5 Jacksonville Kayak Fishing Spots Worth Exploring

By Debbie Hanson

Apr 26, 2018

Check list of Jacksonville kayak fishing spots, decide which one you want to try first. Catch spotted seatrout, flounder while kayak fishing Jacksonville FL

While it may be Florida's largest city based on square miles, it's still easy to find a number of good Jacksonville kayak fishing spots. A kayak fishing trip in the Jacksonville area will give you a chance to explore creeks, rivers, beaches, or tidewaters in search of species like redfish, spotted seatrout, and flounder. If you're not sure where to go, these suggestions can help.

Kayak Fishing in Jacksonville, FL

1. Dutton Island Preserve

While in the Atlantic Beach area of Jacksonville, head just east of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and you'll find Dutton Island Preserve. In addition to the canoe and kayak launch, there is a paddle trail that winds through miles of backwater tributaries and estuary waters. The saltwater marsh eco-system within the preserve is a hotspot for redfish (red drum), flounder, and spotted seatrout. In fact, this area contains what many consider to be the best fishing spots in Jacksonville for kayak anglers because it's relatively protected and offers opportunities to catch a variety of saltwater fish species.

2.Castaway Island Preserve

Located off of San Pablo Road South, on the ICW, Castaway Island Preserve is another good option if you want to go salt marsh kayaking in Jacksonville. This particular preserve is often cited as one of the best spots for a family fishing trip due to the number of amenities. There are floating docks for easy access, a tide meter that keeps you aware of water levels, picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, and water fountains. If you are learning how to fish from a kayak, this is an ideal spot to visit. Time your trip based on the tide and you'll have a chance to catch species like spotted seatrout and redfish.

3.Little Jetties Park

This Jacksonville kayak fishing spot sits on a finger of land that's located on the southeast corner of where the St. Johns River meets the ICW. If you launch at Little Jetties Park, you have access to East Chicopit Bay, Pablo Creek, Sherman Creek, and Boathouse Creek within a relatively short paddle. More experienced paddlers can fish the jetties themselves, but should remain aware of currents, boat wakes, and more challenging conditions. In order to fish the jetties here, a jetty anchor is usually necessary when kayak fishing Florida spots like Little Jetties Park. 

4.Sister's Creek

Kayak access to Sister's Creek is via a full service ramp at Jim King Park and Sister's Creek Marina. Check a tide chart and time your trip so that you start your paddle at the beginning of the incoming tide and return on the falling tide. Make your way along with the rising tide from Sister's Creek into Hannah Mills Creek or Deep Creek for redfish or spotted seatrout. Try fishing with live shrimp rigged underneath a popping cork or use a shrimp-imitating lure.

5.West Chicopit Bay

When it comes to kayak fishing in Jacksonville, FL, the West Chicopit Bay area is often cited as a popular local fishing spot. You can launch at Little Jetties Park for a 20-minute paddle across the ICW to West Chicopit Bay. You can also paddle about 20 to 30-minutes south from a launch at the Sister's Creek Ramp off of Heckscher Drive. There is a sandbar and mud flat near ICW entrance to the bay that can be a good place to start. In addition, you'll find plenty of flats, oyster beds, and peripheral creeks that are inhabited by redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder.   

To get a better idea of where these Jacksonville kayak fishing spots are located, or to check a fishing forecast for the area, use the places to fish and boat map.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.