Interesting Things About Siesta Key Beach

Facts about Siesta Key Beach

Did You Know This About Siesta Key Beach?

It’s no secret that one of the biggest reasons Sarasota is so popular for tourists are the beautiful, white sandy beaches that make up the majority of Sarasota’s coastal borders. With temperatures reaching 90+ degrees in the summer months and barely dipping below the 70 degree mark in the winter, Sarasota is a truly a year-round paradise. Of all the beaches within Sarasota, none surpass the beauty and exquisite sunsets of Siesta Key Beach. Voted the nation’s #1 beach in 2001, Siesta Key continues to draw more visitors every year. With sugary-white sand that remains cool to the touch, crystal clear blue water and plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family, Siesta Key is a fantastic location to get away from the everyday pressures of life, kick back and relax.

Here are some interesting facts about Siesta Key that you may not know:

siesta key beach

What’s your favorite thing about Siesta Key Beach?

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Ocean Kayak Fishing

Ocean Kayak Fishing – An Exciting and Fun-Filled Sport

The concept of ocean kayak fishing has truly gained a lot of popularity and is being accepted as a fun-filled and adventurous sports activity.  Before you venture out on your first kayak fishing trip, you need to be prepared and have some basic knowledge of fishing from a kayak, as well as the right kayak and gear in order to have a safe and productive trip.

Ask for expert advice before you buy kayak equipment and when you do buy, make your purchase from a professional company.  I do not advise buying a kayak or kayak fishing equipment online.  It is important to know what type of water your will be kayaking in when buying your kayak and gear.  In addition, if you are a beginner, exercise caution when going kayak fishing.  Ask for help from experts and kayak trainers when doing so.

Proper Equipment for your Fishing Adventure 

Some of the basic kayak fishing gear includes a compass, paddle leash, safety gear, spare clothes and, of course, bailers.  A first aid kit is also a must have.  Don’t forget to take your whistle, flares and a torch in case you lose your way.  Other ocean kayak fishing gear includes a rod holder and fish finder.  Make sure to fish in shallow waters when you are a beginner.  Later, when you gain more confidence, you can try out the deep waters.

In the past, kayaks were built for fishing in coastal and inland waters.  Kayaks were known as the hunter’s boat and were built with a simple wooden framework. Later, when the sport became popular, a lot of new technology, additions and alterations were made.  Today, kayaks are made of carbon fiber, fiberglass and even plastic.

Kayaks for Inland Fishing and Coastal Fishing

There are two different types of kayaks specifically used for  fishing.  One style has the fisherman sitting inside the kayak and the other has him/her sitting on top of the kayak.  If you are going to go sea fishing, it is advised to go for the S.O.T. kayaks as the water can be easily exited and the paddler finds it easier and hassle free.  Make sure to get appropriate training before venturing out into the sea so that you know what to expect and know how to respond.  Check out the sea conditions and local weather before venturing out for ocean kayak fishing. Last but not the least; go out in a sturdy kayak with good quality kayak equipment and gear.  It’s worth it for your safety and security Now you’re prepared! Have fun out there and catch some fish!

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Kayak Safety and Precautions

Kayak Safety: 5 Things You Need to Know

Kayaking is a rewarding experience. If you have adequate navigational and paddling skills, as well as loads of common sense, you can go ahead and enjoy this sport to your heart’s content.  However, no matter how experienced you may be a comprehensive review on kayak safety and precautions is always a great way to start your kayaking ventures. In this article, we’ve listed the 5 most important kayak safety tips and precautions to keep in mind while on a kayak holiday.

1.) The Kayak Equipment
Before you even plan for a kayaking trip, check if your kayak is in good condition and your paddles are sturdy. The skirt should fit you and your kayak. There should be plenty of secure buoyancy and don’t forget to bring your life-jacket, the most important part of kayak safety. Your clothing should be suitable according to the weather conditions of the place where you intend to go as well as the water temperatures. You should also have signaling devices, flares, a bilge pump and self-rescue aids. Remember to bring a compass, water bottle, maps and charts.

2.) Learn About Hypothermia
Hypothermia is one of the biggest dangers for sea kayakers. Therefore, read about the conditions in the area you plan on kayaking before you go. You should be wearing appropriate clothing and sufficient insulating garments when kayaking in cold water. You need to dress according to the water temperature.

3.) Wind and Currents
One should avoid paddling on windy days, as a strong wind can create fatigue very quickly.  People don’t realize, but a little headwind can separate two kayakers in seconds.  It can also slow you down and make it difficult for you to turn.  Avoid kayaking in foggy conditions as well as it can lead to complete disorientation.  Likewise, you need to be careful about the currents.  Strong currents can also quickly take you off course, but are harder to notice than wind. Make sure you read the weather forecast before you go out.

4.) Avoid Going Alone
It is always advisable to go in a group or at least let your family and friends know exactly where you pan to go kayaking.  Always carry kayak safety equipment and a waterproof bag.

5.) Watch Out for Crowds
Don’t assume that you can be easily seen by other ships, powerboats, tugboats or float planes. It is important to make yourself visible. Cross those shipping lanes fast and only at right angles. Don’t underestimate the speed of bigger ships.

Keep the above kayak safety tips and precautions in mind before you go kayaking or plan your next adventure. It’s better to be prepared with the necessary items and knowledge that even the most advanced kayakers require, ensuring a great time and plenty of fun with safety as the number one priority. Happy kayaking!

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Different Types of Kayaks

sea kayaks

Understanding the Different Types of Kayaks

If you are a water person, then you probably love kayaking and might even be thinking of buying a kayak. Before you do so, there are some things you should know. Buying or renting a suitable, quality kayak is not like picking groceries off the shelves of a store. There are different types of kayaks to suit different needs. Here are 3 different types of kayaks so help you with your buying decisions.

Recreational Kayaks

recreational kayaks

There is the recreational kayak, which is best suited for a vacation. This type of kayak is best for a quiet, relaxing cruise on the water. It is usually used in calm waters, but can be taken out into the ocean. People use this type of kayak for fishing, photography or simply to enjoy the water with family. These kayaks are made of polythene and have a large exit and entry with limited storage capacity. They are the most common type of kayak and the cheapest. Of all the different types of kayaks, a recreational kayak is a great way to get acquainted with the sport.

Sea Kayaks

sea kayaks

The sea kayak is another variety of kayak and it is more suitable for the vast ocean. It can be made for one, two or even three paddlers! This kayak is more suited for those who are a bit more adventurous and love to explore the sea. They are made of a number of different materials but polythene is the main material, as it is lightweight and durable. When you are on the sea you need something to stabilize the kayak against the waves, so this kayak also comes with rudders. The sea kayak is mostly used for touring purposes.

Surf Kayaks

surf kayaks

Then there is the surf kayak. As the name suggests this kayak is best suited for surfing through the water. It has a flat bottom and hard edges to help keep it smoothly cutting through the water. There are many places where surf kayaking is very popular and these types of kayaks can be used in these places. They are made of light, yet sturdy materials to help withstand all the cuts and bruises they take from the surf.

And that’s not all. There are many different types of kayaks for different purposes, such as kayak tours. So, what are your kayaking goals?

How to Paddle a Kayak

proper kayak paddling technique

How To Paddle a Kayak with Proper Technique

Is not knowing how to paddle a kayak keeping you from enjoying the water? Considering the wide variety of kayak lengths and styles that are available, many people make the assumption that the only way to have an enjoyable kayaking experience is by making the right choice of kayak. While it is true that the kayak shape, length and style are significant, it is also essential to learn the right paddling techniques for your situation. Controlling the kayak comes with the application of the right stroke at the right time and in the right direction. Making the right choice of technique can be helpful in reducing fatigue and allowing you to be able to travel more efficiently.

How to Paddle a Kayak Using the Whitewater Technique:

whitewater kayak paddlingThis technique, as the name rightly suggests, is for use in uncertain, choppy waters and involves inserting the paddle blades at angles of almost 90 degrees to the water surface and then pulling it out once the shaft reaches the level of your torso. It should be kept in mind here that the blade shouldn’t be allowed to slip behind you. The whitewater technique is generally used with short paddles as long paddles would make the kayak turn at every stroke, thereby making it hard to move along a straight line. This technique is used often by professionals.

How to Paddle a Kayak Using the Touring Technique:

proper kayak paddling techniqueThis technique is generally used in calm waters for traveling long distances. Here, the blade is to be inserted into the water at an angle that is shallow and nearly horizontal. The strokes stop right behind your torso. This technique is effective in covering long distances without much physical exertion. Long strokes are a better technique for touring the waters in and around Sarasota Bay.

Long kayaks may also be used or even those that have a built-in way of maintaining directional stability, for example, a rudder or keel would be a good choice to make for this technique.

How to Paddle a Kayak Using the Pushing Technique:

how to paddle a kayak properlyRemember, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That means that lifting the non-paddling arm and pushing it forward is just as important as dipping and pulling with the paddling arm. The pushing technique can be a great way of reducing fatigue while increasing the efficiency of paddling. While pulling back on the paddle end that is inserted in the water, you will have to push forward using the hand that is on the opposite paddle end that remains in the air. This way, the push exerted by your torso will produce about %75 of  the force behind each paddle, leaving the arms to provide only %25. That way it is easier to move forward without too much physical exertion. I recommend that everyone on my kayak tours use this technique. It is highly effective.

Do you have paddling techniques of your own? Let us know how you paddle by leaving your comment below.

Kayak Rentals in Sarasota Florida

kayaks along the beach front of lido key

Kayak Rentals For Some Sarasota Fun!

Are you ready to hit the bay? How about taking a relaxing leisurely float down one of the many river routes that empty into gorgeous Gulf of Mexico? Maybe you have always wanted to go to Anna Maria Island, or see Longboat Key? Do any of these strike your fancy? If so, then kayak rentals and adventure might just be the perfect thing for you. If you aren’t sure how to go about planning the perfect kayaking trip, consider finding a good Sarasota kayak rental company first. A company that will not only provide you with the perfect transportation to enjoy scenic Florida, but will also plan your route for maximum enjoyment.

kayaks used for our kayaking tours
Kayaks all lined up under the Florida Sun

Planning your adventure is what renting a kayak from Bay and Gulf Adventures is all about. We will come up with the route that fits both your personality and desires, so that you experience the best kayaking trip ever. Whether it’s a tour of Lido Key and Siesta Key, or exploring the exotic mangrove tunnels, we can help you plan the perfect trip. It all starts with choosing the best Sarasota kayak rentals the Sarasota Bay area has to offer.

Sarasota, Florida is a hotbed for kayak rentals and there are a lot of different companies that will rent you a kayak, help you plan your trip or take you on guided tours. Then, there is going at it alone, renting a kayak without the aid of a company, without a plan and just winging it. While that can be fun, it can also make for some unforeseeable mishaps. The possibility of getting lost is very real, as is encountering dangerous wildlife. So, when it comes to having the perfect kayaking trip, you are much better off if you plan it out with a seasoned expert who knows where the best spots to see Sarasota’s wildlife, plant life and sea creatures are.

Sarasota kayaking tour guide Scott Whitehead
Me and my truck!

Bay and Gulf Adventures offers an array of  kayak rentals in Sarasota and is the best place to start your kayaking vacation. We will help you with all of the necessary arrangements so that you have memories that will last a lifetime.

How to Choose a Kayaking Tour Company

kayaks along the beach front of lido key

Planning your own vacation can be stressful, let a professional kayaking tour provider help!

Imagine gliding through the waves in beautiful Sarasota Florida, the water rushing around you while you enjoy the fresh Florida sunshine. There is a reason why this is called the sunshine state! Enjoy beautiful scenery as you kayak down a river that empties into the Gulf of Mexico or among the islands and channels of Sarasota Bay. Figuring out the best trip, the most enjoyable kayaking vacation, is a matter of choosing the right company. Not all kayak companies are the same.

kayaks along the beach front of lido key
Kayaks used for tours lined up on beach.

If you are planning a vacation to Florida, hiring a good kayaking touring company can add to your vacation. There are some great locations throughout Sarasota Florida that you should definitely see on your kayak tour, these include Lido Key and Siesta Key. There are other locations like the Myakka River/Carlton Trail that are also wonderful kayaking tours in the Sarasota area.  You can plan your own tour, however you will still need to rent kayaks and unless you are intimately aware of the Kayak trails throughout Sarasota, it would be better to hire a company that can plan out the perfect trip for you.

Kayaking in Sarasota is a great way to relax and unwind, it gives you a chance to experience the beautiful Florida wild life, to breathe in that fresh air and spend some time enjoying the natural surroundings. Figuring out the best trails for your enjoyment is what the kayak tour companies do. They get to know you and what you would like then set you up with the perfect kayak adventure.  Sarasota has so much to offer, the wildlife that inhabits the areas on various kayaking tours include Dolphins, Manatee’s, exotic birds, and fish.

Osprey Near Robert's Bay, Sarasota
Osprey Near Robert’s Bay, Sarasota

Planning a vacation can be stressful, however it doesn’t have to be if you work with trained professionals who knows and understands the area that you want to visit.  A professional can help you make the most of your vacation by planning out the perfect kayaking adventure for you. Whether you are hitting the mangrove tunnels or just enjoying a leisure trip down one of the rivers they can figure out exactly what will work best for you and your family; helping to achieve the perfect vacation that you will remember for years to come. With all the sights and sounds of Sarasota calling you, a kayak adventure might just be the best way to go.

Saturday Kayaking Adventure

Saturday Kayaking Adventure with Cormorants!

On Saturday I went kayaking with a group of 7 people.  2 families.  4 adults and 3 children.  It was a beautiful day!  We couldn’t have asked for better weather after all the rain here last week :(

We went kayaking around Sarasota Bay, Lido Key to be exact.  We launched from South Lido County Park and kayaked around Otter Key.

One of our first wild visitors was a cormorant.  These amazing birds have evolved into better swimmers than fliers.  They have undeveloped oil glands which mean their feathers becomes saturated in water and they can glide through the water more easily.

looking out over the water of lido key
Lido Key Launch Site

They love to swim all around our kayaks because when we are in shallow water our oars scare fish that live in the sea grasses that are only 1 or 2 feet below us.  When we scare the fish out of the grass the cormorants zip underwater to catch the fish.  It’s really cool to watch actually because they swim all around, under, and in between our kayaks looking for fish.  When they catch one they come to the surface, flip the fish around, and swallow it whole!

Cormorants can dive up to 100 feet.  They are present in most parts of the world and they are expert fishermen.

After some of the cormorants swimming around us had caught their fill, they flew into some nearby norfolk pines where we could hear them feeding their young.  It was really cool to see Nature at work.

Stay posted for the best part of our Saturday kayaking adventure coming up next!


Kayak Rentals in Sarasota

kayaking shot front of boat in sarasota

Need A Kayak Rental?

For those looking for a more personalized kayaking experience Scott will recommend some of the best launch sites in the area and deliver the kayaks to you.

Go exploring! Some of our favorite spots in Sarasota Bay are the bird rookeries of Robert’s Bay, the dolphin sightings of the Jim Neville Nature Preserve, the alligators of Myakka State Park, and of course, the beautiful mangrove tunnels of Lido Key.

But don’t let that limit you! Design your own tour with Scott’s help. Just be careful out there and bring lots of water and sunscreen.

Book today or call us at (941)893-7221.