Swift Creek Reservoir 3-6-2010

7 03 2010

I’ve been meaning to hit Swift Creek Reservoir since I got my yak a year ago, but I just haven’t made it over there. I had a few hours to waste Saturday morning, so I headed over. I was a little worried about accessing the reservoir as I had read on KayakBassFishing.com that the only public access point might be gone due to bridge construction. The good news is that the public launch site is still there and looks like it will be for a long time. The bad news is that currently there is no way to get to the northeastern most sections of the lake due to construction. The construction has blocked off any ability to paddle underneath the bridge onto the other side. Here are a few pictures.
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Today was a tough day fishing. Wind was blowing 10 to 15mph but it felt like a constant 15. Air temps were 45 to 50 and water surface temperature was 41. I didn’t get a single bite all day. I tried throwing a pumpkin shaky head weightless, black/blue jig w/trailer and a chartreuse/white spinner bait the entire time. I pounded the banks, lay downs, docks, and a ledge or two I found out in the central channel of the lake. Ledges are pretty difficult keeping on when the wind is blowing as much as it was. I found several drop-offs from 8ft to 13ft, but didn’t see anything on the sonar nor did I get any bites. Paddling was fun but catching something would have been better. I look forward to hitting the reservoir again when the weather is better.

Since I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures of any fish, I wanted to give my new FinePix Z33WP a workout so I took a few pictures of the yak. Enjoy!

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19 responses

24 05 2010
Bill Taggart

Question for you –

That public access point on Swift Creek reservoir – what actually is there? Specfically, is it something good only for kayaks and canoes, or could I launch a small sailboat (with retractable centerboard) from a trailer? Is there a ramp of any kind that I could back my little trailer down? The boat draws only about 7 inches with the centerboard up, but I would need to be able to slide it off the trailer – which is a tilting trailer. I don’t know how much water it needs to launch, though it shouldn’t be much.

I have a 17-foot day sailor and can’t find anywhere nearby to sail it – I know that Greater Richmond Sailing Association has a ramp onto the reservoir, but you have to be a member of GRSA to use it. And Brandermill has their own, but again, you have to be a Brandermill property owner.

Thanks!

24 05 2010
ericmiles

The public access point is on Woolridge Rd where it crosses the reservoir, on the Southern shore of the crossing. I’m unsure how long your small sailboat is, but there is not a ramp there. It’s a sand/dirt launch site. I know some people launch john boats from here, but I’ve seen a few guys have difficulty moving around in the tight quarters in there with their boat trailers. 5 to 10 feet, the water is a foot to 2 foot deep.

Open up Google Maps and find Woolridge, south of Genito. Follow as it crosses the reservoir, the launch site is just on the eastern side of the road as you hit “land”. It’s not too hard to miss, I think there are a couple of vehicles parked here on Google Maps.

24 05 2010
Bill Taggart

Hey thanks for the reply. I followed your link above and saw the Google maps picture, but it’s hard to tell. Sounds like it might be too tight to squeeze the boat and trailer in there. My boat is about 17 feet. With the trailer (tongue, etc.), the whole mess is more like 20 – and to that, add the length of the truck (about 19 feet).

If there is maneuvering space, though, it sounds like the water should be deep enough.

I think I’ll have to make the trip down there one ay after work to take a look at it and see what I think.

Thanks!

24 05 2010
ericmiles

My opinion is you’d be wasting your time. ~20 feet + another 19 feet there is no space in there for that. I’ve seen a few guys struggle in those tight quarters with a small pickup truck and a 9′ john boat+ trailer. When other cars are parked in there, there is very little room to maneuver. Not to mention once you launch where are you going to park your truck and trailer? With that much length, the only way you’d be able to park is if you parked perpendicular to the current parking spots, essentially taking up all 6 to 8 “unofficial” spots. You’d probably anger a lot of fisherman that way.

24 05 2010
Bill Taggart

OK – that’s pretty much what I was thinking based on what I could see in the Google map.

I’ll keep searching for a public ramp or other boat access to the reservoir. Seems odd to me that the reservoir is owned by the county, but there isn’t any public access. If I were a Chesterfield taxpayer, I might be kinda sour about that.

My quest continues…

Thanks!

24 05 2010
ericmiles

I’m surprised after the Woolridge Rd construction that they left this access point in place. They had a chance to “close it off” but actually didn’t. That little piece of land must be county owned.

I’m a Chesterfield taxpayer, not sure what I can do about it.

24 05 2010
Bill Taggart

I’m still searching carefully. From Google maps satellite view, I can see at least four places dedicated to boats, but I know that at least three of them are private clubs. I have to think there’s SOME place on the reservoir. I’ll keep looking and making some phone calls.

If I find anything, I’ll let you know.

25 05 2010
Bill Taggart

Well I went by there after work last night. You’re right – it’s a little tight, especially if there are several other trucks there. I am sure, however, that – if there weren’t too many other vehicles – I could launch my boat there. But it is tight.

Interestingly, when I pulled in, there were several other trucks there, including two with trailers. One of them was about the same size as my truck and trailer combo. But with those two, plus the three or four other trucks there, I would have had a real challenge trying to turn around and get launched – and then I would have the challenge of where to park the rig.

So I probably won’t bother trying. I mean, maybe on a weekday or something, but I imagine on a weekend, that spot is pretty hectic.

And I also stopped at a few other places around the reservoir. I’ve concluded that little muddy spot is the only public access on the whole reservoir.

25 05 2010
ericmiles

Yeah if you were the only one using that spot you’d have no problems. I can tell you on the weekend that lot is often full…so much so I’ve seen guys in trailers bang into other trailers while trying to fit where they shouldn’t be trying.

7 06 2010
riverrat

I took my canoe with trolling motor out there last weekend and had trouble finding a parking space until, luckily, another boater came in to take out. Trucks with boat trailers have a tight squeeze and take up a lot of the limited parking space. I logged onto the sailing club site and they are very sailboat-oriented with lots of rules. Not for fishermen. It’s a matter of pure luck if you go on a weekend to find enough space to aprk. Then, there the typical fat redneck women with about 10 babies splasing around in the mud taking up space for boat launchings. Forget weekends.

7 06 2010
Eric Miles

Yeah, if I’m fishing the reservoir, I’m out there EARLY. Only way to get a spot.

7 06 2010
Bill Taggart

Yeah, I know a guy in the GRSA sailing club right there. I have contacted them about membership – it’s about a year wait and several hundred bucks a year.

I have decided to head down to Lake Chesdin instead and give that a go. It’s about twice as far to drive from my house, but there are two public ramps with paved parking lots, as well as a couple marinas.

13 06 2010
poor man's access

I’ve tried that little put-in off Woolridge twice recently and have been very lucky to find enough room to park my pickup and launch a canoe or kayak. Even on weekdays. If you’ve got a boat that needs a trailer, you’d better be very adept at backing it up. The GRSC sail club is quite elitist and for competitive catamaran regattas only. Or, if you’re a millionairre who owns waterfront property, you’re in. Otherwise, avoid weekends altogether and get there at the crack of dawn on a weekday to launch at the tiny 2X4 mudflat available. BTW, love the comment about the fat redneck chicks with 10 babies splashing in the mud. So true.

13 06 2010
Bill Taggart

Actually, I have found GRSA to not be snobby at all, and most of the members have pretty standard, small sailboats, like 15′ Flying Scots or similar day sailor-type boats. I know a member and he took me out on his boat one day several weeks back. I have contacted the club about membership – there is about a year wait; they get a lot of applicants. They might do some races, but it’s not just racing, and not just catamarans. The big drawback for me is (1) the long wait to get in and (2) the annual dues. I’m not expecting I’ll be sailing there often enough to make it worth the $400.

15 06 2010
poor man's access

I sent an email to GRSA recently and they said the same thing – long wait and big bucks to join. I suppose if you want water access this close to town the market prevails. The good fishing areas are down at the other end of the reservior, past Sunday Park. I found a deep channel with good drop off and had very good luck jigging with an old Silver Buddy. Good fishing, but a battery-drainer. I hope the neutered carp chow down on the hydrilla – anything other than a surface lure tends to dredge up the grass.

20 08 2010
Mike

Do you think you could windsurf there?

20 08 2010
Bill Taggart

Yeah, you probably could. There are lots of small sailboats on the reservoir, and if they get enough wind to have their little regattas, I don’t see why you wouldn’t have enough to sail a windsurfer. And you probably could launch from that little public muddy spot – although I’m thinking it is sub-optimal for launching a windsurfer. Which is not to say you couldn’t do it if you really wanted to.

7 08 2012
SHELTON WILLIAMS

I’ve been putting in my small jon boat there since 1990.Went down there the other day and there was a chain across that road.I taught both of my sons about fishing from the reservior.They are both grown now.That was a place a dad could take his kids to have fun and bond.Now you can’t even fish off the banks anymore without living in Woodlake or Brandermill.What’s the deal? I think a Chesterfield Co. taxpayer or anyone for that matter should be alowed some type of access to that area.Kids are running out of things to do.Thanks Willie

24 08 2013
fofuchas personalizadas

Thanks , I have recently been searching for info approximately this topic for ages and
yours is the best I have discovered till now. However, what concerning the bottom line?
Are you sure concerning the supply?

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