Back Country Kayak Adventure

The Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge presents tremendous fishing opportunities for expert and novice kayakers.

While staying on Captiva Island with the Royal Shells Vacation Rentals and Captiva Island Inn, I came equipped with my Hobie Outback to fish. After all I was there to fish and I’ve only heard nothing but amazing stories about this destination.

We headed to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, this is an ideal place for kayak fisherman—experienced or novice. Included within the refuge is a 4-mile wildlife drive, with photo op after photo op, bird watching, hiking, biking and of course fishing, boating and kayaking.

There are also child-specific activities from wilderness exploring and crafts. The wildlife drive is open from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., which makes for a safe launch in the morning. There is also a free visitors center where you can find out about upcoming events and other important information.

With Sam Root of the Hobie fishing team leading our way, we were on the hunt for snook, trout and redfish. Ding Darling has these perfect kayak launches with plenty of parking space and multiple options if you’re getting dropped off in one location to be picked up in another.

As we launched bright and early, our first stop was straight to the flats. The weather conditions were less than ideal, but thankfully the Hobie Mirage Drive allowed us to travel a great distance in the wind without sacrificing precious fishing time.

Sam is the type of fisherman you can go out on the water with and laugh so hard that it hurts, but turn soak up as much of his serious fishing knowledge as possible.


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