Gator vs Kayak or Canoe

Thread starter #1
Want to get into Kayak fishing. One worry is gators. I regularly fish out of a canoe on lakes, but no longer do so on rivers in remote areas. Three different times while in canoe I've had my boat bumped by a big gator. All of the times were in remote areas of east central Florida. First time was between Puzzle Lake and Lake Poinsett in the backwater of St. Johns River. Second time was same river but further south between Lake Winder and Lake Washington (which is just west of Satellite Beach area). The other time was on a small tributary river called the Little Econlockhatchee River with lots of snags and having to drag the canoe over fallen trees. Granted this hasn't happened to me in more than 20 years. I did not get hurt just scared the you know what out of you. I now fish out of a 18' G3 alumnimum bassboat. However, I have property in Dodge/Telfair/Wilcox counties and fish the Ocmulgee River near Abbeville. The stretch of river I fish is between Hawkinsville and Jacksonville, Ga. Depending on the time of the year the river gets very low and there are a lot of snags. I have seen some big gators in the river too. Has anyone run into gators bumping their canoe or kayak in South Georgia?
 

jocko755

Senior Member
I've fished Lake Dexter, Lake George, the St. Johns in a kayak. I've had alligators follow my topwater and caught fish back to the boat, but never any issues. I haven't heard of any gators attacking paddle craft. I feel it's safe.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
I`ve only ever had one confrontation, and it was with a big bull that had just whipped two others. I was glad I was in my fishing boat rather than a kayak or canoe in that instance. It almost got ugly.

Cow gators hissing at me when I got too close to a hidden nest doesn`t count.
 

Bigtimber

Senior Member
I saw a gator on Pineview lake on Fort Stewart years ago that obviously had been fed. Even in a jon boat and had to move to other side of lake it was acting so fool. Reported it but they didn't seem to give a hoot. That gator could have hurt someone no doubt. Never had a issue with normal wild gators. I do know of at least two places I dont think Id want to be in a real small boat or kayak at night. Likely would not even be a issue then even but they are way overpopulated there. I fish the same places in the daylight and they all seem to stay out of your way. Fished around them all my life never heard of a issue of them attacking a boat. Way more concerned with wasp nests lol.
 
Thread starter #5
I grew up on a lake in Central Florida and have fished as long as I can remember and in almost 40 years I had 3 instances with an aggressive gator. It could have been the same gator because it was the same river 15-20 miles apart. Two instances happened the same year and one the following year. But, it was in alligator mating season late April-June. Never another issue. Thanks for the feedback. I'm now in the market of looking for a fishing kayak that I can use as a dual purpose to navigate flooded timber to get to my climber during hunting season.
 
Thread starter #6
I got a chance to borrow my friends nucanoe pursuit fishing kayak and its super nice and stable. While out there testing it I ran into a guy that had an OldTown Next canoe that's more of a hybrid kayak/canoe. After seeing it I'm set on getting the Next now. Here's the links of the kayak I tried and the old town next in case anyone is interested. The kayak is actually longer than the canoe.

nucanoe pursuit fishing kayak
https://www.nucanoe.com/pursuit-fishing-kayak/

https://oldtowncanoe.johnsonoutdoors.com/canoes/recreation/next?id=11371
around with my buddy
 
Thread starter #8
Central FL freshwater fishing involves gators, no way to get around it.
I recently went to a local bass fishing club meeting in town and talked to some people that fish old Florida in some really skinny water in canoes. Over the years some of them have been bumped by a cranky gator but never harmed like me. All during late spring early summer. One of them was bumped just a couple weeks ago on the Rodman Reservoir (Lake Ocklawaha) on his big bass boat. Growing up around gators I have respect for them but I'm excited to get the Old Town Next and start fishing out of a small boat again instead of just the bass boat.
 
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