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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is a boat ride from the Pace area through Escambia Bay to Flounders or the ICW a safe or enjoyable option in a 19CC. The water looks pretty shallow on the charts so I am sure I would have to stay in the channel until south of the I-10 bridges. Just trying to figure out if launching at Smith's Fish camp is worth it or should I just keep my boat at the Navy marina and drive the truck to where I boat.
Thanks for any feedback.
 

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Really depends on where you do most of your boating and fishing. I live in Cantonment, do most of my boating/fishing in the lower bay and gulf, so for me I find it more convenient to store my boat at Sherman Cove. If I want to fish the upper bay, I pick the boat up and trailer to Smith's, because that long open stretch of water between the pass and Smith's can get pretty choppy and nasty at times when winds and storms kick up in a 19' cc.
 

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I misunderstood what you were asking. I thought you were just looking at doing the trip once. If you are thinking of doing it on a regular basis, absolutely trailer your boat closer to where you will be boating. That's too far of a trip to do it every time you go boating.
 

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Lightning and a sideways drenching rain storm will not set well in that long run.
 

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Long ride. Most days it would be fine. But when the storms or wind kick it up it gets bad in a hurry. No place to hide when the bay looks like a washing machine.

somewhere in a tree
 

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There's the option of driving down Garcon Point Bridge to the Oriole Beach launch in Gulf Breeze. Much shorter trip from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Long boat rides in open environments definitely have to be well planned due to wind and weather. Is it generally too shallow to boat north of I-10 outside the Escambia river channel without caution about depth? And then south of I-10 bridge, generally a safe depth? In SC if you got stuck aground, hopefully the tide would come back later (average 5-6 ft change) and no towing assistance was required, don't have that luxury here (good and bad.)
 

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I had no problem outside the channel in my 15' Whaler but you might in something bigger.
I would put in at Jim's and take a straight path down to the I-10 bridge. It can get shallow though especially around those grassy islands near Hwy 90.
 

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Coal barges traverse that bay daily. Just follow the channel till you get from under I10 and follow the channel for a few miles then shoot for 3 mile bridge. You should be fine. Its about 20+ mile track though. If the wind is blowing out of the southeast like it is every afternoon expect 2-3 chop.
 

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I had no problem outside the channel in my 15' Whaler but you might in something bigger.
I would put in at Jim's and take a straight path down to the I-10 bridge. It can get shallow though especially around those grassy islands near Hwy 90.

I would not use Jim's to launch a 19' boat. It's pushing it to launch my 17' boat there. Plus, the HWY 90 bridges around Jim's are low. I have to take my 9' fly rods out of the rod holders to keep them from hitting.

If you want to make the trip to Flounders once or twice "just for fun" use Archie Glover near I-10. Else, trailer it to Shoreline if you're going to run around the sound on a regular basis. Or, like you said .... Keep it at Sherman.
 

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I agree. I meant "I would put in at Jim's in my 15' Whaler'" not "YOU put in at Jim's".
I imagine Swamp House or Smith's would be fine and stay in the channel. Heck, I've been thru there in a 40' houseboat.
 

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I agree. I meant "I would put in at Jim's in my 15' Whaler'" not "YOU put in at Jim's".
I imagine Swamp House or Smith's would be fine and stay in the channel. Heck, I've been thru there in a 40' houseboat.
I think the Swamp House ramp is still closed from the flood or at least it was a month or so back.
 

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Launched at the Swamp House several times since the flood. It's been open, just have to use the other entrance through UWF.

Escambia bay can get very rough quickly when the wind blows from S, SE or SW and N or NW. With it being so shallow, the waves stack very close together making it a rough ride usually. I like 60hertz advice, use Archie Glover and skip the northern part of the bay. Or launch down in the sound or Pensacola Bay. Oriole beach is a good FREE ramp to launch in the sound.
 

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Like Jeff said, I believe that it's open. I see trucks and trailers down there when coming across the bridge. They must have an agreement with UWF.
They worked on repairing the road for a while and then just stopped. I haven't seen any work done in months. Maybe they decided the hole was too big.
Be advised if you take the Garcon Point bridge pulling a double axle boat, you are looking at an $11+ toll each way.
 
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