Putting in for the first time at Lake Moultrie

I see someone had just asked a question about stumps on Lake Moultrie, but I wanted to get a little more specific.

I’m picking up a used Pioneer 175 Bay Sport this weekend. I am looking for a quieter place that I might be able to put in for the first time, and I was thinking about using my access to the Navy Short Stay up on Lake Moultrie since I assume that ramp is probably a little less congested. This will be the first time I will be putting a boat in the water in 15+ years, so I don’t want to be that noob that slows down everyone else around me.

Here’s my questions:

  1. Anyone have experience with the ramp at the short stay? Is it generally lower traffic and easy to launch from?

  2. I have heard tons of people say that the lakes are nothing but stump traps. I’m looking to just find a route where my wife and I can cruise for a bit and re-learn the controls, practice anchoring, etc. We just want to spend a day getting the feel for the boat. Are there any clearly defined channels that will provide a safe route through the lake?

  3. I have Boat US / Tow Boat US, and I can’t tell if they provide service on the lake. I’ll probably try giving them a call over the weekend, but I was curious if anyone knows if they service out there.

I was curious about the Tow Boat question too…anyone ever used Sea Tow locally to get out of Marion or Moultrie?

If you have concerns I would suggest putting the boat in during the week, maybe in the evening if you work during the week. Weekends can get busy and hectic pretty much everywhere during the summer.
If you put in at short stay the water level is up now and you can head over toward the dam, cruise down through Pinopolis Cove, or follow the channel markers and you’ll have no problems. Relax and enjoy

Why not put in at the Goose Creek Reservoir and have the whole lake to yourself to practice all of that? There are ample amounts of room to move around and get used to the boat. There are FAR fewer stumps out there also so you won’t have to worry about tearing up your stuff. If you put in at the reservoir, when looking at the water, the ramp to the right is more steep and the one on the left is more flat. This place would be my recommendation… Take a look at it on the Navionics Webapp and google earth so you have an idea of what to expect. If you do go, don’t try to run your boat around on the other side of the bridge.

Moultrie was logged before flooding so the entire lake is a stump field. If you are in at least 6 feet of water you will have no problem with stumps. Short stay would be the place to launch since you have easy access to deep water. Just keep an eye on the depth finder when within 500 yards of any shoreline.

Marion was flooded before all timber cutting was finished, so there are entire trees standing in the main part of the lake. Most of the exposed standing timber was broken off at the water level by Hurricane Hugo…so you could hit a stump ( actually the top of a tree trunk ) in 35 feet of water.

Thanks for the suggestions. I didn’t know about the Navionics web app. It looks like Short Stay does have easy access to deep water (https://webapp.navionics.com/#boating@15&key=av}iExuegN). I gave them a call a bit ago, and they said the ramp isn’t too crowded on the weekends. Maybe I’ll just give it a try.

You should be fine launching out of Short Stay.
The Lower is ok for the most part.
A mapp card such as navionics would be a bug help.

Lower lake is fine for the most part. If you are concerned stay around the shorts stay area all the way across the (**(). Have fun and relax the lake is not as bad as most people make it out to be.

20’ Bulls Bay w/ 115 Yamaha

“A gun is like a woman son its all in how you hold her” Aaron Lewis