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C&D Canal to Delaware Bay

Old 01-19-2019, 07:06 AM
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Default C&D Canal to Delaware Bay

Has anyone made the run from the canal down to the lower part of the Delaware Bay? I keep my boat at the head of the Bay and have been thinking about running down to Lewes for some fishing. I was planning on trailering it down but was wondering about how bad it would be to run it down and back on it's bottom.

thanks
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:36 AM
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I don't know how big your boat is but the bay can get really bad when you have opposing wind and opposing tide.
Basically, you get no swell but you can get a 4 to 8 foot chop. Pick your day carefully for that long of a run.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:54 AM
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I used to make the run from Delaware City to Ship John shoal and that was about an hour run. I live close to Delaware City and I would just trailer it. For me it would wind up being a lot cheaper and quicker. I’ve never ran from the Delaware City ramp down to Lewes before but I imagine it would be a 2 hr run minimum.

2.4 mpg in the boat versus 10 mpg in the truck towing it is a big factor to me.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:57 AM
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Tides and wind always play a factor
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:10 AM
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You don't want to run against the tide!
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:18 AM
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Yes
no magic to it. Plan and judge weather accordingly to your boats ability
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:21 AM
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Back in the 80's when I had "big' boats, I ran a 28 ft twin I/O from chesapeake to Avalon New Jersey and also a 32 ft with twin in-boards. Twice for each boat and out of the four trips three were good but one return in the 28 we got our ass kicked coming from Cape May to the C&D. Now years later my daughter still talks about it. Like someone said, no swells just BIG chop, and I have forgotten how many hours it took. If we had had the 32 with twin inboards it would have been a whole lot better. In the summer months you need to do the run before noon usually, less wind. So with your Grady you will need to pick a "good weather window". It is a hike distance wise and things can go to hell on the Delaware real quick!! Dave
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave in Pa View Post
Back in the 80's when I had "big' boats, I ran a 28 ft twin I/O from chesapeake to Avalon New Jersey and also a 32 ft with twin in-boards. Twice for each boat and out of the four trips three were good but one return in the 28 we got our ass kicked coming from Cape May to the C&D. Now years later my daughter still talks about it. Like someone said, no swells just BIG chop, and I have forgotten how many hours it took. If we had had the 32 with twin inboards it would have been a whole lot better. In the summer months you need to do the run before noon usually, less wind. So with your Grady you will need to pick a "good weather window". It is a hike distance wise and things can go to hell on the Delaware real quick!! Dave
Thanks Dave for detailing what I was implying. The Delaware Bay can get real nasty do to it's relative shallowness (other then channel, average depth 10') and funnel shape.
North westerlies and South Southeast winds play hell in this bay. Even the snow birds in there 50 + foot yachts hate this bay and
talk about it's nastiness all the time in cruising magazines.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by capt.tovm View Post
Thanks Dave for detailing what I was implying. The Delaware Bay can get real nasty do to it's relative shallowness (other then channel, average depth 10') and funnel shape.
North westerlies and South Southeast winds play hell in this bay. Even the snow birds in there 50 + foot yachts hate this bay and
talk about it's nastiness all the time in cruising magazines.
Yes this ^^^^^^^^^ ! You are correct about what I forgot (been a long time) that the big reason is the shallowness of the bay and the channel gets a lot of shipping traffic too.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:04 PM
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Too much over-thinking. Most of the responses so far would make one fear the bay. The publications about 50’ers are probably from fair weather loopers who are used to ICW, inland rivers with barely a ripple and light July / August calm seas on the Great Lakes....

If 1-2’ waves, easily doable with almost any boat. Some days are flat calm and yes bigger waves can happen at the mouth of the bay with tides contributing a bit. Pick your day. On the right one, you can even run a 12’ Tender up, down or across it; Done it more than a handful of times with an old 40 horse from Lewes to stone harbor and cape May or even outside to OCMD and circle up the back bays. Of course, a gale blow would be potentially life threatening on most vessels and anything over 25kn winds could make passings uncomfortable on the wrong boat.

With a 50’ sportfish my rule is don’t cast the lines if the ferry isn’t running. Better to catch a buzz at the dock That day. I’ve had 3 bad experiences that I can recall with the delaware bay out of maybe as many as 150 transits. 2 were very uncomfortable (not unsafe) but 12’ Dinghy skirting a thunderstorm with kids and the second was without kids in a 31 fountain cc on a nice day that also caught us with an afternoon thunderstorm - - and one was very bad with a 58’ sportfish trying to make OCMD from Baltimore before a tropical storm got too close to make seas impassable - - which actually caused me to visit Lewes for my very first time back around 1999; yep... ferry stopped running that day.

Pick your days, respect the bay and Mother Nature and go enjoy it. Only takes fuel and money :-)
lewes does however have a very nice boat ramp off pilottown rd. If you do trailer, JB Walsh @ Anglers marina can likely store your trailer overnight.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:33 PM
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Bert, nobody is over thinking this. This guy wants to run 60 miles down the bay and then back and he has a 22 footer.
His boat is not to big and he should know what he could encounter. Yes, a prudent mariner should pick perfect conditions
and of course the bay can be like glass but conditions can change. This bay ain't the Chesapeake, which is what he is familiar with.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:42 PM
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I'm also at the head of the Chesapeake considering hauling over to Delaware City and exploring the Delaware Bay this upcoming year. (and like FatherGoose, also in a GW 228). In the dead of summer the bay up my way seems to be mainly largemouth and catfish. How far south do you have to run before the tides and salinity in the bay overpower the flow of the river and you can start getting into saltwater fish like flounder/croaker? Just looking at maps it seems like the bend by Hope Creek might mark the line of demarcation between river and bay, but that's just guessing.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:27 PM
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My buddy called the entry into the mouth from the direction of DB buoy “5 miles of hell”. Stayed out too long one afternoon when wind picked up from east southeast and tide was hard outgoing. In my 25’ deep v pilot house I had white knuckles for those 5
miles and 1 of those miles I was legitimately scared. Running through stacked 6 footers following seas. Buddy who was with me said 8 footers but I think he exaggerated. Never again or atleast I will look to avoid any possible opposing wind/tides there. Friends and captains said you’re better off running IRI because it’s only bad for length plus a little of inlet.

That said, generally the bay can get rowdy if a north northwest wind. Other than that it's just another body of water.

Last edited by NickTF; 01-21-2019 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:38 PM
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Wind against the tide can push up the waves in any body of water. The Delaware is a lot different than the Chesapeake because the current is a lot faster (than mid to upper chessy), it’s shallower , and there is a longer fetch in south southeast winds. I used to fish the Delaware when there were stripers in the fall and fluke during late summer. Haven’t heard of much to target in the last 4-5 years.

That being said it’s doable in your Grady with a good weather window. Worth it...not sure. I’d trailer to Indian river if I were you.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:57 AM
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I been running that bay for a lot of years very doable in the right conditions like 5 to 10 2ft or less even that could become shitty depends on wind direction and tide. if that wind picks up to 15 to 20 your in deep shit that's a long ride in that boat that bay can change in minutes the weather man always lies if you go to do it watch the forcast with no pop up thunder storms or winds increasing thru out the day plan your trip with tide going your way if it were me I would just trailer it you will save on gas and for some reason the weather picks up you can get in fast.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:37 PM
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That's a heck of a trip in a 22'er. I would trailer down to Lewes. Use the public boat launch. Get a transient slip on the canal in the heart of Lewes and leave it in the water for a long weekend.
Lewes Harbor Marina is right there for bait and fuel (and Irish Eyes for some suds)
Look for a cheap VRBO/Air B&B or camp in the Park. If weather is iffy, fish the canal for the day or head out for a very short trip to the wall, ice breakers or slaughter beach
If the weather clears up, run out to the B Buoy or Indian river inlet. You will have a great time, not get beat up and have some great nightlife in town
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:10 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. It sounds like my initial plan of towing the boat down to Lewes is the way to go.
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