It’s the most wonderful time of year for race fans! February marks the return of NASCAR racing each year at racing’s biggest venue: The Daytona 500. For those looking to experience a true Florida experience that doesn’t just include the race track and the beach, we will teach you how to make Daytona 500 plans off the beaten path in North Central Florida.
Visit Astor, Florida
Just a 40-minute drive from the race track in Daytona Beach is a St. Johns River paradise in Astor, Florida. Astor contains several attractions that make it a great place to visit and experience the natural beauty of North Central Florida.
The St. Johns River near Astor has some of Florida’s most beautiful natural freshwater springs. The springs stay at a constant 72-degrees no matter what the temperature outside is and have crystal clear water for snorkeling lovers. You can also spot manatees this time of year in the warm springs.
De Leon Springs State Park
De Leon Springs is a water paradise full of boat ramps, swimming areas, and canoe and kayak rental opportunities. Picnic tables, grills and a playground for the children make this a great family spot to enjoy a freshwater spring that produces 19 million gallons of fresh clear water a day.
Lake George near Astor is the state’s second-largest lake behind Lake Okeechobee. A freshwater lake full of bass, it is fed from the northern flow of the St. Johns River. Enjoy some boating, fishing and sunset viewing on Lake George.
Dine at Local Restaurants
Astor is also a great place for Daytona 500 fans to grab a bite to eat in a less crowded atmosphere. Visit these five must-stop dining spots that serve up a variety of fresh seafood and waterfront dining options along the St. Johns River. Some restaurants offer boat docking access from the river and most Astor restaurants are also motorcycle-friendly for those who enjoy driving the picturesque State Road 40 that runs through town. Make sure you check out the local dining options when you come to Astor!
While you are here, make sure you rent a boat to enjoy some boating and some fishing on the St. Johns River. Call Castaways on the River today at (352) 759-3442 to book your boat rental and your Daytona 500 accommodations today!
The St. Johns River isn’t your typical Florida getaway, having many unique characteristics that make it a one-of-a-kind destination! Because of this diversity, it could be difficult to navigate the St. Johns River. Before you visit, learning how to navigate the St. Johns River will allow for a relaxing day on the water. Castaways on the River lies directly on this waterway and is the perfect location to rent a boat or enjoy the week in one of our cottages or motel rooms.
St. Johns River Fun Facts
Known as the “Bass Fishing Capital of the World,” the river is rich in marine life including ample crappie, bluegill, catfish and other varieties of freshwater fish. In addition, visitors enjoy swimming, kayaking and boating along the river’s connected watersheds during the spring and summer months.
The St. Johns River is also linked to 14 lakes and numerous Florida springs including Blue Spring State Park, a protected manatee refuge. During the winter season, hundreds of these gentle sea cows inhabit the spring’s surface much to the joy of onlookers. To read more, visit our blog, St. Johns River Fun Facts.
Tips to Navigate the St. Johns River
Cell Phone Navigation
Many people decide to go “unplugged” while out on the water, and with good reason! Since there’s limited cell phone service on the St. Johns River, your device may not be much use for navigation. Additionally, taking in the surrounding beauty is a nice reprieve before heading back to the digital world. For these reasons, we don’t recommend relying on cell phones for navigation. Instead, use your phone to take pictures of the surrounding nature and the beauty of the area! Be sure to tag us with the hashtag #CastawaysontheRiver when you share your photos, and you might win a t-shirt in our photo contest.
North of Castaways on the River lies Axle Creek, Hitchens Creek, Payne Creek, Silver Glen Springs and Lake George. To the south, look for Lake Dexter, Stagger Mud Lake, Tick Island Mud Lake, Lake Woodruff and channel marker #24. On the river, you’ll see channel markers referencing how far north or south you are, ensuring you stay within the boat’s boundaries. For instance, the northern boundary is a third into Lake George, just past Silver Glen Springs to the west while the eastern lake boundary lies a bit beyond Jones Cove. And finally, you’ll find the southwest boundary at channel marker #24 on the St. Johns River; visitors heading southeast should not wander beyond Lake Woodruff.
All Castaways on the River boat rentals are equipped with a compass to help you navigate the river, lakes and springs. Here’s a great resource on how to read a compass, which will be helpful in situations where you have no phone or GPS. To navigate the St. Johns River, all you need is a compass and a map of the area!
You’ll find your onboard compass on the dashboard of the boat.
The lubber line shows you which direction you are going. To find which way you should return, just add 180 degrees to the lubber line number for your course home.
However, if you have any questions, we are here to help! Our office phone is 352-759-3422. Should you find yourself in a difficult situation, give us a call. Better yet, speak to our team before your trip for additional resources in planning the perfect outdoor excursion.
Boating Safety on the Water
Florida Boating Safety Laws
According to Florida law, there must be one life vest available for every person on the boat and each personal flotation device (PFD) must fit the associated person. Also, children under 6 years old, regardless of swimming ability, are required to always wear a life vest while on a boat. Castaways on the River provides, free-of-charge, the number of adult life vests according to the maximum capacity on each boat. Children under 90 lbs, including infants, are fitted with their PFD before entering the vessel.
Just like motorists on the road, boaters must be mindful of signage out on the water. For your convenience, we’ve listed some common signs you’ll encounter on the St. Johns River below.
“Idle Speed No Wake”
The approaching area with this sign posted requires boats to move extremely slow and not create wakes that come from boat motors working hard and fast. Basically, an Idle Speed no Wake sign means that you should not be accelerating at all to create any wake. Maintaining steerage and headway is key until you coast out of the no-wake zone.
“Slow Speed, Minimum Wake”
You can move a bit faster here compared to the sign above and create a small wake. However, you should move cautiously.
“Maximum 25 mph and 35 mph Speed Zone”
Essentially the equivalent of a school zone on the water. In other words, take care to not exceed the posted limit.
“Vessel Exclusion Area”
Marked with a vertical diamond shape with a cross in the center. Essentially, this indicates boats aren’t permitted here and are typically posted to inform boaters of an area designated for swimming.
Designed to alert boaters to slow down in areas where endangered manatees congregate. The words “Manatee Zone” are typically placed above a “Slow Speed, Minimum Wake” sign to make boaters aware of the big, lovable sea cows. Most often, there are stand-alone signs warning boaters to watch for these aquatic mammals.
Share your Tips on How to Navigate the St. Johns River!
After all, we want your input! Do you have tips on how to navigate the St. Johns River? Leave a comment below. Also, you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Don’t forget to tag us! We’d love to hear from you on social!
Pumpkin is the rage right now. Pumpkin everything is on grocery store shelves, in coffee and even corn chips! Why not combine your love of fishing with all things pumpkin? Pumpkin is a delicious squash that adds a lot of nutrition to your plate. If you’re ready, we have the six must make pumpkin fish recipes to turn your catches into fall season entrée masterpieces.
This recipe can also include a ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice if you want to kick the pumpkin in your recipe up a notch. The main course pairs nicely with some brussel sprouts as a vegetable and some pumpkin pie for dessert.
Add some fall apples to your fish recipe! The Cooper Cookin’ Apple-Stuffed Baked Fish Recipe, courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Everyday Cookbook Almanac, creates an apple-based stuffing that pairs well with a number of fish fillets.
Pumpkin Seed Fish Sticks
How about a fall take on the tried and true fish sticks? Yummly’s Pumpkin Seed Fish Sticks recipe allows you to toss in some pumpkin seeds along with your breading mixture to create a nice crunchy, fall fish stick.
Your fall fish recipes are in place and will excite and wow your friends and family. Now you need to book a stay at Castaways on the River to do some fishing and catch some fillets for those pumpkin fish recipes. The marina can handle all of your boat rental needs. We offer cozy cottages and motel rooms so you can enjoy fall on the St. Johns River while you go fishing. Call Castaways on the River today at (352) 759-3442 to book your boat rental and fishing adventure today.
North Central Florida hunting season is in full swing! The wildlife is abundant in the Ocala National Forest, where you will find plenty of turkeys, deer, ducks and more to hunt during the appropriate hunting season. We have the information you need to plan the perfect hunting trip in our Ocala National Forest Hunting Season Guide.
Wild pigs, also called wild hogs or wild boar, are the second-most popular large animal hunted in Florida. They live in all of Florida’s 67 counties. Peruse pig hunting season dates before you start hunting wild pigs.
Wetland habitats in Florida offer a variety of places for hunters to find duck and other waterfowl available for hunting.
Canada geese season in Florida is through Jan. 30. Duck and light geese hunting season begins Dec. 10 and runs through Jan. 29.
Hunting Florida Black Bears is Off Limits Right Now
There is a $5 per day use fee to access the hunt camp and a $5 launch fee to use the boat ramp at Farles Lake Hunt Camp.
Florida Hunting Licenses
A valid Florida hunting license is needed to hunt in the Ocala National Forest. Hunters must adhere to all FWC hunting regulations. The FWC oversees the distribution of all recreational hunting licenses. Licenses for residents and non-residents are available with the FWC and can be purchased online.
Hunting licenses vary in price and are more expensive for non-residents, but you don’t always need a hunting license in Florida. If you are a child less than 16 years of age or hunting wild hogs on private land, a license isn’t needed.
Plan a Hunting Trip Along the St. Johns River
After an amazing day of hunting and watching wildlife in the Ocala National Forest, you will need a calm and relaxing place to stay. Make sure to spend some time enjoying the beautiful St. Johns River when you visit North Central Florida. Castaways on the River offers comfortable cottages and motel rooms just steps away from a marina full of rental boats for your use. Call Castaways on the River at (352) 759-3442 to book your next hunting trip adventure today!
The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida at a whopping 310 miles long. It flows through 12 counties, moving from northeast Florida to the Atlantic Ocean. At its largest point, the St. John’s River is almost 3 miles wide.
It is also separated into three river basins and two watersheds. The Upper Basin of the St. Johns engulfs approximately 2,000 square miles, and the largest basin is the Lower Basin covering 2,600 square miles. Thanks to its massive size, the river transports about 16,000,000 tons of freight through the ports in Jacksonville, Fla. per year.
It Flows North
The vast majority of rivers in the world flow from north to south. This is usually due to the river’s source, mostly mountains, is to the north of the mouth causing the water to flow downward. However, it is said that fewer than 30 rivers in the United States are the exception to the rule and flow northward, including the St. John’s River.
The reasoning behind the unusual flow is the slight slope in the river itself. Beginning in the Saint John’s Marsh, the rivers course slowly lowers about 30 feet to the mouth meeting the Atlantic Ocean. This extremely gentle slope causes a very lazy river; it’s actually one of the slowest in the world.
It’s VERY Connected
About 3.5 million people live within the various watersheds that feed into the St. Johns River. It’s the main water body in the St. Johns River Water Management District that covers about 21 percent of Florida or about 7.8 million acres.
It has a Salty Side
The St. Johns River begins as a network of marshes, consolidating into a blackwater stream. This means that due to its groundwater and marsh beginnings, the River is predominately fresh water.
It’s not until the River hits the Jacksonville area that the water becomes brackish. This is due to the sides pushing seawater into the mouth of the St. Johns River, creating a estuarine ecosystem in the area. This means animals usually seen out to sea such as dolphins and sharks are sometimes found thriving here.
Where the St. Johns River meets the Wekiva River, troops of Rhesus Monkeys can be found monkeying around. Known for their adept swimming abilities, the origins of the Rhesus Monkeys transports remain unknown. However, several theories exist. Many believe they were brought in during the 1930’s filming of Tarzan. Whatever the case, they have adapted well to their new Florida home off the St.Johns River.
There is never a shortage of fun in the sun on the St. Johns River, known as the most significant recreational river in Florida, and for good reason.
Known as the Bass Fishing Capital of the World, the St. Johns River is rich in fisheries including ample crappie, bluegills, catfish and other varieties freshwater fish. During the spring and summer months, visitors can enjoy clear waters for swimming, boating, and scuba diving along the river’s connected watersheds.
The St. Johns River is also linked to 14 lakes and numerous Florida Springs including Blue Spring State Park, a protected Manatee Refuge. During the winter season, hundreds of manatees inhabit the surface of the spring for onlookers to enjoy.
The network of freshwater springs along the St. Johns River in the Ocala National Forest provides visitors with spectacular opportunities to explore this unique environment and the life that thrives there. Snorkeling in the springs is a popular way to get an up close view of this underwater paradise.
Visitors are drawn to snorkeling in the springs along the St. Johns River since the crystal clear water maintains a constant average temperature of 72 degrees year round. And be sure to do your homework ahead of time to learn whether snorkeling is permitted in a particular spring.
Snorkeling vs. Scuba Diving
While snorkeling is permitted in a majority of the freshwater springs in the Ocala National Forest, those same springs largely prohibit scuba diving. So what’s the difference in the two activities?
Snorkeling – uses a snorkel tube that extends above the surface of the water for breathing while the face is submerged.
Scuba diving – the diver is equipped with an independent source to breathe while totally submerged underwater.
In addition to a snorkel tube, those wanting to take part in the activity should also be outfitted with:
Mask – properly fitted so you can see clearly while underwater.
Fins – a set of fins to move around better in the water like the fish.
Optional equipment may include a wet suit, snorkeling vest and additional gear designed to block the sun.
Springs for Snorkeling
Snorkelers flock to the popular Silver Glen Springs off the northern shore of Lake George in the Ocala National Forest. The spring is located north of Astor, Florida and is known for the sightings of manatees warming up in the winter. Silver Glen Springs produces an average 65 million gallons of water each day from two vents. The spring is home to a wide variety of fish.
Did You Know: Silver Glen Springs is an important archeological site and considered sacred space for Native Americans?
The depth of Silver Glen Springs is shallow in comparison to other springs in the region so children can explore it too. A number of other great springs for snorkeling in the area include Juniper Springs and DeLeon Springs.
While snorkeling consider taking photos of what all you see underwater to capture the moment. A good waterproof camera can come in handy.
Getting To the Springs
Most of the freshwater springs along the St. Johns River in the Ocala National Forest are best reached by boat. In case you are wondering when you’ve arrived at the actual spring, most are marked with signage as you enter the spring run. However a sure sign that you are close to a spring is that the water will appear crystal clear and seem to bubble to the surface. In fact that’s exactly what it’s doing as it flows from the spring head.
Snorkeling From The Boat
Coming to visit us in Astor soon and you want to plan a couple of fun days in the area? Make sure to reserve a boat to enjoy the St. Johns River and get ready for snorkeling in the springs. Castaways On The River in Astor, located on the edge of the Ocala National Forest, also offers accommodations either quaint cottages or spacious motel rooms. Contact Castaways On The River at (352) 759-3442 or to reserve a rental boat, a cottage or hotel room or need assistance with other plans.
Enjoying lazy days in the sun and on the water is a great time to plan a perfect summer barbecue party. Family and friends will want to be included in all the fun, and of course the main attraction will be the food.
As for what is on the menu, it will depend on a variety of factors like who is doing the cooking, how many people are attending, and what time the food will be served? Will it be an all-day affair or have a designated timeline? Will food be served in shifts? Served at a specific time? These are questions you’ll need to answer up front so your guests know what to expect.
It’s best to have an idea early on of how large the gathering will be to determine how much food will be needed. This will help with the overall food shopping and delegating who can supply what item.
Before we get too far along, let’s clear up a question that may be a matter of preference. Is it a barbecue or cookout? Technically the two can be considered the same in terms of events. There is no right or wrong menu item when it comes to chowing down. A barbecue just means cooking outside on the grill.
How to Plan A Perfect Summer Barbecue Party
So now that we’ve settled that, let’s move on to figuring out the menu. The typical summer barbecue party menu includes burgers and hotdogs. Some gatherings may include more elaborate fare to enjoy such as the days’ fresh catch from the St. Johns River.
The seasonal fishing calendar forecasts it’s a good time to catch Bass, Bluegill, Redear, Specks, Stripers and Catfish. So anglers let’s see what you add to the barbecue. When you return to the boat dock here at Castaways, use the convenient fish cleaning station to get everything ready for the grill just a few steps away.
And don’t forget about all the great side dishes to go along with the main entrees from salads, beans, and other tasty treats and appetizers. Invite everyone to provide their favorite dish to help feed the masses. Get ready for recipe sharing or be prepared to protect the secret ingredient.
And since we are talking about summer time, get the ice cream churn out and put the popsicles on ice so everyone young and old can enjoy a variety of cool goodies.
Barbecue Grill Duty
Before everyone digs in to enjoy the spread of food, make sure to thank the person who handled the grill duties. This is often a hard, hot and thankless job. Remember without someone on the grill, it’s just eating out. Tips to show your thanks is to make sure the grill master has a cold, refreshing beverage close by to enjoy. It’s likely to already be hot, then add to that the heat and smoke from the grill. Keep the cook cool and comfortable.
It’s also a good idea to designate helpers for the grill master so they can play close attention to the food and not have to worry about carrying it to the serving area. They may need other tools and supplies so extra pairs of hands are often appreciated.
Consider creating a list of all the items needed to pull off the perfect summer barbecue party. It’s always the little things like forgetting a special condiment that can derail a good plan. If you are heading to a remote area, it may be difficult to run to the nearest supermarket or big box retailer to pick up a few items. So pack what you’ll need ahead of time to ensure everything arrives at the barbecue.
Also who is bringing the plates, cutlery, napkins, drinks, ice etc.? Yes those are all the things that round out your barbecue that need to go on the plan ahead list.
It may also be wise to have a backup plan in case of rain on the day of the barbecue. A quick rain shower or rolling thunderstorms is a daily occurrence in Florida during the summer months. Check the local weather report to see when rain is forecast. The information can help if you need to change the start or end time of the barbecue. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on the clouds if those attending the barbecue go out on a boat.
Barbecue Party Accessories
Bring a few board games for all to enjoy or a deck of cards to see who has the best hand. This is where the fun begins with plenty of laughter and great memories are made. Pose for a selfie or two to capture the moment.
Board games also come in handy while waiting for the weather to clear up outdoors.
And what’s a party without some good tunes on the speaker? Designate a DJ to make sure the music is playing and everyone gets to hear a favorite song. Create a play list to get the party started. Dancing is a good way to work off a few of those calories you enjoyed from the grill.
Don’t forget to plan for everyone to enjoy time in the sun or get out on the water. All that fun is sure to work up hearty appetites which will be ready to feast on a barbecue spread.
Let us know how we can help you plan a perfect summer barbecue party here at Castaways.
Plan Your Party Along the St. Johns River
Castaways On The River in Astor, Florida has space, outfitted with grills, to plan the perfect summer barbecue party. The resort has rental cottages and motel rooms to accommodate guests. Also inquire about our fleet of rental boats to get out on the St. Johns River to fish and to enjoy nature at area attractions like nearby freshwater springs. Castaways is nestled on the eastern edge of the Ocala National Forest, located between Ocala and Ormond Beach along State Road 40. Call Castaways On The River at (352) 759-3442 to book a rental boat, reserve rooms and to arrange additional plans.
Storm season presents many challenges to Florida boaters. It’s best to be aware and prepared for what may come rather than being caught by surprise without an action plan.
A saying in Florida is true, it’s not if a storm is coming especially during the busy summer months, but rather when is it coming? Typically you can set your watch by Florida’s predictable afternoon summer storms. If you are heading out to enjoy a fun day on the water or to get in a little fishing, there are a few tips to follow to ensure you know what to do during a storm when boating.
Make Your Boating Plans Known:
Make sure someone knows your boating plan for the day. Whether it’s a family member not on the boat with you or the staff at the boat rental facility, inform others of where you are headed on the boat. In case a storm rolls in and you are unable to return, they will be able to notify authorities of where to search should you need assistance.
Wear Life Vest While Boating:
This next tip is common sense, but few take time to heed it until it’s too late. Take a moment to put on a life vest or other personal flotation device (PFD). It simply can save your life if the weather turns bad and you are separated from the boat. And remember, it’s the law in Florida that children age 6 years and younger must wear an approved life vest while the vessel is underway.
The Boat U.S. Foundation is a reference for free online boater safety courses. In order to rent at boat at Castaways On The River, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 must have a boating safety card.
Check The Weather Before You Leave The Dock:
Be sure to check the weather for your planned boating day. A storm prediction may mean altering your plans a bit. Instead of going out in the afternoon, it may be best to boat in the morning and return to shore well ahead of the storm.
Be Prepared – Know What To Do On A Boat During a Storm:
It is not uncommon in Florida to have a fast moving storm approach without any warning. If you are caught out on the water, a survival kit of sorts may come in quite useful until you can make it back to shore. Include:
A secondary source of communication should the boat radio become disabled.
A backup power source is a good item to include in your kit.
Extra water and food to tide you over just in case.
Flashlights, a first aid kit.
Take Down the Boat Top:
Usually the roll of storm clouds in Florida means lightning in most cases is not far behind. If your boat has a top, the high winds may make it dangerous to navigate and it becomes a target for lightning strikes. At the first rumble of thunder and increasing winds, it may be best to stop and take the boat top down. It may mean being wet as the rain falls, but it may make your return to shore safer.
Florida’s tropical climate and warm water temperatures are the perfect ingredients for lightning strikes. The state has the nickname as the Lightning Capital of the U.S. So when you see storm clouds moving in your direction keep an ear out for thunder and prepare to get to safety. It’s better to be cautious than to deal with the consequences of a lightning strike on open water.
Head to Shore Out Of The Storm:
Take a look around to see where you are when you realize a storm is approaching. Once you make the decision to head back, your return route may be altered to ensure the quickest and safest path. This is not the time to speed recklessly, you could cause unnecessary damage. During a storm, take your time and guide the boat safely back to shore.
Plan Your Boat Rental and Stay on the River
Spend the day boating along the St. Johns River from the dock at Castaways On the River here in Astor, Florida. We can help you with a checklist of Florida boating regulations, navigating what you need to know to rent a boat, and plan your stay with us. Call Castaways on the River today at (352) 759-3442 to book your boat rental and area travel plans today!
“The best boat to enjoy in Florida is someone else’s boat.”
The cost of ownership and upkeep for a boat is pricey, which is why Floridians and visitors alike enjoy the peace of mind that comes with renting a boat. The experience allows you to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the St. Johns River without the expense of boat ownership. Follow our Florida boating regulations checklist to help you get out on the water faster.
Check for a Valid Marina Rental Boat License
In Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requires charter captains that rent boats to hold a valid boat license. This license allows rental boat operators to carry between four and 11 boaters on board, depending on which boat license they hold. Make sure you check with the charter captain before you rent a boat to inquire there is a valid boat license. Make sure the rental boats also have proper boat rental insurance.
Florida Boat Rental Age Cutoff
Each state is different when it comes to the requirement age and license requirements for boaters. Those wishing to rent a boat in Florida along the St. Johns River must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1988.
If you are visiting from out of town and have boat certification from another state, you can receive a temporary Florida boating certificate from this list of Florida vendors.
Check the Boat for Damage
Before you take possession of the boat, make sure you assess the boat’s condition with the boat rental operator and document pre-existing issues with the boat so you are not made liable for boat repairs. Look for:
Scratches and dents
Motor or propeller damage
Seat and interior stains and tears
Review Proper Safety Equipment
All rental boats should come equipped with life jackets for every passenger on board. Discuss where the life jackets and other safety equipment for the boat are located before you leave the marina.
Rent a Boat
You have everything you need to take possession of a rental boat and get on the St. Johns River to do some exploring and fishing in North Central Florida. Rent a boat today at Castaways on the River, where a marina full of rentals boats is waiting for you. Castaways on the River also offers cottages and motel rooms along the river. Call Castaways on the River today at (352) 759-3442 to book your boat rental and area travel plans today!
Local fishing captains will be the first to tell you of their preference for North Central Florida. “There’s no place in the country that’s better for boating and fishing than along the St. Johns River in Florida,” says Capt. Steve Niemoeller of Central Florida Fishing. Follow our guide to the top eight best places to visit along the St. Johns River.
Lake George near Astor, Florida is a great spot for boating and fishing. Lake George is fed from the northern flow of the St. Johns River and is the state’s second largest lake behind Lake Okeechobee. Lake George is full of bass and a great place to plan the perfect day trip.
Silver Glen Springs
You have to visit a Florida freshwater spring while you are traveling the St. Johns River. The crystal clear water that stays a constant 72 degrees year-round is a great place to do some snorkeling and swimming. The most popular spring with the clearest water is Silver Glen Springs. Plan the perfect day at Silver Glen Springs to take full advantage of the area.
Head to Blue Springs State Park to enjoy beautiful scenery and to spot manatees, the state’s large and lovable sea cows. Manatees love to hang out in the springs through the end of March because the water stays a constant 72 degrees, keeping their body temperatures warmer in the winter. The park also has fishing, canoeing and snorkeling opportunities.
De Leon Springs
Are you looking for a place with boat ramps and canoe and kayak rentals? De Leon Springs State Park has all that and more. The 525-acre park produces 19 millions of clear fresh spring water daily. It also offers picnic tables, grills and a playground area for the kids.
Make sure you stop for breakfast at the Sugar Mill Restaurant to get some of the best pancakes you’ll ever eat, made by you right at your table.
Just a 45-minute ride from Astor, Florida, Capt. Steve Niemoeller’s favorite place to go boating and take people fishing is Rodman Reservoir. Also known as Lake Ocklawaha, the man-made reservoir acts as both a dam reservoir and a bass fishery heaven for anglers.
“There’s no better spot that Rodman Reservoir to do some boating and fishing,” Niemoeller said. Niemoeller said he take fishing charter customers to Rodman Reservoir to catch bass, crappie and catfish year-round.
Al of these eight spots to visit along the St. Johns River are accessible by boat. Rent a boat today at Castaways on the River along the St. Johns River. Guests of Castaways on the River receive a 10 percent discount on Capt. Steve Niemoeller fishing charters, which leave directly from the marina. Call Castaways on the River today at (352) 759-3442 to book your boat rental and St. Johns River experience today!