ICW to Redfish Pass to Gulf

The chart looks tricky to me and I can't find anything written. What's the scoop? My boat draws 32". Thank you.


  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    That is probably one of the most tricky parts of the west coast to me. I have grounded many times there until lately when I first started using a chartplotter. If you are coming from Sanibel just follow the ICW until you get close to Redfish pass. once you get near it you will see a channel marker that marks a narrow and very needed channel to get you to redfish pass. The channel goes diagonal toward south seas plantation (that tip of Captiva right there) and the channel eventually goes parallel about 10-20 yards off of Captiva. I would recommend buying the Navionics app on your phone (its like 15 bucks but worth it) and study the charts before you go. You can see the channel from the charts on the app. Also be careful around the power poles if you are coming from Sanibel. They don't mark the channel really well there and its very easy to head off the channel and end up in the shallow grass beds there. Heres a pic I did for you. Thin red line is the ICW, thick red line is the cut off channel to RFP. Circled blue areas are areas to be highly careful in, choke points and basically where the channel narrows pretty bad.

  • nobrainsnobrains Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Finsfan thank you! I apologize, I thought I had replied to your post earlier. I have that app you mentioned, and the same thing on my desktop pc. You actually answered the exact question I had...is "the channel" the one that goes by South Seas.

    Here's the other question....once I'm in the pass the markers are as pictured I guess...the black arrows are pointing to trouble for me, is the channel dredged there even though the chart shows differently?
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,702 Moderator
    There is a shoal at your black arrow, near the beach is a deeper cut not a dredged passage. it looks to me that the markers on your chart are not right. i would just follow a boat near your size out the first time..I run the pass all the time at a low tide shoals will be out of the water.
    take care
  • nobrainsnobrains Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Thanks larry.

    I've done it in a shallower draft boat and did what you said, followed a bigger boat in. The app on my phone has the markers in the same spot...of course it's navionics too so no wonder. I've seen some written descriptions of how to get in from the gulf and they don't sound like what I see on the chart.

    I just checked the NOAA chart and it has the markers in the same spots.

    South Seas directions say get 1 mile west of the channel and find green marker #1. With that to port head 90 degrees east until you're through the pass then turn south along the sea wall etc. An I just called South Seas marina and the dockmaster confirmed the instructions. I said I just want to be sure, and, "I know you know the chart looks like I'll ground in 2'.." and he said ignore the charts, just follow the markers. :hairraiser I'm pretty sure that will be me the first time through.
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    Yeah at low tide you can't get over that. Just follow the pass directly west for about a mile. It is easier when you are there as you can clearly see the sandbars and the breaking waves on them.
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