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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be taking my family from Maryland down to Kiptopeke in June to celebrate the end of school and we were hoping to try to launch out of Oyster one day to explore the back bays and maybe catch a few fish near the inlet. I have read on these boards that the navigation is tricky, but I would love to hear from someone who has first-hand experience. We will be in a 21 foot cuddy that draws just under 2 feet with the motor elevated - closer to three feet with the motor down. Obviously watching the tide is critical - but is there a trustworthy channel we can rely upon?

I know that most of you don't want some Marylander invading your turf, but it's gonna be OK...I'm not that great a fisherman. :pp

Thanks for any help you can offer - Mac
 

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I was down there a couple of weeks ago and the channel out of Oyster is well marked just go slow. Now there is another cut that heads down the coast called Mockhorn Channel. We took that down to Upper Magothy bay and ended up grounded in my Parker. We have about the same depth requirements for our boats. I didn't make it.

Water Sky Cloud Watercraft Vehicle


The day after we grounded we were fishing in the cut channel near Wise Point and saw a Virginia Game and FIsh boat grounded also. Talked with the operator who said it was quite common to get grounded in the area and he was just going to wait out the tide. We had done the same thing.

Best advice is don't go faster than you want to hit something and you should be Ok. Slow is the way to go!

Steve
 

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The main channel leading out to the islands is well marked. People get grounded when they cut across the flats or lose sight of the markers. GPS is a must because the area looks completely different during high versus low tides and you could easily get lost
 

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Aren't the creeks on the inside part of the inner coastal? If so the markers are reversed...keep that in mind...
 

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Leaving Oyster the markers are easily visible. Do not cut any points or try and shorten the ride. Follow the channel markers and get a good map of the eastern shore. Carry a compass in case you lose your gps. It looks totally different at high and low tide. If you get lost you are in for a long night with man eating green heads and skeeters. You wont make it out alive. If you make it to the inlet and beach your boat to walk around and beach comb, do not, do not, do not take your eye off of your boat. It will be floating in 3ft of water, and 10 minutes later the nearest drop of water will be 50' away. Have fun.
 

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[QUOTE="home cookin';2774841 The markers are now historical markers.[/QUOTE]

That is a great line. 😀
 

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Go on a rising tide is probably the best advice. Main channel leaving oyster isn't bad at all... Nor is running straight out to Cobb/Wreck or Sand Shoal Inlet. Cheat south when running out... Or just try to go marker to marker till you're out in Cobb bay.

If you're going to run south very much, I'd spend the extra 15 minutes in the car and $10 and use the Wise Point ramp rather than Oyster.

Seaside eats props and impellers like that's it's job. Just try not donate your prop to a clam bed. Tends to anger the fella who planted em. Most beds are marked with 3/4" PVC. Sometimes just the corners of leases.
 

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Going on a rising tide is good advise... starting out at dead low will give you a good picture of where the shoals are too. DO NOT run with your engine tilted up... if you do run that way, when you DO run aground (and chances are you will... just a matter of time over there), you won't be able to trim up your motor to get off the bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Guys, thank so much for your generosity in sharing your local knowledge! There is no substitute for first hand (and in this case, clearly hard-earned) experience. My family and I deeply appreciate it.

Have a terrific weekend! Mac
 

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You can also order the GMCO Virginia Barrier Island map on line. Worth every bit of the $10 price. It is awesome. Very detailed but remember that the barrier islands change every year so only use it as a general guide.
 

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Let me third the gps comment. If you don't have one on boat, stay ashore. I had no trouble getting to inlet but did find the ramp extremely slippery. My friend hit pretty hard. That was last year but be aware.
 

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You can also order the GMCO Virginia Barrier Island map on line. Worth every bit of the $10 price. It is awesome. Very detailed but remember that the barrier islands change every year so only use it as a general guide.
I started exploring down here in 2007. This is a great map to have and well worth the $10. If you can't find it online stop at SeaHawk Sports on Rt 13 south of Pocomoke on the way down or you can pick one up at Daytrippers Canoe & Kayak outfitters in Onancock or Wachapreague. Experience (and a scuffed bottomed Whaler) would second the suggestion of using the Wise Point Ramp. Like everyone here has reference, go slow. It is easier to get off the edge of an oyster bar than it is to have to navigate 20' off the middle. GPS is a must.
No need to be afraid, just be smart, cautious and patient. You will be rewarded. Have a safe trip!
 
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