Just got back from Flamingo in the Everglades last Tuesday. SKEETERS owned the camp ground. They were bad in the mangroves. They were OK in the lakes and Florida Bay. January and Feb should be better. It all depends upon when we finally get cold weather. North Florida gets freezes…ok…32 degrees for two hours is a “hard” freeze. Bugs are gone up north. Not so much down south. January and Feb should be great months down south. It would be prudent to have a bug suit or at least a net hat, long sleeves, and long pants. Deet is nice but these are tough bugs bent on suicide feeding. That buzzing around the head makes you do crazy things. Many paddlers us a buff to protect from the sun and bugs.
North Florida kayak season is October through April. It is cooler with less bugs. The manatees all go to the springs and power plants. Less capsizing events. They’re sneaky big @#%^&**. There is a problem with water temp. Our water in the springs stays 72 degrees. The rivers, lakes and bays though can be 55 degrees. That isn’t bad when the air is 75+ which it will be today. However dress for immersion and/or bring dry bag change of clothes for incase you need warming up. On cold days I wear .05 wet suits, shorts and vest or a sleeveless farmer john. The ACA instructor will tell you you need underlayment and a dry suit. But I’ve not needed either. Don’t capsize… ; -) If you are in a SOT you might want to wear your rain pants to keep the water off on cold days.