Day Trip: Crabs, Chachkies & A Sunset

(southwest region)

Day trip snap-shot: Your day begins as a “mate” on a working commercial crab boat on beautiful Tampa Bay. This is a hands-on old Florida adventure that ends with a seafood lunch that you’ll be talking about for decades. Then, it’s off to a nature preserve to hike, kayak, and watch birds. Finally, you’ll head over to the Sunset Grill for a drink and dinner as you watch the sun melt into the warm gulf waters.

1st Stop – Gus’s Crabby Adventures

About: Gus will take you on a once-in-a-life time eco-experience. Check out all the living creatures of the bay including manatees, dolphins, a wide variety of birds, and, of course, live blue and stone crabs. Gus instructs his mates (that’s your group) on how crab traps are pulled and baited. Mates will also learn to grade, clean, and steam blue and stone crabs. Captain Gus will also let you pull the traps, if you so desire. He’s commercially caught blue crabs and has shed soft-shell blue crabs for over 31 years.
Address: Gus’s Crabby Adventures LLC, 3031 Manatee Ave Ruskin, FL 33570
Time: Arrive at 8 AM – 9 AM, ends at 12 PM-1PM
Activity: You will be baiting and pulling commercial blue crab traps and learning about FL ecosystem from crabbing legend Capt. Gus Muench. Great activity for kids ages 4 to 84.
Cost: About $150 per person, includes drinks and a crab feast for lunch.
Local Tip: It’s probably a good idea to get some white rubber boots — commercial fisherman wear them to keep their feet dry and cool. You can buy a pair at most home improvement stores or bait-and-tackle shops. Make sure to have Gus sign them at the end!

2nd Stop – Cockroach Bay Nature Preserve

About: Don’t let the name fool you — this is beautifully-protected wildlife area includes 4,800 acres of coastal and freshwater uplands. It’s also the main habitat for young fish like red drum and snook, crustaceans, and over 300 different bird species.
Address: 3839 Gulf City Road, Ruskin, FL 33570
Arrive: 1-2 PM
Activity: Relax, hike, kayak, and/or watch birds (don’t forget your binoculars!)
Local Tip: Hike up the hill near the parking lot to get a spectacular view of the area and take pics

3rd Stop – Sunset Grill

About: Great seafood restaurant with an epic view of the Tampa Bay
Address:602 Bahia Del Sol Dr Ruskin, FL 33570
Arrive: 4-5 PM
Activity: Eat, Drink and watch sunset
Local Tip:Arrive early to get a table near the water

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