Kayaking on South Padre Island, Texas South Padre Island is a fantastic place to kayak. With a variety of locations and an abundance of wildlife and sites to see, there is something for everyone from novice to expert paddling enthusiasts. And even if you don't have your own boat, there are many places to rent boats for all levels of paddlers and conditions. The following is a list of some of the popular locations to kayak on South Padre Island.
Paddle in the Canals
There are a number of small canal sytems on the bay side of South Padre Island. The sheltered channels are wind and wave free, easily accessible from boat ramps or the street, and can lead beginner paddlers on nice cruises around the Waterfront homes on South Padre Island, without ever being far from shore. Exploring the boat channels around the island is a great beginner paddle. Air Padre Kiteboarding and Watersports Rentals offers Kayak rentals direcly on an excellent canal system, with easy water access and parking.
Paddle in the Laguna Madre Bay
The Laguna Madre is the shallow body of water that separates South Padre Island from the rest of Texas. The huge bay is the largest of the very rare hypersaline ecosystems of the world, and is full of an abundance of fish and wildlife. Renting a kayak and paddling its shallow waters is a great way to experience this national treasure. Glass bottom kayaks offer a great view of the many fishes, rays, jellys, crabs, and occasional dolphin that cruise the bay.
Paddle the South Padre Island Birding Center
South Padre Island and the shores of the Laguna Madre Bay are home to more shorebirds, ducks, and predatory raptors including pergrine falcons, osprey, and white tailed hawks, than any other lagoon system in Texas, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The fifty acre South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center is located on a pristine stretch of bay shoreline which represents a number of the various habitats in the region and attracts many wading, migratory, and predatory bird species. Renting a kayak and paddling into the canals and around the shores of the Birding Center is a great way to observe the wildlife and gain a unique perspective of the ecosystems and wildlife that inhabit them. The Birding Center is just a short paddle from either the Air Padre Kiteboarding and Watersports Rentals boat ramp, or the South Padre Island Convention Center, and is suitable for all levels of the paddlers.
Paddle with Dolphins and Sea Turtles in Dolphin Cove
Dolphin Cove is a sheltered cove at the Southern tip of South Padre Island, and is located at the beginning of the getty that lines the channel where the waters of Gulf of Mexico flow into the shallow Laguna Madre Bay. Numerous dolphin, turtles, rays, and fish frequent the cove, and the best way to see them up close is to be out on the water with them. Kayakers can launch from the shores of the cove and explore the gettys, paddle with the dolphin, or cross the channel to the empty beaches of Boca Chica, a mere few hundred yards away on the other side of the channel. On a calm day Dolphin Cove is suitable for all levels of paddlers, however tidal currents, small swells, and boat traffic coming in and heading out into the Gulf of Mexico are possible hazards. Crossing the channel to Boca Chica is a great trip for experienced kayakers.
Paddle in the Surf
Kayaking in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico can be a great adventure for experienced paddlers. Rolling swell and small breaking waves near shore are fun to surf and challenge your skills in. All ocean beaches on South Padre Island are accessible to kayakers. Surf kayaks are available for rent at Air Padre Kiteboarding and Watersports Rentals which are specifically designed to ride the waves in South Padre, and are a lot of fun for intermediate and experienced paddlers to test their skills in.
The shallow waters of the Laguna Madre are a world class fishery for Speckled Trout, Red Drum, Flounder, and a variety of other gamefish which thrive in the vast underwater beds of seagrass along the bottom of the bay. With some of the best fishing in water depths of less than 4 feet, kayaks are a great tool for accessing the best spots to fish. Anglers can rent regular kayaks or deluxe fishing models complete with storage compartments and rod holders. For anglers serious about fishing in the surf, kayaks can be used to paddle far beyond casting range and drop bait where the big fish cruise. Bull Red Fish, Black Drum, Kingfish, Tarpon, Shark, Tuna, and many other big gamefish are all here just a few hundred yards offshore in the Gulf of Mexico waters off South Padre Island.