Best Bait for Local Fishing in Southwest Florida

If you’re into fishing, there’s no better destination than southwest Florida. Beaches, rivers, lakes, and the Gulf await you, with every kind of fishing experience an enthusiast could desire. Wherever and however you decide to fish, you’ve got to choose the perfect bait. How do you decide the best fishing bait for southwest Florida fishing?

The bait you choose is dependent on several different factors.

  • Where are you fishing? Are you fishing from the beach or deep sea fishing in the Gulf? Do you prefer freshwater or saltwater? Will you be fishing in a lake, a canal, or the ocean?
  • How are you fishing? Do you prefer live bait or lures? Do you need a bait that works in the shallows, or that can hold up to depth?
  • What do you want to catch? The variety of fish in southwest Florida is astounding, which makes it a great place for a wide range of fishing enthusiasts to explore. Here, you’ll find bass and snook, Marlin and seatrout, redfish and bluegills, and more. Choosing the right bait often depends on which type of fish you’re seeking.

Many anglers swear by lures and other artificial bait when freshwater fishing in southwest Florida. One timeless option is the plastic worm, which is good for catching bass, and is immensely popular in Florida. Whatever lure you decide to use, you must take into consideration that you’re probably going to be fishing in shallow water, and there’s probably going to be a large amount of vegetation in your way. Flipping jigs are great for getting around all of those plants.

If you’re fishing in saltwater, the general consensus is that live bait is the way to go. Six common options for live bait are:

  • Shrimp: This can actually be used alive or dead, and is one of the most popular bait choices in Florida. You can use it on the bottom, or in conjunction with a jig, and you’re likely to be successful either way.
  • Crabs: Used to catch many kinds of fish, including black drum and redfish, crabs are easy to keep alive during a fishing trip.
  • Ballyhoo: If you’re fishing for sailfish, tuna or wahoo, ballyhoo is the perfect cut bait option.
  • Squid: Readily available and good for inshore and offshore fishing trips, squid is the bait of choice for most professional anglers. You can use fresh or frozen squid to attract fish like striped bass, bluefish, and redfish.
  • Sand fleas: If you’ve never heard of sand fleas, you’re not alone. These little crustaceans are ocean dwellers that make the perfect bait for surf fishing.
  • Clams: Clams are harder to keep fresh, but easier to keep on a hook. This, combined with their effectiveness at catching dozens of species of fish, makes them an extremely popular choice.

Sometimes, even those armed with the very best bait come up empty after a day of fishing. If you didn’t manage to catch your own dinner, it’s no problem! Just swing by Three Fishermen on North Cleveland Avenue in North Fort Myers, to try some of our fresh local seafood, cooked to order, with a special local catch of the day every day. Here, you’ll find waterfront dining in a relaxed atmosphere, where lunch and dinner are always a fun adventure. If you’ve got any questions, call us at (239) 599-8568 or visit our website for more information and to peruse the menu.

Summer Activities in Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida is a spectacularly beautiful place to live or visit, with so much to do that it’s hard to know what to do first. There are natural wonders and manmade amusements, islands, beaches, cruises, and more. Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, we’ve got some suggestions for great ways to while away your summer days.

  • If you want to connect with the natural world, there’s no better place to be. A hike on a raised nature trail is a great way to experience the wetlands comfortably and without disturbing any of the creatures that live there. At Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, you’re likely to come upon gopher tortoises, raccoons, pelicans and alligators as you wander alone, with your family, or on a guided tour.
  • When you want to hit the beach, we’ve got some of the best. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, pick Cayo Costa beach on Captiva, Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island, Clam Pass Park in Naples, or Lover’s Key in Fort Myers. Seeking shells? It’s Sanibel, no question. If you prefer to be in the middle of the action, try popular beaches like Fort Myers Beach, Marco Island, or Bonita Beach. If bringing along your favorite canine is a priority, the best southwest Florida beaches for dogs include Bonita Beach dog park, Gulfside Beach at Sanibel, and Fort DeSoto in St Petersburg.
  • Island hopping is always a fun adventure. Sanibel, Captiva, Useppa, Gasparilla- southwest Florida has so many beautiful islands to explore it’s really an embarrassment of riches. Some of them are only accessible by boat, but that only adds to their mystique.
  • Ready to get active? We’ve got you covered. Paddleboarding and kayaking are popular down here, and it’s easy to rent a bike for use on the beach or off. If golfing is more your speed, we’ve got an abundance of golf courses, so you’re sure to find one to your liking.
  • For people with kids, there’s always plenty to do in southwest Florida. In Naples, take advantage of free themed admission and themed activities for children each Friday at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Geared toward kids 12 and under, accompanied by an adult, this summer education program gives them a chance to learn about mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. Another great place for free, fun, educational activities is Barnes and Noble, which offers kids free story time on Tuesdays and Saturdays, featuring activities, crafts, songs and stories from new books and old favorites. Through October, Golf Safari Mini Golf in Bonita Springs is offering $5 golf on Wednesdays, and all summer, Pure Florida Cruises in Tin City is letting kids enjoy free 90 minute cruises on Saturdays when accompanied by a parent paying full fare. These cruises teach children about Southwest Florida ecology as the captain helps passengers spot wildlife that includes dolphins, eagles, manatees, native birds and more.

Once you’ve spent your day exploring all that southwest Florida has to offer, it will be time to think about where to have dinner. Come by Three Fishermen on North Cleveland Avenue in North Fort Myers, where you can treat yourself to our fresh local seafood, cooked to order, with a special local catch of the day every day. Here, you’ll find waterfront dining in a relaxed atmosphere, where lunch and dinner are always a fun adventure. If you’ve got any questions, call us at (239) 599-8568 or visit our website for more information and to peruse the menu.

Health Benefits of (Moderate!) Beer Drinking

You probably already know that beer is refreshing, especially on a hot day or served alongside a good meal. What you might not realize, though, is that it’s also good for you! It makes sense if you think about the fact that beer is a natural product that’s been a traditional beverage around the world for centuries. While it’s not a good idea to overindulge, moderate beer consumption provides health benefits that might surprise you.

  • Beer provides essential vitamins and minerals. Made of grains like barley and wheat, which are packed with nutrients. The fermentation process strengthens their nutritional value, leaving beer packed with B vitamins, including folic acid, minerals like silicon, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and selenium.
  • Beer drinking can build better bones. Among its other vitamins and minerals, beer contains silicon, a bone-building mineral. Especially for post-menopausal women, this natural source of silica is extremely beneficial. It’s important to build your bones through regular weight-bearing exercise and high intakes of calcium and vegetables, but beer can definitely help. In fact, a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that moderate beer drinkers had a higher bone density than others who drank more or fewer beers. The key is to stick to set a limit of two beers per day.
  • The diuretic effect of beer is good for the kidneys. Beer is made up of 90 percent water and is low in sodium. That’s why it’s thirst quenching, and it’s also why it stimulates the release of retained fluids. Additionally, the hops in beer can reduce the risk of kidney stones by up to 40 percent.
  • The fiber in beer makes it good for the digestive system. The anti-inflammatory properties are also beneficial for digestion. Not only that, but beer’s fermentation stimulates good bacteria in the intestines and balances stomach pH.
  • Beer can protect against cancer. Xanthohumol, a polyphenol found in beer, is a powerful antioxidant, known to prevent the growth of cancer cells.
  • Rather than raising blood sugar, beer can actually lower the risk of diabetes. A recent study published in the Journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes showed that people who drink in moderation have a lower risk of diabetes than people who don’t drink. Beer, in particular, was reported to reduce a man’s risk of developing diabetes by about 21 percent.
  • In moderation, beer can boost your brain. Moderate beer consumption helps the body produce new nerve cells, improving memory. Also, the silicon in beer is instrumental in eliminating toxic metals associated with degenerative neurological conditions.
  • Beer makes your heart happy. The polyphenols in beer fight high blood pressure, the alcohol increases good cholesterol, and beer reduces levels of fibrinogen, a protein that increases blood coagulation. All of these factors together add up to a healthier heart, and reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Drinking beer can help keep you young. The hops in beer contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent many chronic diseases, like arthritis, that can age the body. Not only that, but a recent study by the University of Texas determined that people who drink in moderation tend to live longer than those who don’t drink. While that’s just one study, it makes sense that all the positive effects beer has on your body’s health can help you live longer.

Have you worked up a thirst with all this reading about beer? Drop by Three Fishermen for a tasty meal and a refreshing beer. We’ve got an extensive list of both bottled and draught beer, and we feature craft beers from local breweries, rotating them weekly to keep it interesting. Come by our restaurant on North Cleveland Avenue in North Fort Myers, to grab a beer and try some of our fresh local seafood, cooked to order. If you’ve got any questions, call us at (239) 599-8568 or visit our website for more information and to peruse the menu.

Your Guide To Florida Surf Fishing

If you’re looking for an exciting activity, there’s nothing that says “Florida” quite like surf fishing. A tradition for Florida families for generations, surf fishing is particularly thrilling during the annual fall mullet run down the Atlantic coast. Don’t count out the gulf coast, though; the fishing is fast and furious in the Gulf of Mexico all year long. Fort Myers is beautifully situated for fishing enthusiasts of all types, and it’s easy to find a great spot for surf fishing.

  • What’s the best time to go surf fishing? Plan to go early or stay late. You’ll catch the most fish before dawn, when they are looking for food, and after dusk, when it’s cooler and they’re ready for another meal.
  • Where are some likely spots for fishing from shore in Fort Myers? In the Fort Myers/Sanibel Island area, great fishing spots are everywhere you look! There are piers, bridges, and beaches abundantly available, and there are always people fishing in their favorite spots. While you’re trying to find your favorite spot, you might want to check out some of the most popular fishing areas in the area, which include:
    • Sanibel Causeway, along any of the causeway islands
    • Punta Rassa, just before the Sanibel causeway, which is also popular for camping and kite-boarding
    • Pier on Fort Myers Beach
    • South End Bridge, at the south end of Estero Boulevard
    • Lovers Key State Park
    • Anywhere along the beach where you can find a spot away from crowds of swimmers
  • What kinds of fish can be found in the area? All year, you can find snook, redfish, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, jack crevalle, mangrove snapper, and other species in the saltwater. The great thing about Fort Myers is that there’s plenty of opportunity for freshwater fishing as well, because the Caloosahatchee River, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the many natural and manmade lakes, ponds, and canals in the area are teeming with multiple species of fish. From a seawall or shore, you’re likely to catch bass, crappie, blue gill, catfish, shellcrackers, and Oscars.
  • Should I go it alone or hire a guide? If you’re new to the area, or new to surf fishing, a guide can be a big help. If you’re someone who likes the solitary nature of fishing and prefers to go it alone, patronizing the local bait shops can be an invaluable source of information. You can also learn a lot about what’s going on by reading the local fishing reports for Fort Myers Beach and Estero Bay.
  • Do I need a license? In a word, yes. They’re free for Florida residents, but visitors to the state will have to pay a small fee.

The fishing is amazing in Fort Myers, but if you don’t catch anything for dinner, don’t worry- we’ve got you covered. Come by Three Fishermen on North Cleveland Avenue in North Fort Myers, to try some of our fresh local seafood, cooked to order, with a special local catch of the day every day. Here, you’ll find waterfront dining in a relaxed atmosphere, where lunch and dinner are always a fun adventure. If you’ve got any questions, call us at (239) 599-8568 or visit our website for more information and to peruse the menu.

The Benefits of Eating Crab

Crabs are some of the most commonly harvested sea creatures used for food. While there are thousands of species of crab around the world, gazami crab (also known as Japanese blue crab or horse crab) is the one most likely to end up on your plate. Over 300,000 tons of these crustaceans are fished annually, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all the crabs harvested and eaten across the globe.

But crab is more than just a popular seafood item – it also offers an impressive array of health benefits. Here’s what you stand to gain when you make crab a regular part of your diet.

Improved Bone Health

After calcium, phosphorus is the second most important mineral for building strong bones and teeth. If you are at risk for osteoporosis, the high phosphorus content in crab meat is highly beneficial.

Boosted Cognitive Abilities

Crab is high in a diverse range of nutrients that support mental dexterity, including:

  • Copper: Crab has nearly 30 times more copper than cod and 56 times more than salmon, chicken or beef.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): The body must obtain this vitamin from food, which helps produce red blood cells and maintain the nervous system.
  • Selenium: All shellfish contain this nutrient, but crab possesses especially high levels.
  • Long chain omega-3 fatty acids: The body can use these immediately to aid brain development.

Faster Wound Healing

Cuts and other minor injuries take time to heal. Nutritionists suggest incorporating crab into your diet to speed up the recovery process. High levels of protein, vitamin B12 and zinc are the keys to alleviating pain, producing erythrocytes to reduce the risk of infection, and speeding up the overall healing process.

Protected Eye Health

Nutritionists recommend eating foods with vitamins A and B2 to improve your eyesight. Crab is chockfull of both nutrients. Not only can they help maintain good vision, but they can also reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.

Enhanced Weight Loss

As long as you don’t pair crab meat with rich sauces and butter, you can enjoy all of the above benefits with astoundingly low fat content. Crab contains almost as much protein as other kinds of meat, which keeps you full and delivers a high dose of energy, but with far less saturated fat. In fact, crab meat is only 0.2% fat compared to “extra lean” ground beef, which is still at least 5% fat.

These are just a few of the health benefits of eating crab. You can also enjoy increased circulation, healthier skin, boosted immunity, less inflammation, improved heart health and more, thanks to the high nutrient content of this powerhouse food.

Get your daily dose of crab at Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant in North Fort Myers. We’ll satisfy your cravings and boost your health at the same time! To learn more about us, or to plan your visit, please contact us online or call our seafood restaurant at (239) 599-8568 today.

Recreational Lobster Fishing in Florida

Lobstering is a popular recreational activity along Florida’s coastline. If you choose to engage in this sport, there are many rules and regulations you must follow. Use this guide to make sure your recreational lobster fishing activities are legal and environmentally friendly.

Lobster Fishing Seasons

To harvest lobster legally, you must have a valid Florida Saltwater Fishing License and current crawfish/lobster permit. Florida has two spiny lobster fishing seasons. The first is the regular eight-month season running from August 6 through March 31. The second is a two-day sport season, which takes place on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July.

Bag Limits

To prevent overfishing, state regulations set a limit of six lobsters per person per day during the regular eight-month lobster season. The daily limit is increased to 12 lobsters per person during the two-day sport season. If you’re fishing in Monroe County (the Florida Keys) or Biscayne National Park during the sport season, the limit remains six lobsters per person per day.

NOTE: It is illegal to possess lobsters in Everglades National Park (Florida Bay).

Size Requirements

All lobsters must be of a legal size – that is, their carapace must be 3 inches or longer – to be removed from the water. To ensure this is the case, make sure you bring a lobster measuring gauge into the water with you. If you come across lobsters smaller than three inches, you must release them unharmed.

Other Lobstering Rules

Ensure your activities are completely legal by following these additional regulations:

  • Keep all harvested lobster whole while at sea. Wait until you’re on land to separate the tails.
  • Egg-bearing lobsters must be released unharmed, regardless of species. You can tell a lobster is bearing eggs if you see a mass of orange, yellow, red or brown eggs on the underside of the tail.
  • While lobstering, avoid damaging coral. Refrain from touching, holding, standing on, breaking or otherwise harming this fragile living animal.
  • You are prohibited from using harvesting equipment that could puncture or crush the exoskeleton or flesh of the lobster.
  • Bully-netting and hoop-netting are permitted at night (defined as one hour after the official sunset to one hour before the official sunrise). However, night dives are not permitted in Monroe County and other nearby Federal waters.
  • Using or possessing bully nets or hoop nets is prohibited in Everglades National Park.
  • Recreational harvesters are not permitted to place artificial habitat in the water (including wood, metal, concrete, fiberglass or plastic) or harvest lobster from artificial habitat.

If you’re eager to sink your teeth into some delicious lobster, visit Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant in North Fort Myers. We believe that like a great day of fishing, meals should be a relaxing and fun adventure. We’ll carefully prepare your meal to order, using the freshest lobster and other seafood available. To learn more about us, or to make a reservation, please contact us online or call (239) 599-8568.

What Type of Boat is Right for You?

Just like there are many types of vehicles on the road to choose from, there are also a variety of different types of boats. People choose vehicles based on their needs or lifestyle. For example, if you have kids to drive around you might want some type of van or SUV, but if you just want something fast and shiny you might opt for a sports car. The same is true with boats, so learning what type of boat is right for you is something you should take a few minutes to do.

There are three general categories of watercraft which are: cruising, fishing, and watersports. Cruising boats are geared toward recreation and relaxation. Some of them offer cabins to stay overnight while others are great for a day cruise. Fishing boats can vary from professional to smaller vessels without much seating room. Boats designed for water skiers or wakeboarders are also available.

Cruising Boats

Once you’ve narrowed down the style of boat you want, you still have plenty of choices. If you’ve decided on a cruising boat, now you’ll need to narrow it down among the following types of cruising boats:

  • Bowrider boats
  • Pontoon boats
  • Sailboats
  • Trawler boats
  • Cabin cruiser boats

Bowrider boats are good for day cruising and allow riders to sit in the bow and enjoy the breeze. They’re also good for skiing and have swim platforms off the stem. They can range from 16 to 35 feet. Pontoon boats are the most popular type in the world. They are comfortable and used for leisure and range from 16 to 30 feet. Sailboats are for experienced boaters and can save on fuel costs. They have a wide range, from 7 to 70 feet.

Trawler boats are good for longer trips and are fuel-efficient and have enough space to sleep and cook at 26 to 50 feet. Cabin cruiser boats have extra amenities like a sleeping area or bathroom. They are good at handling choppy seas but can require more skill to pilot and run from 24 to 75 feet.

Be sure to do your research to decide what type of boat is right for you. After a day out on the boat be sure to visit Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant for dinner. Give us a call at 239-599-8568 for more information.

Make a Southern Classic with This Fish and Grits Recipe

If you enjoy fish and want to try a delicious southern recipe, there are a variety of fish and grits dishes to choose from. This comfort food can be done healthy or fried and is delightful either way. For this recipe, we will prepare healthy fish and sweet potato grits. This slimmed down version of a southern classic uses red snapper. It serves three and takes about 10 minutes to prepare and another 10 minutes to cook.

Healthy Red Snapper Recipe

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 ½ pounds red snapper, boned with skin on and then cut into 4 serving pieces
  • 2 cups sliced red cabbage
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • Cajun spices or creole seasoning
  • Olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional – 3 tablespoons gouda cheese or grated cheddar for sweet potato grits


  1. Heat a heavy bottom frying pan with oil
  2. Rub the fish with Cajun spices on both sides
  3. Heat pan to medium heat and place fish in pan
  4. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes with skin side down until crispy
  5. Flip fish and repeat on other side
  6. Sauté onion and cabbage in another pan for about 6 minutes, until wilted
  7. Add salt and pepper to cabbage
  8. Arrange the fish on top of grits and garnish with red cabbage

If you aren’t sure how to make sweet potato grits, check out the recipe here. If you’d prefer, you can also substitute other types of fish including fried catfish.

If you’d prefer to leave the cooking to the experts, Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant has a variety of delicious fresh seafood. We provide excellent service, generous portions, reasonable prices, and a relaxed family atmosphere in Fort Myers. For more information, give us a call today at 239-599-8568.

What You Should Know About Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the most commonly consumed forms of seafood, but many people don’t know a whole lot about it. Sometimes being uninformed about shrimp will cause people to avoid it altogether, but they may be missing out on something they would enjoy that has plenty of health benefits. Continue reading to learn more about shrimp.

  • Very Nutritious – Shrimp provide a number of the nutrients our bodies need. A four ounce serving of steamed shrimp has 100% of the selenium we need daily as well as 75% of vitamin B12, 50% of phosphorous, and 30% of copper, iodine, and choline. Shrimp also contains antioxidants.
  • Plenty of Protein – Shrimp is high in water but is made mainly of protein. Three ounces of broiled or baked shrimp provides almost the same amount of protein as a three-ounce chicken breast. One jumbo shrimp has about three grams of protein.
  • Low Calorie – One medium sized shrimp only contains about seven calories, which means one dozen has less than 85 total calories. Jumbo shrimp have about double the amount of calories and one teaspoon of cocktail sauce has about five calories.
  • Allergens – While shrimp does have many positive properties, it is among one of the top allergies as a member of the shellfish family. Being exposed to shrimp may cause severe allergic reactions ranging from mild to life-threatening. If you think you may be allergic to shrimp, you should visit an allergist to be tested. If you are allergic to shrimp, you may still be able to enjoy other types of seafood.

Here are some interesting facts about shrimp you probably didn’t know:

  • There are more than 2,000 different shrimp species in the world
  • Certain varieties of shrimp can be as large as 12 inches long
  • Shrimp are great swimmers and can quickly propel themselves backward
  • Selenium contained in shrimp can help fight the growth of cancer-causing free radicals

Visit Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant today to enjoy shrimp cocktail, coconut shrimp, buffalo shrimp, and more. Give us a call at 239-599-8568.

4 Healthy Ways to Cook Your Catch

Going fishing is a very enjoyable hobby for many residents and visitors in Fort Myers. Fishing can be very peaceful and relaxing and can be done by yourself or with friends or family. While some fishermen prefer to catch and release, others like to take home what they catch and enjoy it for dinner. Fresh fish is certainly delicious, but you may want to learn some healthy ways to cook what you catch rather than frying it. Read on to learn about four healthy ways to cook your catch.

  • Grilling – Freshly grilled fish is certainly delicious, but you want to be sure you don’t overcook it. You’ll only need to cook it for a few minutes on each side. Start by brushing your fish with a bit of oil or use nonstick cooking spray. Position the fish near the edge of the grill where it’s not quite as hot. Signs the fish is done or ready to be flipped are when it starts to release some juices and develops light grill marks.
  • Poaching – This method is great for all types of seafood and will keep the fish moist and bring out its delicate flavors. Use a chicken or vegetable stock or make a homemade broth of herbs and spices known as a court-bouillon. Be sure to use a pan large enough so you can lay each piece of fish down flat. Pour in the liquid so it barely covers the fish and bring to a simmer. Be sure the liquid does not bubble, between 165 and 180°F. Let simmer until fish flakes easily from a fork.
  • Steaming – This gentle cooking method produces a milder tasting fish which is best paired with a flavorful sauce. Rub the fish with a combination of spices including herbs, garlic, ginger, and chile peppers. Place the fish into a bamboo steamer or folding steamer basket and pour about 1 ½ inches of water into the pan. Place the steamer over that water and then cover the pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Baking – This classic way to cook fish is healthier than frying but still allows you to get some crunchiness out of the fish. Baking can quickly turn unhealthy so be sure to watch how much butter, mayonnaise, oil, and cheese you use.

If you prefer your fish caught and prepared for you, visit Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant or call us at 239-599-8568.

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