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Heron Bay - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: June 2004
Nearest City: Alabama Port, AL
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: Bill Seibert

Description:

Heron Bay. How do I describe it? Semi-protected waters, unless the wind is coming from the southwest. There is normally a strong current, heading either north or south. Chop can be bad with a wind from the southwest. Its mostly shallow water, with plenty of oyster bars, sand bars, crab traps, and sunken pilings. For those reasons, you don't see very many powerboaters, and virtually NO jetskis. This is a LARGE bay, with numerous creeks, bayous and one river running into it. The put-in point is just south of the bridge, appropriately name Heron Bay Cut off. It's basically an oyster shell beach, with free parking. Several working oyster boats are moored nearby. There is a canal running south from the beach, but it dead ends several miles away. Lots of wildlife, including LARGE flights of brown pelicans skimming the water and lifting to rise over your yak. It's a shallow bay, very few spots over six to eight feet deep. We fish there, and have been out several times. As I said, the wind from the wrong quarter can make things . . . interesting. Good fishing though. Expect anything from specks and reds to blacktip and sand sharks. Alligator gar in excess of six feet are not unknown. I've heard one local yakker speculating on the possibility of crabbing, but I, for one, find the mental image of a highly irritated blue crab running loose in my cockpit a bit alarming. The water is usually murky, due to the current, so natural bait (shrimp is best) is probably the best bet. There's a place just north of the cutoff bridge that sells bait, food, tackle and a minimum of equipment. My wife and I LOVE this place.

Accommodations:

Bait and tackle shop just over the bridge. There's a gas station and a bar and grill back in Alabama Port, and a campground and a bunch of motels on Dauphin Island.

Fees:

Well, if you're gonna fish, you need an Alabama saltwater fishing license.

Directions:

From Mobile, take I-10 west to the Theodore/Dauphin Island exit. Head toward Dauphin Island. When the road comes to a "T" intersection, turn left and go to the next stop sign. Turn right, and go straight until you come to the salt marshes past Alabama Port. The next bridge will be the Heron Bay Cutoff. The put-in point is just over the bridge, on the right. Please be aware that this little beach is not lighted at night.


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