Dirigo on Joppa Flats?

If you know what I’m talking about: perfect! If not…

I am looking to take my 14 foot Dirigo out onto a protected river flat at it’s mouth. I am a begining paddler. I want to catch stripers. Thoughts?

dead low?

– Last Updated: Jul-01-08 6:21 PM EST –

gave a presentation at that station last summer to the coasties on the diff between sea kayaks and rec kayaks and some of the different things/gear/ways sea kayaks might operate than rec boats. the coasties had more than a few rec and even boats like you're talking about at the station for me to demo with....folks that had been rescued after going out to joppa flats to just do a little striper fishing.....few of those folks never wanted the boats back and that's how the coasties ended up with them on their compound; think some of the guys used them on their time off.

if you're asking the question....you probably know the answer.

river mouths
in general can be rough at certain stages of the tide and at certain wind directions—you want to avoid wind blowing in the opposite direction that the tidal current is flowing. Those conditions can kick up quite a sea.

You said you were going out at dead low tide—how long are you going to be out there and how long will it take to come and go to your fishing spot?—the poster above says it can be a dangerous place for a rec kayak—might want to heed his advice.

I never said any thing
about the tide, dead low or otherwise but yes, I think that I got my answer. There are a lot of guys out there on SOTs though…

dead low

– Last Updated: Jul-01-08 8:38 PM EST –

there is about dry. that was my point.

the thing about it isn't so much what those other folks are paddling as maybe what they can do on em/in em....hopefully.

it isn't the boat that makes you safe...although that helps. it's more what you know and can do.

i don't want to assume anything about your experiences, skills or anything at all and i'm not being judgmental but the thing is, if you need to ask if it's the boat.....you see what i mean?

there are parts where it's very safe and all but if you didn't have the experience to see where it was and was not safe and then maybe got drifted out into the current......things could get hairier than you'd really like.

you might want to concentrate on the fishing or maybe hone some kayak skills before you combine the 2?

plum island kayak, erba...there are resources for maybe taking a class or 2...what about going to an nspn skills session....

just sayin' be careful is all.

good luck with the fish though...guy i know just caught a 40 pounder from his kayak offa...lynn, manchester maybe? thing was enormo....and he had another friend there to help him land it into the boat!

Hey Rick,
Yep: if you have to ask…

I might take some of those classes next year but, honestly, I’m not even at THAT point yet. I’m still practicing on slow rivers and ponds and stuff. I have known guys who have just gone out and bought kayaks to go fishig out in the mouth of the Merrimack and aren’t dead so I was just wondering based on that.

Thanks for the good advice though. And like the Bruins fans say…

knew someone
said something about deadlow—it was rick—

like the bruins fans say…
mr jacobs, is it okay if you at least try to win?

Pick your conditions
I’ve been there in my canoe a few times. You are behind Plum Island for the most part so it’s relatively protected from the ocean swell though it might be exposed to stuff coming from the north east.

In fair, calm weather, around high tide it’s a pretty peaceful place if you don’t mind the comstant power boat traffic.

When the tide is running, especialy around low tide I’d expect it to be more challenging.

I look for calm weather and go within a few hours of high tide. That gives me plenty of marsh to explore out of the boat traffic in easy open canoe type conditions.


Thanks Tommy
you are quickly becoming my personal Guru. I have had a lot of dumb questions since I picked up a paddle this spring and you have always been very helpful to me.

Is this shot of the bridge in Amesbury looking upriver?


Weren’t there a couple of paddlers
who had to be rescued from that area by CG helicopter two years ago? I remembered reading about two experienced kayakers, with high end boats, drysuits, vhf radios etc who decided they wanted to do some rock and roll wave action in that area—They were lucky they had the equipment, particularly the radios and the drysuits as they were knocked out of thier boats by 4–5 foot breakers and both the local harbormaster and the CG were unable to get rescue boats to them due to the seastate—

after about 2 hours in the water they were rescued by helicopter. Caused quite the stir on the North Shore Paddlers Network at the time. I’m pretty sure it was at the mouth of the Merrimack, near Plum Island but could be wrong.

same area but different…
they were actually down in/off of plum island sound…about 5(?) miles or so S of where grumpy is talking about.

yes. it was an interesting write up they did and it is still posted somewhere over on nspn.

2 well seasoned, experienced paddlers (i believe at least 1 was/is an aca coach) with lots of know how and training.

just goes to show you that the ocean will do what she’ll do and the best you can hope for is to either not be there or be as ready as you can. they would be the first to say that they were quite fortunate.

Yes and No
Yes that is the Chain Bridge in front and the Rt 95 bridge behind it.

No I’m no guru. Just a local who has paddled some places you’ve asked about.

NSPN that Rick mentioned above is also local and well worth checking out, even if you only lurk the message board. Their skills sessions are about the best deal going. Good folks paying it forward. http://www.nspn.org/