There are so many reasons to visit Florida’s lower Gulf Coast — all those beaches, the calm, warm water, the sailing, power boating, kayaking, diving, SUPing…. But hey, my linebacker legs don’t do well on SUPs. No, all those things are well and good, but I come here for one reason: to fish.
Anytime you go on vacation, you’ll need to make sure you enjoy as many activities as possible – you’ll be back at work soon enough, and you’ll want to have made good memories when you had the chance. And while there are certainly plenty of things to do at Tarpon Lodge, we like to encourage our guests to spend at least one morning or evening introducing your children to fishing.
Photo courtesy of Hoke Fishing Charters
Fishing is a positive and fun way to spend a few hours, at it becomes a healthy, lifelong hobby for many. But if you want your child to enjoy fishing, you’ll want to make sure their first trip is a good one and that you catch plenty of fish in the process. Read More
Explore the natural setting and incredible history that makes our area so unique.
Our friends at Captiva Cruises have created a special lunch excursion from Captiva to Tarpon Lodge and the ancient Calusa Indian Mounds on Pine Island. You’ll cruise by historic fish houses en route to Pineland, with Captain Sean and Captiva Cruises’ Educator, Richard, discussing the history and unique properties of the area. You’ll then enjoy a delicious lunch at Tarpon Lodge. After your meal, you’ll walk over to the Randell Research Center where you’ll be led on a guided hike to the top of a pre-Columbian mound of the ancient Calusa Culture. This Center is dedicated to learning and teaching about the archeology, history and ecology of Southwest Florida.
MY HUSBAND, JACK, desperately wanted to hook a big snook, which was the motivation behind our three-night DIY kayak-fishing trip around Pine Island, the largest landmass in the archipelago which includes southwest Florida’s seaside resorts of Sanibel and Captiva. There was only one problem, as far as we knew an inn-to-inn paddle-trip in that area had never been done before. It wasn’t exactly a heroic off-the-grid adventure. During the day we’d weave in and out of mangroves and across shallow bays, then come ashore at dinnertime, check in to a waterfront lodge, then paddle and fish again the next day.
“I think it’ll work,” Jack said, after researching some nautical charts and regional websites. “We’ll need to paddle about eight miles each day, which should leave us plenty of time to fish.”
Eight miles in the ocean? What if we got lost? What if the sun scorched our pale northern hides? But we might catch snook! A month later, we launched our boats at Tarpon Lodge on the west side of Pine Island.
Tarpon Tales is a Newsletter from your friends at Cabbage Key & Tarpon Lodge in Pineland, Florida.
Warm Gulf breezes, spectacular sunsets and starlit nights are making our summer bright and happy here at Tarpon Lodge and Cabbage Key. If you haven’t spent time with us over the summer months, we invite you to experience the nuances of a different season in our special corner of the world.
We are also thinking ahead to fall happenings and events, and our staff has much in store for your next visit. In the meantime, please send us your favorite photos and stories from the time you have spent with us – we may include them in our newsletter or post on our blog or social media pages. Thank you for being part of our Tarpon Lodge & Cabbage Key family!
All the best, The Wells Family
Catch a local fishing report from Captain Erik Flett, Native Attitude Charters
Tarpon season has been great these past few months, but the big numbers are starting to dwindle. Right now, snook abound in and around the passes on live bait. And you can always find trout up on the grass flats, catchable with live or artificial bait. And some more good news…there have been quite a few snappers around.
At our dock at Tarpon Lodge, amid an array of motorboats small and large, guests will notice the sleek outline and billowing sails of the Alondra, a fine, museum-quality 47-foot classic wooden sailboat designed by renowned naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff. One look at this beauty, and you know there’s a good story here.
The classically elegant Alondra designed by renowned naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff
The story begins with Captain Charles (Chuck) Koucky a well-known area artist and a captain for more than 30 years. With three sailboats in his fleet, Chuck has a special place in his heart for the Alondra, a meticulously-crafted vessel launched in Michigan in 1985, and purchased by Chuck about five years ago.
Sailing since the age of 10, Chuck spends the winter months taking clients out for sightseeing or sunset tours, plus offering sailing instruction. During the summer, he sails on the Alondra with the Boy Scouts of America high adventure tours out of Islamorada in the Florida Keys.
When I first moved to Florida two years ago, I was amazed at the peace and quiet in the part of the state I lived in. But nothing I’ve experienced to date can compare with the peace and serenity I experienced during my stay at the Tarpon Lodge on beautiful Pine Island.
Thanks to our quick thinking staff members, “Ruddy” is one lucky bird. Last week, Oleg, Joe, Angela and Michelle were on the staff boat from Cabbage Key to Tarpon Lodge when they noticed a Ruddy Turnstone shorebird drowning. They quickly pulled him to safety, put him in a box and took him to the Clinic for Rehabilitation Wildlife (CROW) drop off location in Capel Coral (http://crowclinic.org).
On Friday, we checked in with CROW and learned that Ruddy is recovering quite nicely. He has scabbing on his legs and wings from his struggle, and he is underweight, but his appetite is good and he is expected to make a full recovery. If not for the compassionate and swift attention of our crew, this would not have been the case.
We have always been fascinated with the rich and storied history of our community. Working at Tarpon Lodge has allowed us to share these unique and exciting facts with our guests who are curious about the area and how it all began. While not historians or archeologists, living and working in proximity to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Randell Research Center has given us a lot of information to pass on. For the history buffs out there, here’s what we have learned:
The very famous Juan Ponce de Leon, whom we all learned about in elementary school, “discovered” Florida in 1513, supposedly while searching for the Fountain of Youth. I put discovered in quotes because apparently there was already a large population here – this was the home of the Calusa Indians.