You know what they say – variety is the spice of life – and for Captain Mike DeGenaro and his crew at Sea Tow Charlotte Harbor, that saying couldn’t ring any truer.
With one of the most diverse service areas in all the Sea Tow network, Capt. Mike’s local waters offer something for every type of boater.
“We serve not only the Gulf of Mexico, but also two inland rivers – the Peace and Myakka – so we see all types of boaters out here,” he said. “That goes for wildlife too. We see everything from manatees to sharks to alligators and all types of fish. This area is just so diverse on so many levels.”
So, where does Capt. Mike recommend boaters both local and visiting head out to in order to enjoy everything the beautiful Floridian waters have to offer? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for.
“If you want to just go out and relax with friends and family, one of the most popular spots is the Sandbar in Gasparilla Sound near Dog Island,” he said. “It’s a small town, but people love to meet up and hang out there on the weekends.”
How about those looking to grab a bite to eat? Capt. Mike says your best bet is to head out toward the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Reserve.
“Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant is the place to go,” he said. “After all, it’s rumored to be the place where Jimmy Buffet wrote ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise, so it doesn’t get much more iconic than that.”
“The area is also a great place for those looking to experience world class fishing, Charlotte Harbor is a great fishing destination,” Capt. Mike noted. “The snook and redfish are plentiful in the Gasparilla Sound and Boca Grande has some of the best tarpon fishing in the world!”
If you’re looking for a more rustic getaway, there’s a place for you, too!
“Cayo Costa State Park and Myakka State Forest are both on the river and easily accessible by boat,” Capt. Mike added. “There are plenty of campsites and rustic cabins. My family and I go to Cayo Costa every Thanksgiving. It’s a great place to stay a night or two.”
While there are all sorts of great locations for every type of boater, one thing all of them can share is Capt. Mike’s expertise on how to navigate the local waterways.
“Just like anywhere else in Southwest Florida, you have to stay in the channels and pay very close attention to where you’re going,” he detailed. “There’s an area behind Dog Island where a lot of people run aground. Sometimes people try and cut off going through the swash channel around Boca Grande and run into trouble. The same can go for Gasparilla Pass.”
No matter where you’re going or what your day on the water looks like, Capt. Mike reminds everyone to stay alert, stay safe and have fun!
Has Capt. Mike or his crew ever helped you? Share your story in the comments below!