Kayak Fishing Florida’s Forgotten Coast

As you pull onto the side of the road, you see mullet being chased by predators in the skinny waters of St. George Sound. You can’t help but grin because you know this area is inaccessible to most boats, and you’ll likely have it all to yourself. Redfish, trout, flounder, jack crevalle, pompano and so many more species are yours for the taking once you’ve settled into your kayak and floated away from land. There are more than 40 canoe/kayak launches in and around Franklin County, Fla. Most are found within Tate’s Hell State Forest or the Apalachicola National Forest.

The freedom kayaking offers anglers in this area is a refreshing alternative to motorized boating, and the amount of accessible waters can seem endless. From the Carrabelle River to St. Vincent Sound, to include the Apalachicola River, Apalachicola Bay, St. George Sound, and East Bay, these diverse ecosystems where fresh and salt waters meet create a kayak fisherman’s paradise.

Slip your ’yak into Scipio Creek at the mouth of The Apalachicola River, paddle up the marsh and catch bass, trout and reds all in the same trip. Throw it in the Gulf of Mexico off of St. George Island and bag some pompano for the table; you can do both in the same day!

You don’t have to be an expert kayaker to enjoy a day gliding across these pristine waters to cast for world-class fish or simply take in the amazing scenery; you don’t even have to own one. Places like Island Outfitters and Journeys have them for rent. Advice on how to catch what’s biting is always free, and they have all the gear you need for a successful day of fishing or just paddling.

The fall version of the Apalachicola Paddle Jam festival will be held Oct. 6-8 in Apalachicola and on St. George Island. This three-day festival celebrates the Forgotten Coast through paddlesports, music and food, with events happening at various locations in Apalachicola and St. George Island. The highlight of the event will be an attempt by paddlers to break the world record for the largest floating kayak raft. For those with a competitive fishing edge, there will be a kayak fishing tournament. This event promises to be huge fun!

If you’ve never experienced the peace and joy that kayaking can bring, add this to your bucket list and give it a go. There’s a reason this sport is growing so rapidly… it’s a blast, and this area is a kayaker’s paradise!

Franklin County features multiple kayak and boat rental options. For a complete list of rentals, charters and supplies, visit www.floridasforgottencoast.com.

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