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Discussion Starter #1
So what is the fares distance into the GOM you have been on your yak? Peddling or paddling? Just trying to get an idea on how far I need to venture out
 

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Squid technician
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A friend and I once paddled to a rig that was just over 8 miles offshore.

I will never do that again even though it was awesome. We covered just over 22 miles through the course of the day and caught a ton of fish. I'd say a reasonable distance is inside 5 miles
 

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Squid technician
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I rarely go more than two miles myself. The long hauls used to be fun, but not so much anymore and I don't have to go that far to catch fish.
 

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A friend and I once paddled to a rig that was just over 8 miles offshore.

I will never do that again even though it was awesome. We covered just over 22 miles through the course of the day and caught a ton of fish. I'd say a reasonable distance is inside 5 miles
The better question is, what distance are you prepared to paddle.

Anything over 2-3, I am not comfortable paddling just due to pure discomfort by the end of the day. I did a 4 mile one way trip one day and made it back to shore completely dehydrated and on the brink of heat exhaustion. Wind flipped on us and we kept getting pushed further out.

When I upgrade to the Outback, I will more than happily peddle those distances but a VHF will be in tow, as well as mass quantities of consumable H2O.

I wouldn't suggest making a long trip a lone either, just because if something were to happen you have a buddy to help with the situation.

When starting in the GOM, start with shorter trip so you can adjust to being on the open water, its a different animal than the inshore life. Seas pick up quick and wind can flip directions in a heart beat. Also, on your first couple of trips, identify land marks near your launch points. Primarily stuff large enough to see when the shoreline becomes hard to see.
 

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not much of a kayaker but the last thing position I would want to be in is more then a few miles offshore and in a bind.. things can change fast in the gulf.. currents, rogue waves, etc.. I sure as hell would be wearing a life preserve and have a life support device around my neck!!
 

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Squid technician
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The best thing is to ease your way into the offshore jaunts. Always bring plenty of water, power bars or other high energy snacks and both your VHF radio and cell phone. It's best to go with a buddy too.

After re-reading the OP, I should've answered different at first. I'd never suggest going over a mile until you're familiar with your own limits.
 

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The Tourist
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apparently you lose sight of land at 7 miles and I've been to the point I can just barely see the hotels along Pensacola.

you don't really need to go more than 800yrds out to catch fish. Cobia, kings, smacks, jacks, sharks etc. the only time you might want to venture further is when looking for snapper spots. it will take awhile to locate good, non public spots (not all are private either, there's some sand out there that holds snapper) but start at about 3/4 mile out from the pier and make your way to Portofino and back looking for structure while trolling a deep diver or two. gradually make your way out to 2 miles (50 yards at a time) all while looking for bottom spots.

you'll catch a ton of fish and you'll have a few spots to hit close to shore on opener morning.
 

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I've been about 2.5 miles out....just remember with the winds and currents it maybe sometimes harder to get in then go out so keep some energy!!!!:thumbsup:
 

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About 1 1/2 times this far out last fall after I got a decent yak. I easily caught Kings and also caught a Mahi so, I'll probably be sticking around close until I get a Hobie. :thumbup:
 

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Seafox 237 twin outboards
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You don't need to worry how far out these experienced seasoned yakers can go out.
For someone who has lost two friends to the sea in a yak in two summers, I recommend you not worry how far out you can go in a yak right this moment. The ocean is very mean, and can change at a moments notice. And the last thing you want to be sitting in is a yak when the seas turn and your a few miles offshore, with a STRONG out going tide. Just getting inside the jetties at that moment is gonna be extremely dangerous and crazy.
Flat seas can change quick, with just a little bit of wind and tidel change.


Don't be a statistic that we will read about several more people with in the next 6 months. It is not if or when it's gonna happen, it's how many times it will happen again this summer.

Sorry to be a party pooper, but its a fact.

Be careful in your new yak.


.
 

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Here's some things I give new yaker's as advice.

- camo yaks are 'cool' Bright colored ones will save your life
- plan for the worst:
-- June - Sep Thunderstorms WILL pop up, at 2 miles that's an easy 30 mins to safety. Most days in that period of time you can make it back to shore before they roll over you. Also you can launch at daylight and be back before noon right about the time the T-stroms start popping up - but it can happen anytime, head on a swivel, take a smart phone to see the radar
-- stuff your hull with pool noodles, your yak may flood but it won't sink, STAY with your ' brightly colored kayak, use your waterproof VHF, and if that fails your backup comms (Cellfon) that was in your dry bag
-- if you get a peddle kayak, your range increases but so does your risk, and equipment failure. Get basic spare parts, plus tool(s) to fix on the water - Spare - Sail, Mast, chain, cotter pin, cotter pin keeper, etc. Change each one at least once in your garage, comfortable and stable, that way when it's dark, uncomfortable and cold you know you can do it.
-- Take a basic first aid class, and kit with you
-- as mentioned hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and that doen't mean 10 beers... until you're back on the sand
-- Pack a light in your dry bag, 5 out of 6 times you come in after dark you didn't intend to stay that long.
-- Tell someone where you plan to fish (Launch Point)and when you plan to be back, make sure they know to start the location process by HH:MM. Then you both know - that's a big stress/panic reliever when you're clinging to the side of your flooded yak, with a zapped/non waterproof VHF, your cellfon died cause you didn't charge it and it's dark and cold cause you didn't pack the right things in your dry bag.

- All these things are risk mitigation, not a guarantee of safety. That 15# chunk of bone and goo sitting on your shoulders has evolved there as more then the entry hole for beer.... Listen to it.

On a Great Weather day, No chance of T-Storms, winds are light, I go out 5+ miles. Usually not more than 3 though as I can catch all the fish I can eat within that range.

As for buddies - it is a great thing to go with a friend, but it's also great to get out on that merciless beautiful bitch by yourself and have no pressure or constraints on formation fishing. I've done the solo a few times under the full moon out there - perfect.

Best to you,
Stressless
 

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You don't need to worry how far out these experienced seasoned yakers can go out.
For someone who has lost two friends to the sea in a yak in two summers, I recommend you not worry how far out you can go in a yak right this moment. The ocean is very mean, and can change at a moments notice. And the last thing you want to be sitting in is a yak when the seas turn and your a few miles offshore, with a STRONG out going tide. Just getting inside the jetties at that moment is gonna be extremely dangerous and crazy.
Flat seas can change quick, with just a little bit of wind and tidel change.


Don't be a statistic that we will read about several more people with in the next 6 months. It is not if or when it's gonna happen, it's how many times it will happen again this summer.

Sorry to be a party pooper, but its a fact.

Be careful in your new yak.


.
You're right and I hate to sat it but from what I've been seeing on Facebook and here, I have a bad feeling we are going to lose at least one to the Gulf this year. Many people who have no experience in the Gulf or even in this area and our weather are buying yaks and expecting to jump in and do it all with out thinking first!
 

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A buddy of mine paddled across the Gulf Mexico.

Arthur Hebert, Jr. started his 700 mile solo sea kayak expedition on Saturday, May 16, 1998 at 8:10am, from Isla Mujeres, Mexico, off the Yucatan Peninsula, and ended at Southwest Pass on the Mouth of the Mississippi River on Thursday, June 4, 1998 at 10:15am. It had to be a Frenchman from Southern Louisiana to be the first to paddle across the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is his website:

http://www.seacajun.com/yucatan
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I never planned on going out to far just wondering how far ppl have actually went in their kayak. The farthest I thought about going was 3 barges. But I would most troll for kings and look for structure. And always with a friend.
 

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The Tourist
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Here's some things I give new yaker's as advice.

- camo yaks are 'cool' Bright colored ones will save your life

Best to you,
Stressless
I cant agree with this statement. when we go out here on the boats and look for buoys (trap, long line and FADs) the large black FAD buoys and long line flags (size of ATV offroading flags) can be seen from over a mile away and the trap buoys are noticeable from almost 1/4 mile (10" round buoys") where as the orange and red buoys are much harder to spot and often aren't seen until within about 1/2 mile.
 

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My longest trip was 3.3 miles off navarre beach. Found a nice bottom spot way out there too! but usually I stay within 2 miles.
 

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Weather

The distance from shore out and back is not the whole story, if you are bottom fishing you are going to go out to a spot, and then pedal or paddle a lot further just staying over the spot or setting up drifts over it so it adds up quick. I started in a paddle boat Quest 13 with a great paddle Werner Camano but I still got my butt kicked some days, you have to be in very good condition to do a paddle boat offshore in any kind of wind or waves. Some days it's like a bath tub, other days it can be tough even in a Mirage drive boat. Like others have said go with someone more experienced you can trust or don't go is my suggestion. Watch the weather, stay inshore unless winds are less than 10, if you see white caps at all don't launch. In the summer earlier the better as far as T-Storms, make sure you head for shore if one pops up do not delay. When in doubt go inshore or go home. You must pick your days carefully, not every day is gonna be safe. You have to be patient to be safe and pick your days.
 
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