Top 10 On-the-Water Experiences
By Nanci Theoret
Board one of King Fisher Fleet’s sightseeing or fishing boats and oh, the places you’ll go. For nearly four decades, we’ve introduced visitors and residents to the beauty of our surrounding waterways and shoreline, the natural habitat and wildlife and the best deep-sea and back-bay fishing spots in the area. Spend a few hours or the entire day with us exploring Charlotte Harbor, the Peace River and the Gulf of Mexico in search of shells, sea creatures, secluded islands and the one that won’t get away.
1. Romancing the Sunset: You’ll find yourself snuggling a little closer to that special someone during the greatest show on earth – sunset on the water. Sunset cruises are offered nightly and provide prime couples (yup, that’s the dual form of selfie) photo opps.
2. We’re No. 1: Our customers have rated King Fisher Fleet as the area’s top boat tours and water sports-based activities on TripAdvisor. We’ve also been voted the Best Charter Boats in Charlotte County for 20 consecutive years by the Charlotte Sun, since the inception of its Readers Choice Awards.
3. Island Hopping: Regularly scheduled sightseeing cruises whisk you away to all-day adventures on barriers islands, each with its own ambience and two accessible only by boat. Shell, snorkel, swim in the turquoise water and explore nine miles of beach along uninhabited Cayo Costa or enjoy the Old Florida atmosphere of the 1938 inn and restaurant on Cabbage Key. Boca Grande offers a charming downtown with boutiques and restaurants, beautiful beaches and a historic lighthouse.
4. Seize the Sea: Stop wishing and get fishing. Whether you’re in search of shark, grouper, snapper, mackerel, amberjack and any other creature from the deep-sea our expert charter captains know just the spot. King Fisher also offers back-bay fishing for inshore species, including snook, redfish, seatrout, snapper, tarpon and more. Bring your own food and drinks and we’ll supply rod, reels, bait, tackle and fishing license.
4. Catch Tonight’s Dinner: Enjoy no-fuss fishing. We’ll clean and fillet your fish, which can be prepared as practically any dish you wish at an onsite restaurant.
5. Get Splashed! Close encounters of the dolphin kind are a regular occurrence on many of our cruises and fishing excursions. The mischievous mammals love to make a splash and you’ll swear during these up-close-and-personal moments they’re staring you right in the eye – and grinning.
6. Natural Encounters: Learn about the historical and economical significance of Charlotte Harbor and the area’s waterways during narrated eco-tours, often accompanied by a starring cast of gators basking in the sun, ospreys and egrets searching for dinner, and dolphins frolicking in the wake.
7. Slash the ‘Slam’ from your Bucket List: King Fisher Fleet holds three world- and junior-world record catches and offers anglers the opportunity to complete the Charlotte Harbor Slam – a snook, redfish and seatrout. Our big catches include a 15-pound porgy, a nearly 5-pound Gulf flounder and 14.5-pound tripletail. Although not record breakers, anglers have also reeled in and released a 400-pound goliath grouper and 180-pound tarpon. We know where to find ’em.
8. See Lights Twinkle: Customers book a year ahead for our Christmas Light Canal Cruises, showcasing the beautifully lit homes along the residential waterways in Punta Gorda Isles. Homeowners amp up their displays every year, some even surpassing the high voltage of Clark Griswold.
9. Cruise Your Way Every Day: Who says you need a boat to enjoy the water? King Fisher Fleet’s new annual cruise pass offers a year of unlimited sightseeing excursions to Cabbage Key, Cayo Costa, Burnt Store Marina and Boca Grande plus harbor tours and nature and sunset cruises. The Christmas Lights Canal Cruise, park fees and special events are the only exclusions.
10. All of the Above: King Fisher Fleet offers cruises and fishing charters year-round.
Author: Nanci Theoret
Englewood-based Nanci Theoret has traveled extensively throughout Florida, writing travel, food, lifestyle and real estate articles for national, regional and local publications and websites, including Ocean Home, Visit Florida, Florida Travel + Life, Florida Weekly, Gulfshore Life,Harbor Style and Gasparilla Magazine. Her many awards include two consecutive Florida Magazine Association first-place Charlie Awards as editor and sole writer for IN Good Company and first place for in-depth reporting from the Florida Press Association for Florida Weekly. Theoret is currently among the top three finalists for the Florida Society of Professional Journalists awards to be announced in August 2015.