Show Description: Witness an epic battle with a prehistoric giant as Chad Crawford experiences the catch and release of a Goliath Grouper in Fort Myers. Plus, Chef Justin Timineri brings you his recipe for Florida-style Clam Chowder. Then, Chad dives into the turquoise waters of Key Largo to plant coral onto Molasses Reef, as a volunteer with the Coral Restoration Foundation.
When: Goliath Groupers can be caught all year round but tend to be a little more popular February through April. Goliath Grouper are strictly catch and release without removing them from the water since they are a protected species. However, if you would like a closer look Another Keeper Charters is licensed to pull them on board in order to tag them for research!
Where: You can find charters all over South Florida that will take you on a hunt for this fish, however, Another Keeper Charter is located in Boca Grand about 30 miles south of Sarasota and about 3 hours southwest of Orlando.
How Much: Every charter is different so explore your options! Another Keeper Charters rates are $750 for a 6 hour day and $900 for an 8 hour day.
What you’ll need: Since these fish require no less than 100lb test line your charter will most likely be providing all the gear you need. You may want to invest in some sunglasses, hats and sunscreen since you’ll be in the sun for a while. Don’t forget your to eat your spinach either, you’ll need your strength!
2 pounds small to medium sized live Florida hard-shelled clams, well scrubbed
1/4 pound bacon, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Florida corn kernels, from 2 cobs
1/2 cup Florida celery, chopped
1 cup Florida bell peppers, assorted colors, chopped
3 cups vegetable or seafood broth
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 cups Florida potatoes, diced and blanched
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning
1 lemon, juiced
2 large Florida tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 bunch scallions, sliced
2 cups homemade croutons
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat a large stock pot over medium high heat.
Add bacon to the pre heated pot, and cook until almost crispy.
Add onion, garlic, bell peppers, corn and celery.
Continue to cook ingredients for several minutes.
Add the broth, heavy cream, potatoes, herbs, and seafood seasoning.
Bring ingredients to a simmer and add the clams.
Continue to cook until the clams start to open.
Add the diced tomatoes and lemon juice.
Taste the chowder and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
When the clams have opened all the way, the chowder is ready to serve.
To serve chowder, ladle an even amount into each bowl.
Garnish the chowder with scallions and croutons.
Coral Reef Restoration
When: Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation run different classes and restoration trips throughout the year. Check their website for more info here
Where: The Coral Restoration Foundation works out of the Key Largo area but is expanding to other location in the Keys as they restore more and more reefs.
How much: The basic restoration dive costs around $125 per person. Different special events and extended programs are offered at different times of the year, check their website for more information
What you’ll need: Besides being scuba certified and basic scuba equipment, the only other thing required is a passion for helping reverse the damage that has been done to the Florida Keys’ reef ecosystems.