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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, before I get too far in depth, my family will be at Miramar beach on the week of July 14th through the 21st. My son and I have spent many an hour in the kayak on swift rivers and rough lakes, but have never been in the Gulf before. Usually when we're on this trip we like to spend our early mornings fishing from the surf, but this year we are thinking about bringing our kayaks. Now keep in mind that these are the inexpensive WalMart brand yaks. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 10' fishing kayak to be exact. They are sit-on-top yaks.

So, here are my questions (I'll put them in number form...maybe you experts and answer in the same)"

1. Can we safely launch from the beach even though we will not be around any piers or rock jetties?

2. Without getting 'too' far from shore, will we even be able to catch anything, fishing this way?

3. Is there any reason it wouldn't be safe for us to fish like this even though we will have life jackets on?

4. If all else is okay, what types of fish might we be able to catch?

5. What else am I forgetting to ask?

I apologize for asking all these questions, but I've looked all over the web and have found absolutely nothing on these topics. Please advise. Your help is greatly appreciated.
 

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skeeterbay
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There should be tons and tons of info about rigs and what to fish for etc.....but to answer your questions,

1. Yes. Obviously use common sense and don't head out in terrible seas.Early in the am is usually calmer and better fishing.

2. There will be plenty to catch. Spanish mackerel, Kingfish, bonita, etc etc...

3. It's fairly safe and currents aren't generally terrible. If you're going to go out a mile or two, buy you a handheld VHF radio and learn how to use it before you go.

4. See number 2.

5. You have lots and lots of time to read and formulate more questions. Get on youtube. Watch videos that are based in pensacola like 30milesout, etc.... There's plenty of resources out there to lead ya in the right direction.
 

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Ok, before I get too far in depth, my family will be at Miramar beach on the week of July 14th through the 21st. My son and I have spent many an hour in the kayak on swift rivers and rough lakes, but have never been in the Gulf before. Usually when we're on this trip we like to spend our early mornings fishing from the surf, but this year we are thinking about bringing our kayaks. Now keep in mind that these are the inexpensive WalMart brand yaks. The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 10' fishing kayak to be exact. They are sit-on-top yaks.

So, here are my questions (I'll put them in number form...maybe you experts and answer in the same)"

1. Can we safely launch from the beach even though we will not be around any piers or rock jetties?

2. Without getting 'too' far from shore, will we even be able to catch anything, fishing this way?

3. Is there any reason it wouldn't be safe for us to fish like this even though we will have life jackets on?

4. If all else is okay, what types of fish might we be able to catch?

5. What else am I forgetting to ask?

I apologize for asking all these questions, but I've looked all over the web and have found absolutely nothing on these topics. Please advise. Your help is greatly appreciated.
1. For launching from surf, depends on surf conditions. Yellow or red flag, I wouldn't advise.
2. Probably
3. Wave conditions. On a calm day, there should be little or no problems.
4. Pompano, spanish mackerel, ladyfish, hardhead catfish, whiting
5. Just have to remember that kayaking in the surf is harder than kayaking on a lake, and different than kayaking in a river. Make sure you have all your fishing gear secured (tied down).

I'm not an expert, but I have been kayaking in the Gulf since about 2001.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Awesome guys. Thanks a lot. One other question, do we need to find a reef or some structure or is that not as important as I thought it was?


Also, why is it that one second I look at this post and there is a response from jeremyledford and the next time I look his post isn't there?
 

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skeeterbay
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Awesome guys. Thanks a lot. One other question, do we need to find a reef or some structure or is that not as important as I thought it was?


Also, why is that one second I look at this post and there is a response from jeremyledford and the next time I look his post isn't there?
IDK, my post is still above as far as I can tell. If you want to fish for spanish and kingfish and troll for bonita etc you won't need to find a reef.
 

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Yeah, its showing up now. IDK!

So, what if i want to catch something I can take home and feed the family with?
You can eat alot of the things that you will catch while beach yakking.
Kings, Spanish, Bluefish (bleck, but some eat them), Pompano, Whiting, etc.

Dont eat the hardhead catfish, and most will tell you not to eat Bonita. But there are quite a few "catch and cook" vids on Youtube where people eat them and say that they are fine. I'm gonna give it a shot on the next one that I catch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, from all of your help, it seems that Kings and Spanish may be my best bet. Do you guys have any tips on the best way to catch them? Live bait...artificials? Troll....jigging?
 

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Well, from all of your help, it seems that Kings and Spanish may be my best bet. Do you guys have any tips on the best way to catch them? Live bait...artificials? Troll....jigging?
Troll duster rigs with frozen cigar minnows, unless you catch live with sabiki rigs. You can also use lipless crankbaits or small-lipped jerkbaits, like Yozuri. I keep a bucktail jig rigged on a rod in case I see a cobia or a school of bonita - never know when a black fin tuna may be swimming with the bobo's.
 

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Well, from all of your help, it seems that Kings and Spanish may be my best bet. Do you guys have any tips on the best way to catch them? Live bait...artificials? Troll....jigging?
I mainly fish for fun, not so much for the cooler. I like to use crappy jigs on an ultralight rod, and catch lady fish, the occasional pompano and whiting.
 

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From a fellow Missourian, you'll be fine following all the advice above. Here are my personal observations from 15 years of being at the gulf from St. Joe to Ft. Morgan.

1. Yaks in the surf are fun provided you don't launch in big seas.
2. Tie you stuff to the boat
3. Sun Screen and lots of it, long pants and sleaves, big stupid looking hat. July in FL is brutal...and don't tell me it gets hot in MO. It does, but not like FL hot/sun
4. Launching is easier than landing...hop off on the sand bars and walk the yak in
5. Gulf side seems appealing...check out lagoons and sounds...they can be just as much if not more fun in my opinion.
 

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Consider the sound as an alternative if the surf is raging.

Fish the grass beds and dropoffs with small artificial suspending twitch baits and soft plastics under a jig head. Bring a couple of gold spoons too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for the great advice everyone. Keep it coming!!


Can I fish the sounds/lagoons with my saltwater shoreline license, or do I need an additional license?


I don't guess any of you experts would be up for a yak fishing excursion any time between July 14th and the 20th, around the Miramar Beach area? We'd love to tag along. Heck, why don't you all come? We can make a MASS YAK ATTACK on them fishies!!! You all have been working way too hard, and I think you need a day off.
 

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I make about one trip a year down to the gulf to kayak fish. I'm certainly no expert, but I've learned a few things over the years - 1) Trolling lures may work for some, but it can be a lot of work - especially if nothing is biting. Live bait has been a lot easier and more effective for me. 2) Sabiki rigs with about a 2 ounce pyramid weight work well for catching bait (assuming bait is around). 3) Make a couple of DIY PVC bait tubes to keep live bait while you're fishing - at least one for each kayak. They're cheap to make (and easy to lose) 4) Drift live bait with a circle hook and a treble hook stinger. 5) Fluorocarbon is great for leaders, but you'll want to bring wire for leaders too - a lot of toothy fish will cut right through the fluorocarbon. 6) I've had good luck just past the second sand bar. 7) If it looks rough, then it's probably too rough. Early morning has always been best for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks MLyttle. I was a bit concerned myself with doing a lot of trolling. Seems like a LOT of work. I have sabiki rigs and plan on using them, also have all the parts to make live bait keepers. So how do you fish your live bait if you don't troll it. I understand your rig, but how do you fish it? Thanks for any/all help.
 

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You can even drift with frozen cigar minnows, its very effective. It sounds like fishing in the gulf is well within your reach. As for surf and weather, I use the website magic seaweed and want surf under 3 feet and winds no more than 10-12 mph.
I second someone who said getting it out is easier than coming through the surf. Exit your yak and swim it in through the last set of breakers.
 
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