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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
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Comments on Transiting Angelfish, Creek Card Sound to Hawk Channel, Florida Keys

Angelfish Creek - Click for Chartview

I don’t think any channel in the Florida Keys has occasioned more comment here on the Cruisers’ Net than Angelfish Creek. For those who don’t already know, this creek provides a means to cruise from the Inside/Florida Bay Route (from Card Sound), to Hawk Channel and the briny blue. There has always been some question about depths along this route, and we have received many reports here on the Net about an underwater “rock,” near the point where the marked passage meets up with the deeper waters abutting Hawk Channel.
Most of Captain Copeland’s comments below concern another subject, namely, why planing hull craft tend to transit Angelfish at high speed. Boy, if the props on my vessel cost $40K each, I might do the same thing, and then again, I might not!

In re: to Angelfish Creek navigation: As a captain of a 50′ sport fish who navigates this creek frequently (not because I have a choice…I do not) with my 4’10″ draft, I have seen many posts from other boaters who seem very frustrated with “big sportfishers” who take this channel pushing high wakes or at high speeds.
I would like to explain WHY this is the case:
1. I will never take this channel under two hours before or after a low tide – particularly in a west wind or a full moon.
2. The $2M boat has wheels which costs almost $40,000.
3. The shallowest parts of the channel is at the eastern end (a rock ledge, yes…rock) and western (bayside) end (which is shoaljng). For us to get up on plane enough to make this passage, it is necessary for the large sport boats to go fast! There are only a few places in the creek itself where we can slow down in enough time to get up on plane again to get out.
4. Believe it or not big sport boat wakes are less annoying when they are up on plane and not chugging.
Please try and understand these boats also have the right to navigate this channel. And believe me, if we had a choice, we wouldn’t!
J. Copeland

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Angelfish Creek Eastern Entrance

Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (1)

  1. Wes Abell -  November 11, 2015 - 9:57 pm

    As Capt. Copeland stated it is necessary for large sport boats to stay on top to transit this stretch of water… I to captain a 50+ foot sport fish and have a draft of 5′-3″ and always run through at 25 plus KTS. I sometimes will have to wait for the East channel to be clear before shooting though and every once and a while there is someone in a center console that just doesn’t get it and we will meet in the worse possible spot… I cannot stop as it would result in disaster, so please pay attention to the larger boats up on top transiting Anglefish creek, we’re not trying to show off, only trying to get through!


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