While it’s Florida’s largest city based on square miles, it’s still easy to find a number of good kayak fishing spots in Jacksonville. Explore creeks, rivers, beaches, or tides on a kayak fishing trip in the Jacksonville area in search of species like redfish, spotted sea trout, and flounder. If you are unsure of where to go, these suggestions can help.
Kayak fishing in Jacksonville, FL
1. Dutton Island Preserve
If you are in the Atlantic Beach area of Jacksonville, head east on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Dutton Island Preserve. In addition to the canoe and kayak start, there is a paddle path that winds through miles of tributaries and estuary waters. The saltwater swamp ecosystem in the nature reserve is a hotspot for redfish (red drum), flounder and spotted sea trout. In fact, this area contains what many consider to be the best Jacksonville fishing spots for kayak anglers as it is relatively protected and offers the opportunity to catch a wide variety of saltwater fish species.
2. Castaway Island Preserve
Located on San Pablo Road South on the ICW, the Castaway Island Preserve is another great option if you want to go salt marsh kayaking in Jacksonville. This particular nature reserve is often referred to as one of the best places for a family fishing trip because of the variety of amenities it offers. There are floating docks for easy access, a tide meter to keep you informed of water levels, picnic tables, charcoal grills, toilets, and water fountains. If you are learning how to fish with a kayak this is an ideal place to visit. Use the tide to plan your trip and you’ll have the opportunity to catch species like spotted sea trout and redfish.
3. Little Jetties Park
This Jacksonville kayak fishing spot is on a piece of land that is on the southeast corner of the St. Johns River, which meets the ICW. If you start at Little Jetties Park, a relatively short paddle will give you access to East Chicopit Bay, Pablo Creek, Sherman Creek, and Boathouse Creek. Experienced paddlers can fish the jetties themselves, but should be aware of currents, wakes and more difficult conditions. A jetty anchor is usually required to fish the docks here when kayaking in Florida like Little Jetties Park.
4. Sister Creek
Access to Sister’s Creek by kayak is via a full-service ramp in Jim King Park and Sister’s Creek Marina. Check a tide map and plan your trip so that you start your paddle at the onset of the incoming tide and return when the tide falls. With the rising tide from Sister’s Creek, make your way to Hannah Mills Creek or Deep Creek to catch redfish or sea trout. Try fishing with live shrimp mounted under a popping cork or use bait that mimics shrimp.
5. West Chicopit Bay
When it comes to kayaking in Jacksonville, FL, West Chicopit Bay is often referred to as a popular local fishing spot. You can start a 20 minute paddle over the ICW to West Chicopit Bay at Little Jetties Park. You can also paddle about 20 to 30 minutes south of a start at Sister’s Creek Ramp on Heckscher Drive. There is a sandbar and Wadden Sea near the ICW entrance to the bay, which can be a good starting point. In addition, you will find many apartments, oyster beds, and peripheral streams that are home to redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder.
To get a better idea of where these Jacksonville kayak fishing spots are or to check a fishing forecast for the area, use the Fishing Places and Boat Map.