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Camping Via Kayak

Captain Sam Heaton with an Everglades redfish caught during a paddle craft camping trip.

No bugs, no sweat, and an actual use for campfire besides cooking. Most outdoorsmen agree: Camping in Florida is best done in the winter time. Kayakers and other fishermen that use paddle craft are ideal candidates for camping trips. And there are some top areas in Florida to take your kayak, fishing tackle and camping gear.

Canoes and kayaks handle storage of tents and gear surprisingly well, plus they allow access to remote areas. Increasing numbers of kayak anglers are using their ‘yaks for this exact purpose, and it's no surprise that the topic has come up for discussion on the Florida Sportsman Forum.

Florida Sportsman member bobert421 is looking for inshore camping recommendations within a reasonable driving distance from South Florida. Like most kayakers, his one stipulation is that the area should have good inshore fishing. An ideal choice for bobert421 would be the Everglades. Anglers use a mothership to get their kayak rigs in, and then beach the motorized power for their kayaks for the rest of trip. Check out this archived trip.

For kayak anglers not located in southern Florida, below is a list of kayak fishing and camping destinations:

Northeast Florida

Talbot Island State Park

Jacksonville

(904) 251-2320

www.floridastateparks.org

Faver-Dykes State Park

St. Augustine

(904) 794-0997

http://www.floridastateparks.org

East Central Florida

Indian River Lagoon

St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard counties

www.spoilislandproject.org (Click on Interactive Maps to find Active Islands designated for recreation)

West Central Florida

Fort DeSoto Park

Tierra Verde

(727) 893-9185

www.pinellascounty.org

Florida Keys

Marquesas Islands offers great kayak fishing, but if you want to pitch a tent, bring a big mothership—no camping allowed ashore.

Northwest Florida

St. Joseph Peninsula St. Park

Port St. Joe

(850) 227-1327

http://www.floridastateparks.org

Florida Panhandle

Big Lagoon State Park

(850) 492-1595

Pensacola

www.floridastateparks.org

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