Traveling to the NFL Jaguars Game by Boat

Is there a cooler way to make a Jaguars game than to arrive by boat? The Jacksonville Jaguars can be on your radar as a boater by following these tips. You’ll actually find that since it’s located just north of the St. Johns River, it’s really a great place to dock for the games. Take a look below to get a better idea of how you can check out a Jaguars game without parking the boat elsewhere and getting a ride in.

It’s actually one of the best modes of transport to a game

Don’t think you’re going to miss the Jaguars’ upcoming season because you are a boater. Boaters have the option to catch a game and they often find that boating in is one of the best routes to get to the game. Travel the St. Johns River until you reach Metropolitan Park Marina and you’ll be right by the action. Everbank Field will be right at your fingertips.

Make reservations now

Make sure to reserve early.  The marina opens up reservations access each year when the new Jaguars Schedule is announced.  You will need to be online within a day or two making the reservations you want.  Watch for the schedule to come out [usually around the middle of April] and immediately go to

Planning ahead for the game

If you’ve got a game in mind, you’ll want to set up your reservation for the marina early to avoid missing out. You can make reservations with the Metropolitan Park Marina online through or by calling to reserve your slip. EverBank Field will be just north of the St. Johns River and the marina allows for up to 80 boats to dock and walk right over to the field.

Now you might be wondering how long you can stay at the marina in case you want to tailgate and relax the next day. You can stay up to 72 hours in any 30-day period with the marina being open daily from 7am to dusk.


What to expect at the marina

Once you’ve made your reservation for Metropolitan Park Marina, make sure you know where to go to get there. It’s located right by the field on the North Bank of the St. Johns River, just west of the channel markers R’82’ and G’81’. You’ll have easy access to downtown Jax and the Landing since it’s 1.5 miles to the west, and you can use the water taxi too to go anywhere you like downtown.

There are around 80 slip options in the marina including a few for large yachts. While the slips are available to the public, they are first-come, first-serve so early reservations will be required during games and special events.

The marina offers 20, 30, and 50 amp service that is offered for around $9 a day and no cost to you to get potable water. Don’t plan on waste disposal services but there is a boat pump out station for no cost.

Game day

Now that you’ve made it to your marina slip, you’ll have to get over to the field. Half of the fun may be tailgating at the marina before the big game, and then having the option to walk on over to the field. You’ll be able to avoid parking fees can add another expense after paying for tickets. Be sure to avoid having any open flames on the boats or the docks, but keeping your Bar-B-Q cooking to the park or bulkhead region of the docks.

The best thing you can do to plan on boating to game day is to call and make your reservations now. Don’t miss your chance to boat to an upcoming game watching your favorite Jacksonville team at EverBank Field and don’t think that you’ll have to miss this downtown fun because you travel by boat.

The Importance of Sunblock while Boating in Florida

If you are going to live in Florida and especially if you are going to live the boat life, sun safety should be a top priority.  You’ve probably loaded up on sunscreen supplies for the boat, but remembering to actually apply it regularly is where you can end up in some serious trouble.  A sunburn is no joke on your health and it’s easy to get after a long day on the water.

While you’re busy thinking about life jackets and emergency supplies, be sure to take the time to focus on sun safety for everyone on board.  Here is a look at some of the facts that you need to know about sunblock, skin cancer, and your health.

Why sunscreen is vital

Sunscreen is so vital for our skin because the sun contains such harmful rays.  While these rays are good for providing Vitamin D, our ozone layer is depleting and the sun has become more dangerous because of it.  You’ve likely noticed the increase in skin cancer and premature aging skin from those that spend too much time in the sun.  Sunscreen can help prevent these things, as well as facial blotchiness, skin discoloration, and brown spots.

You’ll get your Vitamin D in about 30 minutes of regular outdoor activity or through your diet, which means you don’t need to go without sunscreen to get it. 

Sun damage in excess

Sun damage is so common for boaters because they are getting more sun than anyone else in Florida.  Not only is there the direct Florida sun, but you’re getting the reflection from the water as well.  It can become excessive for your skin and eyes after a few hours on the water which is why sunscreen is so important.

Excessive UV rays can cause skin cancer, wrinkled skin, discoloration, and more.  If you are on medication, you are more likely to get a sunburn or sun damage, especially for anti-inflammatory or acne medicines.


What types of sunscreen to choose and avoid

Part of using a good sunscreen is understanding the proper application.  You should choose a sunscreen between 30-50 SPF since the higher ones don’t protect your skin as well.  An SPF30 will give you 97% of the protection of the higher SPFs.

For the application, you should use one ounce for every two hours and don’t forget to reapply every few hours.  Even on a cloudy day, you should be applying your sunscreen.  Cover every part of your body, even your scalp, and your feet.  Watch out for spray-on sunscreens that miss spots on your body and don’t inhale them since they could be harmful to ingest.  These spray sunscreens go everywhere too and can permanently damage the vinyl in the cushions.

You should also avoid expired sunscreen and deceptive sunscreens like the waterproof or sports sunscreens that claim they won’t “sweat off”.  You are safe however to choose a natural alternative, such as a tinted mineralized zinc and titanium oxide formula.  Don’t forget that clothing, hats, and shade are also great forms of sun protection to go along with your sunscreen.

While you may love the feel of the sun on your skin while on the boat, it’s important to remember that sun in excess is dangerous.  Remember these tips next time you go boating and most importantly, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every few hours!

How to Properly Dock Your Boat

If you’re new to boating, here are some tips that will help you to learn how to dock properly.  Learning this early will allow you to avoid damaging your boat or embarrassing yourself.  You have to be familiar with handling the boat, dealing with the wind and the currents so you will always be prepared to deal with unforeseen incidents.

How to Properly Dock your Boat

If you’re a newbie to boating in Jacksonville, you are probably looking forward to that first outing and really feeling like a true Florida boater.  There is much to learn before that first trip.  One of the many things to learn is how to properly dock your boat.

It’s best to learn the proper ways to do it from the beginning to ensure your boat is safe and you don’t end up in an embarrassing situation.  Below is your guide to proper boat docking.

The approach

You should approach slowly and remember that you should “never approach a pier any faster than you’re willing to hit it” since it’s very easy to accidentally lose sight of a spot on your boat.  If you are approaching slowly and ram the boat into the pier, it should be light enough that no damage occurs.

By the same token, you need to give it enough speed and momentum to actually get close enough to the pier to hand over a line or step on the dock without overdoing it.  This also means that you have to take into consideration what the current & wind are affecting your movement toward the pier.  The current & wind will move your boat whether you like it or not…  so use it to your advantage.

Always look carefully before you dock even if you’ve done it many times.  Mooring lines can get tangled in your propeller or another nearby.  Don’t let them lay in the water or trail behind you.

Don’t touch the wheel with twin inboards

Now that you’ve become more proficient at approaching the pier, you need to be aware of some of the basic principles of good docking.  If you have twin inboards, you’ll want to center the wheel and not use it to dock or go into a slip.  Use “throttles only”.  If you turn the wheel, you have additional motion [that you can’t see coming] working against smooth placement.

Wait to kill the engine

Once you’ve docked the boat and you feel good about your setup, you may be ready to turn off the engine.  It’s actually best to wait until all lines are secure to turn off the engines.  You never know when a crew member might drop a line and the boat will need more maneuvering.

It’s OK to start over

If you feel like you haven’t approached as well as you would like or the wind is blowing you around forcing you out of position, just remember that you can start over by pulling away from the dock and make a new approach using the knowledge you have learned from the first try.  Just circle back for another try…  this is much better than trying to force the boat into an even worse situation.  Even the most experienced boaters sometimes have to start over and if you are new to boating, you need to be willing to practice until you get it right.


Florida Winter Fishing Tips for Your Next Boating Trip

If you’re trying to fish this winter and you’re not quite sure what to expect, we’ve got you covered. You’ve likely been fishing in the Florida spring and summer, but if it’s your first time tackling a Florida winter, there are going to be a few differences. Most of this is covered in our Jacksonville Fishing Report / Weekend Fishing Forecast, but this post will be more related to the Winter as a whole, and less about a particular week.

Fortunately, it’s mostly the same as fishing in the area as you would do any other time of year, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t arrive home empty-handed. Take a look at what to expect for your next boating trip this winter.

Where to fish

First, it’s good to understand where you should be fishing. You may not be fishing in spots you’re used to because now is the season to look for random trenches, troughs, and ditches for your next catch. A deep pocket next to a flat and sandbar is a great place to check.

Fish tend to end up in these deeper areas during negative tides because they have a decent depth for larger game fish to reside. Look for one with a dark bottom which is more likely to be a warm and comfortable space for fish to end up.

Your timing will matter too. You should focus on the first half of the incoming tide and the last half of the outgoing tide since these are the most active times for finding hungry fish. You’ll also know it’s a good flat if you see a lot of wading birds like herons or egrets…  you’re more likely to find crustaceans and baitfish there. Look for coastal arteries like under a bridge into a backwater canal area where you can find other great fishing opportunities.

Understanding negative tides

When you’re dealing with winter conditions for fishing, you are going to run into the previously mentioned “negative tide” which means the tide is the lower than average. These low, low tides make it a challenge to fish, but looking for these hot spots to fish will make your winter fishing experience more successful.

An ultra-low tide or “negative tide” will cause the water to disappear from a flat that could be high enough for boat traffic at a different time in the day. Watch carefully for a safe depth and use the negative tides to learn about the topography of these spots that you’ll be fishing during the regular tides.

Challenges in colder water

Now that you know where to fish and how things will be different this winter with the lower tide, you’ll need to understand some other cold water differences.  You’ll gain the benefit of extremely clear water since the bacteria that require warmer temperatures to survive has died off. This also means that the fish you see will be able to see you so. You need to be more stealth, so stay quiet and keep a distance. Having a flats boat with a deck covered in foam padding will be handy this time of year. Choose a long rod with braided line to help keep your distance.  Be prepared with gear that will let you walk the flats.

Florida Winter Fishing

The St. Johns River this winter

When you hit the St. Johns River this winter, search for deep holes and shallow flats, follow the current since that triggers how fish feed, and be willing to move your boat depending on cold fronts and windy conditions.

You’ll need more scent to your bait, rain gear to protect you from the extra wave action, and a way to monitor the cold fronts since the fish become more active after the weather subsides.

Lastly, remember that a full moon is a great time to fish and moonless nights may keep the fish away.

If you haven’t experienced Florida winter fishing, now is the time do it. Winter brings some challenges, yes, but it also has some very unique qualities that are just plain fun to overcome. Enjoy being on the boat with the cooler temps this winter and make sure to bring your winter gear!

How to get a fishing license in Florida

If you’re new to the boating world, you’re probably wondering how to go about getting your fishing license from the state of Florida. It’s a pretty simple process and one that you can accomplish in no time. This is one of the best states to fish since it has both excellent saltwater and freshwater fishing locales for you to venture out to.

You can become an angler too by obtaining a Florida fishing license which will require a quick form, your ID, and some cash. It can even be done online! Take a look at the fishing license options in Florida, what you’ll need to get them, and how much it will cost for your kids or other family members to get one too.

Who can get a fishing license?

Anyone can get their Florida fishing license, but children under 16 and Florida residents 65 years or older don’t need one. Military members that are Florida residents and stationed outside of the state or at home in leave for a month or less won’t need one either. You also won’t need one depending on your fishing location plans.

Where to begin

The best way to begin the licensing process is to try some of the free fishing locations first to make sure you’re going to be serious about your fishing needs. You won’t need a license if you are fishing in saltwater from land or a structure attached to the land, at a man-made pond on private property, or if you’re fishing with cane poles in your county of residence. As far as boating is concerned, you can fish for free in saltwater from your boat with a vessel fishing license.

There is also a free fishing weekend to give you a chance to do it without a license before you purchase your official license. This takes place the first weekend of April where no license is required for freshwater fishing in Florida for the whole weekend, giving newbies and the unlicensed to try it out before buying their license.

Choosing a license

If you’ve decided to go ahead and get your fishing license, it will cost you less than $50 to make it happen for the year. For residents wanting a saltwater or fishing license for a 12-month period, it will cost only $13.50, but if you want both together it will be $25.50. if you aren’t a resident yet, it will be slightly higher at $16.50 or $31.50.

You can also choose from some unusual options, such as the 5-year recreational freshwater or saltwater license options for $79 or the life pass for $400-$1001 depending on your age. Non-residents can get a 3-day pass for $17 for freshwater or saltwater fishing, or a seven-day license for $30. They also sell Florida commercial saltwater licenses if you plan to sell or trade your products from the ocean.

How to get my license

You can easily get your fishing license online with an additional fee of $2.25 as well as a 2.5% surcharge. They will also charge a $3.25 plus a 2.5% surcharge if you do it by phone by calling 1-888-FISH-FLORIDA. You can avoid the additional fees by heading over to the county tax collector’s office or pay a smaller fee by buying from a fishing store. Just be sure to bring your proof of residency for the lower price and a credit card if paying over the phone.

What else do I need?

Once you’ve covered the license, you’ll need the proper gear to enjoy the experience. Learn about great fishing spots and then stock up on a good fishing pole, get the proper live bait for the fish you want to catch, and then head out during sunrise or sunset when the fishing is best. When you’re on the boat, be sure to always have your driver’s license, fishing license, and boat registrations and insurance with you at all times. Make sure you check out our Florida Fishing Report / Weekend Forecast before you head out!

Now that you have the details, get your license and get out there and start enjoying the fishing life in this glorious fishing state! You’ll love having this extra opportunity on your boating weekends in Florida.

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