Guy Harvey Outpost Coming to Tarpon Springs

February 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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TS2By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

[Tarpon Springs, FL.–]    A school of small tarpon rolled maddeningly on the surface of the Spring Bayou in the center of the Gulf Coast Florida town named for these irascible gamefish.  Captain Craig Lahr and I cast live pinfish on Styrofoam floats toward the happily-frolicking school whenever it surfaced, but our baits were ignored.  Lahr tried a few casts with a Deceiver-style fly, hoping its soft presentation might do the trick.  But that didn’t work either.

Finally, we removed the floats and simply free-lined the pinfish in the direction the tarpon were moving.  At first, nothing happened. But then my line started peeling furiously off the spinning reel, so I clicked the bail shut and quickly reeled up the slack and…..nothing — except for a dead, crushed pinfish still on the circle hook.

But then, that’s tarpon fishing wherever in the world you may pursue them.

Fortunately, tarpon are by no means the only fish to chase in and around the eponymous Tarpon Springs.

“Snook, redfish, sheepshead, flounder, black drum, jack crevalle, ladyfish, sea trout, bass, bream, speckled perch,” Lahr, a 20-year veteran Gulf Coast light-tackle guide, said as he ran out of fingers ticking them all off.

Lahr loves to fish the Anclote River, which flows for about 30 miles from a swamp in Pasco County west through Tarpon Springs to the Gulf of Mexico near the tiny town of Holiday.  Depending on tide and rainfall, Lahr can maneuver his 21-foot bay boat some 15 miles upriver before the waters become too shallow to navigate.  Kayaks and canoes can venture even further inland where the waters turn from salty to fresh.  Nearby, there’s Lake Tarpon where Florida’s unofficial state-record largemouth bass weighing 19.6 pounds was caught by Riley Witt in 1961.

“When you get bad weather and it’s cold, you can come in here and it will be warmer and there will be fish in here,” Lahr said of the Anclote.  “The river doesn’t get rough.”

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Fishing was a tad slow the day we explored the area, owing to feeble tides and passage of a cold front.  But we caught and released redfish and catfish using live shrimp and pinfish, spied a large school of snook around a marina dock that was apparently afflicted with lockjaw, and of course sparred unsuccessfully with the baby tarpon.

Besides the anticipation of fish, the Anclote presented a non-stop wildlife show– ospreys cheeping from their brushy nests in the trees; flocks of pelicans gliding overhead; a great blue heron that shadowed us for a while and then managed to steal a pinfish from the live well; a herd of manatees that joined the tarpon at the Spring Bayou.

And all that was before we headed three miles offshore to picturesque Anclote Key Preserve State Park, which harbors colonies of nesting birds, pristine beaches and a historic lighthouse.

The Anclote’s working waterfront known as the Sponge Docks flows right through the middle of Tarpon Springs.  It is where commercial fishers and spongers tie up their boats; throngs of tourists browse dozens of gift and antique shops; and restaurants serve authentic Greek cuisine and fresh seafood.  Plenty of gamefish lurk right under those busy docks, but enticing them to bite is another story.

In the winter of 2017, visitors and residents will have a new base camp from which to explore the region:  the Guy Harvey Outpost RV Resort just north of Tarpon Springs in Pasco County.  Developed in conjunction with Elite Resorts, the  $15 million, 46-acre project will feature 340 brick-paved RV lots and the full slate of resort-style amenities located a stone’s throw from the Anclote River and the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet one more good excuse for me to make a return trip and try to get one over on those uncooperative tarpon.

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Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit. 

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Expeditons, RVs, and Burning Makos Highlight Outpost Plans in 2016!

January 29, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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GHO1For those who did not with this month’s powerball and want a shot at great prizes, we offer the Guy Harvey outpost Adventure pack Sweepstakes Contest. Simply visit http://www.guyharveyoutpost.com/adventurepack-sweepstakes/ and enter for a chance to win a Garmin VIRB Elite camera; Ecorox waterproof bluetooth speakers; Costa del Mar sunglasses; Guy Harvey backpack by AFTCO; two Guy Harvey ‘survivalstraps’; and Guy Harvey towels by AFTCO.

GHO.jpgGuy Harvey Outpost announces it’s 2016 Expeditions with Little Cayman, Mexico, and Panama. Visit Cayman and fish for tasty deep-water snapper and have it prepared by a 5-star chef. Catch and release bonefish, tarpon and permit in scenic, undisturbed shallows. Troll for tuna and wahoo in the deep blue, and dive the steep and otherworldly Bloody Bay Wall– a favorite of scuba divers worldwide.

These are just some of the adventures awaiting you at the Southern Cross Club, a Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Collection property on Little Cayman Island. Check out our fishing, diving and combo packages at www.guyharveyoutpost.com/gho-cayman/ or call 1-800-513-5257.

GHO2For a unique, out-island sportfishing expedition tackling huge billfish in the remote waters of Panama, Guy Harvey Outpost offers the Black Marlin Special through Feb. 28. Your party will have three sportfishing platforms at its disposal, including gourmet food and activities for non-anglers. Panama Yacht and Fishing charter packages range from $2,600 to $4,900, depending on the number of guests and length of stay. To book your Panama adventure call our Travel Desk at 800-513-5257.

GHO3If you have ever longed to interact one-on-one, up close and personal, with the largest fish in the ocean, now is the time to plan your adventure. Keen M Blue Water Charters will escort you to the largest aggregation of whale sharks known to science in the warm Caribbean waters off Isla Mujeres, Mexico. As many as 400 of these huge, brown, white-spotted gentle giants gather along with manta rays from May to September each year to eat plankton near the surface, and you will be snorkeling safely right next to them. If you just can’t wait for the whale sharks to arrive, you can safely go cagediving to watch mako sharks and you can also fish for, and snorkel with sailfish right now. Your shoreside headquarters is the Hotel Playa Media Luna, a Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Lodge. For a 7-day, 6-night snorkeling/fishing package, visit www.guyharveyoutpost.com/gho-mexico/ or call 1-800-513- 5257.

GHO4Recreational vehicle enthusiasts will soon have not just one, but two fun, outdoor adventure bucket list destinations in Florida under the Guy Harvey Outpost flag.

Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts and partner Elite Resorts– manager of premier RV resorts in Florida and Connecticut–have just unveiled plans for a new Outpost RV resort community near Tarpon Springs on Florida’s Gulf coast. Located in Pasco County between the popular Anclote Parks on the Anclote River and Gulf of Mexico, this $15 million, 46-acre destination will feature 340 brick-paved RV lots and the full suite of resort-style amenities. Lots will go on sale starting in the fall of 2016.

Meanwhile, GHO and Elite Resorts are proceeding apace with plans to redevelop the Okee- Tantie RV park and marina on Lake Okeechobee. Outpost president Mark Ellert and Elite president Ed Mayer appeared before the Okeechobee County Commission in December, pledging to spend $37.5 million to build 125 brick-paved RV pads, a 20,000-square-foot lodge, 70 rental cabins, and upgrade the marina, among other improvements. Anticipated re-opening is summer 2017.

GHO5Scuba divers can hunt for treasure at night under the full moon each month beginning Jan. 23 with Guy Harvey Outpost outfitters Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures in Islamorada and South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach. Captains Spencer Slate and Jeff Torode will sprinkle pretend treasure coins on the reef for divers to find and redeem for prizes. Prize drawings and after-parties will be held on shore following the dives. Call 1-800-513-5257 for more information.

GHO6Blazing Mako, Fishing and More In Islamorada

A monumental stainless-steel sculpture of a mako shark by renowned Keys marine artist Pasta Pantaleo will light up the night– literally– during the Blazing Mako Tournament and Festival slated for June 16-19 at the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort in Islamorada. The fishing contest/art/music/craft/’conch-servation’ fair will benefit marine science scholarships at Nova Southeastern University, whose mascot is the mako shark. Pantaleo has invited local artists and members of the community to watch him build the sculpture over the next few months outside his gallery at milemarker 81.5, U.S. 1. When completed, it will be set ablaze in a bonfire on the beach at the Islander during the Father’s Day weekend festivities. For more information or to sign up, visit www.blazingmako.com.

But you don’t have to wait till June to get your art on. The Islander will host the Islamorada Fine Arts Festival Jan. 23-24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the beach featuring sculptures, paintings, digital art, ceramics, jewelry, photography and more.

The Islander is also a great place to stay if you plan to attend George Poveromo’s annual Salt Water Sportsman magazine fishing seminar Jan. 30 at Coral Shores High School. The day-long event features instruction, demonstrations, prize drawings and an after-party. Visit www.nationalseminarseries.com.

GHO7Eating Your Way Through Valentine’s Day

Guy Harvey Outpost properties Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman; Green Turtle Club in Abaco; and the Guy Harvey Outpost St Pete Beach will serve up exclusive, romantic Valentine’s Day menus and lodging packages for the weekend of Feb. 13-14. Call 1-800-513-5257.

GHO8Marine artist/scientist/conservationist/documentarian Dr. Guy Harvey plans to dive and shoot footage of the “Grouper Moon” near his home waters off Little Cayman Island with cinematographer George Schellenger this month. The annual Nassau grouper spawning event is off-limits to everyone except by special permit. Harvey and Schellenger previously produced the “Grouper Moon” video documentary and distributed it free to schools and conservation groups. Now they are looking for additional footage to update it.

GHO9We would like to know what you think of our newsletter. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, email scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com.

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