High Water Kayaking

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Sat, 09/19/2009 - 02:06.
highwaterkayaking.jpg

There is something to be said for ignoring the clouds if you are comfortable with getting a little wet.

This morning we had a very high tide.  High tides can cause damage especially during storms, but this high tide came at a time when we had no winds or storms.

I could not resist the call of the high water because the other thing that a high tide does is let you get to places that you normally might not be able to visit because there is not enough water.

A high tide is like increased sea level from global warming except that it does not hang around for very long.

After I had determined that the sputtering precipitation was likely to remain light, I quickly grabbed everything that I needed for a trip out on the White Oak.

In my case, I take my life vest, a fishing rod with a top water plug, a couple of extra plugs, a camera, my cell phone and a few emergency items.  All the small things go into my yellow floating bag that is always with me whether I am in the kayak or at the helm of our skiff.

Because of the high water, pushing off was a little harder than normal.  The small incline which makes it easy to slide into the water was actually under water.  Still it was simple to get in the water and underway.  Before leaving I set things up for my return.

That means that I hooked a tow strap to our pickup truck and placed it close to where I planned to bring the kayak back ashore.  When I get the bow of the kayak back on land, my wife hooks it to the truck and pulls me in the last six to eight feet.  That way I exit the kayak without getting wet.

It may sound complicated but it is very easy and much safer than exciting on the neighborhood boat ramp.

As I paddled off, I was amazed at the amount of water brought in by the high tide.  Only once have I seen the water higher than this, and it was during a storm.

As I rounded the corner of Raymond's Gut, the whole marsh area to the south of our main channel was flooded and very accessible by kayak.  I paddled in there, explored a little, took a picture of a kingfisher, and headed back to the Inlet.

I actually fished my way out of the Inlet.  Just as I was making my last few casts, a skiff with two fishermen started working the other side of the Inlet.

I headed out into the White Oak and worked a grassy point which has to be one of the fishest places around.  I was fishing on top of the water with plugs.  I had started with a Jitterbug that is over 50 years old and later switched to a highly recommend Rapala top water plug with rattles  My first two plugs had produced no luck, so I tried another color in the newer plug. 

After trying the grassy point one more time, I headed to the middle of the river and my favorite flooded oyster bed.  I fished that area for about ten minutes and noticed that the wind was picking up, and my glassy smooth river was developing some swells.

I let the outgoing tide carry me another 100 yards or so down the river past the Green 13 buoy.  By then I had noticed that it was after twelve noon.  I had already been on the water over an hour.  Just as I started thinking about paddling, my cell phone rang, and I had to handle a couple of real estate issues and make another call.

Once my molded blue plastic office returned to being a kayak, I turned and started paddling back to Bluewater Cove. I was farther down the river than I usually go. I stopped to give the grassy point another couple of casts, but there still was no action.

I also managed to take a few photos of the neighborhood herons on the way back.  I got some nice white heron shots and managed to get a couple good ones of our green heron.  The big blue heron who is notorious for being hard to photograph was nowhere in sight.

About 12:30 PM my phone range again.  This time it was my wife reminding me that I needed to be heading home.  For once I was able to say that I was only a few minutes away since I had already worked my way back into Bluewater Cove.

It did not take long to get to my home dock and get pulled out of the water.  I had a great time out on the water.

While the skies were not blue, the water was calm, and the paddling was pretty easy. You cannot ask for more except for a red drum to hit my plug.  It was a good way to finish off the first part of the day.

I took over sixty photos and posted them on the web in three pages.  If you click an image, you get to see a larger version. The arrow to move between pages is at the upper left corner.

I am hoping for some blue sky kayaking this weekend.  I am not the only one.  We saw several kayaks at the Cedar Point Campground, so I will not be alone on the river.