Fort Pierce, Florida is an amazing place to visit if you’re an angler of any kind. We were recently invited on a media tour of Fort Pierce, and absolutely fell in love with how beautiful the water, area, and people were. With an already event filled weekend planned for us, we decided to head about 3.5 hours south for some time in the kayaks and chase a few species of fish on the flats.
Fort Pierce is roughly 3.5 hours south of Jacksonville where Yak Outlaws is based. It’s a small town but steep in history, but even more importantly to our kind, it’s an amazing fishery. The water is absolutely beautiful, with greenish hues to it, and clear which is perfect for sight fishing. Our media tour was scheduled to begin on Friday and continue through Sunday. We knew that if we wanted to get some yak time on the water, then we’d have to head down early that Thursday morning. I reached out on the Treasure Coast Kayak Anglers group on Facebook for some local info on places to launch, species to target, etc. The kayak fishing community is one that never ceases to me. It seems we’re always open to supporting and helping out fellow kayak anglers. Several kayak anglers chimed in with suggestions on places to launch, including maps with detailed info on where to launch in the Fort Pierce area.
One angler in particular sent me a message and offered to take the day off from his guide service, John from Moon Light Charters, to spend the better part of the day fishing and hanging out with us. Our sitter (thanks Mom!) for the kiddos arrived around 7am Thursday morning, and we were soon on the road heading south on I-95. It had been set up that Kaycee and I would meet up with John at Round Island State Park around 10:30am or so. We arrived and quickly set about unloading our kayaks and fishing gear. Upon unloading, we quickly realized we weren’t alone at the kayak launch. A couple of manatees were hanging out with us, enjoying the beautiful water. We even checked out a few Mantis shrimp along the water line at the launch. Common sense prevailed, and we didn’t attempt to “catch” the mantis shrimp and risk injury to our digits even though they’re great redfish bait.
We set off from the launch and immediately noticed something busting bait several yards from the launch. We paddled over to investigate, but missed out on the fun. After a few casts we decided to venture out on the flats to try our luck chasing redfish and trout. The flats were simply beautiful, sea grass mixed with white sand potholes, and fairly shallow at only a couple feet in most areas. John was the first to hook up with a nice speckled sea trout. He reeled it in, took a quick measurement, and safely released her to fight another day. The bite was fairly slow, but the weather was amazing, and it’s always great to meet and get to know a fellow kayak angler.
Kaycee started hooking up to a few sailcats and we decided to move on to another area. Kaycee set up camp at the mouth of a narrow creek lined with mangroves while John and I decided to do a little exploring. We entered the creek and a few yards in, I spooked a solid slot redfish. We decided to keep pushing in pitching under the mangroves as we paddled deeper into the creek. A little further ahead, John spooked another redfish. I was beginning to like this little creek more and more, we just needed to start catching instead of spooking the fish. We went back pretty far, but decided to turn back and catch back up with Kaycee. Not to long after we turned around and started heading back to the entrance, I noticed something bust up the bait along the bank under some mangroves. John pitched in, but to no avail, so I turned around and decided to pitch a lure myself. I’d already tossed my lure into the area a couple of times, and half-heartedly pitched in once more. On the retrieve, I was slowly reeling the Savage Gear TPE Manic Shrimp lure but mostly focusing on the conversation with John. About 2 feet from the kayak I noticed a small fish on my lure. Well, to be honest, I didn’t even realize it was on the lure until after a few minutes. Once I realized what it was, I burst out laughing. I’ve wanted to catch a snook from my kayak for some time, even having it sit atop my Bucket List. The snook probably measured a whopping 7″. It was the funniest catch I’ve ever experienced, and I completely appreciated the humor of the Fish Gods for helping me scratch a fish off my Bucket List. After a couple of quick pics and some more laughing, John and I headed back out to meet up with Kaycee.
It was getting a little late in the day, so we decided to fish a flat on our way back in to the launch. John casted his lure out and immediately nailed a stud trout measuring in the 25″ range, but with some great girth to her. After a couple of pics, we decided to head back to the launch and call it a day. Kaycee and I can’t say enough about the hospitality we received while fishing with John, and we enjoyed our time on the water exploring the Treasure Coast and Fort Pierce. We said our goodbyes and headed to our hotel, ready to see more of how great the fishery has to offer in Fort Pierce.