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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tag: charlotte harbor

Fishing Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass by Hobie “Pedal” Craft!

by on Jun.18, 2016, under CAPT. TOMMY'S BOOK SIGNINGS, TALKS, TRAVELS, Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande

 

 

 

pineisland

Charlotte Harbor “turns into” Pine Island Sound at an imaginary line drawn east from the mouth of Boca Grande Pass.  And for the most part, all the water in the upper half of the sound, as well as much of Charlotte Harbor, is moved by the action of that pass.  The lower half of the sound is affected by the pull of water from the Caloosahatchee River at Fort Myers and generally feeds into San Carlos Bay, to the south.  Matlacha Pass lies to the east of Pine Island and it’s water typically flows more strongly to the south on falling tides. What all this has to do with fishing is that the ebb and flow of the tides here and the constant filling and flushing of the harbor, the sound and Matlacha Pass all move bait, and with it–lots of inshore species of game fish.

This is big water, and that generally calls for big boats.  However, there’s plenty of good fishing within range of paddle or pedal craft.  On a recent trip, sponsored by the Hobie Cat Company, the leading manufacturer of pedal craft, I had the opportunity to fish the shoreline of Pine Island in a variety of weather conditions.  With summer thunderstorms building and winds howling, I experienced the ease with which I was able to move about, using my legs to power the boat, and all the while being able to continue fishing. Hobie not only pioneered pedal-style “kayaks”, but that segment of their business is now significant–with fishing “boats” the largest part of that segment.  I’ve paddled conventional kayaks and tried to fish from them, but there’s no comparison.  The ability to navigate your craft while still fishing has tremendous advantages.   Hobie’s MirageDrive, Turbo Fins and Vantage Seat have made their Pro Angler the go-to boat for serious kayak anglers!

Fishing a fully rigged Hobie Pro Angler in Matlacha Pass

Fishing a fully rigged Hobie Pro Angler in Matlacha Pass

While there are several primitive roadside launch spots on Pine Island, Hobie did their research and put us in the water (in about 15 kayaks!) at some places where we’d have easy reach to the fishing grounds.  That’s not to say that we didn’t pedal as much as 5 miles, but the beauty of the rugged Pine Island shoreline is such that you don’t have to go far to catch fish.  And, when you get “home” you want to be able to easily load the boats onto trucks or trailers and have a cold beverage.  Luckily, locals like Frank Stapleton (Hobie’s Sales Rep) and John Donahue (local writer and man-about-town) know the area well and provided welcome guidance for fishing, launching and cold beverages.

The flats west of Pineland Marina and the Tarpon Lodge offer excellent kayak fishing.

The flats west of Pineland Marina and the Tarpon Lodge offer excellent kayak fishing.

Buzzard Bay, north of the bridge at Matlacha, offers great kayak fishing in protected waters.

Buzzard Bay, north of the bridge at Matlacha, offers great kayak fishing in protected waters.

Hobie, along with PR Pro Ingrid Niehaus, put on a first class event.   We stayed at The Tarpon Lodge at Pineland, and even had a fun dinner at Cabbage Key, also owned by the Wells family.  The event was also sponsored by the local tourism office, The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.  And, in terms of easy access to water, we found great kayak launches at Pineland Marina and at the county park/boat ramp at Matlacha, on the east side of the island.

Dollar bills….a Cabbage Key tradition–along with the original “Cheesburger in Paradise”

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Tarpon Lodge

Tarpon Lodge

Cabbage Key

Cabbage Key

Dollar bills....a Cabbage Key tradition--along with the  original "Cheesburger in Paradise"

Dollar bills….a Cabbage Key tradition–along with the original “Cheeseburger in Paradise”

There are lots of options when it comes to fishing the waters here.  But there are no limitations to tackle.  Some of our group used light spinning gear, while others used baitcasters or fly rods.  The Hobie boats are stable, making it easy to get out and wade, or to stand while fishing.  The waters are generally shallow, making it a perfect place to throw topwater plugs (MirrOlure Top Dogs) or soft plastics (D.O.A. 3-inch shrimp or CALs).

 

 

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Fishing the flats in Pine Island Sound, just a short paddle from the Tarpon Lodge and Pineland Marina

 

 

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There’s no problem standing up–or fly fishing–from a Hobie Pro Angler kayak!

 

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It’s just a short paddle north from the Matlacha boat ramp to the backwaters of Buzzard Bay.

 

 

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Grab your mask and summon your adventurous spirit! Join us under the sea as we search for the elusive bay scallop in Charlotte Harbor! But don’t wait too late — space is limited!

by on Jun.27, 2014, under Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Saturday, July 26, 2014
9 am-2 pm
Calling Volunteer Boaters and Snorkelers!
Approximately 40 boats and up to 150 snorkelers are needed!
Join us in a resource monitoring program to document the health and status of bay scallop populations by snorkeling and looking for scallops in select areas.

This is a **No Harvest** event.

We are recruiting:
Volunteers with shallow draft boats. Canoes and kayaks are also welcome. Please let us know if you can take additional snorkelers on your boat. And please bring a dive flag if you have one.
Snorkelers without boats are welcome; however, boat spaces are limited.
Volunteers need to bring sunscreen, a mask, snorkel and gloves, and be able to snorkel/swim 50 meters (about 150 feet). Fins/weight belt are optional.

Scallop searchers will meet at Gasparilla Marina to receive survey equipment and instructions for the monitoring event. Lunch will be provided once you return to shore.

Reservations are required to participate in the event and space is limited so reserve your spot today!

Registration and More Information
Contact the Organizer | 941-764-4346 | UF/IFAS Charlotte Co. Extension on Facebook

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TOP CAMPING ATTRACTIONS FOR 2014 WINTER VISITORS IN FLORIDA’S CHARLOTTE HARBOR AND THE GULF ISLANDS

by on Dec.02, 2013, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

TOP CAMPING ATTRACTIONS FOR 2014 WINTER VISITORS

IN FLORIDA’S CHARLOTTE HARBOR AND THE GULF ISLANDS

Sleep under the stars where the nights are always balmy and bright

CHARLOTTE HARBOR AND THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (Dec. 2, 2013) – If memories of a family road trip pulling the pop-up camper or an overnight outing with a group of scouts harkens, consider an excursion to Florida’s Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands to both recapture the past and create new memories for the future.

Campers love to explore the treasures of the great outdoors here in Southwest Florida where there’s a bounty of lakes, forests, rivers and more meandering through RV parks and campgrounds. In the great outdoors of Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands, nestled along the coast between Sarasota and Ft. Myers, the joys of RVing can be found in abundance.

Many of today’s amenity-laden parks are destinations in and of themselves and include swimming pools, lakes with boat/canoe/kayak rentals, game rooms, movie rentals/screenings, fishing ponds, bike paths and rentals, miniature golf, arts and crafts classes and more.  These venues and nearby nature preserves also serve as the perfect canvas for wildlife photography, painting and soft adventure excursions, too.

Whether you’re renting a cabin or turning up in a luxury RV, it’s time to hit the road. Winter camping in Florida finds parks and campgrounds filled with friendly snowbirds without children in tow, which makes for a more relaxing getaway for boomers/seniors. However, families take note, in summer, the outdoor lifestyle here is great for those with kids, as the little ones easily make friends with other campers’ offspring affording mom and dad a well-deserved respite in the great outdoors.

Which camping park you choose depends on what outdoor activities you enjoy. Rent a cabin, pitch a tent or hook up your RV to one of ten campground and camping resorts in Charlotte County. They are located close to shopping, beaches, restaurants, game fishing, dinner theaters and golf courses. Most feature a variety of recreational amenities and they’re reasonably priced. Following is a listing with brief description of the campgrounds/RV parks you’ll find in Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands:

Alligator Park, Inc.
6400 Taylor Rd., Lot 112
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941-639-7000

http://www.alligatorpark.com/

Alligator Park is a friendly, age 55+ RV and mobile home community. All sites are full hookup with 30 + 50 amp service. Swim in their heated pool, or stroll by the 30-acre lake, where fishing is allowed. Don’t be fooled by the country setting, with easy access to nearby Route 75 and U.S. 41, restaurants and shopping are within two miles. Enjoy dances in their new clubhouse or select a book from the free library. Clean laundry facilities, hot showers and Wi-Fi are available.

Gulf View Encore RV Resort
10205 Burnt Store Rd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941-639-3978 or 877-237-2757
Pleasantly situated on Alligator Creek, you’ll find immediate access to great fishing off the dock or from a boat. Open year-round, the resort’s top features include: 200 sites, full hookups, hot tub, pool, showers, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and pets on leash are allowed.

Harbor Lakes
3737 El Jobean Rd. (S.R. 776)
Port Charlotte, FL 33953
941-624-4511 or 800-468-5022
Come join in the fun and enjoy the tropical lifestyle offered at Encore-Harbor. Numerous in-park activities are planned each season and besides 528 sites there are resort cottages available. Activities: Fishing, horseshoes, shuffleboard, swimming, tennis court, volleyball court. Facility amenities: big rig hookups, covered pavilion, dump station, Elec. 30 + 50 amp, exercise/fitness facilities, full hookups, hot tub, ice, laundry, parking, paved pads, phone hookup, picnic shelter, pool heated, pool outdoor, propane sales, rec hall/clubhouse, recreational area, restaurant nearby, restrooms, showers and tables.

Myakka River Motorcoach Resort
14100 Myakka Avenue
Port Charlotte, FL 33953
941-740-2599

http://www.myakka-river.com/

This is a brand new Class A motor coach resort on the shores of the Myakka River in the unincorporated community of El Jobean.  The 30-acre resort features three lakes, a clubhouse with library and billiards room, pool with 75’ swimming lanes, whirlpool spa, waterfront boardwalks and fishing pier, putting green, tennis courts, fitness room, large entertainment area and an activities calendar featuring water aerobics, yoga, crafts, and movie nights, plus a sunset patio to catch breathtaking Florida sunsets. The resort offers brick paved motor coach pads and patios, sidewalks and lots of grassy areas for pets. Nearby are bike trails along with the Charlotte Sports Park, ballpark home to the Charlotte Stone Crabs AAA team in summer/fall and the Tampa Bay Rays spring training camp.

Palms & Pines Riverside RV Resort
5400 Riverside Dr.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-639-5461

http://www.palmsandpinesinc.com/

Located on the juncture of Peace River, Shell Creek and Charlotte Harbor, Palms and Pines offers an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy the panoramic view and natural resources of the region.  Shopping, restaurants, and medical facilities are within a few miles.  Relax beneath the palms, enjoy the sunshine and participate in the many activities such as bingo, cards, crafts and potluck dinners. There are boat docks, a boat ramp, fishing pier, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and mini-library, too. Rental spaces have complete hookups and grassy lots with concrete patios and are available for short or long term rental. Apartments feature full kitchens, air-conditioning, and screened porches.

Peace River Mobile Home, RV Park, & Fishing Camp
29208 Snook Cir.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-639-2819
There are 30 sites and 30 units/cabins for visitors’ accommodations.  Facility amenities include: boat dock, boat ramp, cable TV hookup, Elec. 30 + 50 amp, full hookups, hot showers, laundry, phone hookup, restrooms, showers, and water access.

Punta Gorda RV Resort
3701 Baynard Dr.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
941-639-2010
This friendly adult park offers 221 sites, full hookups, pool, hot tub, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and is ADA compliant. Shuffleboard, horseshoes, a rec hall, convenience store and laundry plus dial-up Internet rounds out the facility amenities.

Shell Creek Resort Inc.
35711 Washington Loop Rd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-639-4234
With 239 sites, facility amenities include: boat ramp, cable TV hookup, convenience store, Elec. 30 amp, exercise/fitness facilities, full hookups, groceries, hot tub, ice, laundry, parking, pay phones, phone hookup, picnic area, pool outdoor, propane sales, rec hall/clubhouse, recreational area, restrooms, showers, tables, and water access for fishing and swimming.

Sun-N-Shade

U.S. 41 S., 14880 Tamiami Trail
Punta Gorda, FL 33955

941-639-5388

http://sunnshade.com/

Fishing, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and swimming are top activities found in this lovely country setting. Facility amenities: full hookups, hot showers, patio, phone hookup, outdoor heated pool, rec hall/clubhouse, restrooms, showers dump station, Elec. 30 + 50 amp.

Water’s Edge RV Resort
6800 Golf Course Blvd.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
941-637-4677 or 800-637-9224
A great resort for bicyclers, swimmers and those with a need for big rig hookups. Amenities include 167 sites, covered pavilion, dump station, Elec. 30 + 50 amp, full hookups, hot showers, hot tub, laundry, patio, phone hookup, picnic area, picnic shelter, pool heated, pool outdoor, propane sales, rec hall/clubhouse, recreational area, restaurant nearby, restrooms, showers and tables.

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands

Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations.  A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” The city of Punta Gorda was named as one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood was named as #2 of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com.

For information about area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, 18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104, Port Charlotte, FL 33948; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor’s Guide; or visit the Web site at www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.

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Eating Well at Punta Gorda–Lots of Opportunities!

by on Nov.12, 2013, under Recipes and Food

Sustainable seafood is big here, as many chefs, restauranteurs and fishermen make their living and livelihood from the bountiful Gulf of Mexico. From the quintessential Florida cracker crab shack where blue crabs pile high atop newspaper covered picnic tables at Peace River Seafood year round, to contemporary dishes that top retro, stainless steel tables set amidst a wash of riotous color at acclaimed Trabue, the dining options in Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands are as abundant as the fresh catch.

An authentic Florida crab house opened by long-time local crabber Jimmy Beall and his wife Kelly just outside Punta Gorda, Peace River Seafood is where the fishermen, crabbers, and shrimpers land their catch. During Stone Crab season the huge crab claws are the number one draw on the locally sourced seafood-centric menu.  Year-round, blue crabs arrive by the crate and are prepared and served up piping hot almost as fast as they come in. Spilling out of tin buckets – all you can eat for $20, 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday – the crabs are accompanied by the requisite wooden mallet, corn-on-the-cob, red potatoes and lemon. Novices take note: friendly expert instruction from the staff will have you crackin’ crab like a local in no time!

Chef Keith Meyer is one of the new breed of chefs planting roots in Punta Gorda.  At Trabue Restaurant, he translates the classic techniques he learned in New York City into approachable rustic, southern dishes. Menu items range from escargot to a bone-in, brined pork chop, and the menu is always chock full of from-the-Gulf seafood such as mahi-mahi, snapper and shrimp. While he incorporates flavors from across the country, Chef Keith’s goal is to highlight locally-sourced ingredients, especially the different flavors that come with each season

To wash down all this local farm (or sea) to table goodness, the county also features a winery and a new craft brew house with tap room.  Catania’s Winery in Englewood offers free wine tastings Thursdays – Saturdays.  While the new (opening Dec. 2013) Fat Point brewery in Punta Gorda is initially offering two craft beers in cans and on tap.

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“Intro to Fishing” Class, Punta Gorda, Beginning October 28, 2013. Taught by Capt. Ralph Allen, King Fisher Fleet

by on Sep.27, 2013, under Middle Charlotte Harbor

PUNTA GORDA, FL – An introductory course in Florida Fishing, called Let’s Go Fishing!, is being offered at the PGI Civic Association building on Shreve Street. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations for fishing in fresh and salt waters of Southwest Florida. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be displayed during the class and there will be a number of useful handouts issued to students. The class is geared towards beginning anglers, but more experienced fishermen will pick up helpful tips as well. The instructor is long time local fishing guide and owner of King Fisher Fleet, Capt. Ralph Allen, who might even reveal the locations of a few local hotspots! The course is open to all members of the public and includes six evening sessions which are to be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning on Monday October 28. The cost for the class is $40 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

King Fisher Fleet offers six cruises including daylong cruises to the islands of Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key, half-day river and harbor cruises, short afternoon cruises, sunset cruises, and Christmas light canal cruises. King Fisher Fleet also offers charter fishing with some of the best fishing guides in southwest Florida, departing every day from Fishermen’s Village Marina. Gift certificates for cruises as well as for fishing charters are available at the King Fisher office.

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Florida Photo Release Tourney Sept. 20-21, 2013 at Charlotte Harbor

by on Sep.16, 2013, under Upper Charlotte Harbor

The Charlotte Harbor Photo Release Fishing Tournament will take place Sept. 20 and 21 at Laishley Crab House, 50 Laishley Court in Punta Gorda.

Beyond Borders Outfitters and the C.A.R.E. Auxiliary Society are partnering to present this inaugural fishing event officiated by Captain Rhett Morris. The tournament will benefit victims of violent crimes receiving shelter and services at The Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies, Inc. and will promote awareness about conservation and protection of the harbor fishery.

Tournament winners will be judged on an Inshore Slam, with the largest combined snook, redfish and trout, as well as a winner for the largest of each species. This is a photo release tournament with catch-and-release fishing only. Photos will be broadcast throughout the Crab House during the event. Spectators and anglers may participate in the auction and raffle.

Proceeds from the tournament will be used to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault and to fund preventive education focused on creating healthy relationships and life choices. At the same time, anglers on the harbor will keep sport fishing alive while highlighting the need to preserve nature’s balance with clean and healthy ecosystems on our waterways.

To support sustainable fisheries, scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory will assist with collecting and managing data about fish caught and released during this tournament, and they will contribute tournament prizes and share knowledge about their research and conservation activities with participating captains. Mote scientists study snook, tarpon, sharks and other key species in Charlotte Harbor, often working in collaboration with anglers.

The C.A.R.E. Auxiliary Society provides fundraising support for C.A.R.E. which is a 501 (3) (c) organization. Beyond Borders Outfitters offers world class saltwater fishing trips in Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande Pass.

Event contacts:
Kim Fender, C.A.R.E. Auxiliary Volunteer: 863-990-1765 (cell), carequeen1@gmail.com, www.carefl.org
JoEllen Morris, Beyond Borders Outfitters: 941-628-2335 (office), 941-505-8481(cell), beyondbordersoutfitters@yahoo.com, www.tarponcharterflorida.com

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You’ll Find Everything You Need at Punta Gorda’s Fishermen’s Village

by on Aug.12, 2013, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Shopping, eating, fishing, boating, swimming or just plain “hanging out” in a nicely-appointed rental condo–you’ll find it all at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda.

Fishermen's Village Resort is conveniently located on the Punta Gorda harborfront.

Don't miss a waterfront meal on the patio at The Captain's Table Restaurant at Fishermen's Village

Locally-owned and operated shops and restaurants below, with rental condo above. Fishermen's Village is a one-stop destination.

Cool off from the summer heat at Fishermen's Village

Spectacular Charlotte Harbor sunsets are the end to a perfect day at Fishermen's Village.

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Resurrection at “Fat Point”–Punta Gorda Has Come A Long Way Since Hurricane Charley!

by on Aug.11, 2013, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Upper Charlotte Harbor

I remember driving from Gainesville to Fort Myers in the fall of 2004 and seeing nothing but blue tarps and crushed mangroves alongside I-75 south of the Venice exits.  That was the year we had to postpone the annual meeting of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, and push it back to October.  And even two months later, when we finally had the Conference at Venice, much of southwest Florida was still in ruin.  Punta Gorda, or “fat point” as its name translates in Spanish, took the worst hit.  Many historic building were destroyed and the downtown was literally flattened and flooded.  Only a few structures remained, and those that did struggled.  Only after a huge community effort (and millions of dollars!) did Punta Gorda become what it is today.  Extremely walkable and bikeable, with over 50 independently-owned restaurants, shops and 4 very nice harbor-front hotels, Punta Gorda has become an excellent destination for anglers and sportsmen wanting to take advantage of Charlotte Harbor’s bounty.

The rooftop bar at the Wyvern Hotel is a great place to watch the sunset.

I can’t think of many more communities  the size of Punta Gorda that are more angler-friendly.  There are excellent boat ramps, marinas, and the city’s location at the mouth of the Peace River, in upper Charlotte Harbor, makes running to some great fishing spots easy.  You can read about fishing in The Saltwater Angler’s Guide To Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida, but now take a visual tour of “Fat Point”

Sunset along the waterfront at Punta Gorda

Dinner's great at Laishley Crab House, on the Peace River

Punta Gorda's bikes are free. Just be sure to return yours!

Laishley Park, Marina and Boat ramp complex is just upriver from town

Feeling old? Take a sip from Punta Gorda's Fountain of Youth. Just hold your nose!

Some original structure remains from pre-Hurricane Charley days.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night fun at Dean's Tex-Mex

Punta Gorda has over 50 independently-owned restaurants

The Sheraton Four Points Hotel is conveniently located harborside.

Fishermen's Village offers lodging, shopping, bars, restaurants, dockage and access to great charterboats!

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Peace River Seafood and Crab Shack–Be Prepared to Pig Out in Punta Gorda!

by on Aug.10, 2013, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, Recipes and Food, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Just up the Peace River from downtown Punta Gorda is one of the true culinary treasures in Charlotte County, Peace River Seafood.  Located at 5337 Duncan Road (33982), the place isn’t fancy, but what it lacks in white linens and silverware is made up for in quality, fresh-caught (daily, in most cases) local seafood.  You won’t find salmon on the menu here!  Expect good fried and smoked mullet, shrimp, oysters and clams, all brought to your table with cold beer or tea!  And don’t forget the steamed crabs, the specialty of the house!

Eat inside or outside, and get used to using paper towels as napkins.

Crabs are the specialty of the house at Peace River Seafood in Punta Gorda

If you're not an expert at "crab cracking", Tori will give you a quick lesson.

Mahi wraps, fried mullet, shrimp (boiled and fried), oysters and clams--some of the freshest seafood around.

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Captain Van Hubbard’s Charlotte Harbor/Placida/Englewood Fishing Report and Observations for 7-25-13

by on Jul.25, 2013, under Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Crazy weather keeps this years fishing challenging.
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It is a beautiful day to wake up and I’m thankful; but this fresh west wind makes things difficult. Its eighty degrees and the suns not up yet. Welcome to summertime life around here. The overcast last week was actually a blessing if you missed the rains. We still have fish and fun if the heat doesn’t bother you. This is when my big T-Top really helps. I find we all tend to migrate to the shade as it heats up. The breezes are wonderful if not too strong.  The freshwater runoff is still an issue but fish are always here and still need to eat. I’m just spoiled and used to seeing our targets. This year has been wonderful and even with weird weather very productive. Business has been great even though it’s slowed down now but I needed time to catch up on chores and relax a little. Not as young as I was but not as old as I will be tomorrow! It’s nice to take some time to reflect and remember the many blessings and special folks and fishing we have enjoyed.
The kid’s trips are perfect fit for me and the families. I enjoyed a nice cook out with a friend and his family at Boca Grande last evening. We talked, shared fish stories and watched the girls play. I couldn’t think of a better way to end a day.
Snook and snapper seem to be the best bet right now. They are abundant and close. The minnows are growing but still small so it’s a good fit. Trout are around and we do have some redfish if you want to but in the time and effort. Spanish mackerel are due anytime and I think we could find a few tasty pompano if we went looking for them. If the winds allowed we have kings and a variety of fish in the nearby Gulf if weather permitting. Tarpon are scatted but available if you put in the time! No sitting ducks right now but plenty of fish we can play with depending upon conditions.
If you are planning to eat a snook when it opens for harvest it’s past time to lock up some dates! The season opens September First and should peak in October sometime. Fishing will remain good until the cold weather comes south sometime in November. Everything else is biting then too so don’t miss out. The mackerel migration will be hot in October too with lots of action and liberal bag limits to bring home some fish.
Watch the weather next week it’s that time of the year. Thank you, Let’s Go Fishin’ soon.

Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>

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