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I've kayaked a small amount in lakes and some of the intercoastal. When I say small amount I mean like 10 times. 8 times in a lake and once or twice on the intercoastal. I'm new to fishing out of the yak and basically a novice when it comes to doing it in the salt. I was wondering if someone could recommend great places to build my skills up that are good for beginners. From what I've read "the basin" seems like a good place to start. I was also wondering about the backside of Topsail. That place looks pretty safe from a newbie's eye as long as you stay clear of the inlet. I've seen the water rip during a outgoing tide like a class 5 river.

I'd love any advice someone can give. If anyone would like to fish together I'd be game for that too. I pretty much release all I catch because I don't really like the taste of fish. I'd be happy to let anyone have what I catch.
 

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If by "the basin" you are referring to the turning basin in Morehead that's absolutely not a good place to start out. It's not even all that great for an advanced kayaker simply because of all the boat traffic and the strong currents that run through. Pick a town and hit the marsh. That's about as safe as it gets. I was new to kayaks a year ago. I put it in the water at the coast and started paddling. Five minutes into the first trip it felt like I had been doing it all of my life. If you're uneasy about it go with a buddy and wear a PFD and you will be fine. Good luck and be sure to post a report.
 

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If you really just want to get some experience on the water put in at Taylor's Creek and paddle over to Carrot island. It's easily doable by yourself and you can drag your kayak if necessary. I wouldn't venture into the turning basin in a kayak. Not saying you can't but that area is extremely busy with large ships pushing wakes.
 

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Call or visit tackle shops near area you want to go. They can tell you where access is for put ins, suggest some lures, and such. Several good spots near and at Blue Point Marina on Oak Island. Get out and fish the marsh areas, not much to worry about. Just put in at Blue Point and paddle right. That takes you up a nice area that is off main ICW, no or little boat traffic. Also, will take you by another public access area, concrete ramp, just can't recall street number. It's 1/4-1/2 mile up from Blue Point Marina. Nice area. Several other options on Oak Island, stop by tackle shop at airport, which is just before bridge going over to Oak Island.


Dan
 

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The basin at fort fisher is probably the best bet. I'm fairly new as far as inshore kayaking goes and I love it. You have access to a lot of marshes too and some good fishing. I would definitely NOT recommend topsail as a beginners place. People love to speed through and throw up some wakes. and definitely don't start out at the south end. Done it in a canoe before and it gets scary when the current gets bad. It is a lot worse then it looks. I enjoyed shell rock also but you have to cross the intercoastal to get to the marsh. It isn't at all a bad crossing as far as ICW goes but I could see it being intimidating for your first or second time. I would definitely start at the fort and then move on to shell rock and then topsail once you are more comfortable. Just another inshore yak Noob's two cents.
 

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If you put in at Hammocks Beach State Park and cross the ICW (5 minutes of hard paddling...there is an island that you can sit by to ensure no large boats are coming). Once across you can stay close to the white paddle trail markers and not get lost. It's fine for beginners as there is little boat traffic in the marshes. There is also excellent fishing. In addition, the park has very cool ramps that allow you to enter the water without getting wet.
 

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If you put in at Hammocks Beach State Park and cross the ICW (5 minutes of hard paddling...there is an island that you can sit by to ensure no large boats are coming). Once across you can stay close to the white paddle trail markers and not get lost. It's fine for beginners as there is little boat traffic in the marshes. There is also excellent fishing. In addition, the park has very cool ramps that allow you to enter the water without getting wet.
Agree, plus the mouth of Queens creek is right there. Fairly easy paddle to the bridge from there with some nice oyster rock structure all along the way. Be aware that the tides in the ICW and the marsh creeks to the south toward Bear / Brown's Islands can be very strong. Not dangerous, but coming back to Hammocks on a falling tide will give you a workout. Be careful crossing the ICW. Lots of big boats headed N. from Florida and the usual traffic of sportfishers & bay boats now that the season has kicked off.
 

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Red X Angler
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Agree, plus the mouth of Queens creek is right there. Fairly easy paddle to the bridge from there with some nice oyster rock structure all along the way. Be aware that the tides in the ICW and the marsh creeks to the south toward Bear / Brown's Islands can be very strong. Not dangerous, but coming back to Hammocks on a falling tide will give you a workout. Be careful crossing the ICW. Lots of big boats headed N. from Florida and the usual traffic of sportfishers & bay boats now that the season has kicked off.
Very true...last October I solo paddled a canoe with 400 pounds of gear to Bear Island on that trail against the breeze AND tide. It about killed me.
 

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If you don't mind spending a little cash, NCPIERman (on this site) runs guided trips in the swansboro area. Would be a great way to learn 6 months worth of trial and error in a single day.

He's very affordable and I've seen great reports from his customers. I plan to take a trip with him in the near future.
 
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