Two years ago on our way back from a trip to Cuba, my family and I stopped in St. Augustine, Florida. I had never visited this area before even though I lived for some time in southern part of the state. Immediately I knew this was a place that I wanted to spend more time exploring for it’s rich history and have a chance to fish the local inshore scene. Located on the northern Atlantic coast of Florida, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, the city is steep with history, conspiracy, piracy, and the civil rights movement. The city also has a history of paranormal activity that I found fascinating as well. St. Augustine and the surrounding areas are home to a fantastic fishery with many varieties of saltwater species both inshore and offshore to pursue.
Earlier this year and almost two years to the date since my first visit, I had the opportunity to go back to St. Augustine with some of my Jackson Kayak teammates and the JK Media House for a week of fishing and filming for the Guy Harvey Resort. I couldn’t have been more pleased to be able to check this fishing location off my list and take in more of the beautiful scenery the area has to offer. The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States and The St. Augustine Light Station which is the second light house built in St. Augustine were among the backdrops for our fishing trips during the week. One of the things that would always cross my mind as we fished was how many pirates may have crossed these same waters.
Now, the fishing side of the trip started weeks before we hit the road. As with many trips you begin to research your area, looking at Google maps, reading whatever articles you can find on the area and even researching videos on YouTube. I mean everyone does that, right? Things I considered in my preparation for the trip was knowing which kayak to take, what rods to bring, what size line to use, what lures to bring, what local shop is near to resupply if need be, etc.… The main source of information was my Jackson Kayak teammate Bart Swab who is the owner of Action Kayak Adventures and resident kayak guide for the Guy Harvey Resort.
Getting to know local guides and using their services at least once while in the area is well worth it. Putting a guide’s vast knowledge and help to use can make a memorable fishing experience. Believe me when I say it was very memorable because I finally completed the inshore slam of Red Fish, Spotted Sea Trout and Flounder. Also, with sticking close to Bart, I learned several new skills. Some of the key skills I learned were how to stalk Red Fish while wading brackish waters, how to read nervous water vs wind whipped water, and when to troll a lure. All techniques proved very useful on this trip and I utilized them to the fullest.
With many long days of fishing and many miles covered, I was very glad I spent the time to pack the utmost essentials for fishing in Florida. Some key items for me were UV long sleeve shirts, fishing pants and shorts, SPF100, hats, buffs and my IceMule for cold beverages. If you have never fished in Florida, I’m here to tell you that the sun is brutal, and the fishing is great. After the long days on the water, we would meet at the resort’s restaurant for dinner and drinks then reflect on that day, make fun of each other of course, and discuss the plans for the next day. Later we hit the rooms and get up early to do it all over again. I mean I could do this as a full-time job, couldn’t you?
To be honest I could really nerd out on all the history to St. Augustine has to offer, but I’ll leave that to you to research and hope that it becomes one of your bucket list trips. I plan to return with my family so they can experience this truly amazing place for themselves. For the love of inshore fishing and history St. Augustine hits every mark.
By Vincent Andrus