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Paddling through the mouth of the Merrimack


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The kayak fishing on the north side of Plum Island beckons me. In the past I have launched from Little Neck, but this is an 18 mile round trip that severly limits the fishing time at the north end of Plum. Any advice about launching from the river side and going out through the inlet and back in again; i.e. with respect to tides, what times are too dangerous to enter (exit) the ocean via the Merrimack.

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During the day you can park for free & launch at the southwest or southeast side of the drawbridge. Point Road at the end of Northern Blvd is the choice nice'n sandy spot after they stop charging a parking fee. 4pm?

Closer to Newburyport the Joppa Flats ramp dries out at low tide.

Running through the jetty is a caution at any time although the moment of terror is short lived a full rip. It would be a lot of work to paddle back through against the current. There's heavy boat traffic through there in the summer that will likely force your course to the south side. There is a large eddy in the pocket west of the south jetty, the shorter of the two.

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