Hooked On Fishing?

Hooked On Fishing?

Hooked On Fishing?

By Hannah M.

 

Reel in The Big One!

Are you getting ready for your fishing trip on the sparkling waters of St. John’s River or Lake George? Whether you’re a new angler or “reel” expert, good fishermen are always looking for new tricks to help lure the best catch. Reeling in the big one can be fishy business, but fear no fish! Here are some great tips that will have you ready to tackle anything!

Got Bait?

When choosing what kind of bait to bring for the ultimate catch, live bait is always preferred! Worms and smaller fish are most commonly used and proven to be most successful. Freshwater fishing? Here’s a basic beginner tackle box guide to start with!

Location is Key

Today there are many tools available to aid your fishing needs! Electronic fish finders are widely used and a certain way of leading you directly to the best fishing spots. If you’re new to the game, make sure you bring a topographical map to keep track of water depths and an electronic fish finder.

Keep An Eye on The Skies

Seasoned fishermen know that the weather affects fish habits. Cloudy days are preferred for fishing, as your catch is more likely to be lured by your bait. Sunny Florida doesn’t see too many of those days, however; just cruise to some darker waters for the optimal catch. Planning a night fishing excursion? Paying attention to the moon and its phases is key for night fishing – full moons are prime time for the best catch, while moonless nights are the least favorable for fishing. The brighter the moon, the better!

Stay Safe

Practice, practice, practice! Ensure you can confidently tie knots and handle the sharp hooks prior to departing on your fishing adventures. There’s so little time and so many fish – you don’t want to lose any time due to injuries! Keep your fishing trip fun and make sure you’re comfortable with your equipment.

What’s Your Catch?

You’re almost ready for the complete fishing trip! Make sure you’re familiar with the fish in the spot you choose! Here’s a list of fish found in the St. John’s River. Looking for the best bass in the state? Head to Lake George for some fantastic fishing.

Fishing is a Reel Tough Job – You’re Ready to Tackle It!

Reeling in the big one is no easy feat, but with these excellent fishing tips, it’s sure to be an enjoyable and rewarding adventure. For a catchy fishing trip of a lifetime, rent a cabin or boat at Castaways on the River and get ready for your best adventure yet!

Original Article Here

Staying Safe While Having Fun on Vacation!

Staying Safe While Having Fun!

By Hannah M. 

Southern Florida is considered one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Renowned for the alluring natural habitats, gleaming white sand beaches, calm rivers, and especially the intriguing wildlife. During your relaxing vacation in Southern Florida, you’re sure to run into the indigenous inhabitants- alligators. Below are some safety tips to keep in mind for an enjoyable vacation.

Sharing is Not Caring!

The most essential rule to keep in mind regarding alligators is to keep your food stored away. Do not feed them! Alligators have an instinctive fear of humans, which is favorable for us, as people are natural prey in the wild. Sharing your food can be dangerous, as it emboldens the alligator, and in turn, may look for other people in search of food. A good rule of thumb is to not feed any wildlife you may encounter.

Alligator Mating Season

Spring and Summer is alligator mating season in Florida, so be extra careful during these times. Alligator nests may also be found more frequently, so if you happen to run across one, do not disturb it. Mother gators are always nearby, so just keep in mind to give the alligators their space! Their temperament may change erratically, and you may see larger gators than normal – the best thing to do is not interact with them in anyway and give them plenty of space.

Keeping Your Furry Friends in Mind

It’s not the complete vacation without Man’s Best Friend! Everyone loves to bring their pet along for a cruise on the river or to splash in the waves. It’s easy to keep your best bud safe by keeping them leashed the entire time. Headed for a lazy day on the river? Make sure to keep your dog leashed when you dock, especially during alligator mating season.

Stay Away!

These magnificent creatures may appear passive and idle, but they move rapidly. A good rule is to always keep 60 feet between you and the alligator. If they hiss or lunge at you – back up! That’s a warning sign you’re too close.

Safety while Swimming

St. John’s River is a prime destination for boating, fishing and lovely water views. From the deck, under the warm Florida rays, you may be tempted to take a quick dip in the waters. A key safety rule to keep in mind on your vacation is this: If you can’t see your feet or arms while in the water, do not swim!

Swimming where you cannot see your arms or legs should be avoided, as gators frequent these areas.

There are many gorgeous, crystal clear springs that are accessible from St. John’s River, including Silver Glen Springs. The water is shallow and alligators are rare. Make sure to visit one of these breathtaking spots during your fishing trip!

Fishing Safety

Be careful where you pick your fishing spots – some gators will be attracted to the fish on a hooked line and may grab it. Fishing in areas that are heavy in vegetation or near the water’s edge is discouraged, as those are popular gator hang outs. If you’re fishing for a fresh catch for dinner and don’t want any surprise bites, just stay in open, clear water.

Have a Safe Vacation!

Geared with these quick and easy safety tips, you’re ready for your vacation on the river! Castaways on the River can help you plan for your essential vacation. With many different rental boats to choose from in the marina directly outside your hotel room or cottage door, relaxing on the river is a Florida Must-Do!

Original Article Here

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

4 Boating Adventures in Sarasota, FL

If you’re not on a boat as a resident or visitor in Sarasota, you’re missing out on plenty of fun adventures on the water! From snorkeling to exploring the wildlife and luxury waterfront homes here, there are far more boating adventures than just coasting along Sarasota Bay. If you don’t own a boat, there are plenty of facilities where you can rent a boat, too. And if you’d rather not travel by boat, take out your kayak or canoe to enjoy these boating adventures in Sarasota.

Tour Sarasota’s fabulous luxury homes.

Sarasota has some beautiful mansions that you can see when boating along the Intracoastal Waterway! From luxury tiki huts to grandiose artwork in the backyard, if you go at a slower speed, you’ll get to take in all of your surroundings. Look to Bird Key and Northern Siesta Key to begin this unique boating adventure!

Cast a line at the Middle Grounds.

The Middle Grounds are one of fishermens’ favorite fishing spots in Sarasota, and it’s also a sort of hidden gem. Just head to the New Pass area in Sarasota Bay, and you will find an area brimming with spotted seatrout, pompano and cobia, just to name a few! Use shrimp as bait or try fly fishing to capture these fabulous game fish. If you need more bait, there are several bait shops nearby carrying the best in bait and any other fishing supplies you might need.

Explore the underwater communities

Anchor your boat, canoe or kayak in a sandy spot adjacent to one of Sarasota’s seagrass beds to do some exploring! You’ll likely find these these seagrass beds when you snorkel in water that’s within 7 feet deep. From underwater landscapes, spotted seatrout or even manatees, snorkeling is one of the most thrilling boating adventures you’ll want to carve out time for while in Sarasota. Just be mindful when you’re snorkeling as to not disturb these beautiful underwater communities.

Capture the natural surroundings and wildlife.

When you’re boating in Sarasota, you’ll come across a plethora of unforgettable nature views and wildlife. Capture these moments by taking your professional camera on your boating adventure and waiting for the perfect shot! Watch as dolphins come to the surface, and don’t forget to look up to see great blue herons in flight!

Next: 5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Boating Etiquette Guidelines to Follow

Even if you’ve been boating for decades, it never hurts to brush up on your boating etiquette. Yes, like manners for the table—Don’t slouch! Chew with your mouth closed!—there are even manners for when you’re boating. Here are some boating etiquette guidelines to abide by when you’re enjoying your day out on Bradenton waters.

Maintain a low speed when entering and exiting.

Whether it’s your neighborhood or a marina, keeping a low speed when you’re entering or exiting either is not only respectful to your neighbors and marina, but it keeps the noise level down, too.

With respect to noise levels, keep the music down, as well.

While boaters and their loved ones like to enjoy their time on the water with their favorite tunes, some boaters would prefer to hear nature and the hum of the waters and their boat while they enjoy the sunset instead. Neither are wrong, but you should be respectful to both to practice boating etiquette.

Abide all the signage.

In general, one of the easiest ways to remain courteous and follow boating etiquette is to simply obey the signage when on the water. Though just as important as being courteous, is protecting the species that live in the waters. For instance, areas with manatees will tell you to boat at a slow speed to ensure they have ample amount of time to exit your path.

Decrease your wake when passing other boats.

Though there’s not typically a sign for decreasing your speed or wake when you’re around other boats, this is common courtesy when out on the water. Too much wake could either cause damage to other boats or cause unwanted rocking. Be respectful of other boaters and slow down when passing them.

Don’t be shy, and say, “Hello!”

Though you don’t have to necessarily strike up a full-on conversation when boating on Bradenton waters, a friendly wave is often all that’s needed to upkeep boating etiquette. Plus, you never know when you might get the latest scoop on the best fishing spots!

Next: A Quick Boating Guide for Stormy Weather

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish Riviera Dunes Marina

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Don’t think that you have to be an expert angler to love boating! There are many other reasons to love a day out on the boat, from spending time with your loved ones in a new way to simply enjoying time on the water. Here are some of the top reasons to love boating even if you don’t fish:

1. More access to waterways

One of the No. 1 reasons you will love boating is that you’ll have much more access to our hidden waterways. There are severals areas near Riviera Dunes Marina that are only accessible by boat, which means there is much territory you have yet to discover.

2. It’s a unique, affordable activity 

When you want to break up your beach routine, a day on the boat is a great way to mix it up here in Palmetto. If you don’t own a boat, you can always rent a boat for a set amount of time at an affordable rate. While we love owning boats here at Riviera Dunes Marina, renting can be a great option if you’re visiting or are only a casual boater and don’t want to worry about its upkeep.

3. New way to spend time with loved ones

Are you vacationing here? You’ll love boating because it’s a fun experience for the whole family and a new way to explore our area! From going on a sunset boat cruise to attaching a water float at the end for the kids—and even adults—to enjoy, there are several ways to enjoy the boat for the afternoon. Make sure to pack your picnic lunch if you plan to spend the whole day on the boat, then you can even bring your furry friends to join in on the fun. Plus, you can take the boat to stretch your legs in new places! Go hiking, lower the anchor for a swim or simply explore our local nature areas and its wildlife.

Next: Top 5 Nature Areas Near Palmetto

A Quick Boating Guide for Stormy Weather

A Quick Boating Guide for Stormy Weather

A Quick Boating Guide for Stormy Weather Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

A Quick Boating Guide for Stormy Weather

Picture this: you’re out on the boat with your loved ones and all of a sudden you hear stormy weather brewing in the distance. While you can often watch out for storms before heading out on your trip, it never hurts to know what to do if you’re suddenly caught in a storm.

It goes without saying that you should always have life vests aboard when boating. You should also notify a family member, who is not accompanying you on your trip, of your boating plans regardless of the type of weather you’re expecting. In addition, if the weather conditions are looking particularly stormy, you should reschedule your trip for a more accommodating day.

Here are some tips for boating in stormy weather:

First, make sure to have back-up essentials.

Here are some key items to have on board:

  • External battery phone charger: In the event that your phone battery gets drained, pack an external battery phone charger to charge your phone so that you can communicate your location during a storm.
  • First-aid kit: Make sure you have your first-aid kit stocked with the essentials.
  • Flashlights: If the power goes out on your boat, it never hurts to have backup flashlights.
  • Portable marine battery jump starter: This will also be very helpful if you lose power.

Head to shore quickly, yet safely.

While this might seem like common sense, you must head to shore during stormy weather instead of trying to tough it out. It’s certainly important to head back to shore quickly, but you shouldn’t do so in a hurry by speeding and putting your passengers at risk. Remain calm so that you can safely navigate back to shore.

Lower any bimini tops and curtains.

During stormy weather, it’s likely that the wind will pick up. When you see stormy weather encroaching, it’s time to lower the boat tops and curtains in case the wind picks up, and they become troublesome or dangerous when you’re trying to navigate back to shore.

Know what to do if there’s lighting.

First, clear your view. In addition to lowering any boat tops, remove any fishing rods, antennas and loose items out of the way. Next, disconnect any backup batteries to prevent them from being damaged if lightning does strike. Then you should record your GPS coordinates so that you can communicate this via radio or your cell phone. Lastly, tell your passengers to take refuge in the boat cabin until the storm passes.

Next: Spring Break: Family-Friendly Activities near Riviera Dunes Marina

A Guide to Pontoon Boat Fishing in Sarasota

A Guide to Pontoon Boat Fishing in Sarasota

A Guide to Pontoon Boat Fishing in Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

A Guide to Pontoon Boat Fishing in Sarasota

Anglers love pontoon boat fishing as they’re comfortable, can accommodate a group of people and are sturdy, which is especially true during rougher water conditions when a small boat would typically rock in the Sarasota waterways.

If you’re a boating novice or looking to learn more about pontoon boat fishing, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a quick guide in order to help you have a successful fishing day on your pontoon boat. 

Remove or lower your bimini top.

If you don’t have much experience fishing on a pontoon boat, then you don’t want to make the mistake of having your boat’s bimini or canopy top interfering with your cast. Before you set sail on your fishing trip, remove or lower your bimini tops to ensure your hooks don’t catch on them.

Bring a second anchor.

While pontoon boats are sturdy, they can be a bit hard to keep still when fishing if the wind begins to pick up its pace. To make your afternoon of pontoon boat fishing a successful one, bring more than one anchor. Release one at each end of the boat. By using two anchors, this will prevent the boat—and you—from spinning while you’re fishing. As you learn more about pontoon boat fishing, you may choose to add more anchors for your next trip if the weather is particularly windy.

Pack multiple towels.

In order to protect your boat’s seats, packing multiple towels for your trip is a wise idea. From baiting your hooks to gutting the fish, the last thing you want to worry about is damaging your seats, especially if they are cloth seats. Vinyl seats tend to be more forgiving, but you should still take precautions and make the clean-up process much easier for yourself. It’s also helpful to have another towel available for you to clean your hands throughout the day.

Rod holders are a good idea.

Due to the finite amount of space on your pontoon boat, creating a place where you can rest your rods can be especially helpful during your fishing trip. You can easily purchase mounted pontoon rod holders that are not only helpful but are convenient to stow away when you’re not fishing. Look for rod holders that have a wide adjustment angle in the event that you need more flexibility.

Bring an extra container for your fish.

While this seems like a no-brainer, you will thank yourself later when you’re having a successful day pontoon boat fishing, and you want to keep fishing longer. Bring an extra container, such as a cooler, in order to store your fish until you’re ready to clean them.

Next: Tips for Wintertime Fishing in the Palmetto Area

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species

You love our local area in Bradenton, Sarasota and Palmetto for its pristine beaches, but it’s also known for its wonderful marine species, especially sea turtles and manatees. Though, it’s important to remember that these local beaches are home to these endangered species as well. Here are helpful tips to keep in mind to ensure we’re protecting our local marine species:

1. Obey the waterway signs.

Waterway signs do not solely exist for boaters’ safety, but they are for the manatees’ safety, too. Obeying the speed limit ensures that you slow down when necessary so that you have a clear view of the water and do not see any manatees before proceeding.

2. Steer clear from shallow waters when possible.

When boating, remain in deep waterways because manatees tend to feed in shallow seagrass beds. In addition, try not to anchor your boats in these areas and in coral reefs because these areas are often habitats for sea turtles.

3. Do not offer food to manatees.

When you see manatees, do not feed them or try to lure them to you. When you lure manatees to you, this increases the chance that they will get caught in watercraft traffic, which could put them at risk.

4. Pick up after yourself before leaving the beach.

Trash is one of the major threats to local marine species since they can mistake floating trash in the water for food, which can block their intestines. Make sure your bring a bag with you so that you can collect all of your trash.

5. The same goes for fishing.

Do not leave any stray fishing lines or nets behind as local marine species as well as birds can get entangled and trapped.

6. Pack a red or yellow flashlight when taking an evening beach stroll.

In the evenings, this is prime nesting time for sea turtles. Lights that are too bright can disturb this process and cause them to be deterred from going to the ocean. This also goes without saying that you should not disturb turtles, especially baby sea turtles because our hands carry chemicals than are poisonous to them.

Next: Valentine’s Day Activities in the Bradenton Area

8 Tips for Boating with Your Pups

8 Tips for Boating with Your Pups

8 Tips for Boating with Your Pups Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

8 Tips for Boating with Your Pups

Your dogs are like family, which is why it’s always fun to take them along for a joyride on the water every once in awhile!

However, boating with your pups isn’t always a walk in the park. Here are eight quick tips to ensure that your boat ride is enjoyable for both you and your furry loved ones!

  1. Pack a collapsible, travel-friendly bowl that you can fill with fresh water for your pup. You can easily find these in most stores as well as online.
  2. While you’re at it, pack your pup’s food, treats and toys to make him feel at peace in a new environment.
  3. Take some time before your boat trip to get your pup acquainted with your boat.
  4. Make sure there is a shaded area on your boat. If you don’t always have a boat shade installed on your vessel, now’s the time when you’re boating with your pups. Shade keeps them from being dehydrated and also acts as a cool area for them to protect and land their paws from too much sun exposure.
  5. If you happen to be fishing, make sure that you stow away all bait, lures and other harmful equipment so they’re not within your pup’s reach.
  6. The day of your boat ride, set aside enough time to allow your dog to relieve himself before boarding your vessel.
  7. Even if your dog is used to swimming, it can be a good idea to fit him with a pet life jacket. Though there are no regulations for life jackets for your pet, it’s another precaution you can take to ensure your pup’s safety.
  8. Lastly, if this is your pup’s first boat ride, keep this excursion to a minimum until your furry friend warms up and gains his sea legs.

Next: 4 Events for Fall Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

With the holiday weekend approaching, it’s one of the best times of the year to go boating with your kids. Though, this is sometimes easier said than done. Save yourself from the stress, and look to these tips to prepare for boating with your kids of all ages!

1. Make safety your No. 1 priority.

Everyone must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket or personal flotation device, including the tiniest members of your family. The little ones that are under 6 years old must wear their lifejackets at all times when aboard a recreational vessel less than 26 feet long. These are just a few of the Florida regulations for lifejackets. See the full list here to know the various types one must wear if on a Jet Ski or operating the vessel outside of Florida, for example.

2. Pack more than enough supplies for your boat ride.

When bringing the little ones and the youngsters, there are much more supplies to bring than a few bottles of water. Make sure your diaper bag is stocked with extra pacifiers, swim diapers, baby formula, etc. Of course you’ll want to have plenty of sunscreen, snacks, water, juice and ice pops to keep everyone refreshed and hydrated! An extra change of clothes and plenty of towels are also notables items to bring.

3. Inform everyone of the basic boat rules.

Just like there are house rules, there are also basic boat rules that your children should keep in mind when riding on the boat. Here are a few basic boat rules:

  • Hands and feet should be kept in the boat at all times.
  • The lifejacket must be worn at all times.
  • No running on the boat is permitted since it is often slippery, and there are several places where one could be injured.

4. Create shade.

Bimini tops and covers are great for creating a shaded area when boating with your kids. This helps to shelter them from the heat to prevent them from becoming overheated. In addition, you could bring a beach umbrella or sun hat to add extra coverage.

5. Make it fun!

Boating with your kids is a memorable experience for all ages, especially when there are fun water activities. You may decide to bring your fishing poles and bait, snorkeling gear, water tubes or play a fun round of ‘who can find the most fish!’ If you decide to anchor, plan to bring some floats and beach toys as well!

 Next: 5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton