Kayak Fishing South Florida

The Indian River Lagoon and offshore waters provide plenty of opportunity for kayak anglers.

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Yes, some anglers really can fish year-round. Jerry McBride lives and works near one of the most prolific, accessible estuaries in the Southeast - the Indian River Lagoon at Stuart, Florida. McBride, a freelance author and photographer who also works with D.O.A. Lures, kayak-fishes most mornings in any weather. In this photo gallery, he shares some of his recent adventures. All images by Jerry McBride. It's hard to rush back to the house when Nature provides this kind of winter sunset.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

The would-be predator dwarfs this 8-inch trout lure on a shallow grass flat in the southern Indian River Lagoon (IRL).
Indian River Lagoon Flats main

Indian River Lagoon Flats

My fishing buddy Christina Echols escapes congested south Florida for the more relaxed flats of the IRL.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

A full-moon tide dumped the water off the flats. These egrets and herons lined up to grab stranded crabs and fish.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

A roseate spoonbill away from its usual grass-flat feeding grounds. It must have been a slow day of fishing if I'm shooting bird pictures.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

My daughter, Jenny, with a little flounder she pulled out of the mangrove roots near the St. Lucie Inlet.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Jenny McBride stretches this inlet snook toward the camera.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Jenny McBride and snook on an incoming tide at the inlet.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

The slow pace of a kayaker often translates into incredible experiences on the water, such as spotting a baby turtle catching a meal and a ride on a patch of sargassum.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Perfect-size tarpon for kayak fishing in the St. Lucie River. Those big ones turn into work!
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Okay, I'm tired now: All that work just to put a slimy fish in my lap for a picture 7 miles off Stuart. It was so calm I could have paddled to the Bahamas.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

After pulling at least 20 snook, trout and reds out of a small, low-tide pothole, I finally located the queen predator.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

First day of kayaking, first redfish. Lisa Ciani's fish wasn't big, but for the first-year teacher, catching it sure beat doing lesson plans.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Redfish are always a pleasant surprise catch in the south end of the Indian River Lagoon, especially this year. They're helping fill the void left by the massive snook kill last winter.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Kayaks are the perfect vessel to access backcountry creeks - and redfish.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

A winter snook glistens in golden light. Note the fish's abnormal lateral line.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

An impromptu Sunday afternoon paddle turned into a photo shoot when we found the pompano biting. Pound for pound, nothing fights harder than pompano on light tackle.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Migrating pompano invade the inlets and converge on IRL grass flats in winter. Florida's net ban has exponentially enhanced the population of this extremely popular recreational species.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

In winter, the Corps of Engineers releases less water into the estuary, improving river clarity and encouraging the pompano bite.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

I never mind when a trout like this interrupts my tarpon fishing in the St. Lucie River.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

I'd already released two snook when the sun came up over the kayak, forcing me to put down the rod and pick up the camera.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

No need for kayakers to wait in line at busy boat ramps. Missi Campbell wheels her kayak into an impromptu launch site.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

There may be no more colorful species than a juvenile mutton snapper, which are common on the IRL grass-bed nurseries.
Indian River Lagoon Flats

Indian River Lagoon Flats

Mark Nichols has his hands more than full posing for a quick picture before releasing this 42-inch snook.