Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 71 of 83

72 | ran into the Germans and Frenchman who were having their way with an invasion of ladyfish. The little tarpon imposters were attacking everything on every cast. I joined the melee for a minute and a half and then bid them au revoir and pedaled my way to safe haven. There was talk of a real tarpon safari to Boca Grande, but the idea of a bunch of writers getting our lines tangled and perhaps falling into the jaws of a waiting hammerhead was too much for our hosts to bear. A vote was taken and we unanimously chose a ferry ride to Cabbage Key to attack a large platter of unsuspecting cheeseburgers and fries. I feared there would still be injuries but probably nothing life threatening. Episode Four - Cabbage and Burgers If your idea of Florida is a swanky beachfront resort in Miami or a wild night of partying in Key West, then Tarpon Lodge is not your dream vaca. Built in 1926, this historical resort is, as the website says, "Old Florida Frozen in Time." This is laid back West Coast Florida at its best. Beautiful water, great weather, miles of fishy sea grasses and endless boating opportunities. You've likely heard of the popular barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva as well as the towns of Cape Coral and Ft. Meyers. Well, Pine Island sits between those two islands and those two cities, yet it has an aura of remoteness because you lumber along on a long, two-lane blacktop to get there. And once you arrive, all you see is lots of water, uninhabited islands and endless fishing territory. The place is perfectly manicured and beautifully maintained by the Wells family, who took over the resort in 1999. I had the pleasure of hanging with Rob Wells, whose dad bought Cabbage Key and moved the family there in 1976. Rob and his brother grew up living on the island and taking a boat to school. It sounded romantic but he laughed and said the hour-and-a-half ride to school ended the love affair pretty quickly. As we learned on our Cabbage Key burger tour, the island is insanely popular for boaters passing through or just hanging for a while. There are beautiful accommodations there and, of course, the famous restaurant. This eatery, as well as many other beach joints, claims that Jimmy Buffett was inspired to write his song about their burgers in paradise. Maybe. I ate one and was motivated to drink another beer. Inspiration comes in many ways, I guess. Episode Five - Bye Bye Even though our intrepid group didn't make it to Boca Grande, I mapped out a strategic plan of attack for my next visit—this time with my lovely wife so she could enjoy the place I blustered about. Nonetheless, in just three days, we got the sweet taste of Pine Island and Tarpon Lodge and all that the area offers. As I was heading for the car with my bags in tow, I saw Skidmore warming up at the cornhole arena. Our eyes met briefly and he tilted his head as if to invite me over for a rematch. I knew in my heart that I could whip him and bring pride to all of my fellow Floridians who covet the arid climes of California. But I had a flight to catch. I smiled, waved and decided to build my very own cornhole court so I'd be ready for battle in the future. The grounds and lodge are immaculately maintained.

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