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Twisty Mangove Channel Etiquette

2441 Views 38 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  permitchaser
I enjoy fishing/exploring the outside of Flamingo, but ive been wanting to explore the inside. Im just wondering about running up somewhere like Hells Bay, or any tight twisty channels. Do you guys run thru or take your time? Do you guys ever wonder if theres another skiff coming the opposite way?

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This might be an appropriate place to insert a portion of Rule 6 from the Rules of Navigation……….

Rule 6 - Safe Speed
Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions. In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account:

(a) By all vessels:
(i) The state of visibility;
(ii) The traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels;
(iii) The maneuverability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
 

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And so long as you’ve headed all hipshot’s advice from the source… Let’er rip tator chip!
 
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I know a guide that was hit down in the keys. He was in a cut through and a boat came in running the opposite direction and ran over his action craft. Broke his back and he was out of work for months.

I think if it's a blind corner you should be cautious. I'm more worried about canoes and kayaks than anything. I also give jetskis a lot of space as much as I hate to. Those jetski tours down in 10k islands are a pia.
 

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Turn your hat around backwards and let her eat !!!
I hope y’all know this was in jest. I’ve had a few close calls in the mangrove creeks and know a couple guys that have miraculously survived being t-boned or hit head on.
It’s not an open playground anymore. Keep your whits.
 

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I have somewhere an older copy of the Colregs that was published by the Coast Guard that I picked up back in the early 90s and kept aboard the patrol boat. I can’t find it now, but I preferred the language they used in Rule 9, as it would apply to running a winding creek. It mandated operating at a speed where you can stop “within the assured clear distance ahead.” I think that makes it a little clearer for the “hair by Evinrude” operators. If you want to see how well your rig can carve up the curves, set up a course with some slalom buoys in open water. Get some of your buds together and have fun with it. You’ll learn a lot about boat handling and trim, compare the handling of some other rigs to yours, and you won’t be putting innocent boaters, swimmers, or waders at risk.

Several years ago I was kayak / wade fishing a bunch of mangrove islands in Aransas Bay. I had beached the yak and was stalking some feeding fish on foot. An airboat running WOT rounded the point of that little island about 20 feet from the bank. I was about 18 feet from the bank. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he saw me, and I’m sure he’ll never forget the look on mine, during the very brief instant we were face to face. I’ll bet he was bitching to his buddies about that “dumbass idiot with a fly rod” later, too. But who’s the real dumbass?
 
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