Cruising the Caloosahatchee River

By Legacy Harbour Marina

If you are planning on making a trip to downtown Fort Myers, Legacy Harbour Marina is a great place to stop and dock your boat. To make your experience more enjoyable, here are a few tips on boating to Legacy Harbour Marina.  Make reservations by telephone or email in advance, so that we may place you in a slip best suited to your boat!  Legacy Harbour Marina is located on the Caloosahatchee River in the Downtown Fort Myers area.  The river has a number of Manatee Protection and Boater Safety Zones.  Always be aware of these zones and slow or idle as mandated. The marina lies within the quarter mile rim of the river which is a slow speed zone.

We monitor the marine radio on Channel #16.  After hailing the marina we will ask you to change to our working Channel #12.  The entrance to the marina is on our eastern side between Channel Marker #49 and the Caloosahatchee Bridge.  We are happy to give you directions to your slip and help you with your dock lines.

It is a beautiful marina with all floating docks.  Since the marina docks float up and down with the tide, it allows for easy access on and off your boat.  Boats can be tied snug to the dock without worry of tidal changes.  When arriving at the marina have fenders and dock lines ready: bow, stern and spring lines.

After you arrive you can relax and enjoy gatherings under the Chickee Hut, use the Heated Swimming Pool, our Captains Lounge or exercise in our Fitness Room. We provide two sets of Restrooms, Showers, Laundry, Free Wi-Fi and TV.  Walk to Groceries, Shopping, Restaurants, Park, and Downtown Events.

 

 

Protect Your Boat’s Gel Coat

By Richard Strauss, Broker with Galati Yacht Sales

An effective care and maintenance program should be implemented from the beginning to maintain the overall appearance and value of your vessels gel coat. Consider that your boat’s gel coat is exposed to salt, dirt, pollution, soot, and exhaust on a daily basis. In addition to the destructiveness of forces of these elements is the sun. Removing them by weekly washing will prevent attack and breakdown of the finish, reducing gloss and reduced overall appearance. Additionally, valuable time is lost because it is more difficult to clean a damaged surface. In addition to a good weekly washing using the proper soap, it is wise to thoroughly rinse your boat with clean fresh water after each use.  Employing the extra pressure of using a pressure washer at least once a month helps in forcing out trapped dirt and salt deposits in tight areas,  around deck hardware and rub rails.

Cleaning your Gel Coat

When washing your boat use products designed for gel coat, not house hold products like Sno- Bol® and Soft Scrub® as they scratch as they clean. Also, if using a brush make sure it is a soft bristled brush designed for use on gel coat or painted surfaces. Tiny scratches will speed oxidation and dull your boat’s gel coat quickly. Once a boat oxidizes, the hull is vulnerable to greater damage from water penetration.  Additionally, house cleaning products like toilet bowel cleaners are very harsh and tend to break down the oils in the gel coat which is a petroleum base, thus speeding up the aging process of gel coat. If your boats gel coat has been well maintained and is waxed regularly, you may want to use a boat soap that has wax in it to help maintain the shine and life of the applied wax.

After washing your boat dry it off with a chamois to remove water spots after washing or use an in-line water softener such as Wet Spot® http://www.softwetspot.com/ or Yacht-Mate http://www.yachtmate.com/ .

Protecting your Gel coat

Not all waxes are created equal, and there is a reason for this. The condition of your gel coat will determine the right wax for you. If your gel coast is new and/or in excellent condition (no micro scratches, dull spots and/or oxidation then use a high quality beeswax, carnuba or silicon based wax. If you have some oxidation you may opt for a cleaner/wax product. Depending on the level of oxidation and/or minor scratches there are different levels of cleaner/waxes. For mild cases a good product is Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax 50® http://www.meguiars.com/ . For more extreme cases you may need to use 3M’s Gel Coat Restorer and Wax® http://tinyurl.com/cce6u25. If using this product, I would recommend going over your boat again with a high quality Premium Liquid Paste Wax in addition to the 3M Gel coat Restorer and Wax for extra UV protection. For a quick refresher, there are spray waxes or quick waxes. These are good to use between regularly scheduled waxings to keep up the shine while removing light dirt and water spots. Check out Meguiar’s Quik Wax 59® or Lucas Slick Mist® http://taek.me/66739 . These two products are easy to use and can be applied to painted, gel coat or powder coated surfaces as well as stainless hardware.

Frequency of waxing your boat depends on where you live. The minimum recommended waxing frequency is twice per year. If you live in South Florida, as many of us do, the sun’s intensity is a lot higher (more UV). So, it stands to reason that 3 or 4 times per year is not out of the question.

 

Richard Strauss is a broker with Galati Yacht Sales, and has been around boats nearly all his life. He has a degree in Marine Technology from Florida Tech, and has worked for well-known boat manufacturers as well as operated his own boat repair facility for fourteen years. When he is not busy helping customers find the boat of their dreams or sell their existing boat, he can be found cruising the waters of Sarasota Bay. You can contact Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-strauss-82425926 or 239-633-5724.

 

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

By “Fishin” Frank of Fishing Franks Fishing Store in Port Charlotte

This would be a great time to get out in the gulf, Blue green waters, lots of fish, Barracuda, Sharks, Snappers, most within viewing distance from your boat.  Just put out a chum bag, and give it a few minutes. Do not worry about being right on a reef, if there are too many boats just move over a 1/4 mile.  Too many boats in a spot and you do not get the schools & schools of fish and bait fish massing under the boat.  Just seeing this is too cool, let alone being able to catch some.  Be safe, watch the sky, don’t let a surprise storm get between you and land.  Have fun!

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR)   Fishing was really good this last week for both ‘Off-shore’ and ‘In-shore’. Off-shore wrecks and reefs holding Permit, Grouper, Snapper. Big Pinfish, Squid and Sardines were my baits of choice and produced good results. I do not profess to be an expert at bottom fishing, but with the calm variable winds, I took the opportunity to go out 35 miles or so to confirm some of the other Captain’s off-shore reports. One of the most intriguing things to me about ‘Off-Shore’ is the fact that you never know what you might hook up on!

‘In-shore’ has been fantastic as well with a variety of species at almost every turn or good location providing current, deep cuts. Anything and everything from large Snook, Redfish Crevalle Jacks, Permit, Mangrove and Sea Trout are at your beckoning. Most success stories come earlier in the mornings before it gets real hot. On the top of the high tides, look for Sea Trout on the real shallow flats providing grass and sand holes (2ft) busting ‘bait’ fish. These areas may be found behind and between spoil islands where the wind can provide a little breeze. This is back country fishing and with our tides coming later in the morning hours, it gets hot out there, so take plenty of water and sunscreen to stay the course. You will need a shallow hull to get to most of these areas as well.

There are plenty of reasons to believe that this coming week will produce more great fishing. If you have any questions or want to go fishing in the ‘back country’ I am easily reached by phone at 239-357-6829 or via email at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for all of my recent reports for fishing the bountiful waters of Lee County! Until next week, GOOD FISHING from Captain Terry Fisher of Lee County.

$50,000 Pirate Poker Run Event

Mark your calendars for an event that you won’t want to miss! The $50,000 Pirate Poker Run kicks off with a Captain’s Party on Friday, August 17th at 7 pm at the Lock N’ Key. The fun continues poker run style on Saturday at 9 am with your choice of transportation – boat, motorcycle, kayak, car, SUP or pirate ship. Stops include Gasparilla Marina/Waterside Grill, Flounders Restaurant and Tiki Bar, Stump Pass Marina and Grill, Johnny Leverock’s and Cape Haze Marina. For more information on the event, check out www.piratepokerrun.org or call 941-474-5511. Arrgghh, can’t wait to see you there matey!

 

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(FT. Myers to Charlotte Harbor)  Back Country/Flats fishing has really picked up in Lee County in the areas from Ft. Myers Beach to Bokelia on Pine Island, including Matlacha Pass. I have had good success with Snook, Sea Trout, Crevalle Jacks, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snappers, Flounder and a couple of Permit.  I am finding the Snook on the beaches, in the passes and in or at the mangroves on the high incoming tides. This should continue to be the pattern for coming months in regards to Snook.

Many of my recent charter customers have been enjoying what I call ‘Sport Flats Fishing’; catching Sea Trout, Crevalle Jacks and Redfish on only artificial baits.  I am having most success as the last half of the tide rises over very shallow (2ft.) sand/grass flats surrounded by spoil islands and mangroves (doesn’t hurt to have an oyster bar or two around).  All one has to do is lay a top water plug (Heddon Spook Jr., Bomber or other brand), jig a Gulp Shrimp in white or penny across the bottom and if you’re not hooking one every 5 casts or so, then change your method of retrieve or relocate the boat and repeat the process. One should be able to spot fish feeding on the surface. This is the time of the year to try the top water artificial baits. They will draw vicious strikes from virtually every game fish on the flats.

In regards to the Snappers and Flounder; fish the deeper cuts under mangroves as well as heavy structure areas with a mixed bottom. Work from the shoreline and mangroves out to about 4ft of water. The Mangrove Snapper and Flounder will both take a jig as mentioned above but prefer a small 2/0 circle hook with a small live ‘summer’ shrimp weighted just enough to get it down.

The last week of July should produce more good fishing. If I may be of assistance to offer advice or charter services, I am easily contacted at 239-357-6829, via email at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com or check out my websites at www.fishfacecharters.com or www.captainterryfisher.com.

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

By “Fishin” Frank of Fishing Franks Fishing Store in Port Charlotte

Fishing in the Charlotte area is getting better, You still need to try and get that incoming tide for the best bite, but Red Fish along the west wall, as well as the east keys are biting.  Cut bait, Lady fish or mullet are the best.  Take a little frozen bait with you just in case you do not find fresh right away. Fresh is better, but fishing is better than looking for bait.

In the Gulf of Mexico this is the time for dolphin (mahi mahi).  Start looking at about 20 miles out, they are thick along the weed lines, just the way you do it in the keys.  Most of these are chicken or schooly dolphin. Small lures or even shrimp will work well.

Snook are moving into the area.  More & more by the day.  Really big Snook in Pine Island sound in the pot holes.  Up the river big Snook are hitting at the narrows and by I-75

Good luck & have fun out there!

Fishin Frank

 

Living for the Present: Pleasures of the Avid Boater

By Chris Forman WXCW, Channel 6 & Vice President of SWFMIA

Twenty-six years ago, my wife and I took residence in Cape Coral, on the water to become year round boaters. Snow shovels, ice scrappers and winter coats became a thing of the past. What we discovered very quickly was the boating paradise that lay in our backyard.  In over two decades and  having owned several different styles and sizes of boats, one thing has never changed, when you leave the dock the fun begins.

Heading north up the Caloosahatchee River, there are several nice restaurant choices at Marina Town in North Ft Myers and the Downtown River District in Ft Myers.  A day comprised of a little lazy fishing (we’re not that good…doesn’t matter), cruising and a late lunch stop or early dinner seems to erase the stress of the work week.  We often joke that the cost of boating is way less than the couch doctor, yet they have the same affect.

Heading down the river there is JK’s Riverstop at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. It’s bathing suit casual and full of boating friends you just haven’t met yet.  Fun for kids and families, the picnic table laid back patio is a fabulous vista for a sunset and an ice cold drink and burger.  Also down river are the The Joint Restaurant and Rumrunners at Cape Harbor, where casual outdoor or inside fine dinning await in a relaxing waterfront atmosphere.

Just a 30 minute boat ride south from home is Sanibel Island, a routine stop on Sundays for a swim with our floaty-toys, some Jimmy Buffet on the stereo and a picnic lunch on the back of our boat.  Anchoring in waist deep water makes life easy and the view of the Gulf and lighthouse never gets old.  It’s a great rendezvous spots for other boating friends.  There is a no wake anchoring area, clearly marked by white buoys, that runs the length of the white sugar sand beach.  My wife loves shelling and this area of Southwest Florida is heaven.

Estero Island, or Ft Myers Beach, as it’s commonly known, is also an excellent destination for lunch or dinner by boat with numerous boater friendly stops for the simplest of fare to full elegant meals.  Several boating facilities and fuel stops are convenient as well.

Heading north up Pine Island Sound lies the barrier islands of Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva and Cayo Costa with beautiful beaches that seem to go on forever on the Gulf of Mexico side.  Inside the sounds lies some of the best fishing grounds in the country.  The channel is well marked and easy even for the novice boater.  The fishing for snook, trout, snapper, redfish and dozens of others is plentiful.  It’s a haven for the serious sportsman or a fun day for easy fishing for mom, dad and the kids.

The Gulf side of North Captiva and Cayo Costa has thousands of my footprints in the sand.  It never grows old for me, the hazel colored water and soft sand beach is where my toes belong.  These islands are only accessible by boat, are home to waterfowl, a light tackle paradise and perfect for an afternoon snooze in the sand.

Summarizing for those of you who have yet to venture out by boat or don’t get out too often … even decades later it’s still fun, therapeutic and the stuff family memories and stories are made of.  It’s the wind in what’s left of my hair, the sound of the water, the sheer pleasure of just driving my boat and my wife getting to read her book. So maybe we’ll see each other on the water next Saturday?  I know I’ll be there. — Chris Forman.

 

Sinking of the USS Mohawk

By Bob Sofranko, Caloosa Dive Club, www.diveclub.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some pictures of the recent sinking of the Mohawk that I took about 30 miles out in the gulf from Sanibel Island, FL.

This will be our newest artificial reef. It will be used by lots of sea life as well as those interested in fishing and diving in the not too distant future. We had planned to dive it a couple of hours after sinking but the charges dislodged a lifeboat and a large stack which will take some underwater repair before it will be safe for future diving. Just as well as sea life will take up almost immediate residency.

There is much interesting history of this ship built in 1935 and used in many ways in the war effort. The final weather report from the Mohawk was used to finalize plans to launch the June 6, 1944 Normandy invasion.

It was a memorable day.

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Summer weather patterns are here in full swing with warm temperatures more times than not followed by a string of thunderstorms. So long as there is not lightning, I welcome the cool breezes that they produce from time to time. The only downside is that the wind usually picks up, presenting some casting discomfort until they subside or go away. One thing for sure is that an early start will keep you out of the afternoon heat and usually produce better strikes and more fish action than being in out there in the heat of the day.

This should be a good week to get out there and try your luck as the tides will be bigger with stronger currents in many areas. My last few charters are yielding a good variety of species from St. James City to Bokelia on Pine Island Sound. I have been working the passes for Snook, the Mangroves and oyster beds for Reds and the flats for Sea Trout. Small Threadfins have been my best producers for live bait, even though they have been smaller than I like. The ‘summer’ shrimp have been very small, but to offset simply place 2 on a hook!

Flounder have been good on a redheaded jig using Gulp Penny or White color 3” Shrimp. The Mangrove Snapper like them as well with both of these species being caught relatively easy around and on structure at 3-4ft. depths where the current is moving.

Off-shore activity is good when the wind permits using cut baits such as mullet, squid, Pinfish. Fish over structure and chum. Try dragging some ‘Stretch’ or other brand of lures while searching out new spots. When you get a hit; mark the spot, land the fish and investigate the bottom for any opportunity to anchor and fill your cooler. Try trolling the you baits on the outgoing tides around and through the passes as well.

If you have any questions, give me a call at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website for additional reading and information at www.fishfacecharters.com