By: Dan Carns
Our shop, Gulf Coast Kayak in Matlacha, is uniquely suited to kayaking as it sits on the edge of the most beautiful waterway in all of S.W. Florida. We are lucky enough to also be on Lee County’s Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, a 190-mile watery trial that encompasses Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound, the Caloosahatchee and of course the Matlacha Aquatic Preserve. This location suits us, and you, extraordinary well as we can offer so many different services and products. Local kayak anglers recognize this awesome location as a place to put in and start catching fish within a few paddle strokes of our beach launch!
If your new to kayak fishing, we have a guide service that will super charge the learning curve that you need to climb in order to understand the fish species here and the equipment that is most suitable. Our guides spend every day on the water and have a thorough understanding of where the fish are holding up and what lures or baits are most effective for any season. Locals often call to tell us they have “northern” visitors or family, and they want to introduce them to this piece of kayak fishing heaven, so we put together a plan and have everything together when they all arrive for a fun time of fishing. Locally most folks are chasing snook, redfish and trout as well as another half dozen fish species and more!
We also offer extensive eco-tours that meander through the mangrove Islands that dot the Matlacha Aquatic Preserve where you may encounter dolphins, manatees and any number of wading birds or fish. Our American Canoe Association certified trainers offer beginning classes for new kayakers as well as Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding lessons. Many kayak outfitters are not on the water, but our unique location means you can try out any number of different kayaks or SUP’s so that when you’re ready to purchase a new craft you’ve already got a feeling for what you want or need.
When you arrive at our shop, you’ll also discover that we carry a lot of kayak accessories some of which you may have forgotten to pack or some you’ve been meaning to buy. We are now carrying Old Town Sportsman series 10’ and 12’ Peddle Drive Kayaks including the premium AutoPilot by Minncota as well as Old Town sit inside kayaks. You’ll also find Sit on Top kayaks from Vanhunks including the very capable double kayak the Bluefin. If Stand Up Boarding is your thing, we now carry Bote brand inflatables and hard boards as well as Vanhunks most stable SUP the Induna. We’ve added a bunch of accessories from Rail Blaza and Yak Gear including paddles from Bending Branches, Cannon and Aqua Bound.
If you haven’t been to our shop, take a trip out to Matlacha, maybe launch right from our parking lot, and see why so many people make the journey into our little paradise!
It’s A Wild World-Get Out There!