Guy Harvey’s Guide to Sustainable Eating

October 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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GuyHarveyTagHuerWatchLionfish_3949by Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

When Guy Harvey recently hosted Diego Toiran, creator of the Spanish-language television fishing show, “Pescando en los Cayos” (Fishing in the Keys) for a shoot in his Grand Cayman Island home waters, Harvey did a lot more than pontificate about the importance of eating only sustainable seafood.

The marine artist/scientist/cinematographer dived 100 feet deep, speared a dozen lionfish to about 1 1/2 pounds, cut off their venomous spines, and had them prepared for dinner that night at Guy Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar by executive chef Bruno Deluche.  Harvey and Toiran chowed down in style.

“It’s our signature dish,” Harvey said of the candy-striped exotic from the Indo Pacific.  “It tastes good and you’re helping remove an invasive species.”

The restaurant serves lionfish– blackened, ceviche, tempura, whatever– seven days a week.  While touting it on the menu may not eradicate it from the Caribbean or other waters where it is reproducing, it can help tamp down lionfish numbers.  Every lionfish consumed by a human leaves one less predator on the reef decimating native fish stocks.

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has produced a guide to environmentally-friendly eating at  It’s similar to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide, but it’s based on federal guidelines and research conducted by the Foundation itself.  All Guy Harvey Outpost restaurants adhere to it.

“We’re very strict and principled about providing fish that is sustainably caught,” Harvey said.

Harvey loves to eat fresh fish himself– especially lionfish, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, mahi, and wild-caught salmon — all of which are in good shape.  But his restaurants in the Cayman Islands do not serve grouper, which is over-exploited in the Caribbean and elsewhere.  And nowhere are shark or billfish to be found on the menu.  The chefs buy no seafood caught outside of legal harvest season or from waters closed to fishing.

As for the future of sustainable seafood, Harvey believes the up-and-coming fish  is tilapia– a ubiquitous, easy-to-grow freshwater species that some joke is so hardy that it can be farm- raised in a mud puddle.

“Down the road, tilapia is going to be the savior of the oceans,” he said.  “It’s very robust.  They grow quickly and taste good.  It will be the go-to fish to take the pressure off marine resources.”


Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on  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.

Celebrating Seafood Month at Guy’s Beachside Bar and Grill in Islamorada

October 27, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

You could say that every month is “Seafood Month” at Guy’s Beachside Bar and Grill at the Islander, a Guy Harvey Outpost in Islamorada.  Sure, you can still get a burger, or steak or chicken anytime.  But the fresh local fruits from the sea prepared in every imaginable, delectable way generally rule the table — especially with October’s opening of stone crab harvest season.

Executive chef Andy Niedenthal favors Mediterranean/Floribean cuisine and loves to mix and match flavors and textures, surprising and delighting guests with an ever-changing menu that includes fruits and vegetables from Homestead and fish from the Keys.

“Nothing is set,” the veteran five-star chef said.  “Whatever piques our interest and we try to do something unique with it.  I’ll go in and say, ‘today, we’re going to play with this hogfish, tripletail, whatever’s fresh that day.’  When it’s gone, we do something else.”

Take stone crabs:  most people eat them fresh, cracked and chilled with a side of mustard dipping sauce.  And you can get them that way at Guy’s.  But in Niedenthal’s creative cuisine, the crab’s knuckle meat is used as a stuffing in fish; or in a pot pie; or to top a salad.   And lobster and shrimp aren’t just for scampi or po’ boys.  For lunch, the chef may prepare a bratwurst, mixing the shellfish with spices and stuffing it into a sausage casing served on a bun with a side of fennel slaw.

One of Niedenthal’s signature dishes is snapper ceviche  (see recipe below).  Fresh and light, it tastes as good as it looks and has appeared on many a patron’s Facebook wall.

The purveyor of all this fine cuisine has been at it a long time all around Florida and the Caribbean.

A 1988 graduate of the International Culinary Arts Institute in Baltimore, Niedenthal spent his career cooking for, or running fine restaurants in Islamorada, Miami Beach, Savannah, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  He’s been executive chef at the Islander since 2012 and oversaw the re-launch of the resort’s restaurant as Guy’s Beachside Bar and Grill.  He also supervises the Bonefish Flats breakfast restaurant and the catering operation at the conference center — scene of many weddings and corporate meetings.

“We serve very upscale food in a very casual atmosphere,” Niedenthal said.  “You can get a five-star meal while dining out at the beach or at the pool.”

Now here’s how you can try this at home:

Chef Andy’s Snapper Ceviche:


1.25-pound cleaned fillet

juice of six sour oranges

one red onion; one red pepper; one green pepper; one yellow pepper; one tomato all diced very finely

4 cloves blanched garlic

1 bunch of cilantro with leaves picked

1 bunch of scallions, bias cut

1 bunch of chives, finely chopped

drizzle of chili oil

drizzle of Key lime oil

four fried tortilla strips, julienned

salt and pepper to taste

four small scoops of orange sorbet


Thinly slice the fish into two pieces against the grain on the bias and place on four plates in a five-point star.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide sour orange juice over all four plates and cover the fish completely. Cover each plate with plastic wrap and press out the air so the fish is covered completely by the juice.  Refrigerate for about an hour.

To blanch the garlic, thinly slice the cloves on a mandolin, or v-slicer and place in a cup of very hot water.  Let stand for five minutes, then drain and refrigerate.

Remove the plastic from the plates of fish and pour off half of the juice.  Wipe the rim of each plate.  Distribute the vegetables, garlic and cilantro equally on the four plates, making a confetti-like appearance. Drizzle with Key lime and chili oils.

Place a scoop of sorbet in the center of each plate and garnish with tortilla crisps.


Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on  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.

Seafood at Southern Cross on Little Cayman: Local and Fresh

October 22, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Quinoa crusted Silk SnapperBy Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

Guests at the Southern Cross Club– a Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Lodge located on the smallest of the three Cayman Islands– need never be concerned about the freshness nor sustainability of the seafood served to them.

That’s because the staff and some of the guests catch a lot of the meals themselves, which is then prepared under the exacting and creative direction of executive chef Anu Christopher.

“We have a fishing guide who takes our guests,” Christopher said.  “Most of the time, they come back with fresh tuna, wahoo, mahi and snapper.  We try to build a menu based on what is coming in locally.  Fresh fish is a priority.”

Like other Guy Harvey Outpost eateries, the restaurant at the Southern Cross Club adheres strictly to sustainable seafood guidelines.  Species that are red-listed are no-no’s– including shark, sea bass, and grouper.  The government of the Cayman Islands– spurred by research conducted by Dr. Guy Harvey himself–prohibits the harvest of grouper from spawning aggregation sites during the winter months.

But snapper such as yellowtail and silk — a deepwater species– are plentiful around Little Cayman, and one of Christopher’s signature entrees is quinoa-encrusted silk snapper with a root vegetable mosaic and red hibiscus beurre blanc (see recipe below).

“We infuse international influence with Caribbean influence,” the chef said.

Christopher, married with two sons, came to Southern Cross in 2011 from Grand Cayman where he ran a popular hotel kitchen for 11 years.  But he didn’t always yearn to be a chef.

After graduating from college in his native India with a bachelor’s degree in zoology, he decided on a whim to take the entrance exam for a culinary school and passed it.

“Why not give it a try?” he said. “I thought it was interesting.  After the first year, I knew I had an inclination.”

He undertook two years of kitchen management training and was posted to one of the Oberoi Group of hotels in Mumbai.  After several years, Christopher decided to gain some international experience and went to work for Miami-based Celebrity Cruises, overseeing breakfast, lunch and dinner for thousands of passengers en route to Alaska, Bermuda and the Caribbean.  After five years, he moved to the Cayman Islands.

“A very unique place,” he said.

The chef and his family live on nearby Cayman Brac and he commutes by small plane to his job weekly.  For fun, he reads memoirs and travels to India and abroad.

Chef Anu’s receipe – Quinoa crusted Silk Snapper Fillet with Root Vegetable Mosaic and

Red Hibiscus Beurre Blanc (Yields 4 Servings)



Snapper Fillets  8oz – 4 each

Quinoa – 1 Cup

Lime Juice -1 Tbl Spoon

Salt – to taste

Cr. Black Pepper – 1 Teaspoon

Root Vegetable Mosaic

Peruvian Potato – 1 lb

Sweet Potato – 1 lb

Parsnips – 1 lb

Heavy Cream – 1 cup

Parmesan Cheese-  ½ cup

Salt – to taste

Ground Black Pepper – 1 tea

Red Hibiscus Beurre Blanc

Red Hibiscus Flower Petals – 20 each

Shallots – 1 Tbl spoon

White wine – 1 Cup

Heavy Cream- 2 tbl spoon

Soft Butter – ½ cup

Salt – to taste

1. Marinate the Snapper fillets with lime juice, salt and pepper. Roast the Quinoa seeds in a frying pan until light brown in color. Crust the Sanpper fillets with the roasted quinoa seeds. Pan fry the fish in medium heat until cooked and set aside.

2. Slice all the Root Vegetables to 2 mm slices using a Mandolin grater. Layer alternately in a baking tray sprinkling the Parmesan cheese in between. Top it with the heavy cream. Cover using an aluminium foil. Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit  for 30 minutes.

3. Heat a sauce pan. Sweat the chopped shallots until translucent. Deglaze using the white wine. Add the heavy cream  and Red Hibiscus petals and bring it a boil. Put off the fire and puree the mixture in a blender. Fold in the soft butter.

4. Serve garnished with a Fried root vegetable nest.


Make spirals of all the root vegetables using a Japanese mandolin grater.  Dredge in  seasoned all purpose flour. Deep fry until crispy in the shape of a nest.

Celebrating October as Seafood Month at Guy Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar

October 21, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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IMG_0778By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

Chef Bruno Deluche and his crew at Guy Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar on Grand Cayman Island are helping to save the marine environment every single day with delicious servings of a  persistent, invasive species.

“We are one of the only restaurants that has lionfish seven days a week,” Deluche said.  “We buy them from the divers.  There’s a big demand for lionfish — lionfish tempura, blackened lionfish, lionfish ceviche.”

The candy-striped exotics native to the Indo Pacific are wreaking havoc with marine ecosystems throughout the Caribbean, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.  They gobble just about anything they can fit in their jaws and they reproduce too quickly too be wiped out.  Encouraging restaurant customers to consume them is one way to help control their numbers.

“We love our job and we try to protect the planet as much as we can,” Deluche said.

Cooking has been the French-born chef’s passion since he was a teen helping his grandmother in her kitchen near Limoges.  He attended catering school at 16, received his diploma and left for New York, learning English in nearby Atlantic City, N.J.

Following stints at restaurants in London and Disney World’s EPCOT, Deluche decided to visit a friend living on Grand Cayman in 1996 and never left.  He opened the popular Cafe Med with a partner in 1999, but it was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Two years later, he became co-owner and executive chef at Guy Harvey’s.

One of Deluche’s signature recipes is Vol-Au-Vent — snapper, mahi, scallops, shrimp and lobster in a velvet lobster sauce wrapped in puff pastry (see recipe below).  All the seafood ingredients are local except for the scallops.

“The fishermen dock in front of the restaurant and send me the fish,” he said.

In keeping with Guy Harvey’s policy of serving only sustainable seafood, Deluche does not have grouper, sea bass, marlin, sailfish, or shark on the menu.

The chef fishes recreationally in his spare time, but admits he’s not very successful.

“I don’t catch much, but I love to go shore fishing,” he said.  “I catch a lot of baby fish.”


Chef Bruno’s Vol Au Vent recipe (serves two)

Sauté four ounces each of lobster chunks; shrimp; snapper fillets; and scallops in olive oil and garlic, then season with salt and black pepper.

When nearly cooked, add two teaspoons of lobster base (available in grocery stores) and a few drops of brandy.

Add two soup spoons full of  Hollandaise sauce, one teaspoon of heavy cream and two teaspoons of chopped tarragon.

Serve in puff pastry shell accompanied by steamed rice and veggies.


Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on  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.

Catch of the Day for Florida Foster Kids

October 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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bassBy Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

Eight-year-old Miguel had never caught a fish before Oct. 18.  But thanks to Bass Pro Shops in Dania Beach, FL. and the International Fellowship of Hunting and Fishing Rotarians, the little boy caught and released his first-ever largemouth bass in the lake next to the store.

Miguel, who used a live shiner on a light spinning outfit, explained his successful technique.

“I threw over there and then held tight,” he said, nodding toward the lake.  When it went under, I wind it up.  It was wiggling a little bit.  It was slimy.”

After Bass Pro volunteer staffer captain Brian Leibowitz re-baited his hook, Miguel was ready to catch another fish.

He is one of 14 youngsters aged 7-15 from the S.O.S. Children’s Village foster care neighborhood in Coconut Creek, FL. who got to spend the morning learning to fish in a target-rich environment stocked with carp, largemouth and peacock bass, and catfish.  To really stack the odds, Leibowitz brought along dozens of live shiners in addition to containers of earthworms.  He and fellow volunteers baited the kids’ hooks and taught them how to cast, land, and release their fish alive.

“They’re having a blast,” said Genevieve Areson, the volunteer manager at
Children’s Village.

It wasn’t the first fishing trip for some of the youngsters; they have gone on deep-sea outings aboard local party boats.  But this time, “these kids get to fish without getting seasick,” Leibowitz noted.

Top fish of the day was a four-pound peacock bass caught and released by 11-year-old Nicholas.  He was awarded a rod and reel for his accomplishment.

But nearly everyone caught at least one fish.  The final total was 17 largemouth and four peacocks released.

The group worked up an appetite fighting all those fish, and celebrated afterward with lunch at McDonald’s.


Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on  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.

Tips for Catching Stone Crabs!

October 16, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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crabBy Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

It’s open season for stone crabs–Florida’s signature seafood delicacy– through May 15, 2016.  But with a  price tag that often exceeds a barrel of crude on the world oil market, this sought-after crustacean is out of reach for many who long for a sample.  For those of you with gourmet tastes but a fast-food wallet, the best solution may just be to catch dinner yourself.

True, nabbing a stone crab by hand can be hazardous to your digits, but go Zen– channeling the spirits of your ocean-pioneering, hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Believe it or not, there are scores –maybe even hundreds–of people walking around Florida right now who have never paid $90 for a pound of colossals, yet enjoy them nearly every week until season’s end. Most are tight-lipped about their stone crab-catching prowess because they don’t want competition from newbies in their harvest grounds.  But a few have agreed to share their knowledge of this shadowy, but well-established hunting tradition.

First, you’ve got to find your targets.  This is both harder and easier than you would think.  Harder, because stone crabs are secretive and stealthy, spending most of their time holed up where they are not easy to spot–unlike lobsters whose protruding antennae usually give them away.  Easier, because their habitat is relatively shallow so you probably won’t need scuba tanks to harvest them.  You can find them from flats only a few feet deep out to 30 feet deep in open water.

Stone crabs love caves of all kinds, especially in areas with strong currents.  They sit there patiently with their claws folded in front of them, waiting for smaller prey to drift by so they can seize it with 19,000-pounds-per-square inches of pincer-pressure.

Their caves may be carved into the ledges of sand-and-rock flats –often with a telltale trash pile of shells left outside the entrance. Or they could be found on the rims of potholes in sea grass meadows, or next to docks, bridge pilings, and in undercut seawalls.

Now that you’ve found them, you’ve got to gather your courage and commit to grabbing them.

Some hunters go straight in, reaching over the crab and clamping their thumbs over both claws.  He or she who hesitates gets pinched.

Others tempt the crab out of its lair by extending it a bait, such as a whole bally hoo, then grabbing the quarry after it seizes the offering. But that technique sometimes doesn’t work because the crab will sever the bait with its claw before you can get a hand on it.  So it’s back to step one– the courageous method.

You are allowed to take both claws as long as they measure 2 3/4 inches or more.
But the animal will be handicapped in its ability to feed during the year or so it takes to regenerate the appendage.  Conservation-minded hunters take only one, careful not to kill the crab while doing it.  The bag limit is one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per boat, whichever is less.

If all this seems too daunting, you could shell out a few bucks for a recreational limit of five traps that you bait with fish scraps or whatever’s handy and check them every few days.

Or you could just stick to the La-Z-Boy and enter the Guy Harvey Outpost Seafood Month Sweepstakes for a chance to win a cooler full of seafood–including stone crabs– catered by Mangrove Mike’s and delivered to your door.  Go HERE to enter.


Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, boating, 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.

Save A Reef– Eat Delicious Seared Lionfish at Old Bahama Bay, a Guy Harvey Outpost

October 14, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

Growing up between the settlements of Bimini and West End in the Bahamas, Patrick Pierre really thought he wanted to become a pilot.  But after graduating from high school,  he decided to join some friends who were attending the Bahamas Hotel Training College in Nassau.

“I wanted to be close to my friends and I just went in and I loved it and it just took off from there,” Pierre said.

He found work in restaurants in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island before joining Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour on West End in 2006 where he is executive chef.  His seared lionfish (see recipe below) became a big hit with guests– after he gave them a little education.

Lionfish — an exotic species from the Indo-Pacific– have invaded the Caribbean, South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico over the past decade or so.  The candy-striped predators decimate local fish populations and can reproduce successfully in wide ranges of salinity, temperature and depth.  They feed by sucking in their prey and defend themselves with venom-tipped spines on their bodies.  However, lionfish meat contains no toxins and has a mild flavor.

“Most people thought lionfish was poisonous, but we explained it’s just the prongs,” the chef said.

He soaks the prongs in ice water for 24 hours to remove the venom, then re-purposes them as toothpicks for spearing conch fritters.

When Pierre isn’t creating recipes and supervising the restaurant staff, he studies languages in his spare time.  Right now, he’s learning Hebrew and he already speaks Creole, French and a little Spanish –in addition to English.

Here’s Chef Patrick’s favorite recipe for Seared Lionfish, served on a bed of sweet potato puree and topped with roasted corn and cilantro salsa and sitting in a bowl of bouillabaisse.

Preparing the fish

Scale and fillet lionfish, leaving on one side of the skin. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fillet and dust it with fresh-ground salt and pepper.  Place the fillet skin side down in a pan of hot olive oil and cook until the skin side is crisp (about 2-3 minutes).  Finish in the oven at 350-375 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes.

Preparing the salsa

Roast fresh corn for 10-12 minutes on the grill, then cool and shave.

Combine fresh squeezed lime juice, garlic, cilantro and local hot peppers and toss with the corn.

Preparing the bouillabaisse

Make a broth by adding fish and lobster heads, conch and shrimp parts to boiling water.  Strain through a cheesecloth.  Add saffron and sea salt and pour into bowl about 1/4 inch deep.


Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on  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.

Dr. Guy Harvey to Attend “Fishing for Hearts” Tournament in St. Pete Beach

October 13, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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by Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

MacKenzie Overton of St. Petersburg was only 17 days old when she underwent a heart transplant.  But today at age 20, she’s an avid athlete, angler, and full-time college student who teaches guests at TradeWinds, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort, how to fly over the water wearing a JetLev propulsion pack.

MacKenzie’s dad Keith Overton, the resort’s president, says he wants to make sure other youngsters with heart conditions have the same fighting chance as his daughter.  So he’s putting on the fifth annual “Fishing for Hearts” Tournament– a catch-photo-release contest Oct. 15-16.  Proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay and the Overtons’ foundation, Athletes for Hearts which supports families with children suffering from heart conditions.

“The cardiologist who’s been taking care of [MacKenzie] since she was a baby said the hardest part of his job is to do a transplant when the parents don’t have the means to continue treatment,” Keith Overton said.

Overton said he expects as many as 30 boats to compete; eligible species are snook, redfish, and sea trout.  Prizes will be awarded for the greatest number of fish caught, photographed and released; for the greatest total length of a grand slam; and for the largest of each species.

A kick-off party will be held Oct. 15 at the Guy Harvey RumFish Grill, and the awards ceremony will be held there the following day.  Dr. Harvey is expected to attend the awards party.

Team entry fees range from $1,500 to $10,000.  For more information, visit

Guy Harvey Outpost Launches Newsletter – Read Vol. 1 Here!

October 9, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Get Hooked Up

The fall bait run is crashing and splashing its way along the Florida coast, with schools of mullet, pilchards, glass minnows, and other species being blitzed by sharks, tarpon, snook, bluefish, mackerel and everything else big enough to gobble them.  As if this bonanza isn’t enough to keep anglers occupied, schools of dolphin are still appearing well offshore, including some gaffers.  In the Keys, fishermen are boating swords well offshore, blackfin tuna on the Humps, yellowtail on the reefs and releasing plenty of snook, trout and redfish in Florida Bay.  Get hooked up on the action with the GHO Stay & Fish package at the Islander, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort in Islamorada.  For $404 per person, you and a guest get a two-night stay plus a half-day of back country fishing with captain Michael Venezia of Boned Up Fishing Charters.  Or, if you would prefer to just chill, or check out the Islander’s water sports, dining, and diving packages, there are special offers for those too running through mid-December. Go to or call 1-800-513-5257.

Fish to Win

If you are the competitive type, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts has a couple of outlets for you:  the “Fish for the Future” free, online digital tournament running through 2015 and the Burning Wahoo Festival Tournament Feb. 25-28, 2016 at a location to be determined.

To “Fish for the Future”, simply download the free iGHO Fish App on your smart phone or Google Play, then log your catches and take photos.  Guy Harvey swag and other great prizes will be awarded monthly and at the end of the tournament in various categories.  By signing up, you’re also contributing to sound fisheries management.  The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission will use your catch data to help determine the status of fish stocks.

It’s not too early to register for the Burning Wahoo– a fishing, beach bonfire and arts fest that benefits charities.  Entry fee is $300 per angler for a four-angler team before Dec. 31.  Visit our Bonfire Series Page for more information and how to join in on the fun!  The first two tournaments of the Bonfire series generated more than $5,000 in proceeds that were recently donated to the West End Primary School which enrolls 116 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Dive In

With summer-like water temperatures and good visibility, October is a great time for newbies to get certified as scuba divers and for veterans to continue exploring the underwater world.  South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach and Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures in Tavernier –both Guy Harvey Outpost outfitters–are the region’s top choices for instruction and dive tours.  To celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31, both will conduct spooky dives.  Capt. Slate will host an underwater costume contest and a beach party barbecue  Captain Jeff Torode will offer a treasure hunt on a local wreck, and underwater costume and pumpkin-carving contest. Visit our Dive Page for more information and to sign up!

Further south in the Caribbean, some of the best diving to be found anywhere is at Isla Mujeres, Mexico and the small island nation of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles.  Isla Mujeres, located just off Mexico’s Yucatan region, offers unique opportunities to dive with sailfish and wahoo crashing bait balls and also cage diving to observe mako sharks up close.  Dominica’s underwater volcanic vents create a champagne-bubble backdrop to a breathtaking cornucopia of sponges and rich and diverse fish life.  Your Isla Mujeres headquarters is Playa Media Luna; in Dominica, it’s the Fort Young Hotel.  Call 1-800-513-5257 for reservations.

Sea Food and Eat It

With the opening of stone crab season on Oct. 15 and an abundance of delicious local fish and lobster harvested daily, Guy Harvey Outpost has declared October as “Seafood Month”.  Chefs at our resorts and expedition lodges are crafting some very tempting dishes such as quinoa-encrusted silk snapper with a root vegetable mosaic and red hibiscus beurre blanc and seared lionfish with roasted corn and cilantro salsa over a sweet potato puree in bouillabaisse. Guy Harvey Outpost News will feature these chefs and their recipes weekly throughout the month.  And we will also conduct a sweepstakes contest to deliver a Yeti cooler full of fresh seafood from Mangrove Mike’s Catering, plus Guy Harvey swag, straight to the winner’s door.

GHO Team

Our crew has been keeping very busy upholding the Outpost Attitude of travelling with a purpose.  Outpost president Mark Ellert, along with sportfishing and watersports director captain Cliff Jensen and Bill McGough–president of Kiss Lure Company– recently returned from competing in the 62nd annual International Billfish Tournament at Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jensen also found time to sponsor a Loggerhead Marina boat for a team fishing in the Bluewater Babes Fish for A Cure Tournament on Singer Island, which raises funds for financially-needy breast and ovarian cancer patients.  Guy Harvey Outpost donated a tournament prize of a three-night stay at Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour with dockage on West End, Grand Bahama Island.

The man himself, Dr. Guy Harvey, is expected to appear at the Oct. 16 awards ceremony for the fifth annual “Fishing for Hearts” Tournament at the Guy Harvey Outpost on St Pete Beach


We hope you like Guy Harvey Outpost’s inaugural newsletter and we would really like to have your feedback.  Comment here, or send contributions or suggestions to and we’ll see you next month!

Fishing The Wild West in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands

October 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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EvegBy Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

[Everglades City, FL–]  Yes, the weather may still be hot, muggy, and buggy in southwest Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, but the fishing is what is truly smokin’.

Pending the onset of late fall/winter cold fronts, this remote region of jagged oyster bars, mangrove-fringed mud flats, and offshore wrecks and artificial reefs can be unmatched for rod-bending action and bountiful table fare.

Consider:  on calm-weather days, anglers are free to motor 30 miles west of Everglades City into the open Gulf of Mexico to catch a limit of  snapper, grouper, and whatever else deigns to stop by on rock piles, artificial reefs, and shipwrecks.

Or, those who prefer near-shore sight-fishing can battle big snook along the shorelines of most of those Ten Thousand Islands, especially the natural moats surrounding the mangroves and in the sloughs that ring the outside sand bars on lower tide stages.  Redfish also are plentiful along those sand bars, as well as oyster bars and island moats.  Large numbers of spotted sea trout patrol the sloughs and channels on higher tides and can also be found –(surprise!)– on live, rocky bottom 10-12 feet deep several miles offshore.  There’s also a good chance of locating resident tarpon around island points and river mouths.

Fall is a great time of year to hunt for tasty tripletail, a mysterious fish found throughout Florida from near shore waters a few feet deep to miles out in the Atlantic Gulf Stream.  But here in the Ten Thousand Islands, the search area is narrowed to crab trap lines strung a few miles offshore in the Gulf and dead tree stumps that have washed up in the shallows.

And there are several more species to be found cruising the region this time of year, including cobia, sheepshead, pompano, black drum, and Spanish mackerel.  And don’t forget sharks; they’re pretty much everywhere and very satisfying to catch and release on all ranges of tackle.  Lucky anglers might even catch sight of an endangered sawfish– a very distinctive-looking member of the stingray family– plying the flats or the sloughs, but they are closed to all harvest.

While it is possible to catch many of the region’s fish on fly rod and on artificial lures such as plugs, jigs, and soft plastics, using live bait is far and away the best bet for closing the deal.  Securing enough bait for a day’s fishing is rarely a problem around the Ten Thousand Islands at this time of year.

Check out dimples on the surface revealing the presence of threadfin herring and pilchards.  In open water, diving pelicans are very helpful guides.  Mullet can be found schooling on the flats, especially in coves and creeks; single fish will be seen flipping for no apparent reason or else leaping en masse when chased by predators.  Bait hunters finding no joy on the flats may find it necessary to head offshore to live-bottom areas to get what they need.  Being able to throw a large cast net is a necessary skill.  Caution:  using live shrimp for bait will probably draw all kinds of unwanted interlopers such as ladyfish, blue runners, catfish, and who knows what.

Anglers not inclined to get wet and dirty throwing a cast net will probably do just fine purchasing live or fresh-frozen bait in Everglades City.  A couple weeks before the Oct. 8 recreational red grouper closure, part-time Everglades City resident Lou Volpe and a companion caught their limit of four (and released 30 that were undersized), plus a dozen lane and gray snapper and a limit of eight sea trout using mostly dead finger mullet and pilchards on ‘knocker rigs’ where the egg sinker is next to the hook.  The pair had a well full of  just-caught pilchards, mullet, and pinfish netted by Volpe on his 22-foot bay boat, but they didn’t really need all that live ammo.  And despite fishing on a sunny, calm Sunday, they encountered perhaps four other boats the entire day.

Despite its proximity to Naples (45 minutes)  and urban Southeast Florida ( 1 1/2 hours), the Everglades City-Chokoloskee region still has the feel of a fishing frontier.

Saddle up and check it out.


Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on  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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