The first kayak fishing boondoggle was held on February 18th 2011 in Jacksonville Florida. The popular four-day weekend kayak fishing event is a joint venture of YakAngler.com and KayakFishingRadio.com offering kayak anglers a chance to meet new people, paddle new locations, and hang out and fish with kayak fishermen from around the country.
There are currently two primary boondoggles, one on Presidents Day weekend and the second on Columbus Day weekend. The events are held on federal holiday three day weekends allowing many participants to not have to take leave from work.
The event locations are ultimately decided by KayakFishingRadio.com and YakAngler.com but if you would like to suggest a location feel free to contact us with your idea and we’ll take it into consideration.
Big Lagoon State Park, Perdido Key Florida
October 11-14 2013
12301 Gulf Beach Highway Pensacola, Florida 32507
Located on a thin strip of land no more than a few hundred yards wide in most places, Perdido Key is located in the extreme northwest portion of Florida and is one of the few remaining unblemished stretches of wilderness in the Florida Panhandle. The shoreline of Perdido Key is characterized by several rows of sand dunes where seat oats, bunch grass and beach grass protect the shores from erosion.
Big Lagoon State Park covers 678 acres and has five miles of hiking/walking trails. Swimming and beach activities are enjoyed on the shore of Big Lagoon. The Park also has a three-story observation tower to catch an offshore breeze while overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and the National Seashore.
Fishing brings in redfish, bluefish, flounder and sea trout in the marshes, bayous and shallow waters. Crabbing and castnetting for mullet are also popular in the shallow waters of Big Lagoon.
Space is limited! We have reserved an enclosed pavilion that can accommodate up to 300 people, and there are only 135 campsites available, so register early!
Directions: Big Lagoon State Park is located at 12301 Gulf Beach Highway, about 10 miles southwest of Pensacola.
From I-10 take Exit 7 south on Pine Forest Road. Turn right on Blue Angel Parkway, right on Sorrento Road. Finally go left on Bauer Road.
Campsites with electricity: Surrounded by beautiful pine flats, this campground has 75 sites equipped with electricity, water, a picnic table, electricity and fire ring. Three full-service restrooms and a dump station are available.
Campsites without electricity: The tent camping area accommodates up to 60 people. Amenities include a group fire ring, water spigots and a restroom with hot showers.
Innerarity Point Volunteer Fire Department 14250 Innerarity Point Road Pensacola, FL 32507 (850) 492-0544
Click on the map to view full size.
Group camping allows you to escape the routine of ordinary life. The thought of sitting around a campfire with friends under a clear sky, gazing up at the stars and listening to the sounds of the night can strengthen our bodies, pacify our minds and restore our spirits. It's different from the usual 'drive somewhere and stay in a hotel' type of adventure. You’re closer to the action so you can roll out of your sleeping bag and into your kayak for a full day on the water.
Space is limited! We have reserved the entire campgrounds at Big Lagoon State Park, but the number of campsites are limited, so register early!
Campsites with electricity: Surrounded by beautiful pine flats, this campground has sites equipped with electricity, water, a picnic table, electricity and fire ring. Three full-service restrooms and a dump station are available.
Campsites without electricity: The tent camping area accommodates up to 60 people, so many Boondogglers are sharing campsites. Amenities include a group fire ring, water spigots and a restroom with hot showers.
Reserve your campsite with us. Please DO NOT call the Park. Below you will find a breakdown of sections A, B, C or D. Sections A-C have electric & water hookup. Limit one RV and 1 tent, or two tents per site. Section D primitive campsites with water spigots, but no electrical hookup. Limit 1 tent per site, restrooms and hot showers available. Sites within the block you choose now are available on a first-come, first-serve basis upon arrival. Please see camper size restrictions HERE and select your block accordingly. Any questions about your campsite please call (502) 509-7310 or email
Alternate Camping and Lodging:
Free, primitive camping is allowed in the Florida District, Perdido Key, Spoil Island (AKA Sand Island). In the Mississippi District, Petit Bois Island, Horn Island, Cat Island and East Ship Island. You will need to obtain a free self-registration camping permit from the entrance station and display it on the dash of your vehicle. For more info: http://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/camping-on-the-islands.htm
Perdido Cove RV Resort and Marina is located waterfront on the Intracoastal Waterway across from Big Lagoon, and it has 56 RV sites. 13770 River Road, 32507, (850) 492-7304 http://perdidocove.com/
You asked for it, you got it! By popular demand, we’re adding free workshops to the Boondoggle agenda. Some will be educational, some just for fun; but there will certainly be something for everyone, whether you’re a kayak angler, a guest, or a kid.
Take a look at some of the topics we’re considering, and send us your requests. We’ll do our best to find an experienced and dynamic presenter for every subject of interest. If you’re a subject matter expert, or know someone who is, let us know! We’re taking bookings for workshops. First considerations are given to our exhibitors and sponsors.
Examples of Topics of Interest to Paddlers:
Kayaking 101: Basic skills & paddle strokes for adults
The Hows & Whys of kayak paddles
Rigging your kayak for fishing
Essential equipment for kayaking
How to choose a kayak that works best for you
Understanding boat design Boat test drives on the water
Examples of Topics of Interest to Anglers:
Fly casting clinic
Lures, rigs & tacklefly fishing
Fishing from a SUP
Fishing & conservation
Preparing your catch
Other Areas of Interest:
How to use a GPS receiver
Examples of Activities for Guests & Kids:
Currents & tides
Water safety & first aid
Local area tours
Sample Workshop Descriptions:
Topwater Bait Clinic
Topwaters are among the most exciting baits you can use. Learn when & where they're most effective, what kind of fish to target, and different techniques for attracting more fish with these colorful baits.
When to Fish
Fish not biting? There really are better times to fish. Did you know that fish are affected by sunlight, warming trends, water depth, storm and weather patterns, wind and tidal flows, typography, geography and season differences? Attend this workshop to learn about the best times to fish and improve your chances of landing the big one.
The Hows & Whys of Kayak Paddles
With all the different kinds of paddles on the market, how do you know which one to buy? Short or long? Symmetrical or asymmetrical? Curved or flat? And what about the materials they’re made of? Different kayak paddles (and the blades) have different effects on the control you have over your kayak. Learn how to choose a paddle for your purposes and body type.
Trip Stories That (Don't) Suck: The Art of Great Adventure Writing
Step inside an editor's office to learn the simple rules of great adventure writing, better blogging, and journals that jump off the page.
Photo clinic: "How'd you get that shot?"
Wouldn't you love to know how to capture better photos of your catch & be proud to post them online? It's a combination of equipment and more importantly, the skills to use it. Learn specific techniques and see examples!
We’ll be updating this page with real scheduled workshops as the Boondoggle gets closer. So check back!
THINGS TO SEE
Gulf Islands National Seashore is the number one attraction in the area, and is just across the water from Big Lagoon State Park. Over 7 miles of pristine virgin white sugar sand beach with no condos or buildings of any kind. The entrance fee $8.00/vehicle, unless you have a National Park card, or a very short paddle across the water. See: http://www.nps.gov/guis/index.htm
National Naval Aviation Museum is the second most popular attraction, and is located just a couple miles down the road from Big Lagoon. Free admission to the Navy base and the museum tours. There is also an Imax Theater and a restaurant making this a great family place to spend several hours. Visit: http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/
Historic Fort Barrancas, constructed between 1839-1844, was one of four forts built to protect the Pensacola Navy Yard. Fort Barrancas sits on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Pensacola Bay. Scheduled tours of Fort Barrancas are daily at 2:00 p.m. and at the British Royal Navy Advanced Redoubt every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Call 850-455-5167 for more information or visit http://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/fort-barrancas.htm
Downtown Pensacola Palafox Street is a major and historic north-south artery in Pensacola offering the opportunity to leisurely stroll in the early evening hours. See where tracks of the Pensacola streetcar system formerly ran and the 9-11 Homage to America memorial, a 12-foot, 10,000 pound archway. Visit Plaza de Luna Waterfront Park and Palafax Pier at the end of the street. There are plenty of places to eat while you’re there. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g34550-Pensacola_Florida.html
Joe Patti’s Fish Market If you don’t keep your catch and want to buy some, go to Joe Patti’s. You’ve never seen a fish market like this one! They offer the best and freshest seafood in the world, a gourmet delicatessen, sushi bar, and a wine shop. Eat in or shipping available, directly to your home. 524 South B Street Pensacola, 32502 (850) 432-3315 http://www.joepattis.com/
Shopping There are a number of outlet malls in Foley, AL which is only about a 20 minute drive down the beach, then North on Hwy 59 about 5 minutes. If you go, be sure to eat at Landry’s where they throw the rolls to you across the restaurant. Wait times there can be long, as it is a big tourist magnet. Good food and value if you like leftovers because you can’t possibly eat all they give you. 2601 S McKenzie St, Foley, AL 36535
PLACES TO EAT
The Oyster Bar and Marina offers a variety of seafood including Grouper, Flounder, Oscar, pecan crusted soft shell crabs, shrimp and grits, bone-in pork chop, and more. It’s just a short paddle across the water or by car. 13700 River Rd Pensacola, FL 32507 (850) 492-5600 http://www.oysterbar31.com/
Shrimp Basket offers a variety of original seafood and local favorites ranging from shrimp, fish, crab claws, and crawfish, po-boys, chicken, and sandwiches for land lovers. 14600 Perdido Key Dr, Pensacola, FL, (850) 492-1970 http://www.shrimpbasket.com
Cactus Flower is a small, intimate, and quaint Mexican restaurant just down the road from Big Lagoon (go East on Gulf Beach Hwy). 3309 Gulf Beach Highway, 32507, (850) 458-3833 http://cactusflowercafe.net/
Lillian's Pan Pizza is handmade and has been featured in several well-known magazines for its excellent quality and taste. They even offer a seafood pizza. 14514 Perdido Key Drive, 32507 (850) 492-0131 http://www.lillianspizza.com/
McGuires Irish Pub and Brewery is a favorite among locals for those late nights on the town because they’re open until 2AM. The menu features an assortment of steaks, seafood, pastas, and pub burgers. On Saturday’s, Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey is $2 from 6 pm to close. 600 E. Gregory St. Pensacola, FL 32502, (850) 433-6789 http://www.mcguiresirishpub.com/
Looking for more information about becoming an Exhibitor? Please call (502) 509-7310 or email
for more information or any any additional questions about the event. We look forward to Boondoggling with you!
Woody Callaway and crew will be on hand with their full lineup of 2014fishing kayaks by Native Watercraft. We are hoping he shows up with a new Propel kayak.
The Official Boondoggle shirt maker RedZone Apparel will be on hand selling a limited number of the Kayak Fishing Boondoggle shirts. They will also have their full line of performance fishing shirt for sale.
Below you will find a list of the most common questions asked about the Boondoggles. If you can't find your answers here feel free to contact us and we'll make sure to do our best to answer your questions.
Question: What the heck is a Boondoggle?
Answer: Our Boondoggles are just large gatherings of kayak fishermen looking to relax, hangout, and fish.
Question: Are there regional Boondoggle's or are they a national thing only once a year?
Answer: Currently we only have two "Official Boondoggles", the Presidents and Columbus Day Boondoggles. You are more than welcome to try and organize your own boondoggle in your area.
Question: How are the boondoggle locations picked?
Answer: The "Official Boondoggle" locations are chosen by YakAngler and KayakFishingRadio. We take many things into consideration when choosing a venue like the availability of ample camping locations, an accessible meeting/event location, and of course great fishing for that time of year.
Question: Is there a way for us to suggest the next location?
Answer: Yes shoot us an email via our contact form and we will take your suggestion into consideration along with the above factors
Question: Is the Boondoggle a tournament or just a gathering?
Answer: Although we have had "Mini Rod" and other fun tournaments at the Boondoggle it's not a tournament. The Boondoggles are just an excuse for kayak fishermen to meed up in a cool new location and hang out and fish.
Question: Are the Boondoggles free?
Answer: Participation in the event is free but other activities like lodging and rentals are not. Not all Saturday Dinners will be fully sponsored so some fees may apply if you decide to eat with the Boondogglers that night.
Question: I attended a Boondoggle and have some photos I'd like to share, how do I do?
Answer: If you would like one of your photos added to one of the Boondoggle photo galleries use this gallery submission form to send it to us.
Presidents Day Weekend 2013 KARS Park, Merritt Island, Florida
Columbus Day Weekend 2012 1st Landing State Park, Virginia Beach Virginia
Presidents Day Weekend 2012 Chokoloskee Island Park, Chokoloskee Florida
Columbus Day Weekend 2011 Mount Pleasant, Charleston, South Carolina
Presidents Day Weekend 2011 Little Talbot Island, Jacksonville Florida