishing makes me want to skip out on work and get on the water…  I just may have to go grab one of my clients, take the boat out, and see what we can catch!

 

I’ve spoken to several of my friends who are still up North –  they sure are getting a cold snap!  Lots of snow, ice and freezing weather with the wind chill pushing the thermometer below freezing.  I’m so thankful and grateful that I live in sunny Southwest Florida.
date on our local real estate market, whether it be on the water or off the water, feel free to email me and I will set you up on my Listingbook program.  Listingbook is a free service that I provide to my clients that will send you emails each day of new listings that come on the market as well as price reductions on properties that fit within your chosen parameters.  I think you’ll like it, it’s a great way to explore the area and a great Real Estate tool.
Okay now on to the fun part, “The Boating Guide: Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 4”.
We left off last time with our second group of people and small children going out in the boat and catching more lobster in the afternoon.  What a great time it was!

After a good night’s sleep we headed out for the second day of mini season in the Florida Keys.  We headed out to several of our spots on the the north side of the Keys, Florida Bay, but did not do quite as well as we did in our morning venture. Many of our Bay spots were cleaned out so we decided to go out on the Atlantic Ocean to some patch reefs in about 25 to 30 foot of water. Once we got to our spot, Wade and I strapped on scuba tanks and went down for a look. This area is full of coral heads and sea fans; just a beautiful, beautiful place to dive. Crystal-clear with a visibility of over 40 feet, there’s so much marine life! I cannot even begin to name all of the different creatures we saw.  Our harvest on that side actually turned out to be pretty good, catching about 12 Lobsters here. We also saw several small Moray Eels.
Check out some of these photos….

 

 


We did not take quite as many photos this afternoon, as we did earlier in the day.  We had caught nearly our limit of lobster so we headed in a little early.

We met up with our friends at the dock; they did very well for the day limiting out on their catch. Check out the photos….

 


Another amazing day on the water!  Just absolutely beautiful; words cannot describe what an amazing place this is.

The next morning we woke up and the whole crew took the boats out on a 10 mile ride to Alligator Light Reef, a marked reef with a massive light house off the lower keys. It’s a protected zone that allows no fishing, no spearfishing, and no taking of wildlife.  Take a look at the photos, you’ll see the amazing beauty this reef has to offer. Sea life abounds here. It is one of my favorite places in the Keys.  Want to learn more about Alligator Light?

Click on the link……

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alligator_Reef_Light

What a fabulous boat ride to Alligator Light Reef. The water is a brilliant crystal clear with a light blue-green tint to it; if you read the history, the lighthouse keepers referred to the water as “gin clear”.  You could see the bottom all the way out to the reef.  We saw several Loggerhead Sea Turtles as well as massive schools of Ballyhoo, which are a type of bait fish. Check out the photos….

When we arrived at Alligator Light, everyone anxiously got into the water and started swimming around. All you could hear was the children oohing and awing through their snorkels…  “Mom, Dad, look at this, look at that, what kind of fish is this?” Even the adults were amazed to see all the marine life at Alligator Light, it/s like Marine Biology 101… Words cannot even describe the beauty of this incredible place… Enjoy the photos….

 

 

Fish, fish and more fish. Every species you could think of. In the first photo above you’ll see Barracuda, Parrot Fish, Yellow Tail, Grey Snapper, and millions and millions of bait fish. Check out these videos of my son filming the base of the lighthouse underwater. You have probably never seen anything like this before! TURN UP THE VOLUME and listen to the popping shrimp underwater… it is like a million crackling noises all at once……..

 

Watch this second Video..

Are these videos just amazing? Did you hear all popping shrimp? Even more incredible in real life!!!!!! 🙂

I did ask Anne and my buddy Craig, do you want to hand feed the fish??? They were both like, seriously?? Yes seriously.. Check out the photos…..

 

 

Watch Craig hand feeding the fish. (CAUTION) one of the fish bites off the end of Craig’s finger……

 Just kidding…

 

 

 

Just an incredible experience, especially if the person has never done it before.

 

Well by now it was time to say goodbye to Alligator Light. These children, and of course their parents, will never ever forget this day as long as they live.  The things they saw and experienced today can never be duplicated until they come back to this magical place. Growing up in the Keys, I have been to Alligator Light many, many times and I’m still in awe with each visit. To be able to take friends and family out there and to see their excitement and enthusiasm is just an amazing feeling that I’m grateful to be able to share with other people.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Another Fantastic day on the water!  However, this day is not over yet…  Going to head to “Robbie’s” to hand-feed the Tarpon and have a fabulous lunch and drinks on the water. Sorry, but you will have to wait for the next edition of The Boating Guide: Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 5.

 

Until then, make time for Family and Friends. Do the things you talk about doing. Do not wait. Time goes by so fast. Like Nike says, “JUST DO IT!!”

 

Make it a great day, everyday, we all have that choice!!!!!!! 🙂

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

 

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