Darien with a kayak in December

Thread starter #1
Hello friends! I'm thinking of capitalizing on a work trip down toward Darien and bringing my kayak along to fish a little in early December. Can someone give me a rundown on safe places to launch, tips, what to avoid, etc? Thanks in advance!
 
Andrew...If you put in at Shellman's Bluff...you can cruise down Blackbeard's Creek...and zip across Sapelo Sound over to Blackbeard's Island...It is real pretty there...lots of wildlife to see...I am not a Kayaker, but the crossing across the Sound takes you across the inner coastal, and there might be a lot of larger boats migrating south...but once on the north side of Blackbeard's Island you can take Blackbeard's Creek into the interior of the island and there is a nature center there...Like others have said...In DEC, fishing will likely be slow...but the views are spectacular.
 
Thread starter #7
Andrew...If you put in at Shellman's Bluff...you can cruise down Blackbeard's Creek...and zip across Sapelo Sound over to Blackbeard's Island...It is real pretty there...lots of wildlife to see...I am not a Kayaker, but the crossing across the Sound takes you across the inner coastal, and there might be a lot of larger boats migrating south...but once on the north side of Blackbeard's Island you can take Blackbeard's Creek into the interior of the island and there is a nature center there...Like others have said...In DEC, fishing will likely be slow...but the views are spectacular.
Thank you! can anyone talk about safety concerning tides, boat traffic, etc since I will be alone?
 

Ga Waters

Senior Member
Andrew, Freshwater fishing is a 12 month a year deal in McIntosh County.Here are a few options. Altama wma (3 ponds loaded with largemouth bass small to about 2 pounds). McGouwan Lake wma should be open by then. Bass brem and catfish. Harper lake(Barington public park and boat ramp connects to the river). Good bass fishing all winter.All the mouths of the rice ditches upstream from Darien too numerous to identify. Fish them as the hi tide turns with dead bait on the bottom. Lastly Wesley lake in Townsand South tract has more bofin than I've ever seen anywhere else and they fight harder than any fish I know so if you love to catch bass you'll have a ball with them. Texas rig lizards highly recommended. Hope this helps.
 
Andrew, Forget about the Blackbeard Creek trip unless you are with a group and have lots of time and back up support. Just saying.
I was thinking the same thing...The first couple miles down out of Shellman's Bluff would be fine...but crossing the sound to get to Blackbeard's Island would be challenging I would think by yourself...mostly because you are crossing the inner coastal and this time of year there is a lot of big boat traffic of people of the north trying to get out of the **** cold and get to FLA for the winter...with that said...if you look on google earth, the area around Shellman's Bluff offers lots of cool rivers and such to poke around at...If you feel safe...Blackbeard's Island is worth the trip...see the attached drone video.

 
Thank you! can anyone talk about safety concerning tides, boat traffic, etc since I will be alone?
I live off the sound to the north of Shellman's Bluff...St Cats Sound...but have been in and around that area lots of times...especially, Sapelo Sound and Blackbeard's island...The time of year you are talking about...in most of the places...especially during the week...you will like be the only boat you see. Boat traffic in the inshore river is very slow come DEC...Especially during the week. The only issue, as I mentioned above, is if you want to cross the inner coastal to get to the island. The crossing is about a mile or so of open water. Tides are approximately 8 foot every 6 hours...I think max flow is just over 2kts...so if you time it right...take the tide out...then hang out and ride it back...you would be flying in a kayak...if you go against the tide...You would get a great workout! Lastly...I would file a float plan out at Shellman's Bluff...especially if going in a kayak...and have a handheld marine radio...your phone will lose comms by the time you hit the sound. Have fun...bring a camera...you will see lots of wildlife out there.
 
Thread starter #12
[/QUOTE]
I think I like the idea
I was thinking the same thing...The first couple miles down out of Shellman's Bluff would be fine...but crossing the sound to get to Blackbeard's Island would be challenging I would think by yourself...mostly because you are crossing the inner coastal and this time of year there is a lot of big boat traffic of people of the north trying to get out of the **** cold and get to FLA for the winter...with that said...if you look on google earth, the area around Shellman's Bluff offers lots of cool rivers and such to poke around at...If you feel safe...Blackbeard's Island is worth the trip...see the attached drone video.

I like the idea of the rivers around Shellman's Bluff. That sounds like a much safer bet than trying to cross the sound right?

thanks for all the information btw!
 
I think I like the idea


I like the idea of the rivers around Shellman's Bluff. That sounds like a much safer bet than trying to cross the sound right?

thanks for all the information btw![/QUOTE]

No Problem...You will have a lot of fun...around there...Again, I don't have a lot of time in a kayak...but I'd think there is comfort being close to the shoreline...Here is an attached .jpeg that shows a lot of the creeks available in close proximity to Shellman's Bluff...I am in El paso for work, but plan to put my boat in a week and go off Ossabaw...Coastal GA is the best kept secret on the east coast!
 

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fuelman1

Senior Member
Going from Shellman Bluff out to Blackbeard would be a haul in a kayak. And you would really have to pick your day. It's a big sound and can get churned up. That video of Blackbeard is a little dated. The section of beach where they start was blown out by hurricane Irma last year. There are many areas to put in a kayak and paddle creeks and rivers. There is a boat ramp right up the street from me near Shellman Bluff. You launch into the White Chimney Creek. It feeds out to the river which feeds out to the sound. You might also consider doing a guided trip out of Darien. They have a variety of trips. One of the them is through rifle cut. It's a canal that was dug by slaves. http://www.altamaha.com/
 
If you really want to kayak over to Blackbeard, instead of launching from Shellman's Bluff, put in at Harris Neck. Paddle Blackbeard Creek to the sound and then go straight across the sound to the inlet to Blackbeard. It's still a haul in a yak (about 10 miles to the dock at Blackbeard), but much closer and safer than from Shellman.
 

Down4Count

Senior Member
I'll second Harris Neck. One good thing, not many boats will be out that time of the year. I live in Sunbury, we also have a public ramp on the Medway river, opens to St. Catherines sound. But, there are many small creeks to kayak. Might want to check it out.
 
Thread starter #19
Thanks for all the advice everyone! I managed one fish, a pretty nice hybrid on Cathead creek on a gulp shrimp under a popping cork. That really surprised me, but when I got back, I read that hybrids and stripers are common in that area. Although it was only one catch, I'm in love with it and will definitely be going out again to try other places along the coast. Those currents can be scary, but I timed them right with the tide and had a blast.
 
Skipping the sound was probably a good idea. Between the wind and the tide it can be a white knuckle ride in a small boat much less a kayak. I think you can catch a little bit of everything in that area. Bass to freshwater eels. Eels are supposed to eat good but man they are a mess to deal with.
 
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