Art and industry collide as Art Republic 2018, a communal celebration of public art changes the face of downtown Jacksonville again. Art Republic is known for infusing the city with bold outdoor murals that define an area’s character. Exhibitions, which are curated by industry experts, showcase the top artists in their field of expertise to create a sense of place, spark global conversations, and inspire community engagement.
Muralists for the 2018 collection include 2Alas, Pastel, Chris Clark, Datastorm, Golden, Sipros and NEAN. Murals will be installed at various locations throughout the Downtown Core from November 1st-11th. This year, Art Republic also will include partnerships with the leading international digital and video artists to demonstrate the shared capacity for affecting change.
In the spirit of walking down different streets, Jacksonville-based photographers Toni Smailagic and Khalil Osborne created captivating photographs of Eyes Wide Open, the photography exhibition on November 2nd in Springfield. The exhibition serves as a portal into the eyes, perspectives and experiences of the city’s diverse population based on cultures, race, ethnicities, age and religions. The opening event featuring art, music, live performances, light installations, cocktails and food is free to the public.
An immersive digital art exhibition created by one of the industry’s premiere digital artists will open November 10th at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. “Reometry” by REO is a full-sensory show designed to challenge perceptions of the surrounding world in the present. REO bridges the gap between high art and technology using music and digital art, taking you into an experience designed to change the way you see the world. REO has developed graphic design, animations and video projections for such high-profile businesses as Nike, Spotify, Aprite, Adidas and Veuve Clicquot and big-name clientele from Beyonce to Bruno Mars. Having just completed visuals for Travis Scott’s VMA performance and the iconic, On The Run II Tour of Jay Z and Beyoncé, REO is heartily welcomed back to Jacksonville for his first solo digital art show. The opening of “Reometry” is a ticketed event that includes music, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.
REOMETRY Digital Art Show by REO TOMORROW! 7PM at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, only a few tickets left, get yours now!https://artrepublicglobal.com/product/reometry/ *this video is a part 1/2 stay tuned to our page to learn about REO’s mission as an artist tomorrow! Video by Eriden Images
Art can illustrate the importance of passion, leadership, human potential. It also serves as a form of self-maintenance and an escape from the drudgery of daily life. Art Republic invites us to view the world from a broader, inspired perspective. Join in the movement, and get more information at www.artrepublicglobal.com.
Muralists design outdoor collections that allow the public to experience what living with art can do to nourish their soul daily. This year’s featured muralists include: 2Alas, Pastel, Chris Clark,
Muralists design outdoor collections that allow the public to experience what living with art can do to nourish their soul daily. This year’s featured muralists include: 2Alas, Pastel, Chris Clark, Datastorm, Golden, Sipros, and NEAN.These murals will be installed in various locations around downtown Jacksonville from November 1st – November 11th, 2018.
A Jacksonville business owner is making it easier to shop local this holiday season. Emily Moody-Rosete, who operates the downtown Wolf & Cub boutique on Laura Street, is bringing a pop-up storefront to the space formerly occupied by La Cena restaurant. Located at 211 North Laura Street, Duval Mercantile will grace the historic Elks Building.
Duval Mercantile will celebrate its grand opening November 7th during Artwalk and will remain open through the month of December. As the former owner the live music venue Underbelly in the downtown core and Anomaly in the Five Points neighborhood, Emily Moody-Rosete knows how to create a buzz. She’s hoping to energize Downtown with a concept that will bring together artists and makers in a shared space and inspire shoppers to curate an interesting and eclectic list of locally produced goods this holiday season.
Vendors like Congaree and Penn and Jax Brothel will be among those to stock such items as local gourmet foods and sundries, candles, pottery, and vegan bath products. There are no plans to update the interior space with a major build out save for adding a couple coolers to refrigerate necessary items. “Because its a pop-up, we didn’t want to spend a ton of money making it real pretty,” she says. “It’s going to compliment Wolf & Cub but still have its own vibe, too.”
While the concept is designed to give local makers a dedicated space to showcase and sell their goods, Moody-Rosete is also hoping to increase Downtown’s accessibility to retailers in an area plagued by more empty storefronts than established businesses.
“Being Downtown now for a few years, I hear on a daily basis from clients coming in and people traveling through, tours actually coming through to visit the city. It’s embarrassing to hardly have any retail Downtown, so people walk in my shop and ask what else is there to do down here, and I give them a little run down. There’s lots of places to eat and drink, but there’s not a lot of retail,” says Emily Moody-Rosete.
“That’s unfortunate, but the city doesn’t really encourage the nurturing of small business. They’re more into the multi-million dollar projects, which I get too, but, at the end of the day, the small guys are the ones who are creating the culture and the feel for a district.”
“That’s unfortunate, but the city doesn’t really encourage the nurturing of small business. They’re more into the multi-million dollar projects, which I get too, but, at the end of the day, the small guys are the ones who are creating the culture and the feel for a district. That’s what I seek out. When I travel, I go to all the cool little local businesses, and that’s how I get the feel for a city. That’s where Duval Mercantile comes in.”
Emily and Varick Rosete based the model for Duval Mercantile on their early experiences with Wolf & Cub, which they initially operated at such venues as Jaxsons Night Market and Artwalk. The couple expanded the business and opened a pop-up shop in Riverside’s Brooklyn Station during the 2015 holiday season. The success of that venture led to a permanent storefront the following year. If Duval Mercantile does well, it could become a regular fixture and establish a business model to encourage more retailers to follow suit.
“We’re just trying to make it work for a few months. If it sticks, then we’ll visit maybe signing a lease there, maybe finding a different spot. Who knows. We’re just taking it day by day for now,” she says, “I’m an optimist so I hope that it is possible. Is it possible in a time frame that I feel is reasonable? Maybe not necessarily. That’s why we just kind of took things into our own hands. We don’t have time to wait around for the city to recognize us. We just have to make it happen. Hopefully it’s that ‘if you build it, they will come’ kind of thing.”
Each fall for the last 28 years, Universal Orlando has been dishing up a heaping helping of fear with Halloween Horror Nights, a multi-night event that consists of terrifying houses, scream-inducing scarezones and stage shows that never cease to amaze. This year the creatives behind the event have upped the ante, giving horror fans a record-breaking ten haunts.
For HHN 28, horror lovers are headed back to the 80s, with houses and scare zones that are either ripped directly from the time-period or evoke that feeling. Five of the houses are based on films and TV shows, and five are completely original to Halloween Horror Nights. To get to them all, you have to travel through five scarezones: two based on films, two original themes and one that honors all of the haunts in this year’s event.
The houses this year are really something special. After my visit on opening night I was asked by a fellow journalist what my favorite was, and it was a major Sophie’s Choice moment. Each is beautifully designed and impeccably executed, with significant scares around nearly every corner. After sufficient arm-twisting, four houses made my personal must-see list.
Stranger Things: This Netflix series is a phenomenon for a reason. The show perfectly captures life as an 80s kid while mirroring the horror style of the time-period with modern-day tech. It’s a masterpiece on the small screen and makes a stunning haunt. You travel through every major moment from season one, right down to the title screen! For fans of the show, this house is a must-see.
Poltergeist: This was one of the first horror movies I ever saw, and it remains near and dear to my heart. Rather than being told in chronological order, this haunt begins near the end of the film, with Steve Freeling confronting shady developer Teague over the revelation that the family’s neighborhood was built on a cemetery and that only the headstones were moved. From there, we enter the Freeling’s nightmarish world where dead bodies erupt from the earth, objects fly around on their own, and strange spirits beckon from the static on the TV. A major highlight for me was being able to enter “the Light” and experiencing the spectral realm that little Carol Ann was lured into. It’s both gorgeous and terrifying.
Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces: For this original house, the creative team scoured Universal’s warehouses for discarded props to create “Sal’s Amusement Salvage,” an awe-inspiring junkyard filled with rusted ride parts, long-forgotten carnival attractions and the rotting bodies of trespassers who have dared to wander through. As one of said trespassers, you’re bombarded by scares from crazed carnies and vicious dogs. This house has surprises and Easter eggs around every corner.
Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After: Visually speaking, this was the most beautiful house of the night. This is the fifth time Scary Tales has appeared at HHN and is my favorite of the bunch. It opens with the Wicked Witch of the West flying from one side of a massive castle to the other, cursing the land of the fairies and corrupting all of the beloved stories therein. Hansel and Gretel, the Three Little Pigs, Rapunzel, and many more familiar fairytale characters have now become twisted versions of themselves and the results are creepy, gruesome and, at times, hilarious.
The six additional houses are all great as well. You’ll come face-to-mask with one of horror’s major players at Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, learn to respect the rules of Halloween or else at Trick ‘r Treat, and get thrown into the middle of a double feature of terror at The Horrors of Blumhouse. As for the remaining originals, you’ll see what a plant-based apocalypse would be like at Seeds of Extinction, get a glimpse of some campy Grindhouse-inspired flicks at Slaughter Sinema and experience a plague of fast-moving zombies in Dead Exposure: Patient Zero.
The scarezones this year are also top-notch. My personal favorite is Killer Klowns From Outer Space, which is the smallest of the five but beautifully executed with murderous alien clowns lurking around every corner. A close second is Revenge of Chucky, which not only has an appearance by the deadly doll himself but also brings to life twisted versions of childhood toys like Cabbage Patch Kids, Barrel of Monkeys and Army men. Rounding out the scarezones are the vampire block party at Vamp ’85: New Year’s Eve, a slew of cursed Halloween icons at Twisted Traditions and some creepy vignettes representing each of this year’s houses at The Harvest.
Single-night tickets to Halloween Horror Nights start at $63 online, a massive savings compared to the gate price of $115. You’ll certainly save some coin by selecting this ticketing option, but there are no guarantees that you’ll see it all without employing some major strategy. Visiting during the week means less crowd and more manageable lines. As we near Halloween night, the event gets more crowded, so plan to attend sooner rather than later. While the official start time for HHN is 6:30, gates often open earlier, giving early birds the advantage. Finally, keep in mind that even if you deploy every tip in your arsenal, seeing everything this year will be extremely difficult. Your best bet is to plan ahead and rank each house by what you want to see, and hit your top three or four as soon as you can.
If you’re determined to do it all in one night, the RIP Tours ticketing option may be for you. At $160 per pass on top of the standard HHN admission, it’s the priciest way to experience Halloween Horror Nights but hands-down the best. You and other RIP guests are teamed up with a knowledgeable guide who will take you on a tour of the entire event and past all the lines and into each of the houses. The ticket also includes a commemorative lanyard, valet parking, a pre-tour reception, reserved seating at Academy of Villains and more. If you’re not up for the VIP treatment but have some cash saved up, you can add an Express Pass to your ticket for around $80. This option lets you skip the lines one time at each of the houses.
Multi-night ticket options are great for those who want to take their time and see it all over the course of the season. The Frequent Fear Pass lets you access HHN every Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday for just $107. You can add Friday nights with the Frequent Fear Plus Pass for about $16 more. The Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass is $204 and grants you admission every single night of the event.
Halloween Horror Nights is currently in full swing on select nights between now and November 3rd. For tickets, event details and more, visit orlando.halloweenhorrornights.com.
The world’s premier Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort – with more haunted houses and scares than ever before.
With a total of 36 record-breaking nights through November 3, Halloween Horror Nights 2018 will be the most intense event in history. Cinematic greats, slasher films, cult classics and original nightmares inspired by the past will come to life as guests face 10 disturbingly-real haunted houses, five scare zones and one powerhouse live show.
Find themselves in the Upside Down where they will come face-to-face with the predatory Demogorgon from Netflix’s original series “Stranger Things”
Be transported to the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois where the infamous slasher Michael Myers is hungry for revenge in “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”
Fend off malevolent spirits in the Freeling house as they cross into the “light” in Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM) iconic supernatural horror film “Poltergeist”
Live by the rules or suffer the consequences as Sam – the spirit of the Halloween – readies to punish those who break the dark holiday’s traditions in Legendary Pictures’ cult classic “Trick ‘r Treat,” from producer Michael Dougherty
Live the horrors of two terrifying films by Jason Blum – Happy Death Day and The First Purge– in “TheHorrors of Blumhouse”
Scream their way through five spine-chilling original haunted houses created by the twisted minds of Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team, including “Dead Exposure: Patient Zero,” “Slaughter Sinema,” “Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces,” “Seeds of Extinction” and “ScaryTales: Deadly Ever After”
And it doesn’t stop there. Menacing scareactors in five highly-themed scare zones will invade the streets of Universal Studios Florida, two of which are based on classic ‘80s horror icons – MGM’s“Killer Klowns from Outer Space” and “Revenge of Chucky” – as well as three original concepts – “Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve,” “The Harvest” and “Twisted Tradition.”
Plus, Academy of Villains returns for its third consecutive year with an all-new show combining dance, acrobatics and theatrics in “Academy of Villains: Cyberpunk” – featuring a new storyline that tests humanity against technology.
Netflix’s Sci-Fi Thriller Comes to Life at Halloween Horror Nights
For the first time ever, Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Singapore are partnering with Netflix to bring “Stranger Things” to life at their Halloween Horror Nights events. Each park will feature its very own maze that will give guests the chance to brave the Upside Down and encounter iconic scenes, characters and environments from season one of the critically-acclaimed series.
Guests will encounter eerily-authentic environments including the Byers’ living room adorned with an erratic display of flashing Christmas lights, Hawkins National Laboratory in the Upside Down, Will’s makeshift fort called Castle Byers and more.
The Horrors of Blumhouse Bringing New Chapters of Frightening Films to Life from Leading Producer of Horror Jason Blum’s Blockbuster Movies
Partnering with the creative minds at Blumhouse Productions (Get Out,Insidious, Split), Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort will unleash a series of Blum’s most terrifying films at the nation’s most intense and immersive Halloween events.
At Universal Orlando Resort, “The Horrors of Blumhouse” maze will bring guests face-to-face with the most gruesome scenes from the déjà vu thriller Happy Death Day, as well as fromThe First Purge, the newly-released prequel to The Purge series. In Happy Death Day, guests will be transported to the film’s college town, where they will be forced to relive the last day of a student’s life over and over again…until she breaks the murderous cycle. Then, in The First Purge, guests will run for their lives as menacing citizens from the film hunt them as part of the first barbaric government experiment where all crime is declared legal for 12 hours.
Trick ‘r Treat
Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will bring Legendary Pictures’ cult Halloween classic Trick ‘r Treat to life in all-new Halloween Horror Nights mazes that dare guests to live by the rules or suffer the consequences. Guests will meander through Mr. Kreeg’s infamous house, watch as college students viciously transform to bloodthirsty werewolves and dismember the town, and come face-to-face with Sam – an evil Halloween spirit who readies to punish rule-breakers.
Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces
As guests trespass into a dilapidated carnival, they will find a maze of decayed rides and games – and soon discover they are not alone. Horrifying guard dogs, a grotesque ‘tunnel of love’, gleefully vicious performers loaded with deadly weapons fabricated from old rides and more will stalk guests’ every move as they try their best to escape Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces.
ScaryTales: Deadly Ever After
The twisted minds of Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team are bringing back a fan-favorite with a whole new twist in ScaryTales: Deadly Ever After. Guests will encounter The Wicked Witch of the West, who has seized control of the fairytale realm and is tormenting treasured storybook characters in hideous and cruel alternate storylines. As guests venture through this nightmarish bedtime story, they’ll see familiar characters now turned evil including Hansel and Gretel salivating for human flesh, a splattered Humpty Dumpty and more.
In the haunted house, guests will enter a decrepit drive-in movie theater and jump through the screens of original storylines filled with monsters and nightmares inspired by 80s horror B-movies. They will come face-to-face with terrifying creatures with razor-sharp teeth in Midnight Snacks 2: The House Swarming; deadly werewolf bikers in Devil Dogs; a lethal barber in Barber Chop and more.
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each park’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.
For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com. Additional details about the events will be revealed soon. All tickets and vacation packages are now on sale.
Numerous fish species, unbeatable weather, and a healthy fishing infrastructure make the First Coast a fisherman’s paradise. Our state offers 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline, 10,550 miles of rivers, 7,700 lakes, and countless ponds. Fishing the First Coast offers a multitude of options. From offshore saltwater fishing, surf fishing, bridge fishing, river fishing and plenty of freshwater ponds or lakes around, there are options far and wide.
Inspiration That Lasts a Lifetime
Former Jacksonville Beach Councilman and Mayor Rick Hale has been fishing Florida’s waters for close to 70 years. The Jacksonville Beach native’s passion for fishing was largely influenced by his father. “My dad used to take me fishing all the time,” Hale says, “We used to do a lot of surf fishing and we used to fish the Intercoastal Waterways.” Their father-son adventures led to a lifelong passion for fishing.
Hale owns Rick’s Bait & Tackle, a weathered fisherman’s treasure trove tucked next to the Beach Blvd Boat Ramp in Jacksonville Beach. Rick’s seasoned crew welcomes fishing enthusiasts of all experience levels. They eagerly share their knowledge of local fishing conditions and will outfit you with exactly what you need for a successful day on the water.
For best success, fishermen should check out the bait and tackle shop nearest to their fishing destination. “I think our store is one of the most knowledgeable around the Beaches area, that’s what we do,” Hale says, “If you want to go fishing down in Palm Valley, you go to Palm Valley Outdoors. And there’s a little place out in Guana, Guana Outfitters. The stores all around the different areas of town can give you information on what’s going on in your area.”
With dozens of bait and tackle shops in NE Florida, you’re never far from experienced help.
Keep it Simple
“When someone’s just getting into fishing, we recommend that they don’t go buy the $9000 rod and reel,” Hale advises. The specific gear required will depend on the type of fishing you plan to do, but regardless of style you don’t need to break the bank.
Lifetime Jacksonville resident and fisherwoman Christina Scott agrees. “The best advice I have is not to spend too much money right off the bat,” Scott says, “It’s called fishing, not catching!”
Plan to invest in an inexpensive rod and reel, bait, and fishing license (ages of 16-65). “You can go to the bait and tackle shop and pick up a 5’-7’ fishing rod combo. That’s your rod and your reel. It’ll come with line already on it,” says Captain James Brown of Set da Hook Charters.
Another option is to hire a guide. “When you go out with a guide, you don’t have to bring any equipment,” Captain Brown says, “All of the guides here are pretty seasoned and they’ll teach you different techniques while they have you out. It’s usually a 4-hour trip. You learn a little bit about fishing and a little bit about the area. Get out there and enjoy it.”
Add some sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water and you’re nearly ready to go. Keep careful watch for dangerous flora and fauna, read up on local fishing regulations (see below), and learn the laws of the water if you plan to boat. Lastly, a dose of patience and perseverance are recommended. “Don’t give up just because you’re having a slow day or not catching anything,” advises avid St. Johns fisherman Dave Strasser, “Tomorrow might be the day you catch the big one!”
The Fishing Lowdown
In order to score a First Coast Slam—catching three different fish species on the same day—anglers must snag a spotted seatrout, a redfish, and a flounder. Triple Challenge Tournaments are popular in our area. But fishing exploits need not be limited to these three species. There are hundreds of fresh and saltwater fish varieties thriving in the Southeast. With the St. Johns River and its tributaries in our backyard, anglers have nearly unlimited opportunities for good fishing. Largemouth bass and crappie are popular freshwater fish in our areas.
Miles of shoreline offer great surf fishing too. Whiting, redfish, bluefish, and pompano make for a great catch. “The first time we went surf fishing was at Mickler’s Beach and Andy (husband) snagged a black tip shark and as he was reeling it in, it flipped out of the water and spun around to snap at the line,” says Christina Scott, “We never keep sharks, but they are fun to catch!”
Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach, the Mayport Jetties, the Jacksonville Beach Pier, St. Augustine’s Ocean Pier, and the Flagler Beach Pier are just a few places to try your hand at saltwater fishing.
“The Matanzas River, the Matanzas Inlet, Washington Oaks, Bings Landing, and Princess Place Preserve all offer great fishing opportunities,” says Adam Morley, owner of Genung’s Fish Camp in Crescent Beach, “Target redfish, trout, flounder, and black drum, but don’t be surprised if you reel in some small sharks, rays, catfish, or a blue crab now and again.”
Redfish is a local favorite. “It’s a big, muscular fish that fights like a bull and they grow to crazy, dinosaur sizes,” Captain Brown says, “They get very large and very heavy and twice a year they come into the river to breed and to spawn. You can catch the big, massive ones at the jetties.” Just be careful of size and bag limit regulations.
“We have such access to water through our community of parks, just get out there and go fishing!” Captain Brown says. The more you study and practice, the better success you’ll have. “Once you’ve been fishing for a while, you start to learn the pattern of the fish. You read up, you research what they do, how they breed, how they feed, the times they like to eat, and the times that they say, ‘I don’t want nothing to eat. You’re not catching me today.’ Those are really the challenges: finding them and then getting them to eat what you’re throwing at them.”
Tranquility, Community, and Connection With Nature
For many of Northeast Florida’s fishing enthusiasts, fishing is an enjoyable and relaxing pastime. For some, it’s also a chance to give back. For others, it offers healing.
“The most rewarding part about fishing in our area is the awesome community of fishermen. It’s a tight knit group of great people and most of the tournaments I fish support local charities,” says Jacksonville fisherman Matt Crews, “I joined the local chapter of Heroes on the Water two years ago and have been able to make an impact on the lives of our local veterans and first responders. We take them out for a day of kayak fishing and comradery, providing the kayaks, fishing gear, a guide, and lunch. It’s all free and run by volunteers. Many of the vets we serve are struggling with physical and mental scars; we help them rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors.”
“Fishing is such a tranquil sport,” Captain Brown contributes, “It will probably be one of the most tranquil sports you will ever do as long as you have patience. It will build patience if you don’t have it. Or you’ll quit. And you’ll meet some of the nicest people. It’s one of the most fun sports you can do and it gets you outdoors.”
“There are plenty of great and beautiful spots to fish in our area. The challenging part is just finding time to go,” lifelong fisherman Dave Strasser adds, “It’s rewarding being out in nature and having a good day catching any kind of fish.”
Fishing is a great opportunity to get outside, connect with nature, ditch technology, and reconnect as a family. It doesn’t require expensive equipment and is accessible to people of all abilities and ages. Whether you’re into cast netting, shrimping, crabbing, deepwater excursions, fresh or saltwater angling, or even just casting a line into your neighborhood lake with your kids, fishing is a fabulous way to pass time, build bonds, and make memories. It’s an opportunity to connect with neighbors and meet new people. Get hooked on fishing! The First Coast is an ideal place to fish for the first time or to pursue a passion a lifetime in the making.
Florida is a killer place to cast a line. In addition to 4 million resident anglers, approximately 2 million people visit Florida to fish annually. Fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry. From major tournaments to laid-back fishing along the St. Johns River, there’s a bit of something for every taste and talent. Here are 10 facts about fishing in Florida that you should know.
If you’re 16-65, you need a freshwater fishing license.
For those under 16 or developmentally disabled, a license is not required. Florida residents 65+ qualify for a free Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate. For those ages 16-65, a current freshwater fishing license is required. Annual, five-year, and lifetime licenses are available.
You might need a saltwater fishing license, or you might not.
Florida saltwater law is a bit complicated. If you’re fishing in saltwater from land or a structure fixed to land, from a boat with a Vessel Saltwater Fishing License, or from a pier with a Pier Saltwater Fishing License, you do not need a personal saltwater fishing license. There are numerous regulations, so talk to your county tax collector or bait and tackle shop about the type of fishing you intend to do and licenses required.
If you fish with licensed charter captains, you don’t need a fishing license at all. They’ve got you covered.
So long as there is a valid vessel license, you’re good to go.
If you’re hoping to hook a big one, Florida is the place to be.
Florida has more world-record catches than any other state–or country. The largest fish on record was a 123-lb Alligator Gar caught in the Choctawhatchee River in 1995.
You must research and abide by local fishing laws and regulations or risk fines and/or jail time.
Redfish can grow up to 45 inches and weigh up to 51 lbs in Florida, but if you catch and keep a redfish that size you’ll find yourself in trouble with Florida Fish and Wildlife. In NE Florida, there’s a limit of two redfish per person daily and fish must be between 18-27’’ in length. There are regulations about gear and fishing style too (spearing, gigging, or bow-fishing a redfish is illegal). Read up before you cast. If you’re caught breaking regulations, there are stiff penalties.
Fishing from a bridge or pier is a great alternative to a boat.
If you’d like to catch large ocean fish but don’t have a boat, no worries. Fish move through our waterways within easy reach from a bridge or pier. They love hanging out around the pilings, so fishing straight down is your best bet. There may be a charge to fish from a pier; fishing from bridges is free.
The best time of day to fish depends on many factors.
Time of day, lunar cycle, spawning cycles, and weather patterns all affect your likelihood of getting a bite.
There’s water everywhere… just cast a line!
Florida boasts 2,270 miles of tidal shoreline and over 11,000 miles of waterways. There are infinite places to fish.
Shrimp run in the summer and the fall in NE Florida.
There’s a summer run (July-August) and a winter run (November-December). You need a Recreational Saltwater Fishing License to shrimp and are allowed no more than 5 gallons of shrimp per harvester daily.
There are hundreds of fish varieties in Florida’s waters.
Some of the most popular fish to catch are tarpon, spotted sea trout, snook, sailfish, redfish (red drum), largemouth bass, grouper, panfish, mackerels, and snappers.
Northeast Florida has a strong Southern food game, but we also shine when it comes to dishes from the water, sometimes from unexpected places. While places such as Safe Harbor, The Fish Company, Timoti’s and others that specialize in seafood are local favorites, there are a number of from-the-water dishes that residents love, even in places that don’t have seafood front and center.
At Blue Bamboo on the Southside, there’s three dishes we recommend, depending on what you’re craving. For a lunch item we think their fish sandwich is a winner. It’s served in their bento box with their shoestring fries, which are spiced with a little bit of salt and pepper. It’s also a fantastic item for kids or less adventurous eaters. The tuna ceviche has been on the menu for several years, and it’s a go-to item for a lot of folks, at all times of the day. The recipe for it is in Chef Dennis Chan’s cookbook Hip Asian Comfort Food. It’s a favorite of mine because the citrus doesn’t overpower the fish, which is true of too many ceviches out there. The added ginger and sesame oil take it over the top as one of the tastiest ceviches you’ll find on the first coast. The Velvet Yu Kew combines steamed rice, bok choy, carrots, and straw mushrooms served with a ginger-garlic sauce with a flaky white fish and rice, for a classy-from-the-water stir fry.
Another place with an Asian flair and a recommended item is Timwah’s crispy fried shrimp balls. This dim sum delight might not be for everyone, but it’s a staple on the West Coast. Here in Jacksonville, we do things larger, so these aren’t bite sized. It’s ground shrimp rolled into a ball, bound loosely by strips of wonton wrappers and deep fried.
Downtown’s Cowford Chophouse has a strong fish game, so if you’re going for something high-hat downtown, try the fish of the day. We also love their duck fat cornbread, which is topped with Maine lobster, and lump crab meat, with crème fraîche, dill, tarragon, paprika oil. The seafood and creme balances out the cornbread and the paprika flavor.
Everyone has their go-to menu item, even when they’re at a restaurant they’ve never been to before. Mine happens to be shrimp and grits, an item that has found itself on many a local menu. The best thing about the dish, is that every restaurant has their particular take on it–so it’s familiar, with elements in common, but it’s an excellent way to get to know the flavor profile of a chef. Downtown we can recommend two places to try it– the Candy Apple Cafe and Nola MOCA. At the Candy Apple, there’s a bit of Cajun flair to the dish, with the shrimp sharing the spotlight with sausage, and the grits are served Southern-style topped with a rich roux. The grits at the Nola are served as smoked cheddar grit cakes, and the sauce is white wine and mushroom based. The shrimp keep company with applewood smoked bacon and sun-dried tomato crostini.
Asking around on social media about fish dishes in unexpected places, Black Sheep at 5 Points’ Smoked Trout salad garnered one of the strongest responses from local residents. The Carolina Rainbow trout has been on the menu for about two years, featured in two places on their menu– in the starter Smoked Trout Rillettes and in the Kale and Smoked Trout Salad.
Although the fish isn’t local, the kale in the salad is–from the outstanding Bacon’s Select Produce. If you haven’t had anything from the Bacon family, you are missing out. The lettuce they sell at Riverside Arts Market that will benefit any salad you make at home. Everything, including the kale, is grown hydroponically.
The Kale and Smoked Trout Salad is popular at brunch, lunch and dinner. Says Chef Waylon Rivers, “It’s a lightly smoked fish, not overly done, which I think is appealing. It’s brined for a few hours ahead of time so there’s some nice background flavors aside from the smoked fish flavor. It’s a well-balanced dish.”
A newer place that’s been heating up because of their stellar sandwich game, Bread & Board has their Banh Mi Shrimp sandwich. Chef Dwayne Beliakoff says they’re inspired by Florida seafood and love using in their recipes “Key West pink shrimp are the perfect match for our spicy homemade chili sauce in our version of the classic Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich. Sweet, spicy, and exotic goodness heaped into fresh bread,” says Beliakoff
We’re sure you’ve got your own favorites from unexpected places, let us know on social media with the hashtag #UnexpectedFlavorJax.
If you’ve ever given or received directions anywhere in Jacksonville Beach, the historic lifeguard station located at the foot of Beach Boulevard is used as a unit of distance at some point. For over a century, members of the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps have kept watch over the Jacksonville Beach coast from the iconic peg tower. It’s a way of life that represents a vital part of the community’s culture as much as the sun and the surf itself.
On July 19, Capt. Rob Emahiser shared a detailed narrative of the history of the Life Saving Corps, from its beginnings to the changes that helped create a seamless unit of men and women dedicated to keeping the beaches safe. Presented by the Beaches Museum, Boardwalk Talk was held at the American Red Cross Life Saving Station followed by a brief walking tour of the boardwalk.
“We’ve got a lot in common with the Beaches Museum with our history,” says Emahiser. “The Life Saving Corps is what started it all and where the history really is.”
In the summer of 1912, a dozen volunteers formed the United States Volunteer Life Saving Corps at what was then called Pablo Beach. Since then, thousands of men and women have joined the ranks to carry on the tradition of The Corps. Today, the ranks include more than 120 active members and hundreds of alumni of the Corps who proudly hold the title of “Retired Surfman.”
Members of the Corps have recorded over 1,400 life saving rescues, over 1,800 assists to swimmers in distress, and more than 25,000 first aid cases ranging from jellyfish to broken limbs. This record of service totals over 1,300,000 hours of volunteer service along with the 4,000 members and alumni of the Volunteer Life Saving Corps.
Emahiser has spent 23 years with the Corps, and, in March 2014, he was promoted to Captain. He also served as a Lieutenant for its sister organization, Ocean Rescue. “Lifeguarding here has two parallel organizations: Life Saving Corps and the beach patrol. I’ve been a Volunteer Life Saving Corps member and served on their staff for three different years. When I came back in 2007, I really rededicated myself to this. When the previous captain left, I saw a good opportunity to move up,” he says.
Over the years, The Corps has experienced a level growth that has elevated the perception of lifeguards. Emahiser strives to inspire confidence in his staff that they are more than a pool lifeguard that a lot of people see sitting up on a tower. “We have the whistle and we also put zinc on our nose, but these guys are athletes and professionals,” he says. “From 16 and up, they have people’s lives in their hand and they need to take it seriously.”
Daily training is an ongoing part of the job and includes various scenario-based exercises from a rescue situation to a submerged victim simulation. “We’ve really upped our lifeguard skills, training and professionalism. We had some EMTs back when I started 23 years ago but only one or two,” he says.
“Now we’ve got 25 percent or better, and we’ve got a lot of our guys who go into the medical field. We’ve got at least two emergency room physicians, several surgeons, several nurses with Masters’ degrees who still come back and lifeguard. We use their knowledge and experience to bring everyone’s level of training up. When we get out on the beach and have a job to do, I know with confidence that they’re able to handle it.”
When Emahiser was promoted to captain, among his goals was getting a medical director on staff. Dr. Andrew Schmidt was a former lifeguard who serves as the Medical Director under contract with the city of Jacksonville Beach. He oversees all the standard operating procedures and makes determinations that elevate the standard of care in emergency situations that require medical intervention.
“If anyone ever questioned what we do or why we do something, we can say well, we did this because we have Dr. Schmidt, who is an ER physician, approving everything we do and how we do it,” says Emahiser. “It affects how we make our decisions, whether we should call Fire Rescue or handle things ourselves. Whenever you touch somebody as a first responder you have to make sure that you’re acting to the standard of care that [is] accepted across the country. When we evaluate a person, we want to make sure our guards are trained to that standard.”
As an expert in the pathology of drowning, Dr. Schmidt is also changing the way lifeguards address that risk. Emahiser and Justin Sempsrott, a former Corps member and executive director of Lifeguards Without Borders, partnered with the World Health Organization to redefine “drowning” as a process and not an event. They’re also working to eliminate terms such as dry drowning, near drowning or dry land drowning that can complicate a response.
“We’re teaching EMS, police dispatchers and paramedics in this area and around the country to stop using those terms. If we have an incident, we will report exactly what’s happening to dispatch, so they will know how to respond,” says Emahiser. “A lot of people used to think if you were drowning, you were dead, but it’s a process where you’re submerged in a liquid and you experience respiratory distress. If you are struggling and you submerge anywhere in your bathtub or in the ocean, you are then drowning. What we do is interrupt the process of drowning. It used to be that wasn’t counted. If you didn’t die, you didn’t drown, and that’s just not the case.”
The Jacksonville Beach station will soon be outfitted with a system that will allow corps members to maintain their own oxygen tanks without having to rely on the fire department for support. “We won’t have to leave the station, and we’ll always have plenty of oxygen if we have a busy day with a lot of rescues,” says Emahiser.
As the only full-time staff members, it’s up to Emahiser and his First Lieutenant Joe Walcutt to impress the younger members the importance of professionalism in all areas from communication to punctuality. The alumni and senior corps members also serve as mentors to the younger generation to arm them with the practical life skills that they will carry ahead into all aspects of their adult lives. Each recruit is assigned a mentor to help them through the physical aspect but also offer advice and help them meet their goals.
“For a lot of these kids, it’s their first job, so we’re doing a lot of basic training as well. You need to use two alarm clocks. You need to make sure you plan out how you’re going to get here. Make sure you have reliable transportation. You need to communicate, know your schedule, have a calendar, and use it,” says Emahiser. “At 9am I call roll, and they are all there on time. That’s part of teaching responsibility, so that everyday I have the same number of people showing up in uniform. They have water, they’ve got a whistle, and they’re ready to lifeguard.”
If you’ve ever dreamed of beachfront living with a swim-up bar, 40-foot waterslides, and unique restaurants and entertainment all in your backyard, you just might be in luck.
Crews completed the process of filling in the crystal-clear Beachwalk Lagoon in northern St. Johns County on Monday, July 23, 2018. The 14-acre lagoon contains 37 million gallons of water and will serve as the anchor for the Beachwalk development off CR-210. Developer John Kinsey tossed a ceremonial final bucket of water into the lagoon where residents will soon enjoy swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding or relaxing along the 100-foot wide white quartz beach. Kinsey hopes future residents will be swimming in the lagoon by late August or early September of this year.
Several model homes stand in the busy construction zone, casting a vision for what this coastal master planned community dreams to achieve. The development will host approximately 800 homes ranging from the high $300,000 to more than $800,000 as well as a 348-unit apartment complex.
The lagoon’s south shore will host an upscale shopping plaza bustling with dining, shopping, and entertainment. There’s room for a grocery store, office space, and even plans for a 12-14 screen movie theater. Kinsey’s goal is to create a “totally unique lifestyle” at Beachwalk, “Everything you see in this community will be new and different from what you might see in older communities.” The location couldn’t be better either. Just south of Jacksonville, Beachwalk is a short hop from NE Florida’s historic and cultural attractions and music and sporting events. “It’s 90 seconds from I-95, 60 seconds off of US-1,” Kinsey says.
When asked how he came up for the idea of Beachwalk, the amiable developer laughs. “I’m just crazy,” he jokes. Kinsey’s company has owned the 1200 acre property for over a decade and has witnessed St. Johns County’s astronomical growth. CR-210 is jam-packed with housing developments. St. Johns County ranks consistently as the #1 county to live in Florida and is the 18th fastest-growing county in the nation. This population boom shows no signs of slowing down soon. Kinsey knew that if he wanted to succeed, he would have to get creative, “We said, let’s create a community that is going to be a higher-end experience with the most unique amenity you could do.”
When Kinsey learned about Crystal Lagoons, a Chile based company with US headquarters in Miami, he thought he might be on to something. Crystal Lagoons promises crystalline, manmade lagoons with the ability to transform any piece of land into a beachfront attraction. Crystal Lagoons use 100 times less chemicals than conventional swimming pools and only 2% of the energy used by conventional swimming pool filtration systems. The clean, turquoise water makes for a year-round playground. “If done right, this technology has the potential to be a complete game changer,” Kinsey says.
“There’s no sea weed. There’s no sea lice, no sharks. There’s no Portuguese Man of War. The staff will know you and your kids and it’s a short walk from your house.”
In addition to beachside living, the approximately 20,000 sq. ft. Member’s Only Beach Club will host a restaurant and swim-up bar, large fitness center, multi-purpose room, heated pool, six Har-Tru tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a playground, kayak and paddleboard rentals, waterslides, and an 18-hole putt-putt golf course.
To his skeptics, Kinsey says, “Here it is!”
“We’re the first ones doing something quite like this and there have been bumps in the road,” he admits, “But the lagoon and beachfront have come together exactly like we hoped it would.”
The Caribbean inspired architecture and laid-back opulence don’t come cheap, though Kinsey points out that prices are similar to other master planned communities in the area.
Residents can enjoy the resort lifestyle every day. Shopping, entertainment, and dining will be open to all. In a county where state-of-the-art amenity centers are par for the course, a crystalline lagoon just may turn heads. North Floridians are curiously watching John Kinsey’s wild dream come to fruition.