Feeding Stations Set Up For Florida Manatees

Feeding Stations Set Up For Florida Manatees

Algae blooms triggered by water pollution caused an unprecedented number manatee deaths in 2021. In an effort to slow manatee starvation, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has started a new manatee feeding program. Warmer temperatures and fertilizer run-off from sugar farms and other agricultural sites, as well as city sewage, has caused an overgrowth of blue-green algae, which has decimated the seagrass manatees normally eat. A record 1,101 manatees died in 2021. The 5-year average has only been 625, so this dramatic jump is very concerning to wildlife experts. In colder months, manatees tend to gather in warmer waters, particularly near power plants. Unfortunately due to the algae bloom killing off seagrass beds, there may not be enough food to sustain the manatees once they arrive in these areas.  A romaine lettuce feeding station has been set up at the Florida Power & Light plant in Cape Canaveral in hopes of reducing manatee starvation deaths this winter. While this program has...
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Life Jacket Best Practices

Life Jacket Best Practices

Much like wearing a seatbelt when driving a car, properly wearing a life jacket while boating can save your life in an accident. Florida has some of the best boating in the country and it’s important to enjoy our clear blue waters safely. Here is some information about life jackets and requirements in Florida. Vessels 16 to 26 feet According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the vessel must have one approved type I, II, or III personal floatation device (PFD) provided for every person on board and anyone skiing must wear a type I, II, or III PFD. For vessels 16-26 feet, anyone under the age of 6 must wear an approved Type I, II, or III personal floatation device while the vessel is underway.  You can read more about the requirements here. Life Jacket Fit To be sure your life jacket performs in a time of need, a proper fit is imperative. A life jacket that is too small may not...
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Benefits of Winter Boating

Benefits of Winter Boating

While most of the country packs their boats away for the winter, we are lucky to not have an off-season here in West Central Florida. The temperature may be slightly cooler than the peak summer heat, but you may be surprised by the wonderful benefits of taking your boat out in the “off” months. Here are three perks of winter boating. Calmer and Cooler Weather In warmer climates, the weather tends to be more stable in the winter months. Boating during these times means calmer water and gorgeous views unobstructed by crowds or storms. For days with cooler temperatures, hanging out on deck cozied up in sweats and enjoying the view is as great way to spend your day on board.  Fewer Boats on the Water While we don’t have a true off-season, boating does tend to slow down in the winter here in Florida, without the crowds of tourists and vacationers. Smaller crowds can also mean shorter lines for fuel and docking. Winter...
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Winter Boat Maintenance Tips

Winter Boat Maintenance Tips

In most parts of the country, boat-owners have to take extensive precautions to protect their vessels through the cold weather months. Winter is officially here and even though boating is a year-round activity in Florida, there are some steps you can take to protect your boat this season. Here are some tips to keep your boat in tip-top shape: Engine Maintenance While Florida’s winter temps are warm enough to be on the water, your boat still may be sitting for an extending period of time if you are traveling or just busy with holiday activities. Any time your boat is going to sit for longer than 6 weeks, it’s a good idea to fog the engine to prevent corrosion. If you are going to use your boat more frequently and choose to skip this step, be sure to start up your boat on a regular basis. Prop Performance Winter is a great time to make sure your propellers are in good shape. Use this...
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Boaters Gift Guide 2021

Boaters Gift Guide 2021

With the holiday season in full-swing, now is the time to finish your shopping for the boat-lover in your life. It can seem like boaters have a never-ending list of gadget needs and you may not know where to start. Here are some ideas that are sure to be a hit! Boat Scuff Erasers by Better Boat In boating, dings and scuffs are bound to happen. What could be better than a magical eraser for your boat? These boat scuff erasers will gently remove marks and dirt without harsh chemicals. Better Boat Boat Erasers Docktail Boat Table This incredible table attaches to your boat via an adjustable rod holder mount and securely holds all your bar needs. It has perfectly-sized spots for cups and bottles and includes a cutting board and snack bowls. Whether you’re at a dockside party or on the sandbar, this is the perfect way to get your party started. The Docktail Boat Table Caddy with All Angle Adjustable Rod Holder Mount Squid Cup...
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Best Fishing Spots in Florida

Best Fishing Spots in Florida

Florida has some of the world's best and most extensive variety of fisheries, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Coast, all the way toward the Keys. The Sunshine State has it all: flats, mangroves, reefs, wrecks, deep water trenches - you name it! To help you decide where to fish next, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite Florida fishing destinations. SarasotaInshore fishing is the most popular activity in Sarasota, and for good reason. This area is ideal for sight casting and fly fishing because of its extensive network of flats, sand bars, and seagrass meadows. In quest of Redfish, Snook, Seatrout, and Tarpon, you may either wade in the shallows or pole your way through mangrove tunnels. With the Riviera Dunes Marina nearby too, you also have a great spot to dock your boat!  Stephen's Point, Big Sarasota Pass, and Siesta Key are examples of great fishing locations just a short boat trip away. If you're looking...
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Sailfish Tournaments Begins After Thanksgiving

Sailfish Tournaments Begins After Thanksgiving

Every winter, anglers and captains get together in Stuart and Fort Pierce to compete in sailfish tournaments. It’s an expensive hobby, as boat owners and anglers have to pay their crew, buy fuel, bait, and tackle, and feed everyone who tags along for the event.  But it’s all worth it, at the end of the day. The adrenaline rush of a great sailfishing day is impossible to beat. Catching sailfish is a thrilling, fast-paced sport. Slow days happen, of course, and they aren’t nearly as fun. But taking a chance on a great day is completely worth the wait.  Upcoming Sailfish Tournaments 1. Fish Heads of Stuart Quickie Sailfish Tournament (Nov 29 - Dec 1) 2. Pirates Cove Resort & Marina Sailfish Classic  (Dec 2 - Dec 5) 3. Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament  (Dec 9 - 11) 4. Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament (Jan 10 - 15) ...
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Bald Eagle Steals Man’s Catch In Florida

Bald Eagle Steals Man’s Catch In Florida

Chad Rissman and his Uncle, Darrin Vick, had been waiting for a bite all day at Dunedin Causeway. Suddenly, the line tightened. As they excitedly reeled in their catch, a bald eagle flew in and claimed the shark as its own. Both men grabbed their phones to record the once-in-a-lifetime moment.   Fortunately, they were able to cut the line and remove the hook from the eagle’s vicinity. If you encounter a situation with a bird that’s hooked, don’t immediately cut the line.  If you do, the bird could end up seriously injured. If the eagle in this incredible story flew away with 15 to 20 feet of fishing line hanging from her beak, she could’ve ended up accidentally hanging herself. Instead, reel, remove, and release. If you don’t feel comfortable removing the hook yourself, contact the Raptor Center of Tampa Bay. If you encounter an injured or tangled bird, call Raptor Center of Tampa Bay at 813-205-1851. ...
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Boat Sales Are Increasing, But So Are Crashes: The Importance of Boating Safety Courses

With the pandemic fading out and people taking to the sea in their boats again, energies are high but tides can be too, and boaters often neglect the choppy waters and get carried away on the waters. This excitement, coupled with limited boating education can often lead to terrible accidents. With the rising crowdedness of lakes, rivers, channels, and other bodies of water, it stands to reason that having more people who are boat-safety certified will make our waters considerably safer. If that isn't enough to persuade you, licenced or certified boaters may be eligible for savings on their insurance. You could argue that boater safety training is both a wonderful method to improve your knowledge and a terrific way to save money!1. Boating Laws differ across statesIt's easy to see why boater safety training is so crucial for anyone who plans to operate a watercraft. But, exactly, what are the rules and regulations? It depends on where you live...
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300 Kids Treated To Annual Fishing Trip in Destin

300 Kids Treated To Annual Fishing Trip in Destin

On Sunday, Eddie Morgan, owner of Harbor Docks (a marina/seafood restaurant) in Destin, treated 300 local children to Take-a-Kid-Fishing Day, which his father pioneered 27 years ago.  During the trip, the kids filled fifty charter boats and had the chance to go fishing. For some of them, it was their very first time out on the water. The trip is free, provides a fresh fish lunch to every child, and a fishing rod to take home. The chaperones are all local volunteers. Many of them are firefighters and police officers.  Take-a-Kid-Fishing Day is hosted every year or every other year, depending on weather. Morgan invites children through community groups and local media channels. The main focus of this annual trip is to provide an unforgettable experience for kids who might not otherwise have this type of opportunity.  Morgan says he loves asking the children what they think they’ll catch and seeing enthusiasm and excitement light up their faces. His favorite part of the...
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