Florida is known worldwide as a top saltwater fly fishing destination and visitors to our area will not be disappointed. The Orlando area also offers excellent opportunities for fresh water fishing. There is a wide variety of species available to target in many different types of water. A main unifying characteristic is that most of the water requires a boat to fish properly. A kayak is the ideal boat to fish the vast majority of this water.
The Big Question - What Boat to Get
More on this later but, since this is probably the info you are looking for, here are the essentials. Get a very stable boat that is easy to handle. If you have good balance and want to sight-fish get a boat you can stand up in. When we were in the kayak business we sold Heritage Redfish because they fit these requirements nicely (you will note references to the Heritage boats throughout the rest of this guide). They still do, as do a number of other boats out there. Other brands to take a long look at are the Wilderness Systems Tarpon and the Hobie fishing models, of which the Mirage Drive varieties have a huge following. A sit-on-top is, in our opinion, the way to go for kayak fishing in Florida. If you're a mile from shore and the wind suddenly picks up and whitecaps start crashing over your deck wouldn't you prefer to be in a boat that won't swamp? Whatever you do make sure you get a good quality boat from a reputable company or somebody you trust. These things do occasionally leak and it doesn't do you much good to buy a brand new boat from a company that won't help you out if you have a problem.
Why would I want a kayak?
Even when you’re standing on dry ground in central Florida you’re never far from the water. Florida is covered in, crisscrossed by and nearly surrounded by water. From a freshwater spring bubbling out of a pine and palmetto forest to a neighborhood pond to the wide expanse of the St. John’s River and its floodplain to the estuary of the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon system to the Gulf of Mexico and the open Atlantic, the variety of water is truly enormous. This water provides habitat for a wonderful variety of gamefish and myriad birds, insects, reptiles and other animals. As many people are finding out, a kayak offers one of the best ways to fish and explore Florida’s waters and other water around the country.
Kayaks are one of the best vehicles around for fishing and exploring water. They are relatively small, lightweight and easy to transport and store. They are inexpensive, durable, require very little maintenance and don’t eat gas. Kayaks are quiet and easy to maneuver in the water and can go further, faster and with less effort than pretty much any other human powered watercraft. They allow you to get to and easily sneak up on fish and other wildlife.