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Your Florida Waterfront Home

Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Another Dry Tortugas Adventure Part 2

Posted by Shane On November 27th

Hello everyone, I hope each and every one of you are doing great. The weather has been really nice here. Cool in the evenings and warming up in the day time. The wind has actually laid down as well. It had blown here for, it seemed like weeks and weeks making the water rough and boating not so enjoyable on the outside. I have spoken to many of my fishing buddies, they say the fishing is still hot. My one friend is catching all the white bait he needs at the Sanibel Causeway. He then headed out just off shore and slayed the Bonita and Blackfin Tuna. He said they released all the fish they caught, it was just for fun. I spoke to another buddy and he said the Snook are making their way back into the River and back into the Creeks and canals. We have a couple of our own Snook at our Snook light at our dock. They are almost like pets. They are there every night and it is fun to watch them feed off the bait fish that are attracted to the light. This is why they call it a Snook Light. I spoke to some other fishing buddies and they are catching a lot of Trout in the grass beds in Pine Island Sound and a lot of Red Fish up along the Mangroves at high tide. They also fished Red Fish Pass and Captiva Pass and caught a bunch of Spanish Mackerel and Grouper. As the water gets colder the Grouper are going to start moving in closer to shore. Yes the fishing is still red hot and the weather is beautiful with blue skies 🙂

The snow birds are back down here as well. Our road ways are swelled up with out of state tags from all over the place. This is a great thing for our local economy. I was at the boat show last weekend and it was packed. I spoke to several of the vendors and they were very pleased. People were spending money again. I spoke to some of the different boat salesman and they all said they had sold several boats. This is all great news. Now on the Real Estate… I do not care what the media says, homes here on and off the water are selling really well. Think about this… interest rates are at 4.25% fixed for 30 years and home prices are the low, low, low. Take a look for yourself. E mail me or call me and I will set you up on Listing Book for free. This gives you full MLS access to all the listings for sale, pending and what has SOLD. If you know anyone thinking of buying, now is the time. Rates are low, prices are low, there are really great deals out there to be had. I am in shock myself to see how low some of these homes are actually selling for. If you ever have any questions regarding Real Estate, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Okay now on to the fun part of the boating guide. We left off last week just arriving in the Dry Tortugas. (Fort Jefferson). We had gotten there a little later than expected due to the rough weather. After eating lunch in the harbour, we decided to head out to one of the fishing spots I know, close enough to the Fort so it would not be too rough.

We got to our spot and put out the chum bag to draw the fish over to us. We caught something I never ever thought we would catch in a million years. Mike caught a Bone Fish. These fish live on the Keys flats and shallows and in the Bahamas. Fisherman pay huge money to fishing guides to go out stalk and catch these elusive fish. The crazy thing is, Mike caught it on a frozen piece of cut bait.. When you see this fish you are going to think no big deal, well it really is. I have only caught two in my life. Check it out..

After 20 minutes and no more bites, I said we need to move to a more productive spot. I looked on our chart plotter and looked for any drop offs and ledges. As we headed to what appeared to be a great area, I saw it, the dark blue deeper water started to turn to at lighter turquoise color, then I could see the coral heads and reef bottom. I said guys this is it.

We anchored up current on a sand patch. Very important guys, please do not drop your anchor right on top of the reef and coral. It kills it. One drop of your anchor in the wrong spot and you can damage enough coral that may have taken 10 or 20 years to grow. Seriously. We got positioned back right where we wanted to be and I through out the chum bag. Within 5 minutes there must have been 100 Yellow Tail Snapper behind the boat. Then I hear, FISH ON!!!!! Mike pulled a great Yellow Tail up. Then Rob had a Mutton Snapper and Don had a small Yellow Tail on, then another and another. Everyone had fish on..Yippee…..

Check out our view while we were fishing. The light house is called Logger Head Key and of course the Fort, Fort Jefferson..

Okay now, I am going to show you a few more fish, but you cannot laugh at my Glasses I am wearing. A few minutes before, my flip flop blew into the water and when I jumped in to save it. My glasses came off my head and sank 🙁 So I had to put on these glasses that Brad had from the 1970’s oh my gosh, hideous!!!! Remember do not look at my glasses, look at my fish. Great YellowTail and Mangrove Snapper….

We caught all kinds of fish, Yellow Tail, Grouper, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Grunts, Barracuda and Yes a Sea Gull. The bird swooped down on my bait and ate it. That goof, I tried to get it away but he was too fast.

We were able to untangle him and release him unharmed. If you ever do catch a bird. Remember their bills are razor sharp and will slice you open. Get a towel or a shirt and cover their head. This allows the bird to be calm and causes less stress on the bird and less chance of injury to the bird. He flew away just fine.

After catching our limit of fish we headed back to the anchorage for the night. Once getting the boat secured at the anchorage it was time to clean some of the fresh fish we had caught :-). My two buddies had a great idea, they wanted me to prepare Sashimi. For those of you that do not eat Sushi, you may have never heard of Sashimi. Sashimi is the art (if you will ) of eating raw fish. It must be fresh, very fresh. I prepared 4 Yellow Tail Snapper, remember they were just caught an hour before and it does not get much fresher than this. I chilled the raw meat on ice to get it to the proper temperature. We mixed up some Wasabi and soy sauce and oh my was it great!!!! There is absolutely no fish taste at all… None…Nadda.. at all. This is the difference between really fresh fish and not so fresh fish. The meat tasted sweet with a definite sweet after taste. It was YUMMY!!!!!!! in my TUMMY!!!!!!! I would not advise doing this with just any fish either. Only certain species. We had the best dinner, fresh cooked Yellow Tail, Mutton Snapper and Steak on the grill with grilled vegetables. It was the best. Brad is our very own Chef Tel. He is the best cook and he loves to cook. Although we get to do the dishes.

A funny thing happen, while dinner was cooking and after we ate our Sashimi. I looked up and saw one of our fishing rods we put out bent over and then the line started to peel off the real. Remember this is in the anchorage. We caught a nice Mutton Snapper. What a great way to end the day 🙂

Wow that was a great fish!!! Here is the best part besides fishing of course. The day is winding down, no cell phones, no computer, no T.V., no radio. Just nature. The splashing sounds of the bait fish in the water around us, the birds crashing into the water chasing their evening meal before the sun goes down. The activity of hundreds and hundreds of Frigit birds flying all around,the sea gulls flying all around squealing at each other, hoping we will throw them some fish scraps,the lapping of the waves on the hull of the boat, the sky beginning to turn that redish orange before the sun goes down. I am trying to explain an emotion and feeling you can only feel if you are there in the moment. Think for a moment your favorite place to be, where you are feeling no stress, no worries, hearing and seeing all these amazing things, think of this place in your mind, then magnify it 100 times 🙂

Enjoy the photos….:-)

Rob was really in the moment, just taking it all in….

I was kidding about Rob, we thought this would be funny, Actually it was hilarious, I guess you had to be there:-)

Wow looking at these photos myself bring me back to this place… WOW. If you ever want to go there I mentioned before I can tell you how to get there in your own boat or take the Ferry and stay on the island in a tent. It is really a neat place.

I have to go now, but do not worry there is a part 3 of this trip for next week.

Remember, we live in a very fast paced world, non stop, non stop.. Take time to slow down guys. Spend time with your family and friends. It is very important 🙂

P.S. Even if you are having a bad day, think for a minute someone, some where has it way worse than you. So be thankful and grateful for what you do have, not what you do not have 🙂

Till next time make it a great weekend and be safe.

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson



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