About Florida Paddle Notes

Enjoy your next paddle with Florida Paddle Notes!

image-james-sidebar-about-usOne of the best things about getting on Florida waterways in my kayak ‘Stumpknocker’ is the ability to explore the scenery up close and personal.  It’s nice to get to those hard to reach spots or shallow side trips other boats can’t access. I love being close to mother nature and Florida Paddle Notes is all about exploring the natural beauty of these different habitats.

Hi, I’m James Steele and welcome to Florida Paddle Notes. I grew up in Miami Florida in the 50’s and 60’s and was always around the water. The Florida Keys, The Everglades, the many beaches and waterways throughout South Florida were my backyard. Consequently, at 17, I bought my first Mohawk canoe and started to expand my paddling adventures. Slowly, I made my way up the state venturing out on new and exciting waterways.

Things all changed…

In 1972 I purchased 5 acres in a very rural subdivision called Rum Island Estates, just outside of High Springs, Fl . The property, located on sandy Rum Island Road, was a short walk to a gorgeous spring called Rum Island Spring, right on The Santa Fe River! Needless to say I was in heaven! Back then the spring was rarely visited except by the few locals.  It was there, on the Santa Fe River,

The Ichetucknee River
The Ichetucknee River

that I took my love for paddling to another level.. Almost daily, I explored the Santa Fe River and the numerous springs along its journey to the Suwannee River. Many warm sunny days were also spent exploring the pristine 6 miles of the Ichetucknee River, yet to be a state park, as it flowed into the Santa Fe.

Now, 47 years later, I am retired and still enjoy being on the waters of Florida. With Florida Paddle Notes I want to combine my love for the water, my interest in photography, horticulture and nature to help make your next adventure on the water a bit more interesting. I hope you enjoy this site and perhaps I will see you on one of Florida’s amazing waterways!

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Meet Stumpknocker…

Before 2014, I never liked kayaks. Sitting in them simply killed my back. I always had a canoe and also a Gheenoe with a motor. My partner happened to have both a sit in kayak as well as a sit-on-top kayak here at The Cove. One day I decided to give kayaking another try. The sit-in kayak tracked well but being inside limited my space for camera equipment and of course a cooler. The sit-on-top was another story. The openness and space it offered was appealing to me and I practiced paddling on the lake more frequently. Thirty minutes was still my limit before my back gave out. As a result of continued practice I decided it was time to purchase my own yak!

Knowing absolutely nothing about kayaks, I googled ‘ popular, mid-priced kayaks ‘ and bingo, up popped the Perception Pescador. I read numerous positive reviews and the price was right…sold!

My Perception Pescador Angler 12′ Sit-On Kayak is a stable, easy to paddle kayak. It is fully rigged for fishing and photography and the hull design makes for great tracking on lakes or rivers. The extra large cockpit opening provides plenty of room to work with my photography equipment and offers easy entry and exit.



Length 12’ ~ Height 15” ~ Weight ( without equipment ) 64 lbs ~ Capacity 350 lbs.


Keepers foot brace system ~ Bow hatch, center and stern day hatches and a stern tankwell with bungee ~ Comfort carry handles ~ Paddle Park ~ Scotty Portable Camera Mount and extender ~ Scotty Baitcaster Rod Holder ~ Scotty Bait Accessory Table ~ 2 Flush Mount Rod Holders ~ 3.5 lbs Anchor w/Cleat ~ Targus Extending monopod with GoPro Mount ~ Pijio Coccyx Orthopedic Comfort memory Foam Seat Cushion

Now into my 5th year kayaking, I am able to remain in my kayak, with adjustments, up to 5 hours without much problem!

Stumpknocker on the Smokehouse Prairie
Stumpknocker on the Smokehouse Prairie