I’ve always liked to think of Southwest Florida as my second home. So many of my angling travels relied on and reveled in Gulfside resort towns like Naples, Sanibel, and Sarasota. But there was one jewel missing in this “journey crown” that demanded installation- and that was the historic five-star Tarpon Lodge nestled on the green expanses of Pine Island, west of North Fort Myers. Before making reservations and enjoying a delightful stay at the Lodge, I embarked on the research about this destination, which in itself-for me- actually begins the journey.

One of my first goals was getting to Tarpon Lodge. Of significant note are the complete and detailed directions offered on their web site. No matter what point on the compass an angler was coming from, the Lodge had a specific directional paragraph for that quadrant or means of conveyance.

Rooms – Tarpon Lodge has a very welcome “no pets” and “no smoking” policy which truly supports room freshness and hygiene. The Island House has twelve rooms, half of which have a stunning view of Pine Island Sound. Their wonderful historic Lodge has nine delightful and quaint rooms. On a more private note, Tarpon Lodge proudly offers their Boathouse and Cottage, both of which are more like fully-appointed residences. The interiors had pleasing notes of Olde Florida and Caribbean stylings. Each of the rooms had cable TV.

Amenities – If you must stay “connected”; WIFI is available in their overnight accommodations, restaurant and lounge. The Lodge has a well-situated pool for those that want to relax during the day or have a refreshing dip after a half or full day of great fishing. There is dockage for overnight guests as well as those visiting for lunch or dinner. The Lodge has an excellent lounge where you can enjoy the music and your favorite libation with friends and/or while waiting for a sumptuous meal in their restaurant. Of real importance is Tarpon Lodges’ fishing guide program: they will be happy to set you up with a guide when you make your reservations. There are a good number of excellent guides who are docked at and charter right out of the Lodge itself.

The main dining room sits inside the 1926 historic lodge building. There is a complimentary Continental breakfast available for overnight guests in the main dining room from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The lunches and dinners features fine soups and salads, and entrees from “lighter fare” to gourmet Floribbean seafood and meat favorites and includes some sinful specialty desserts as well as the customarily refreshing key lime pie …….