Offshore Kayak Fishing in South Florida
I’ve always wanted to go offshore kayak fishing and decided to try this increasingly popular way of fishing. Researching best kayak fishing guides in Florida took me to Deep Blue Kayak Fishing Charters. I deemed it a sign from the fishing gods that their launching beach was only 2 miles from my cottage.
It was a gorgeous day in sunny South Florida and I was going offshore kayak fishing in the ocean – yes, the deep blue sea. I checked the seas. Although for days the wind had kicked up the seas, today promised relatively flat seas.
Deep Blue Kayak told me to meet at Gulf Stream Park just on the beach to the north of the park. This park is due east of Boynton Beach, Florida and just south of the inlet.
Upon arrival Eric (a Deep Blue fishing guide) met me and another fisherman. He was in town from Virginia for a whole week of kayak fishing. The checklists were quick and to the point as
Eric had arranged a rendezvous with the “bait” man at 6:30 just offshore. Not only do you pay for the trip, but bait can be extra. And “livees” are super important to making a day of saltwater fishing successful.
The Day Starts Leaving Shore
Leaving the beach felt like being shipped out to sea. The first waves were probably 2-3 off the beach, but being able to steer left or right was of utmost importance.
I’ve always been a little uncoordinated. Paddling the Hobie offshore kayak with your feet while using your left hand to turn the boat left or right required my full attention. In fact, it took almost all day for me to not turn “left for right” and “vice versa”. It may have been that I grew up as a sailor using a tiller to push left for right, but it still had me zig-zagging the entire day.
As I learned from Matt and Eric, the owners of Deep Blue, hands-free kayaks are a must for offshore kayak fishing. Their kayaks of choice are Hobies which is on the equipment list at the end of this article.
Hooking Up with the Live Bait
Eric met up with the bait guy about ¼ of a mile off shore where we heard that we had really great bait today, but the bait man had to purchased it (instead of catching it), costing us more money. A perfect example of supply and demand.
The type of bait used is known as “greenies”. We often used them for offshore fishing and it always gives you the best chance of catching.
Offshore Kayak Fishing Spots In South Florida
We continued due east crossing the ocean until we reached the first fishing spot – right at the edge of the reef. And at this point, it was time to hook up the baits. Eric hooked up the bait and we paddled our kayaks just enough to keep the line in a perfect trolling position. With little wind, the baits were strong swimmers.
The other group of kayak fishermen were with Matt, (the president of Deep Blue) and they hooked up first with a tuna. Being just about 30 yards southeast from us, made the difference in the first catch of the day.
We kept peddling (darn this was hard work on the legs) and started to head more southeast when the Virginia fisherman hooked up a king mackerel. About the same time, I was watching him reel in, a “dolly” hits my rod. She came up for 2 jumps before devouring my greenie and spitting the Mustad hook out like she had done it 1,000 times before.
Offshore kayak fishing and how you hold the rod for leverage is different than fishing in a boat. You can still hold the rod on your leg, but it’s better under your arm.
Little did I know that this was to be my first and only hit of the day.
Offshore Fishing SeaLife - Loggerhead Turtles
While waiting for the other fisherman to reel in his king, a gorgeous loggerhead turtle popped up his head to take a look at me. Then he swam a little closer, took another look and swam away.
What I learned from Matt and Eric is that the loggerheads see the flippers on the bottom of the kayak thinking they are female turtles. And when it is mating season, the males become very curious about anything looks anything remotely like a female, even if it is a kayak.
The king mackerel was about 14-15 pounds, and Eric popped him into the fish bag on the back of my kayak. He also gave me a new “swimmer” for our next drift over the reef.
The day was really gorgeous, and the seas had flattened out considerably. Especially enough to hear the whoops and hollers of the other guys who had nailed a tuna and a small Mahi.
Even though the whole group had fish, I was going to shore after an incredibly gorgeous day on the water, but “skunked” in the catching department.
Landing the Kayak Back Onshore
Around noon, we pulled up our lines and started the peddle back to shore. The current was moving swiftly north of the inlet as the tide was coming out with force. The beach in this area has a deep drop off the further north you go from the inlet.
By this time, my legs were going to jelly. Peddling for 5 hours straight is no easy feat. In addition, we were trying to peddle against the current. As my kayak got further north of the inlet,
I kept trying to peddle faster but to no avail.
The closer to shore, the stronger the current. And the waves started to pick up. All of a sudden being pushed sideways (a big “no” in offshore kayak fishing) the kayak started slowly rolling over in the ocean.
My first thought was to make sure the rod wasn’t hitting the bottom of the ocean as I pulled it out of the kayak. Saving my “Yeti”, I started swimming the kayak to shore. The guides swam out to get my boat while my wobbly legs hit solid ground after six hours.
After some logistics with boats and drying off, we Ubered back to the park for transfer back to our vehicles. All in all, an amazing day on the water.
Offshore Kayak Fishing Summary
After years of fishing on powerboats, surf fishing, and pier fishing, this was my first time fishing from a kayak. Would I do it again?
The answer is yes. But probably not in the ocean. The combination of peddling all day combined with the current turned fishing very quickly into an athletic sport.
I think the next time, I would like to try kayak fishing for tarpon or on a lake for bass. And the guides?
They were super professional and very knowledgeable. Anyone knows, being a fishing guide is not a job for someone who doesn’t just absolutely love fishing. Matt and Eric run a professional outfit with clean equipment. Even better, they are enthusiastic guides.
Here’s the Offshore Kayak Fishing Gear and Equipment Used By Deep Blue:
- OFFSHORE KAYAKS Hobie Outback, Compass and Revolution
- KAYAK FISH FINDERS Garmin
- Mustad 37240-BR Bronze Wide Gap Hollow Point Hook – 5/0 – 8 Pack
- Mustad 37240-NI Nickel Wide Gap Hollow Point Hook – 2/0 – 50 Pack
- FISHING LEADER Wire #5
- FISHING LINE 50 lb. Braided Fishing Line
- KAYAK FISHING RODS PENN, STAR 7 Ft Handcrafted Live Bait Rod