Paddle Fishing on Florida’s Forgotten Coast
If you’re a fan of kayak fishing, Florida’s Forgotten Coast is a must-visit destination. More than 80 percent of Franklin County's 545 square miles is publicly owned and preserved as wilderness areas. Within the region, there are literally hundreds of miles of rivers, creeks and coastal shallows to explore and fish by canoe or kayak.
Whether you choose to fish the area’s pristine rivers by kayak or prefer to paddle out into the Apalachicola Bay, St. George Sound, Ochlockonee Bay or Gulf of Mexico for an angling adventure, Franklin County is paddle fishing paradise.
Kayak Fishing in the Bay
Apalachicola Bay and St. George Sound are some of the most popular kayak fishing spots in Franklin County. More than 100 species of fish make their home in these fertile bays. These abundant fish gather among the grassy flats, channels, oyster bars and sand bars. Further to the east off of Alligator Point, Forgotten Coast paddling anglers can cast a line into the fruitful waters of the Ochlockonee Bay and Apalachee Bay.
When kayak fishing the bays, you’ll have a chance to hook into redfish, speckled trout, flounder, sheepshead and black drum year-round. Between March and November, Spanish mackerel, pompano, tripletail, bluefish, ladyfish and sharks are also abundant in Franklin County bays. From mid-April to October, try your hand at hooking a tarpon in the Ochlockonee Bay off Alligator Point.
Freshwater Paddle Fishing
If you want to try your luck at freshwater fishing, paddle out into the lower Apalachicola River, Carrabelle River or Ochlockonee River, where you’ll find abundant bass, bream, stripers and catfish. Thanks to the unique topography of the lower river, these fish species grow to impressive sizes in this area. In the winter months, saltwater species, including trout, redfish and sheepshead, also make their way up the rivers.
Saltwater Kayak Fishing
Ready to hook into some saltwater monsters? Paddle out to the Gulf of Mexico for some truly unforgettable kayak fishing! In these prolific waters, you can catch whiting, flounder and redfish year-round. In the warmer months (when the water is 70 degrees or warmer), you may hook into speckled trout, pompano, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sharks. Paddle out a little farther to hunt for mackerel, snapper or grouper.
No Paddles? No Problem!
Want to try your hand at paddle fishing but don’t have your own kayak? No worries! You can rent one from a local Franklin County rental company: