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Discussion Starter #1
long story short - we're from richmond, and although all 3 of us are kayak fishermen, we're talking about launching a small, old motorboat at or near the hrbt for some evening fishing one night in the next couple of weeks.

(i, for one, don't have the experience or the equipment to brave that at night in my yak!)

i'm posting this on this board because there are a bunch of us in richmond who kind of fish "vicariously" through you lucky ba$tards, read the reports, and sort of feel comfortable here ...

anyway, we're looking to put the boat in on a friday or saturday afternoon/evening.

by all means, don't need honeyholes, but would like some advice on boat ramps.

i noticed on my gazetteer that there are a few on the hampton side near the bridge-tunnel, and a few on the norfolk side.

any advice as far as hours of operation (public, private, can we park there overnight?) and safety (will our cars be broken into like they are sometimes in richmond?) would be greatly appreciated!

what's the best ramp for what we're trying to do?

thanks, joe
 

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Joe-

As long as the winds are down, a yak is just fine in that area. However, if you're bringing the boat down, a launch from the Norfolk side would be OK...there are a couple of boat ramps on that side whose names escape me at the moment (surely someone will chime in with them). Don't know what you're targeting, but since you're in a boat, if you're not doing the bridge thing exclusively, you could make the short run to what's called the Hampton Bar (inside the bridge, right side between the bridge and the ammo pier) for flatties. The bridge is well lit in case you want to give those yaks a try.
 

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A small old boat? Frist watch out for a strong (much more than 10 knots) SW or NE wind. It can be pretty bad at the HRBT in those conditions.

How small is small? If it is 16 foot carolina skiff small I would think twice about running it across the harbor at night. If it is on the small like a 16 foot aluminimum boat I would not even consider it. If it is a 16 foot john boat I (you might not) would find another boat.

That being said. There are two ramps on the Norfolk side. One is free that I think is open the other is a pay to launch ramp. To get to either take I-64 to through the HRBT. Take the frist exit. Turn right at the bottom of the ramp and follow the street around to the dry storage marina for the pay ramp. Turn left and drive up a block to get to the free ramp. In either case you should be able to easily get over to the bridge. There pretty good light but a spot light used for spotting crab pots comes in handy.

If my figuring is right there ought to be an outgoing tide on Friday and Sat. evening. That is a good thing. Anchor up on the Norfolk side and cast lures into the light line and you should do pretty good. Watch out the current rips through there pretty good so don't bring a wimpy anchor. You want one that will sink down pretty fast.

On the Hampton side there is a city ramp off of Ivy Home Road that puts you out into Hampton River. I can't remember the name of the exact street but there is a boat ramp sign on Ivy Home Road. Go to www.Mapquest.com and search for 100 Ivy Home Rd, Hampton, VA. That should get you near the sign. I suspect that the ramp is on Handy Lane. But I am not sure.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the replies so far, bay daze and tom powers! very helpful!

yeah, the boat we're using is i guess what you might call a "runabout," an old fish/ski type deal, but it's set up pretty good for fishing, and it runs good.

we're not gonna do this unless we get a nice "light and variable" evening, or winds 10 kt or less. we're (hopefully) too old and too smart to push our luck!

thanks again!

-joe

p.s. - any problem parking at these ramps at night? say, launching around 6 pm, coming back around 2 or 3 am?
 

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Don't leave valuables in your car or truck at the free ramp at Ocean View. I have not been broken in in the 10s of times that I have used it over the years but you hear stories from time to time.

Tom
 
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