Boca Grande/Grande Bayou - Florida Sea Grant

Anchorage Inventory
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Boca Grande/Grande Bayou

At this time there is uncertainty regarding bottomland ownership and boaters right to anchor. As a result, visiting boaters may be approached and asked to leave this anchorage.

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Site ratings
Storm protection: good
Bottom holding: poor
Scenic beauty: poor
Tranquility: poor
Overall site rating: medium
Recreational characteristics
Facilities: shopping
Qualities: hospitality
Overall site rating: low
Shoreside profile
Natural: no
Public access: no
Commercial access: yes
100% private: no
High Use or "Popular"
Low use (ie, "undiscovered"): no
Small craft and water sports: no
Anchoring: yes
Size: small

The following extra downloads are available:

  • Minimum Approach Depth: 5 ft.

  • Depth In Anchorage: 6 - 10 ft.

  • Lat 26� 45.1' N

  • Lon 82� 15.4' W

  • (use Chart 11425 for navigation)

  • Off mile 28.4 on the ICW: 4.3 statute miles from Pelican Bay, 8.3 statute miles to Cape Haze.

�� Just north of marker 2 on the Intracoastal Waterway, turn west toward Gasparilla Island. Minimum depths are 7 feet, but there are a few unmarked shoals to avoid.
�� Abeam of marker 7, cut north through a narrow passage that leads into the wide basin that is part of Grande Bayou. In winter, a seaplane uses docks on the west side of the anchorage to pick up passengers. Keep a sharp eye out.
�� Minimum depths in the narrow passage are 5 feet, much deeper in the basin anchorage. Drop the hook near the center of the pond, back down toward the eastern shore and set a stern anchor as close to shore as possible. Tying directly to the mangroves is strongly discouraged, as damaging them is prohibited by law.
�� Shore access protocol in Grande Bayou has changed dramatically in recent years. Of the 10 slips on the west side, the five southernmost are reserved for the Pink Elephant restaurant - the northern five are reserved for visiting vessels.
�� From April through May, during the tarpon fishing season, all of the slips are reserved for fishing guide boats to load and unload passengers. If you bring a vessel or dinghy in for more than a few minutes you'll probably get a ticket.
�� The water in the northernmost slip, however, is often too little for anything but dinghies, so it may still be possible to come in there. Further north, the public land at the foot of 7th Street, near the low bridge, is being cleared of "exotic" vegetation and will again be available for dinghy landing.
�� Boca Grande continues to attract the rich and famous, as it did when it was founded nearly 100 years ago. The village, about three blocks from the bayou, is graced with banyan trees shading beautifully preserved homes. A walking tour is a must. Groceries are available and many alluring shops are worth a visit.
�� An old rail line running the length of the island has been paved over and turned into a bike path. Bikes are for rent everywhere.
�� At the far southern end of the island is the Boca Grande Lighthouse, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The beaches around the lighthouse, which look across Boca Grande Pass, are stunning.
�� The pass itself offers the finest tarpon fishing in the world; tournaments are held almost constantly during the season from late spring to early summer.
�� Two marinas lie southwest of marker 7. Fuel and other services (including pump-out) and a restaurant can be found there.

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