- Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:12 am
I do this 3-5 times per year. There are several places along the coast that I frequent and all are south of Freeport. I cannot speak to any kayak shaped like a cot and personally would steer away from such a beast. I really prefer to sleep in a hammock but that is nearly impossible along the TX bays and beaches unless you want to tote around a stand. I use a small tent as I can easily find sufficient space to plop it down and it will keep me and my gear out of any rain and I lose a lot less blood to the mosquitos. Your main challenge will be fresh water. Unless you know where to find and filter fresh water on the barrier island you will need what you need for those 3 days. Also, make sure you know your tides and approx amount of expected rise and fall as if you do not have enough elevation you might wake up with water in your tent, yes been there done that.
1. Park at Charlies bait camp between Seadrift and POC. Paddle ~4-5 miles across the bay and you can camp anywhere along that shore. You can paddle into Pringle lake or on down to the old state park (Army Hole). You will need a limited use permit to be there legally and yes they do check. Good spots to camp, fish, eat, and be happy.
2. East Matagorda Bay, park at the Sargent boat ramp along the ICW then paddle back into the bay. You can camp anywhere but expect a lot of boat traffic. East Matagorda has gotten just to busy for my tastes.
An alternate park location is at LRCA Matagorda Bay RV park, at the boat ramp parking across the street from the park. You will need to call them and get permission to park there for a few days but I have never been turned down. Then you can launch down the road a bit into East Matagorda Bay then park and long walk back to the kayak or you can paddle across the river and drag you kayak through the marsh into West Matty.
3. Cedar Bayou, park at Goose Island State Park then make the long paddle out there. Great place, really enjoy it. I would not advise camping along the shores of St. Joe as it is owned by the Bass family and they have guys on 4 wheelers and horseback that will ask you to leave if they find you. You can do it but you will need to be stealthy and with 2-3 other people along that will be hard.
There are other locations but these are the ones where I feel the most comfortable about leaving my truck for that amount of time.
Mosquitos, I treat my repellant like firewood, get what you think you need then double it.
Water: Take plenty. If you do decide to find a freshwater hole you need to limit your efforts looking and while looking beware of rattlesnakes and hogs. Hint on where to find the water, follow the game trails and/or look bright green brush or growth just behind the dunes. As you approach the water holes be careful every other living creature on that island knows where the water is and they like to hang out there, alligators, snakes, hogs, I am always armed with a flounder gig. Walk into the water very slowly then take a small sip to see if it is fresh and how fresh. If you like it then fill your empty jugs and get out of there and filter somewhere else.
Gators: They are there, and you will need to be careful walking day or night through the marsh edge as you can walk right up on them sometimes. Also be alert when wade fishing with a stringer. They know where to find an easy meal. Generally they will not bother you but if you have fish, they will take what they want. Do not take a dog. Dogs in the marsh are nothing but gator bait.
I typically will spend 2-5 days on my trips with one trip a few years back at 10 days. I grew up on a barrier island along the TX coast so I am pretty good at finding fresh water and comfortable in the marsh.
I hope this helps. Good luck and post a report,