The kids are back in school and Richmond survived an earthquake followed by a hurricane. So, to most folks, Labor Day signals the end of the boating season. Don’t put that boat away just yet! Some of the best time to be on the water is here!
Fall is approaching, but September can sneak in a few hot days that remind us of summer. Besides, the cooler fall weather makes for some comfortable temperatures on a weekend day trip. Your boat likely was drenched during Hurricane Irene and the leftovers from tropical storm Lee. Experienced boaters know to never store a boat that is wet; so why not dry it out by using it?
Fall is a great time to sightsee along Virginia’s scenic waters. After all, this is the season for amazing sunrises and sunsets, along with the colors or the changing leaves. Why not take that boat and trailer to Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke and watch the fall leaf changes a few weeks before they change near Richmond? Watch the deer and other wildlife feed and drink along the water’s edge. Pick some apples at a local orchard on the way back home. And don’t forget to catch a few striped bass in Smith Mountain Lake while you are there!
Fishing can really heat up those cooler autumn months – striped bass (rockfish) will be heading out of the Chesapeake Bay soon as the water cools, and bass and catfish will be looking to fatten up for winter. Pull that cover off your boat a couple more times this year and go after that trophy catch!
Fall on the water is less crowded, so consider trying a new location to take your boat. Fewer boats mean less wait, if any, at the launch ramp, less noise and less wakes. This might be the best time to take a friend or two along to introduce them to boating. The sightseeing can be grand; trees ablaze with color, bald eagles along the James River just below Hopewell, deer along the shore at Lake Anna, or waterfowl resting in front of grandiose homes on Lake Chesdin.
As the weather cools, so will the water; in fact, water temperatures are markedly lower now because of the recent heavy rainfall from tropical storm Lee. For advice on cold-water boating gear, look here.
Don’t forget that boat show season is right around the corner! Richmond and the vicinity have several top-quality shows that have just the power boat you want. If sailing is your preference, check out shows in Annapolis and Hampton. The boat shows offer the best deals of the year on a new boat. Watch for a boat show article soon, and get ready to mark your calendar!
Look for some new stuff right here also. Watch for a continuing series covering places to launch your boat near Richmond. You will be able to compare locations, facilities and “local knowledge” for each ramp. Check out your current favorite; maybe there is a place that is better suited for your boating needs, or someplace you always wanted to visit. Just be sure to read each article where we do your scouting for you.
Don’t forget that supporting local businesses helps employ folks at home and keeps those businesses open to serve you!