Time for the annual paddle-in hosted by Capt. Charles Wright. The last 2 years were aborted (2011) and modified (2012) because of weather. This year should be better. You need to RSVP to Captain Wright at [masked] so he knows how much food to bring. Clicking the RSVP on this page is not linked to the Capn.
Tips: It takes 2 hours of casual paddling to get to Indian Key, more if you stop and fish. Leave no later than 9:30 to beat the tide change at about 11:45. Bring a kayak cart if you have one. Food is provided, but bring water. If the winds pick up, the last 1.25 miles back are in open, unsheltered bay. You need to be able to paddle a few miles into a 15-18 mph headwind if necessary. Attendance varies from[masked] people depending on weather, so exchange phone numbers if you plan to meet someone at the launch.
There is a loop route where you go out via Indian Key pass, then south along the gulf islands and back via Sandfly Pass (or visa versa). Mark the waypoints on your GPS device before attempting this. Indian Key pass is pretty straightforward- just follow the other kayaks. There is good fishing on the oyster bars to the north and south of the pass entrance on Chokolskee Bay and along the outside islands south of Indian Key. I still have to work on getting the day off to go
2014 Event information From the Everglades Kayakfishing.com Website:
This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, February 22nd and we are looking forward to another great day. The event will be the same informal format as in the past ... very casual. It is a social event to bring together paddling folks for a day of family-oriented fun. It is a great opportunity to meet new friends who enjoy the paddling the area, learn a bit of the colorful local history and experience a wonderful part of Florida.
There is no cost for the event. However, we always try to raise money for a worthy non-profit. The Florida Society for Ethical Eco Tourism is the beneficiary for this year's event! Please visit their website, become a member and signup for their newsletter.
Florida SEE is dedicated to maintaining a professional code of ecotourism ethics in order to encourage an awareness and stewardship of Florida's natural and cultural heritage by:
1. Endorsing compliance with federal, state, and local laws regarding the protection of natural resources and customer safety.
2. Providing environmental education and awareness which encourage behaviors that contribute to the sustainability of Florida's natural ecosystems and resources.
3. Promoting professionalism and integrity within the ecotourism industry by providing and maintaining a certification/recognition program for ecotour providers.
Like last year, we will be paddling with the assistance of the tidal current to a beach site on "Indian Key" in Indian Key Pass. The low tide at Indian Key is about Noon. The tidal flow will not be a very strong tide. This means current flow stops and reverses direction on the island about 1:30. Unlike most other years, we do not have to leave at daybreak! We are planning an 0830 launch. You are certainly welcome to leave earlier or later, but please be aware of others, particularly the Park staff, and do not clog up the launch site with vehicles. Please park where designated and ready your craft and gear before coming to the launch. There will be a shuttle trailer to take you to the launch.
You should allow two and one half to three hours for the paddle, but that depends on your pace. (I go slow and let the current do the the work!)
Once on the beach, Everglades Area Tours will be serving Vickie's famous conch chowder, bratwursts and other goodies. Yes! You WILL be hit up for a membership/donation for the Florida SEE.
This year's After Paddle-In Festivities will be Saturday evening at JT's Island Café and Gallery on Chokoloskee Island sometime around 4:00 pm. We will have live music and Scott O will be serving his "world famous" BBQ dinners ($12). Scott is a world ranked BBQ competitor, a very experienced kayak angler and a good friend.
It is important to RSVP so we know how much food to prepare. Please let us know if you will be staying for the after- event party as well.
We will be have event tee shirts made again this year … still working on the design … we still have some of last years if you would like one (pictured below) These will be long sleeve and $20 (as always). Send me your quantity and size. We will have them at the launch site for you to wear at the event if you choose. NOTE: We can't collect $$ there per the Park regulations. You will need to pre-pay for these (credit cards are fine)