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Boating and Fishing

 

Mallard Bay Community Owned Boats

Boat Slip Availability

Canoe, Kayak and Paddleboard Storage

Crabbing Pier Use

Kayak Launcher Instructions

Fishing in Mallard Bay

 

Mallard Bay Community-Owned Boats

With three exceptions, ALL kayaks and canoes stored on Mallard Bay community property are the personal property of various Mallard Bay residents and may not be used without the owners' specific permission.

The three exceptions are:

One green canoe marked "Mallard Bay" (see photo).  It is stored on the canoe rack next to the Mallard Bay boat launch.

One unmarked green canoe located in canoe storage position number one in the rack next to the Mallard Bay boat launch.

One unmarked paddleboat located on the northwest side of the dam for Flyway Lake (the upper reservoir).

These three boats are community property and may be taken for a ride by Mallard Bay property owners without further permission.  After use, all boats must be returned to where they were found.  Life preservers for these three boats, if desired, must be supplied by the person or persons using them.

Boat Slip Availability

There are 18 numbered slips available for rent on a yearly basis.  Each year, current slip holders may claim priority for assignment of a slip the following year as long as they indicate a desire to do so and pay the next year's fee in full by November 1.  Any slips for which fees have not been paid by that date become available for rent.

The Mallard Bay community boat dock is equipped with 120 volt electrical outlets for use by boat owners to power tools and temporary chargers.  No boats, however, may hook up to electrical power at the dock on a permanent basis.  The dock is also equipped with fresh water spigots.  The dock has no pump-out facilities and overnight occupancy of boats is not permitted.  The "T" end of the community boat dock is for fishing and for temporary tie-up of boats belonging to Mallard Bay property owners and their guests.

If slips are available and you wish to rent one, please fill out a boat slip request and mail it, along with the yearly fee (calculated at $10 per foot of length) to MBPOA, P.O. Box 87, Heathsville, VA  22473.  The request will be passed on to Boat Dock Administrator Scott McGuire who will assign a boat slip number, sign the application and return a copy to you for your files.  If you have any questions, please contact Scott at 804-580-2529.

Canoe, Kayak and Paddleboard Storage

The community maintains two racks for storage of members' kayaks, canoes and paddleboards.  They are located at the boat launch area of the main boat dock and close to the community crabbing pier.  Space on one of the racks can be rented for $20 per year per boat and may be obtained by contacting the Boat Dock Administrator and filling out the same application form as is used for power boats.

Recently, the boat racks were expanded to accommodate six additional boats.  if you wish to rent rack space at the rate of $20 per boat, contact Dock Administrator Scott McGuire at  580-2529.

Crabbing Pier Use

Adjacent to the community boat dock is a separate kayak and crabbing pier, intended for use in launching small boats such as kayaks, canoes and small sailboats, as well as for picnics, fishing and crabbing.  In order to provide a safe environment for people using this pier, no boats equipped with electric, gasoline or diesel motors may tie up at it.  Temporary tie-ups of power boats owned by guests of Mallard Bay property owners may be accomplished, however, at the end of the "T" of the community boat dock.

Two shaded outdoor lights on the crabbing/kayak pier have been installed.  Association members are encouraged to make use of the lights and the additional hours of use they afford to users.  They are controlled by a simple on-off switch located next to the water hose at the beginning of the pier.  Please feel free to use them, and be sure to turn them off when you are finished using the pier.

Kayak Launcher Instructions

Mallard Bay has a device at the crabbing pier that makes entering and exiting kayaks much easier.  The unit features two pontoons connected by rollers on the bottom and a cross-over bar at the top that stabilize the kayak allowing the person to stand up in the boat for balance before sitting down without receiving a nasty surprise dunking.  When returning from paddling, the kayaker can pull up into a standing position using the crossover bar, enabling a graceful and dry exit.  During warm weather, the product, called a Yak-a-Launcher, is tied to the floating pier that is part of the crab/kayak pier next to the Mallard Bay boat launch ramp.  

Here are the manufacturer's instructions on the launcher's use:

To Launch Your Kayak:

  1. Tie the Yak-A-Launcher to your dock and your bow line to the Launcher.
  2. Step in using the handrail for support and using the pontoon nearest the dock as a step if needed.
  3. When seated comfortably, simply roll yourself forward or backward into the water using the pontoon handles.

To Land Your Kayak:

  1. Just point the nose of your craft between the pontoons of the Yak-A-Launcher and glide in on the roller bars.
  2. If your momentum doesn't land you completely, use the "self tow line" or the pontoon handles to pull your kayak fully onto the Yak-A-Launcher.
  3. Secure the bow line to the Launcher.
  4. Grab the handrail, stand up and step back onto dry land using the pontoon as a step if needed.

 

Fishing in Mallard Bay

People choose to live or have a vacation home in Mallard Bay for a variety of reasons.  The main reason is the access to water.  With three ponds, two lakes and the Great Wicomico River at your door step, activities on the water are a favorite with our residents.  You will see people on the river boating, sailing or kayaking.  Often for the sheer joy of the activity itself but sometimes as a means to another end, fishing. The variety of fishing is compelling. The Great Wicomico River has great fishing and is a watery highway to the Chesapeake Bay, one the greatest fishing grounds on the East Coast.

Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay is great for the last three quarters of the year, starting in March with the Croaker coming  in.  The Maryland Rockfish season starts in mid April and Virginia starts in early May and in June the Bluefish start in earnest, as do Spanish Mackerel, Flounder, Trout, Spadefish, and many other species that are fun to catch. Starting in late September many species begin to head back out of the bay to warmer water but the Rockfish make a resurgence to feed before leaving for the winter.  This is the time when big fish are often caught.

Many people like to fish from small boats on the river or from the dock.  Croaker can be caught off the dock from late March until early September and Spot can be caught throughout the summer.  The Rockfish come in around late September and hang around until the end of October.  These fish and others can be caught up and down the river and are a great way to spend a sunny day.

The ponds and lakes also provide great fishing.  They have Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie and Catfish to catch  almost all year long. Take a kid, a fishing pole, a worm and a bobber to one of the ponds and you will have an afternoon filled with giggles and smiles.  The bluegills are more than willing to cooperate and will keep the adults busy taking them off and baiting hooks.  The Large Mouth Bass are there for the more accomplished fisherman with bass over eight pounds coming out of the lakes.   A small boat, kayak or canoe will get you into the coves where the big ones live but many fish can be caught from the shore.

The fishing on the river, on the bay and in our lakes and ponds is one of our greatest assets.  We must nurture it and take care of it.  When fishing the river or the bay keep what you are able to eat and throw the rest back.  Make sure you have a license, know the size and creel limits of the fish you are catching, and be courteous to others using these resources.  The lakes and ponds are small bodies of water that can quickly succumb to fishing pressure.  Many of us who live and fish on the lakes and ponds have noticed a significant drop in the number of large fish.   It is exciting to catch a monster and many people want to take this fish home.  Remember this fish has lived a long time and deserves to live many more years. Take measurements of the fish, take a picture and them let it go.  You can get a plastic replica made to hang on your wall and someone else can get the rush of catching the big one. - Gary Lupton - 18 July, 2010