We headed out early in the morning for our snook hunt. After strapping on four kayaks to the bow of the boat, off we headed in to the – yes – chilly morning air to hunt for the slippery snook. We have been having fun with kayak fishing – not near shore where you could launch from your car. We like to complicate matters to get back to no-man’s land. So we really do strap on the boats and cross the Florida Bay, stepping in to the Everglades National Park just a mile offshore of the Islamorada coastline to head back to the mainland.
Tides and Effort
After reaching the mainland, we anchor up and launch the kayaks to explore the no motor zones in the Flamingo area. This is truly pristine paddling and fishing. The tides can be unbearable and it seems almost impossible to time a paddle perfectly to catch exactly the right tide. We offer warnings about this “little” detail, but it is easy to feel confident about a paddle when you are contemplating your abilities from shore.
Patience pays on these trips. Paddling in to the area where we will fish will take time. It’s worth it to relax, take in the scenery and get over the inclination to “hurry up and fish.”
Think of it as ‘having all day’ and you can relax and take it easy. Since we left the motor back on the boat, fishing is slow and measured when you hit the interior of the mainland.
And of course, when you actually do land a fish, you are pretty much on your own to reel it in, land it, and get it back in the water! Which is the beauty of fishing in a kayak. You are forced to reckon with what is actually in front of you: very small boat, possibly fiesty fish, limited mobility, limited equipment!
The constraints are worth every minute of this off the grid experience. If you can take the long view of the water, the weather, the water conditions – you will be changed by the beauty of this part of the Everglades.