“This trip was nothing short of amazing. The staff was accommodating, the food was delicious, and the weather was absolutely perfect. To cap it off, the captains put us on some great fish.”

This was Salt Life team member Ryder DeVoe’s thoughts after visiting Tarpon Lodge alongside fellow team members Astrid DeGruchyAlex VandegriftColton Hester, and Shawn Jackson. Each guest had a glowing review of the property, location, and arguably most importantly, the fishing.

If you haven’t been to Tarpon Lodge, there’s no time like the present! Here’s a brief rundown of our trip to Pine Island, Florida.

The Bite Was On

Thanks to ideal ocean conditions around Pine Island (seriously, the water was pure glassy bliss), the Salt Life team enjoyed a few days of envious fishing during our time at Tarpon Lodge. The Captains at Reel Tight Fishing Charters were extremely knowledgeable of the area, and put us right on top of the fish. The first day of our adventure was spent inshore fishing. The captains took us to several “secret” locations near mangroves to target snook and snapper. After a long day of fishing, Tarpon Lodge graciously cooked up appetizers for us using our fresh fish of the day. Talk about hook to table!

The next day, the Reel Tight captains battled the morning fog and took us offshore. Although we didn’t catch anything worth keeping, the team had a blast and we enjoyed putting our foul weather gear to the ultimate test. (Spoiler alert – as we predicted, the gear withstood the conditions!) We ventured inshore around midday for some more successful snook targeting.

“Each day our group split into two boats and made our angling expedition into a friendly competition for who could reel in the most fish. It was all in good fun, but of course, my boat took first both days.”

That’s Colton Hester’s take on our *friendly* fishing competition. If you’re in the area, you should definitely consider Reel Tight Fishing Charters, they know how to get them out of the water.

Team Salt Life poses for a photo on the dock at Tarpon Lodge


While out on the water, we had the added benefit of enjoying tons of local wildlife. As Alex Vandergrift put it –

“I saw several dolphins and even a manatee, which was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. We couldn’t believe how close they came to the boat.”

In addition to dolphin and manatees (and fish galore!) Pine Island is also home to a wide variety of avian wildlife. It was truly one of the best places to be if bird-watching is something you are interested in. No binoculars needed!

Dolphin on the waters of Pine Island

Top Shelf Accommodations

If you’re anything like us, when you visit Tarpon Lodge you’ll rarely be in your room due to the endless list of activities you can get lost in. However, when we were given the chance to rest and recoup, the guest rooms at Tarpon Lodge were a much-appreciated haven to kick up our feet. Our team stayed in the Island House which featured breathtaking water views. The rooms nearest to the ocean all have balconies where you can sit and watch the golden sunset, which is spectacular night after night.

Aside from the rooms, the property features a pool, docks, and a restaurant that overlooks the water. The restaurant also includes a bar which is the perfect place to hang out and swap stories after a long day on the water.

Sunset at Tarpon Lodge

Amazing Food

The food at the resort was out of this world. Some of our favorite dishes included the shrimp and grits and their fresh catch-of-the-day (which happened to be Triple Tail when we dined at the restaurant). Their fish dips were scrumptious, and the dessert was amazing. Key Lime Pie and Cheesecake heaven!

Once we ate our way through Tarpon Lodge’s menu, we traveled over to its sister island and resort at Cabbage Key. You see, we heard it had this amazing burger, and let us tell you, the rumors are true. The non-burger connoisseurs amongst us ordered the grouper sandwich which was just as to-die-for as the cheeseburger, but in a fresh-caught-fish kind of way. The views on this 100-acre remote island were something to behold.

Amazing food at Tarpon Lodge

Thank You Tarpon Lodge

We want to extend a big thank you to everyone at Tarpon Lodge! The entire experience from booking to checkout was easy and absolutely enjoyable. As Astrid said,

“We can’t wait to get back to Pine Island. It’s definitely going to be a staple vacation spot for me from now on.”

We can’t say enough good things about Tarpon Lodge, Cabbage Key, and Pine Island, FL. We highly recommend these locations as your next spot to get away from the world.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with all the adventures of Team Salt Life. Stay Salty! We’ll see you out there.

Team Salt Life thank you to Tarpon Lodge

This post by Team Salt Life originally appeared on saltlife.com on January 28, 2022.