Looking for information on paddling, near Pine island Florida. Would be going, in late February. Any major concerns with boats, tides etc.?Are paddle times, tide dependent? Any must paddle areas? Any areas to avoid? Thanks.
great paddling area
Used to live in the area. Would suggest, for a long paddle, to put in at the little park just south of Pineland Marina. Paddle out past Part Island, Black Island and take a break at south end of Useppa Island. Then continue to the bay-side of Cayo Costa and up the cut to the dead end which has a small beach. Get out and throw a pebble westwards into the Gulf where you can go swimming. Great place to hang a hammock. Paddle back, usually into the wind. Round trip is about 14 miles. As a matter of information, you can take a dollar bill, initial it, then post it on a wall inside Cabbage Key (which is on the way back) and get a great burger. Be sure to climb the steps up the tower for a spectacular view. On the trip you will be paddling very shallow waters and will cross the intercostal waterway between Useppa and Cabbage Key.
Shorter paddles can be done in the areas about Matlatcha. Oyster beds are something to watch for. Be sure to wear water shoes. Tidal changes can generate 5-7 mph currents and about 6-12" water loss/gain. Kayaking is very popular in the area. Be certain to have your PFD and extra water.
If you paddle out from the south end of Pine Island (Saint James City), cross and stop at Picnic Island where you can see, to the south, the Sanibel Causeway and westerly, Sanibel. You can paddle over to Ding Darling.
It should also be mentioned that alligators are present, and at this time of year, there should there be a lot of manatee. The birding wildlife and fish activity is bountiful.
Hope this helps. Have a great time. Wear the your pfd, especially if the current is strong because, as examples, a kayaker and a paddleboarder just died recently in two separate incidents, in this area.
I use to
run bees on Pine Island when I was a commercial beekeeper. An Eagle’s nest was in a tall pine near one of my bee yards. Very good shell hunting on some of the beaches there. Didn’t paddle there back then.
And take some Randy Wayne White “Doc Ford” novels along for a different look at Pine Island!
are negative. Paddling down to the causeway and around Ybel is against the tide. Big Carlos is excellent exercise. NOAA Tides POINT YBEL FLORIDA…
I use Garmin marine charts floating sandbar edges, down chutes or paddle up the river around Matlatcha on main flows eddy edge as seen on the chart depth…zig zag around the bridges.
Haven’t been up around Cayo Costa, a primo routing.
The Gulf is fairly calm offshore the islands.
The crod is here, festive and aggressive. Boat quality is up. Wal has a standemup pf 4-5 yaks smack dab in the aisle going past Boating. Made of hard vinyl ester ? ugh.
Buy a copy of Foster and Burnham: https://www.google.com/#q=florida+sea+kayaking+guide+book&tbm=shop
Look to paddling out of Collier-Seminole out and back on the river…with tides if possible and search for Flamingo to Long Key here in Padnet
Paddling the Several Hundred Islands off Chokoloskee and then Flamingo is infinite, infinite !
Ebbing tidal current south of the larger western causeway island before Big Carlos mouth is not inconsequential for an inexperienced casual ‘recreational’ kayaker.
There was a classic accident last month in an outgoing tide on Big Carlos outside Matanzas Pass.
Before returning to Florida, I kayaked on Haro Strait, Juan de Fuca and the Lower Columbia during spring flood.
I went out to paddle Big Carlos low tidal fall with surprise ! the company of Sea Tow’s big skiff.
In a low breeze, we were headed out to sea, headed out to sea and quickly, sneaky. Paddling back was no problem as I train, paddling a Solstice Titan not a $295 Walmart Special. Paddling back with knowing the eddy backflow below the island.