Hickory Mound launch

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Tallyfins
Posts: 26
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 1:35 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Hickory Mound launch

Post by Tallyfins »

Can anyone tell me if I arrive at Hickory Mound at low tide, will I be able to paddle out via kayak to open water - or should I wait until the tide comes in some so I don't get stuck/have to portage/wade thru mud, etc? Never been there before so looking for a little guidance.

Thanks, TF
StMarksAngler
Posts: 167
Joined: August 16th, 2017, 8:29 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by StMarksAngler »

Hickory Mounds at low tide is no bueno if you don't know what you're doing. Can end up dragging a mile through mud, down the wrong creek mouths. Real easy to get very lost. Make sure you have GPS...

FCKA.net has lots of stories about guys getting stuck/lost for 12+ hours at Hickory Mounds if you're interested in doing some research before you go.
Tallyfins
Posts: 26
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 1:35 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by Tallyfins »

Yikes. Ok. It doesn't look like that far of a paddle, but I believe you. For tomorrow (4/4), low tide is 6:30am and the only High is 1:30pm. What time do you recommend getting there to safely get out and back in before the next low tide (6:45pm)? Thanks for the info. Very much appreciated...
GaryDroze
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Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by GaryDroze »

Alternate opinion: Hickory Mound kayak fishing at low tide was one of the best workouts I have ever experienced. Had I worn a Go Pro, it could have generated a viral fitness video.
StMarksAngler
Posts: 167
Joined: August 16th, 2017, 8:29 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by StMarksAngler »

The first time you go out there, I would plan on trying to be back a good 2hrs before low tide. Worst case scenario, you end up having to drag back to the road through the mud but with 3 hours until sunset. What you absolutely do not want to do, is get stuck out there after dark. Check those stories on FCKA.net, many exhilarating nights have been spent by kayakers out in that marsh.

Another newbie tip. When you get out to open water, do not paddle out of sight of the creek you came out of. Even with GPS I would stay near the creek mouth until you get more comfortable with orienting out there.
RED ZONE 48
Posts: 91
Joined: April 17th, 2009, 2:06 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by RED ZONE 48 »

ATTENTION BOATERS, THE RAMP AT THE HEAD OF THE WACISSA RIVER WILL BE CLOSED TO NON JEFFERSON CO FLORIDA RESIDENTS STARTING SATURDAY APRIL 4 , THIS NOT AN APRIL FOOLS , CHECK OUT THE SHERIFF AND
THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FACE BOOK PAGES.
Tallyfins
Posts: 26
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 1:35 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by Tallyfins »

Thanks for the input everyone. I got out about 2 hours after low tide and got out to open water with no problems. The paddle wasn't as long as I thought it would be. A point of reference I used was some lookout tower East of the creek entrance in the impound area. That helped in guiding me. At different points I could also see the vehicles parked at the launch, so that helped as well. We came back in about 2 hours after high tide and had no problems. Plenty of water. I don't know if this is recent or not, but someone has placed an orange road cone on top of a pole/post right at the mouth of the channel. It sticks well out of the water even at high tide, clearly marking the channel that you want to come back into.
We didn't have any luck fishing but the area is beautiful. I went left out of the channel and my buddy went right. Saw lots of mullet jumping but either we weren't out deep enough or the fish weren't hungry. I talked with another yakker who was about 1/2 mi out from the launch and he said he caught a few. Live and learn a new location :) The anglers fishing from shore weren't having any luck either.

Non-fishing bright spots of the day:
1) I wasn't at home watching the talking heads carry on about COVID19
2) I saw 2 bald eagles circling over head.
3) After I realized what they were and used my portable defib, I watched 2 huge manatees swim around the mouth of the channel near my kayak. There is a deep hole right near the mouth and I think they were hanging out there.

All in all a good day, just no #$%^ fish! :)
Tallyfins
Posts: 26
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 1:35 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by Tallyfins »

RED ZONE 48 wrote:ATTENTION BOATERS, THE RAMP AT THE HEAD OF THE WACISSA RIVER WILL BE CLOSED TO NON JEFFERSON CO FLORIDA RESIDENTS STARTING SATURDAY APRIL 4 , THIS NOT AN APRIL FOOLS , CHECK OUT THE SHERIFF AND
THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FACE BOOK PAGES.
I came back from Hickory Mound via Wacissa and can confirm the boat ramp is closed. They had a big traffic sign up with blinking lights and 2 Sheriff's cars blocking the road. Stay safe everyone!
StMarksAngler
Posts: 167
Joined: August 16th, 2017, 8:29 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by StMarksAngler »

Tallyfins wrote:The paddle wasn't as long as I thought it would be. A point of reference I used was some lookout tower East of the creek entrance in the impound area. That helped in guiding me. At different points I could also see the vehicles parked at the launch, so that helped as well. We came back in about 2 hours after high tide and had no problems. Plenty of water. I don't know if this is recent or not, but someone has placed an orange road cone on top of a pole/post right at the mouth of the channel. It sticks well out of the water even at high tide, clearly marking the channel that you want to come back into.
There's two different routes out, the westerly one is a much shorter paddle than the one to the east. I go west to fish open water and east to fish some of the smaller creeks.

Markers like the cone are very transient at Hickory Mound depending on a number of factors, so just be careful not to become reliant on them. Any time a storm (or drunken idiot) comes through tends to remove anything like that until someone puts a new one up. Same goes for the two port-a-potties that are usually a good visual reference.

Glad you had fun, love it out there. Lots of fish once you get it figured out.
Tallyfins
Posts: 26
Joined: September 3rd, 2019, 1:35 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by Tallyfins »

StMarksAngler wrote:
Tallyfins wrote:The paddle wasn't as long as I thought it would be. A point of reference I used was some lookout tower East of the creek entrance in the impound area. That helped in guiding me. At different points I could also see the vehicles parked at the launch, so that helped as well. We came back in about 2 hours after high tide and had no problems. Plenty of water. I don't know if this is recent or not, but someone has placed an orange road cone on top of a pole/post right at the mouth of the channel. It sticks well out of the water even at high tide, clearly marking the channel that you want to come back into.
There's two different routes out, the westerly one is a much shorter paddle than the one to the east. I go west to fish open water and east to fish some of the smaller creeks.

Markers like the cone are very transient at Hickory Mound depending on a number of factors, so just be careful not to become reliant on them. Any time a storm (or drunken idiot) comes through tends to remove anything like that until someone puts a new one up. Same goes for the two port-a-potties that are usually a good visual reference.

Glad you had fun, love it out there. Lots of fish once you get it figured out.
Thanks for the guidance. It is beautiful out there, minus the #$%^ trash everywhere lol. I'll still take the St. Marks area though. Maybe next time out I'll hit the East route out. I THINK I went that far east the other day and got into some of those creeks. I could see people fishing and crabbing on the bank/landing, but didn't go that far up into the creek. My guess is that's where I was anyway. Definitely heard good things about the area. Now to 'get it figured out' like you said! :)

Stay safe
BloodyChamp
Posts: 310
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 8:18 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by BloodyChamp »

I ended up at HM today just before dark looking for a new place to mullet fish after Goose Pasture was sabotaged by an idiot in a motorboat. He had to have busted his foot off eventually. It’s like 2 feet deep out there lol! I went bream fishing there yesterday and did great, and went back this evening just to try an experiment with the mullet from the bank.

So anyway I left and said what the heck I’ll go to the coast somewhere. It was getting dark and I got out to wet a line real fast and I hung something that was several pounds but very lazylike. Couldn’t have been a Redfish or a Mullet. I know Gar creep into saltwater but in my experience that’s only Alligator Gar which I’ve never seen in the Ecofina. Trout? Hot dang if I lost a Gator Trout I don’t know what I’ll do lol!
Last edited by BloodyChamp on April 23rd, 2020, 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
mpa_72001
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Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by mpa_72001 »

u fishing around a culvert or off one of the docks?ive caught a bunch of trout and reds down there when I time it right.
BloodyChamp
Posts: 310
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 8:18 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by BloodyChamp »

It was near 1 of the docks. I’ve also heard stories of good stuff being caught when the time is right. Another possibility is that I snagged a mullet that didn’t know he was hooked but that’s not my first guess. This had the impact and initial resistance of a strike. The fight was just kind of lazy like a Gar or a pond bass or something lol! Trout aren’t exactly the wildest fight either, but definitely not what I’d call lazy. But definitely not in the same league as a Redfish. O well...can’t wait to go back. I’ll toss the mullet chum out then walk around fishing.

Are there fish in those culverts? This is actually my 2nd encounter with a monster at Hickory Mound. Once before I chucked a lure while crabbing with my folks just to see how far I could throw it and and it landed right on something gigantic and spooked it. Looked like somebody threw dynamite in the water lol!
BloodyChamp
Posts: 310
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 8:18 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by BloodyChamp »

12-31-20

I went to HM today to wet a line for the first time since summertime. I have a few more questions about fishing and the original purpose of this thread, launching/boating.

Do they only bite cut bait or live bait in the winter time? I think I told the story in another thread but I went back more than once last summer with Gulps and sleighed them. Today they didn’t want them, and it wasn’t because they weren’t biting. I could see them chasing the Pinfish and lil Mullet in the clear part of the water :o :o :o I finally caught 1 with a piece of cut bait somebody else had left behind.

Now about boating. Is there a reason why I never see anybody there in a boat, even though there are always vehicles at the landing? The way those fish swim all the way to the swamp line, it seems like more people would be seen there on the marsh line. Maybe people don’t launch just to go 75 yards? They do at Mandalay lol!

Also has anybody here ever slid a kayak or a small boat in at that point where you first see the ocean when you come in from the Jefferson County side? That looks like an easier paddle than from the ramp.

I also saw more big mullet jumping than I’d ever seen today. Another guy was fishing probably 30 yards from me and he wasn’t exactly sleighing them, but he did catch a Redfish big enough to keep (mine was just short) and 4 or 5 small Trout. He had live shrimp.
Burning daylight
Posts: 8
Joined: September 3rd, 2018, 3:05 pm

Re: Hickory Mound launch

Post by Burning daylight »

I fish out of HM all the time in my 14ft aluminum v-hull starcraft and never really had any problems launching but it can get really shallow on low tide but so can my boat I've grown to like it more than any other ramp in the area normally I'm the only boat there besides a few kayaks the only thing I don't like is that long ride down the roughest road in Jefferson county/Taylor county pretty much need an front end alignment afterwards but it's worth it I've done pretty good down there and as far as bait I would fish suspending plugs or live shrimp this time of year
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