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BillyBayou

Virginia Hunting with boat

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BillyBayou

Howdy, I'm working out of Richmond for a couple years and would like to learn more about tooth hunting this area. I have a shallow running river boat with an outboard jet and complete set of scuba gear. Would like to find some not so publicly accessible locations to find shark teeth.  I appreciate any advice or help. I'm also reviewing past posts on the subject but I'm learning things change year to year.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Billy

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WhodamanHD

I would hate people that try to take others “honey holes” after they generously share it for a trip, although I must say it’s never happened to me (mostly because all my spots are well known with a few exceptions).

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BillyBayou
33 minutes ago, SailingAlongToo said:

 

Hi again Billy,

 

Not sure how much luck you are going to have getting folks to tell you about their fossil sites that require a boat to access without them knowing you first. I would recommend you build up a rapport with folks and hopefully, they will take you out to some of their spots and maybe introduce you to the land owners. I've taken people out before and despite them promising me they wouldn't, they've gone back to my sites without me (and without land owner permission) and decimated the place. Now I'm very selective who I take where, especially after catching someone I trusted with a hand held GPS, marking my spots. :angry:

 

Just remember, in VA the property owners own to the "mean low water mark," so if you are standing on land to hunt / collect you are quite probably trespassing. In other states such as MD and NC the property owners own to the "mean high water mark," which means you can actually collect along the beaches. In VA, all of the waterfront land is owned by someone (i.e. federal, state or local government or private land owner.)

 

Good luck. I gave you a few suggestions to start with on your other post.

 

Cheer,

SA2

SA2, I appreciate all your advice so far. I took notes on my other post too :) 

 

I absolutely understand what you are saying regarding trust. I hired a guide on the Cooper and he took me to some really good spots that aren't hunted really. Even though I have my own boat, I'd never go there without his permission. And that is on public land. But it just isn't right.  I used to operate a charter boat in Alaska and understand the leg work involved in finding spots that held fish and how some like to take advantage. I'm not asking for the location of a honey hole. Just some leads in the right direction. I'd even take someone along on the boat if they can lead to good results. I'm not in this for the money.... I enjoy making myself productive in my free time. It keeps me out of the bars...haha  and truthfully,  I'd rather search underwater. But it seems the closest for that is NC

 

Thank you again... I really appreciate the time and effort you have put in to keep me straight

 

Billy

 

 

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BillyBayou
29 minutes ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

I've had similar experiences to SA2's.  People don't seem to respect what they haven't earned themselves.  I'd suggest a 3 prong approach:

 

1.  Explore constantly, accepting that it might take a while to achieve expectations.  I too started from ground zero, and the field work has taught me to guard not only my own site info, but also the info shared with me in confidence.  The good news is that exploring becomes a higher percentage proposition with effort invested.  Generally speaking, when you are up to speed, you'll be finding better sites than most would be willing to share anyway.

 

2.  Make friends with like minded enthusiasts, establish mutual trust over time, and fall into a groove where every man brings to the table something equal to what they'd like to haul off.  Avoid "one way street" arrangements.  Shared effort will help keep things on equal footing.

 

3.  Have patience to allow steps 1 and 2 to evolve.  

Sound advice sir. Thank you and that is my plan. I have resources to offer just not knowledge (yet). I plan to take the upcoming holiday to do some scouting in my boat and see what I can see. Prospecting is fun. Worst case, I spend the day on the water. Kinda hard to beat in my book :)

 

Thank you again,

Billy

21 minutes ago, WhodamanHD said:

I would hate people that try to take others “honey holes” after they generously share it for a trip, although I must say it’s never happened to me (mostly because all my spots are well known with a few exceptions).

People lack character these days. It's a shame. But as said above... trust is earned

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Kimi64

I met a woman from out of state on a Bay beach this summer. She knew everything about our local geology, but claimed she didn't know that you can't dig into the cliff face as she stood there gouging it with a perforated shovel. I could have shared some local info with her. Needless to say, I did not. 

 

 

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Castle Rock

It's the prevailing attitude...if it works for me, it's GOOD ENOUGH for you!    

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frankh8147

I agree with everyone and I'll tell you this - the best spots I have ever dug are spots I've found exploring. Exploring is where it's at!

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BillyBayou

Thanks y'all....  I scouted Fossil Beach at Westmoreland Park yesterday. Small beach full of people with noodle strainers...lol

I walked the length of the beach, looking at the water conditions. Nearly 2 ft visibility.   The beach is well searched from what I saw.  I wonder if diving that area would be productive? Anyone want to give it a try? Or is hunting from the beach the best bet? 

 

I do appreciate y'alls opinions and comments

Billy

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SailingAlongToo

@BillyBayou

Fossil Beach at WSP is completely and utterly "over collected" Spring through early winter. Like most other public access areas, the best times to go are winter time, mid-week following a good nor'east wind. Cold, rainy and windy also seems to keep many "fair weather" hunter/collectors indoors too.

 

On a positive note, I'm guessing you were a good, law-abiding, sign reading fossil hunter while you were at WSP on Saturday. :D Reason I say that is, we would have surely met if you hadn't been. :P If you saw a large green boat with a bunch of people in it cruising along the shoreline, that was us. We even had 1 of WSP's Rangers out with us in the boat tracking down trespassers who chose to walk past 2 No Trespassing signs and go fossil hunting under the cliffs. The Ranger's "ticket book" was getting a little work out Saturday afternoon.

 

Chippokes State Park has a nice long beach to walk but the recommendations above apply to there too. At least at Chippokes, you get a nice long walk along the river / beach and the water can be quite clear in the cold months.

 

There are also a couple of public access points along Calvert Cliffs that can be quite productive for fossil hunting. Winter and dreary weather are good times to go there too.

 

Cheers,

SA2

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BillyBayou
6 hours ago, SailingAlongToo said:

@BillyBayou

Fossil Beach at WSP is completely and utterly "over collected" Spring through early winter. Like most other public access areas, the best times to go are winter time, mid-week following a good nor'east wind. Cold, rainy and windy also seems to keep many "fair weather" hunter/collectors indoors too.

 

On a positive note, I'm guessing you were a good, law-abiding, sign reading fossil hunter while you were at WSP on Saturday. :D Reason I say that is, we would have surely met if you hadn't been. :P If you saw a large green boat with a bunch of people in it cruising along the shoreline, that was us. We even had 1 of WSP's Rangers out with us in the boat tracking down trespassers who chose to walk past 2 No Trespassing signs and go fossil hunting under the cliffs. The Ranger's "ticket book" was getting a little work out Saturday afternoon.

 

Chippokes State Park has a nice long beach to walk but the recommendations above apply to there too. At least at Chippokes, you get a nice long walk along the river / beach and the water can be quite clear in the cold months.

 

There are also a couple of public access points along Calvert Cliffs that can be quite productive for fossil hunting. Winter and dreary weather are good times to go there too.

 

Cheers,

SA2

SA2, I did see a boat but I was mostly watching my feet and staring at the tide line. Also, I always color within the lines as far as rules go. I saw the signs. Didn't notice anyone passing them. But I was mostly looking at the kids on the beach (hoping they would find something).  I'm still curious if anyone has tried scuba in this area? 

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SailingAlongToo
53 minutes ago, BillyBayou said:

SA2, I did see a boat but I was mostly watching my feet and staring at the tide line. Also, I always color within the lines as far as rules go. I saw the signs. Didn't notice anyone passing them. But I was mostly looking at the kids on the beach (hoping they would find something).  I'm still curious if anyone has tried scuba in this area? 

 

I don't know about SCUBA but I do know some guys who snorkeled. I also know a guy who cut the bottom out of a plastic bucket and replaced it with Lexan so he could see through the water. Worked pretty well even in chest deep water. His one recommendation was to use a 1 or 3 gallon bucket as your arms get really tired pushing down on a 5 gallon one.

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hokiehunter

I've heard/talked to some folks who claimed to have scuba dived both in front of GW birthplace and Westmoreland and claimed moderate success.  I believe (my belief not fact) that it is perfectly legal to do so as long as your arrive by boat and your feet never touch bottom above the median low tide mark.  You may still have a conversation with a ranger but legally I don't think they can do much.  Now with that said would it be worth it???? I'd say no.  Most of the "good" rip rap/cobble is right at the low tide mark within a few feet so the water you'd be searching isn't more than a foot or two deep in general.  Tides can also quickly change the water clarity as does boat traffic/waves and maybe 2 or 3 days out of every week in the Winter/early spring offer good visability.  If you do find one of the spots with good cobble in deeper water (3 or 4 feet) you will next have to deal with silt/algae that covers up everything and washes out colors.  Since those rocks rarely move they get covered up quick once out there and everything blends together. The better scuba spots are all down south (not the Potomac) on the Tidewater/Dismal swamp rivers.  You can definitely scuba those but finding where and when is your challenge.  I'm primarily a beach comber these days when I get out so can't comment on where to go but we have at least one or two VA scuba guys here that do hunt down that way.  Your best bet it probably to join a local scuba club and see if you can tag along with someone that's done it.

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BillyBayou

Thank you very much. I think you are spot on.  I have joined area dive clubs. Still trying to find local fossil divers. No success yet but I'm persistent :)

I appreciate y'all taking the time to offer guidance

 

Billy

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SailingAlongToo
1 hour ago, hokiehunter said:

I've heard/talked to some folks who claimed to have scuba dived both in front of GW birthplace and Westmoreland and claimed moderate success.  I believe (my belief not fact) that it is perfectly legal to do so as long as your arrive by boat and your feet never touch bottom above the median low tide mark.  You may still have a conversation with a ranger but legally I don't think they can do much.  Now with that said would it be worth it???? I'd say no.  Most of the "good" rip rap/cobble is right at the low tide mark within a few feet so the water you'd be searching isn't more than a foot or two deep in general.  Tides can also quickly change the water clarity as does boat traffic/waves and maybe 2 or 3 days out of every week in the Winter/early spring offer good visability.  If you do find one of the spots with good cobble in deeper water (3 or 4 feet) you will next have to deal with silt/algae that covers up everything and washes out colors.  Since those rocks rarely move they get covered up quick once out there and everything blends together. The better scuba spots are all down south (not the Potomac) on the Tidewater/Dismal swamp rivers.  You can definitely scuba those but finding where and when is your challenge.  I'm primarily a beach comber these days when I get out so can't comment on where to go but we have at least one or two VA scuba guys here that do hunt down that way.  Your best bet it probably to join a local scuba club and see if you can tag along with someone that's done it.

 

I know folks who successfully fossil hunt with SCUBA gear in the Nottoway, Meherrin and Chowan Rivers, all well east of I-95. If you end up doing any SCUBA hunting in the James or York Rivers, be "VERY" careful where you are and what you collect. Both have ship wrecks and other naval / maritime archaeology sites that are protected by federal law. Those are the kinds of sites that you lose your boat, lose the truck you pulled the boat to the ramp with, lose all your gear, go to jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 (if you get my Monopoly reference.)

 

You can do a search for Meherrin River here on TFF and find several articles by folks who dive.

 

Cheers and good luck.

 

SA2

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