October Flood Tide Fishing

By Matt Chipperfield

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October is an exciting month here on the First Coast and it has absolutely nothing to do with pumpkin spice.

No longer do you have to contend with 100 degree temperatures and blankets of humidity. The air temperature is dropping and our local ecosystems are thriving. For inshore anglers October means one thing: Flood Tide Redfish. During summer and early fall the moon’s strong pull on the ocean creates exaggerated tides during new and full moons. High tides that take place during these cycles are referred to as flood tides, typically ranging from 5-6 feet in height . As these flood tides peak they inundate grass flats within the intracoastal waterway. These grass flats are usually sandy, muddy and dry, but they receive 12-24 inches of flood water at the top of the tide. This is significant because these flats are packed with small grass crabs, fiddlers and insects that are left stranded in the flood water. Hungry redfish slide their way through mere inches of water to get to these flats and prey on these small crustaceans. These bright gold redfish are clearly visible with their backs out of the water and their tails waving in the air as they move around the grasses. It is truly amazing to watch a redfish wave his tail at you in just a foot of water as he plunges his nose into the mud looking for food.

Most anglers utilize fly fishing methods to target these belly crawling fish, but soft plastic lures and spin tackle can also be used. Most flood flats can be reached by kayak, paddle board or by boat, but some can be reached by foot from the shore. The shallow depth and firm bottom of these tidal flats allows fisherman to leave their craft and wade through the water after their catch. It is pure sight fishing and stalking. It will leave your hands shaking and your heart pumping. This is a one-of-a-kind fishery that every outdoorsman should experience. North Guana Outpost on Mickler Road can provide you with fly casting lessons, flood tide flies, soft plastic lures and local guides to get you started.

LOCALLY MADE Marketplace this Saturday

Join us this Saturday April 29th for a Locally Made Marketplace event at North Guana Outpost. Our goal is to bring a fun, creative, and convenient shopping experience to the local beach crowd and neighbors. There is a wide variety of artists including jewelry, home made soaps, and beautiful paintings.
Cajun Cravins' 2 Go Food truck will be posted up for you to grab some delicous southern creole food while you browse the vendor tents.
Hope to see you then!

Rental Launch Locations

Renting from North Guana Outpost gives you the opportunity to explore many different waterways in NE Florida. We offer weekly rentals for those who want to take the equipment for up to 7 days and go for a camping and paddling trip to the many springs or to take a trip down the Suwannee River. Many beach home vacationers will choose this option as well. We offer a delivery service to many of the homes along A1A.

If you do not have a way of transporting paddleboards or kayaks we have the convenience of launching right from the shop into the northern end of the Guana preserve (hence our name). This is a beautiful location to paddle calm flat water and view wildlife native to the area. The water level of the Guana Lake is controlled by a dam that is about 12 miles south of the NGO launch. Certain times of year the water level may be too low to launch from this location but there are plenty of other options if that is the case!

About four miles south of NGO you will find 6 Mile Landing, a public boat launch into the Guana Lake. This is another great wildlife viewing location as over 500 species of birds migrate to the area annually. 6ML is also a popular location to fish for trout, redfish and black drum. Single fishing kayaks are available for the same cost as our regular kayaks. We offer free delivery to this location.

Heading further south we come to the Guana Tolomoto Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR). Say that 5 times fast. This is where the dam is located along with an educational center. The GTMNERR is one of 28 protected coastal areas from Alaska to Puerto Rico. There is an honorary $3 fee to park here but well worth it. You have two options to launch; the north side of the dam or the south. With a 'beach' walk in entry the north side is a great place to learn to paddleboard or for any beginner paddler. The south side is the Guana River which flows about 3 mile south and runs into the ICW. This side is tidal with very large tide swings at times. It is also salt marsh so there are oyster beds. Both sides are great for fishing and it is not rare to spot a bald eagle here. In addition to paddling, there are over 6 miles of hiking/biking trails at this location.

An eighth of a mile east of the shop you will find one of the only public beach accesses in Ponte Vedra; Micker's Landing. Try paddle boarding here on a flat day to see dolphins and sea turtles or come when there is some swell to paddle surf or try surfing on our beginner boards!

Just inland of the shop is the Nocatee Kayak Launch. From here you can paddle north or south on the Intracoastal Waterway. This river has access to the ocean at the Vilano inlet so you may have boat traffic on weekends and nice days. It is best to paddle here at high tide. You have the possibility to see manatees and dolphins in the ICW. 

Give us a call to reserve your kayak, paddleboard or surfboard and get outside and explore! 

 

Locally Made: NGO's 1st Marketplace Event

We are pleased to announce our first Marketplace event!  We are looking for local artists and vendors to join us! Our goal is to bring a fun, creative and convenient shopping experience to the local beach crowd and neighbors.  

Our first event will be held on March 11 from 10 - 3.  You will need to supply your own tent & table. There will be a small charge to secure a 10x10 space. 

Space is limited so please send an email asap to Rhonda at rhonda_edwards20@hotmail.com if you are interested.  

Get Out....SIDE

Forget fighting the crowds this year...I mean have you seen how crazy some of those people are?! Instead, we say boycott the lines and enjoy the outdoors with your family. Did you know the Guana Reserve covers 74 thousand acres of coastal land and is home to over 358 bird, 303 fish, and 580 plant species?

If you need more convincing, we are renting kayaks and stand up paddleboards for half price the half and full day rates!

Call 904.373.0306 to make a reservation

 

2016 BOTE Boards

Once again the BOTE brand is pushing the limits with their innovative designs and features on their industry leading stand up paddleboards. Fishing, surfing, training, racing, or just a chill day out on the water with friends, BOTE is more than just a brand...it's a lifestyle.

One of our favorite new features for the 2016 line up is the Travelink system. Almost all of the SUPs are geared with latch points on the rail to add the Travelink Sling for easy hands free transport. After a long day of paddling a 20lb board can feel more like a 40lb board. Throwing on the sling not only helps get your board back up the beach, you can also store it by just hanging it on a hook in your garage!

The BOTE HD has continued to be one of our top selling stand up paddleboards. BOTE has redesigned the board for 2016 pulling the nose forward adding more buoyancy to the front of the board and channeled the front to make the board paddle straighter. It holds more weight, paddles better and is an all around better board.

We are also loving the Axoim this year. It's the perfect all-around paddle board for the paddler looking to get out on the water to SUP with their pup, practice some yoga or just go explore for the day. What makes this board even better is the price point. Starting at $1,199 this is the perfect entry level board.

Come by North Guana Outpost to check out the new line up!