We normally think of fishing offshore as getting on a properly fitted Sport Fish Boat, going out as far as the Captain advises, fishing all day or night and heading back to the marina. That simply, time-tested, concept is about to change.
What if instead of the scenario above you got on a small “chase” boat at the dock or chartered a helicopter to get to where the fish are biting and stay as long as you like? Where would you be going to fish, where is the Sport Fishing Boat, where is the equipment, where would you stay?
That is where Fisherman’s Paradise Resort comes in. Fisherman’s Paradise resort boasts something for the angler with everything: a helipad, a marina, a two-floor gym, a health spa, a sports bar, a 900-bottle wine cellar, even a movie theater. At 385 feet long, the barge is longer than a football field and most multimillion-dollar “superyachts.”
The five-story “floating palace” is a barge that has been transformed into a $25 million luxury mothership for deep-sea anglers and divers. Pulled by a tugboat, it will loop between the Gulf of Mexico, Panama and Belize.
After six years of construction, it will open to guests Sept. 9. Initially moored 15 miles off the Clearwater, FL coast it will stay there for six months. A helicopter ride, a charter fishing tour of the Middle Grounds and a night’s suite will cost $599, with a $100 yearly membership.
To check in, guests must dock their boats in the barge’s marina, travel via shuttle boat, or fly from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport aboard a Sikorsky S-76, a sound-proofed helicopter referred to as “the Bentley of the skies.”
While aboard, anglers can charter one of eight powerboats or catamarans for fishing or diving. Catches will be cleaned by the crew, then served for dinner, packed in fish boxes with a saltwater ice-maker, or preserved with a flash freezer.
Landlubbers can relax at the sauna, salon, massage room, sun deck, restaurant, pool bar or 1,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, watching an octopus, Popo, that the crew found in the marina. Mahogany-trimmed halls are adorned with sculptures of dolphins, marlin and crabs.
The barge runs on three 180-kilowatt diesel generators, 380,000-gallon fuel tanks and two desalinators that produce 6 gallons of fresh water a minute. Trash and sewage run through an onboard waste treatment plant, incinerator or trash compactor.
Yet for all its size, the barge only sleeps 36. VIP suites have king beds and are decked in Italian marble.
For more information or to make reservations contact Fisherman’s Paradise.