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Jug Creek Marina sold

New owner plans to maintain historic fishing heritage and atmosphere

November 20, 2019
Special to The Eagle , Pine Island Eagle

Since 1956, Joey and Virginia Padilla Morton have owned and operated the Jug Creek Marina and Pine Island Fisheries at the northern tip of Bokeelia. Just recently the property was sold to Steve & Suzanne Johnston who plan to maintain the marina's historic fishing authenticity.

"We realize that the Jug Creek Marina has a long history on Pine Island with the local commercial and charter fishing community. Our goal is to build on that tradition while renovating and rejuvenating the lifestyle brand. Our intention is to make the Jug Creek Marina & Fish House a destination for all things fishing, a place where people will want to visit to get a real feel and taste of what the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast is all about. It's extremely important for us to maintain the local customer base and the casual, social atmosphere of the property after all, that's what made us fall in love with the property in the first place," stated Steve Johnston. "We are also very fortunate to have the managers and staff of the marina stay on."

Plans are to reposition the marina as a must-see destination with a fully stocked Ship's Store selling bait, tackle, ice, drinks and custom branded merchandise. The existing commercial fish house will be brought back online as an active wholesale fishery with a larger focus on the "retail fish from the dock" service.

Eco-tour and charter fishing guides, kayak and paddle board rentals will be available to the public. Johnston plans to host several events each year showcasing local themed seasonal traditions such as the celebration of the annual mullet run, fishing tournaments along with several local charity events.

"Steve's plans for the marina are in keeping with what Joey and I envisioned. We didn't want to see a condominium get built there! We are happy he plans to include artwork and photographs that tell the story of how our family's rich history in the fishing industry has shaped this area since the 1800s," Virginia Padilla Morton said.

Johnston's diverse professional background includes extensive work in the broadcast/cable television and graphic design where he's designed media solutions for a multitude of clients such as Walt Disney World, the Golf Channel and Kodak.

He owned 2820 Inc., an integrated design and branding company for many years and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and Merchant Marine Master Captain.



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