Naples to Flamingo
Includes Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City and Chokoloskee
July 31-August 2
What’s your favorite fishing show? Might I suggest we take the weekend off the water with the approaching hurricane Isaias sweeping by Florida most of this weekend. I’m just finishing up day two of mini lobster season and i’m about to sleep like a baby after cleaning 72 lobster. It had been 12 years since my last mini season and like every year, people go crazy. I was tanked up scuba diving for them 15 feet down and I had a twin engine center console run clear over me at 30plus mph only 40 feet away from my boat at anchor, with a dive flag flying high, to say I was disturbed would be an understatement.
Just to clarify a dive flag means there are people in the water and it’s a good idea to not be on plane or moving rapidly within 300 of the vessel flying the flag in open water, and you may not get within 50 feet of a vessel displaying a diver down flag, period! A survey from FWC showed that nearly 79 percent of all boaters on the water in Florida do not have any form of boating education, that to me is terrifying. Lucky the survey didn’t include a common sense pole, I think that would be even more frightening to unveil. I highly recommend seeking training with the Florida safe boaters programs or better yet hire an experienced captain for the day to show you the rules of the road and where the road actually is on the water! I see so many boats every week piled up on a sandbar, oyster bar, or grass flats, with no regard to the damage being done to our ecosystems and to their own vessel! The average cost of a new stainless steel prop is around $500 and a new lower unit $2500. Theaverage daily rate for a captain to come with you and show you around for a half day or four hours is around $400 to $500. I think that’s valuable for your wallet and your sanity, plus if you show your wife and kids a great time on the water without issue, I think you’ll have an easier time convincing your wife to let you have more boat days, or even the best thing a woman can say, “Honey this is so fun let’s get a bigger boat.” Everyone be safe and hunker down if your area is issued a weather warning. I personally have started to really enjoy the sound of the rain and wind on the roof on a day weathered in. With all good things there is ebb and flow my friends.
Captain Matt Sturdivent