Attention Gulf Red Snapper Anglers

Photo provided by MyFWC
Photo provided by MyFWC

Big changes to Gulf recreational red snapper management could be coming – here’s your chance to weigh in and make sure your voice is heard. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) is holding public hearings on a proposal known as regional management that could give states a larger role in red snapper management in federal waters. See meeting dates and times below.

Currently, the Council is responsible for management of the recreational red snapper fishery in all Gulf of Mexico federal waters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manages state waters off Florida. If the Council approves regional management, the federal recreational red snapper quota would be divided state-by-state or at a regional level, and states would set recreational seasons and bag limits in both state and federal waters off their coast.

Regional management could allow for recreational red snapper regulations in federal waters to be tailored to more local needs. However, there are possible trade-offs, such as potentially fewer fishing days for Florida red snapper anglers.

Two meetings will be held in Florida on regional management during October. Council and FWC staff will be on hand at these meetings to discuss proposal details and what it might mean for Florida anglers. If you cannot attend an in-person meeting, there will also be a webinar.

The FWC Commission will discuss regional management and review input from the public hearings at its Nov. 18-19 meeting in Panama City. This input will help the FWC Commission decide how the FWC representative on the Council should vote on the Council’s regional management proposal.

The Council is expected to make a final decision on regional management at its Jan. 25-29 meeting in Orange Beach, AL.

Meeting dates and locations:
All in-person meetings begin at 6 p.m. local time and end no later than 9 p.m. local time. The webinar begins at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

Thurs, October 22, 2015
Embassy Suites
570 Scenic Gulf Drive
Destin, FL 332550

Tues, October 27, 2015
Hilton St. Petersburg
Carillon Park
950 Lake Carillon Dr.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Wed, October 28, 2015

Click here to register!

Public Hearing Guides with details about the Council’s regional management proposal will be posted on the Council website at

Keep Lee County Beautiful Monofilament Madness

CALLING ALL BOATERS! WE NEED YOU to join us in cleaning Estero Bay!


SATURDAY, November 1, 2014

8:00 AM – 1:00PM


Please fill out and return attached registration form so we may plan accordingly for the BBQ!
Registration Form

The KLCB Marine Cleanup is an annual event during which volunteers go out in boats, kayaks, canoes, jet skis and anything else that floats, to remove monofilament fishing line and other harmful debris from the mangrove areas of Lee County. The boaters begin working at safe light (dawn) and continue until around noon at which time they are treated to a Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue by Sam Galloway Ford. Because of the focus on fishing line, the project committee has affectionately dubbed the cleanup “Monofilament Madness”. It is hoped that through educational awareness, the people who are causing the problem will be reached and their behavior modified so that, among other reasons, wildlife will be spared agonizing deaths from entanglement in monofilament fishing line.

How Did It Start?
The project was conceived in 1993 in a small tackle shop in North Fort Myers (Lehr’s Economy Tackle) by two local fisherman (Larry Davis and Dave Westra), who discussed doing something about the deplorable problem of monofilament fishing line which had been discarded or left by careless fishermen especially in the mangrove areas. Davis and Westra were sure they could drum up volunteer support from local fishermen and boaters, but were in need of help in raising the funds necessary for such a project. The two came to KLCB seeking help with their cleanup idea and the Marine Cleanup project was born. KLCB is a private non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization capable of coordinating such projects through community sponsor support. Sam Galloway agreed to provide a catered lunch to all volunteers who would come out on Marine Cleanup Day to clean up the mess. Other corporate leaders followed.

How Is The Cleanup’s Success Measured?
The ultimate goal, of course, is to eliminate the monofilament and trash problem, and the success of attaining that goal would be measured by the lack of the problem. Until then, we measure the cleanup’s success by the growing awareness and willingness of hundreds of volunteers to dedicate a Sunday to the cause.

What Is Found?
Nothing could have prepared us for the first Marine Cleanup day (October 29, 1993) when volunteers began unloading mounds of trash and huge tangles of monofilament line onto the dock at Tarpon Point Marina. As boat after boat pulled up to the dock, it became clear that the citizens of Lee County were very serious about cleaning up their beautiful waterways.

Exactly what do the volunteers find?
Without a doubt, the #1 culprit is monofilament fishing line — miles of it. In fact, according to the Executive Director of KLCB, Rudy Busch, the previous “Monofilament Madness” cleanups have produced enough discarded fishing line to stretch from Fort Myers to Tallahassee.

To learn more visit

TowBoatUS Cape Coral Sponsors 10th Annual Ryan McCleskey Memorial Redfish Challenge


CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA (May 20, 2014) – TowBoatUS in Cape Coral announces it will be a sponsor for the 10th Annual “Ryan’s Redfish Challenge” fishing tournament on May 24th at Cape Harbor. The goal of the event is to raise awareness and funds for “Barbara’s Friends,” a branch of the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation. Proceeds will go to benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund.File Transfer: unknown.jpgThe event is held in honor of Ryan McCleskey, who ended his fight against cancer on February 3, 2006.

The tournament is organized by family, friends, and acquaintances of Ryan who wish to continue his battle with loving memory. To date, the “Ryan’s Redfish Challenge” event has raised over $80,000 for this cause.


“We are honored to be able to help such a worthy organization through our sponsorship,” said Captain Richard Paul, co-owner of TowBoatUS. “This tournament is sure to be a lot of fun for everyone involved, and we are looking forward to being a part of this event!”

Ryan’s Redfish Challenge Tournament takes place from 7am – 4pm on Saturday, May 24th, 2014. The final weigh-in will be held at 4pm at The Marina at Cape Harbour in Cape Coral, FL. Following the weigh-in will be an event with food, raffles, and live music, which goes until 7pm.”


Those participating in the tournament are invited to attend a “Captain’s Meeting” prior to the event, on Friday, May 23rd. Check-in for the Captain’s Meeting will be at the Twisted Conch in Cape Coral from 5:30-6:30pm, with food and drinks until 8:30pm, and live music from 7-9:30pm.
For more information about participating in Ryan’s Redfish Challenge or sponsorship opportunities, visit




From sponsoring fishing tournaments that benefit wounded war veterans and cancer cure research to towing stranded boaters back to port, co-owners Richard Paul and Jay McMillan of TowBoatUS Cape Coral believe in giving back to the people of Southwest Florida who’ve helped their business become a success. While their company mainly provides marine salvage and boat towing services, most importantly they provide peace of mind to stranded boaters off the coast of Lee County, FL and along the Caloosahatchee waterway. To enjoy the same peace of mind, sign up for an unlimited recreational boater’s membership at

2014 Charlotte County Boat Show


Don’t miss out on the fun! The Charlotte County Boat Show will be held at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds from Thursday, January 16th through Sunday, January 19th. Admission is free to the public and parking is $5.00. The show will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Check out a large boat display outdoors and then head inside the Expo Center to gear up on new boating accessories, boat lifts, clothing, yacht brokers, marinas, boatyards, service suppliers and more. Click here for more information.

2333 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte, FL, 33948, United States

Fishing Seminars

Exhibitors List

So you think you can build a boat? Prove it!

The 3rd Annual Southwest Florida Boat Building Festival is looking for teams to compete in this year’s event held during the Fort Myers Boat Show, November 14-17, downtown on the riverfront at Harborside Event Center. For a business, youth organization or even a family, this is a chance to learn almost forgotten skills, it’s a great team building experience and it’s a lot of fun.

The Festival is the brainchild of David and Sharon Bickel of the Shipwright Shop in Ft. Myers.  David, a fixture in the local marine community, is a true master ship’s carpenter (not many of those left!).  He has a passion for woodworking and a passion to see his skills passed along to a younger generation.

No experience is required.  David and his team of experts supply all the materials and tools and work with all competitors over 2 ½ days as they each build their own wooden boat.

If you are into boats and into working on them, this will be an experience you will never forget.  The cost is $1,750.00 per team.  And that’s cheap considering that on Sunday, you go home with your very own seaworthy wooden skiff!  For organizations or businesses, there are all kinds of opportunities to use the skiff as a fund raiser.  For a family, you’ll have a lifetime of memories and with a little TLC, a boat that will last as long as the memories.

If you’re interested, give David or Sharon a call at 239-850-6844 or e-mail [email protected]

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Second Annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament

Award-winning Doc Ford murder-mystery series novelist White has already signed on for fishing the tournament, in which 100 percent of the entry fee will be distributed as tournament awards.

“I’m really looking forward to the tournament,” said White, a former area fishing guide. “It’s for such a great cause, and a good excuse to get out and meet people and find out if I can still tie a Bimini.”

Mark your calendars for tournament day May 4, 2013.

Doc Ford’s, with locations on both Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach, sponsors the tournament to support the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge through the “Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).

“This is so exciting!” said Marty Harrity, Doc Ford’s co-owner. “There’s not another tarpon tournament like it in the area. We’re expecting fishermen from all over Florida.”

“Doc Ford’s has been a faithful supporter of our efforts at “Ding” Darling, helping greatly to bolster refuge programs and research to balance federal budget shortfalls,” said Birgie Vertesch, DDWS executive director. “We’re so grateful to them for this huge effort in our behalf.”

Learn more about the tournament here:



Winning Team – 2012

Team Doc Ford’s

Nick Fischer, Joe Harrity, Dennis Florie and John Landry

Manatee County’s biggest nautical event coming in early May!

   Come out to the West Marine Nautical Expo at Regatta Pointe Marina an MCS Band Slam to enjoy Manatee County’s BIGGEST boating and nautical event this year.
Here are just some of the FREE events and activities to enjoy:
–   Live  entertainment daily
–   High-quality boating seminars
–   Fishing Stations: learn how to fish by the best Charter Captains in the area sign up your son/daughter by 10 a.m. both days and learn how to fish from 12-2 pm and from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. each participant will go home with a rod and reel while supplies last.(16 & under).  Parent must be present when registering.
–   Boating demo rides
–   Powerboat/Sailboat show (more than 50 boats in the water)
–   Wide variety of marine outfitters, suppliers, services and other exhibitors
–   A nautical market from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ed Massey, one of fourteen members of the Regatta Pointe Marina Association, would like the general public to be aware that this expo is about more than sales, it’s an effort to give our boating community the most valuable tool of all – knowledge. “Our association is dedicated to providing a quality, free event built around meaningful seminars,” Massey said. “Our seminar speakers are better than ever with a wide range of topics that will appeal to both power and sailing enthusiasts.”

Seminars will be held in the Eagle’s Nest on the third floor of the River House Reef & Grill building, overlooking the historic Green Bridge and the Manatee River.  Forlocation information, please visit