There are 10,000 reasons why the Naples area is called the Paradise Coast.

The Ten Thousand Islands section of Everglades National Park is a massive nursery teeming with fish, from bass to tarpon, trout, snapper, pompano, snapper, sheepshead and mackerel. It’s a fisherman’s heaven, most of which is only accessible by boat.

That’s one of the many reasons why boaters will flock to the Naples Boat Show from Jan. 19 to 22 at the Naples Airport for the largest recreational boat show in the Naples-Marco Island area. Fish Tale will be showing off some of the popular models from top-of-the-line manufacturers such as Chaparral and Robalo.

Naples Boating Experience

Fishing the Ten Thousand Islands is a big reason so many Naples area residents love boating. Within 40 minutes of Naples and Marco Island, few other places in the world offer the same richness of marine life.

The gateway to fishing paradise starts in Chokoloskee, a 137-acre island simply known to locals as “Chok.” The network of mangrove islands and rivers provide numerous opportunities to fish the oyster bars, sand and mud flats, river mouths and feeder creeks. For a good description of fishing the Ten Thousand Islands, read Capt. Charles Wright’s blog on the website of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Activities

For those who prefer to stay closer to more inhabited islands, there’s shopping, dining and entertainment that’s easily accessible by boat, from upscale to “old Florida” rustic.

For example, cruise over to Tin City in downtown Naples and explore eclectic shops and great dining on the water. Or head south to The Esplanade on Marco Island, where you’ll find boutiques, a day spa and three restaurants to choose from.

Explore the historic fishing village of Goodland, where you can dock at the Old Marco Lodge Crab House and enjoy dining on their large outside deck offering panoramic views of the Marco River and Goodland Bay. Everglades City, considered the Stone Crab Capital of the World, is a must-stop in your quest for great seafood, too.

Entertainment

If you’re entertaining the grandkids or relatives from cold climates, consider taking them island-hopping. They’ll love the private sanctuaries of soft white sand and gentle Gulf waters, perfect for shelling, picnicking and camping. Some favorite places to explore include Keewaydin Island, Kice Island and Cape Romano. Or check out the pristine beaches on Pavilion Key or Indian Key in Everglades National Park.

The visitor’s bureau has some great suggestions for boaters on the tourism website for the region. The site has photos, videos and articles on a variety of topics related to boating, fishing and diving.

Ten Thousand Islands

Whether you’re planning to fish in the Ten Thousand Islands, take the family out for island hopping or dock at your favorite waterfront restaurant, Fish Tale has the right boat for you.

For example, check out the Chaparral boats that will get you and your family to your destination fast or to tow the grandkids on tubes for a thrill ride.  If fishing the back bays is your passion, check out the Robalo Cayman line. Or consider taking the whole family or a group of friends for a sunset cruise on an Avalon pontoon boat.