Need advice on Lake Mohave & Jack Smith to Topock Gorge

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garytcosta

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« on: September 18, 2016, 07:16:12 PM »
Hey all,
Heading out to Laughlin for a few days, Sept. 23-25.  Our first time taking the boat on a road trip & first time on Lake Mohave, & the river.  Going to spend Saturday on the lake & Monday on the river.
Was wondering if anyone familiar with Lake Mohave had some suggestions on where to go on the lake this time of year? Better to launch out of Katherine's or Cottonwood? A nice quiet cove or two to chill in? Any things i should watch out for, or be aware of while on the lake?, etc.?
Also, how is the run from Jack Smith to the Gorge? Is that a doable day trip with a stop at Pirates Cove for lunch? Is the river around there pretty easy to navigate for a newbee, or will I be out of my depth, so to speak?


Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!


Thanks,
Gary



J2

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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2016, 06:48:48 AM »
Check out this link, not sure if this that stretch of river.

http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html

I've only been up that stretch of river from Havasu. Water level can fluctuate fast and big. Someone with more experience will chime in.

angermgmt

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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 07:02:40 AM »
What size boat?


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mash on it

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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 10:22:32 AM »
Jack Smith to Pirates, about 10 miles. and through the gorge, another 15 miles or so.

Water supply outlook looks good through the end of Sept.

The water in Needles doesn't come up till the afternoon. It can be shallow till then.

The water is up sooner at Laughlin/Bullhead, usually around 10am. http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/DavisParkerSchedules.pdf

On Mohave, there is plenty of secluded beaches. I usually launch at Princess (Katherines) and head north.

There is a huge cove just south of Katherines that is sandy, but usually a lot of wakeboard/rollbar boats in the area. Might be sketchy in a bubble deck boat.

Dan'l
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Undersoul02

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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 10:23:55 AM »
Jack Smith to the Gorge is no big deal at all, I Do it all day in my Bahner. Just watch your fuel levels so you don't run out of gas. As with any stretch of the river there are always shallow spots, but if you keep your eyes open and know how to look for them you'll be fine. In my opinion the Gorge is one of the most beautiful spots on the river and I would prefer to do that section over the lake any day.  As far as Mohave (in my opinion) the Arizona side has better beaches for day used. When I've been up there we'd launch out of Katherine's landing and head up a few miles on the AZ side and find a beach. There is a jumping rock on the AZ side before you get to the Princess cove Launch ramp.  You'll know it's the right jumping rock because it has two holes that come from the back side of the rock to the front to jump out of. It's about 3-5 miles up the lake on the AZ side from Katherine's. I added a snapshot of google maps and the cove. Like with the River watch your fuel levels on the Lake. You don't want to get caught out there with no gas. Also the Lake can get like the ocean with huge swells rolling through when it gets windy. I've been out there when I shouldn't have and it was a pretty scary ride back. I know you said you want to hit the lake one day and the river the next, but I think you might find when you get on the river the second day you're going to wish you had done it the first day as well. Anyway, have fun and be safe! - Ryan
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Undersoul02

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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2016, 10:25:00 AM »
Here is the map. Didn't show up on my last post.
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Kroggy3771

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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2016, 10:53:08 AM »
Watch out for leeches on Lake Mohave.


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69kona

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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2016, 11:33:26 AM »

Watch out for leeches on Lake Mohave.


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Leeches? 😮


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mash on it

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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 12:15:00 PM »
Yep, Leeches

When the water temps are up.

Mohave and Havasu are in the mid 80's right now.

Colder water on the river, not so much. But can happen.

Dan'l
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Heather77

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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 10:49:48 PM »
FYI.... I have never seen leeches on Lake Mohave or the river near to Willow.... Nor have I ever seen them anywhere in or near to Lake Havasu or on the river from Havasu to Pirates..... Just my two cents.... And I have been traveling all of these water ways 10+ years.....


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Kroggy3771

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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2016, 11:07:49 PM »

FYI.... I have never seen leeches on Lake Mohave or the river near to Willow.... Nor have I ever seen them anywhere in or near to Lake Havasu or on the river from Havasu to Pirates..... Just my two cents.... And I have been traveling all of these water ways 10+ years.....


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We must have picked the wrong cove when I was there at Mohave, cause everyone in the group had small leeches stuck to our feet while getting back into the boat.


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Heather77

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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2016, 11:27:32 PM »

We must have picked the wrong cove when I was there at Mohave, cause everyone in the group had small leeches stuck to our feet while getting back into the boat.


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I am lucky to have never had that experience.... Simply cause I would have FREAKED out!!!! LOL. Of all the years I have been on the water, the only time I have come in contact with leeches (and it wasn't me personally, but friends of mine on different Boats, even though we all were together) was a Back Bay in Laughlin last summer.  But like I said, I didn't have any contact.... It seemed to have been the boats that floated/waded in the 'weedy' areas... But those of us that floated/waded in the sandy areas were clear! Thank goodness!! Lol!!!


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garytcosta

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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 12:33:26 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions & info!!!


Ryan mentioned the wind causing some pretty rough water. That's one of my concerns going out onto Mohave. We have a 19' Rogers & I've been on a bit of rough water at Lake Silverwood but probably nothing like what a lake like Mohave can dish out.
 Is it pretty busy at the launch at Katherine's this time of year on a Saturday?
Are we going to be dealing with a bunch big lake/wakeboard boats in the area  just north of Katherine's? Is it a bit quieter farther north towards the basin?  (We're more about chilling on this trip, + I am still getting used to the boat, so avoiding the crowds & yahoo's, if any, would be a priority)


Any opinions on Launching from Cottonwood & going north?


The forecast calls for winds at for winds up to 18-23 mph on the lake.  Does that sound like it would be sketchy at all out there with that kind of wind?


The run from Jack Smith down to Pirates sounds pretty cool, & from what ya'll describe + pic's I've seen, Topock Gorge looks beautiful. Going there would definitely make the wife happy.


Also thanks for the reminder about watching fuel levels………..


Sooo many questions, & a bit nervous about hitting the river & lake for the first time…. Just reading you guy's responses is a big help…..


G




J2

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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 06:28:19 AM »
The forecast calls for winds at for winds up to 18-23 mph on the lake.  Does that sound like it would be sketchy at all out there with that kind of wind?

YES, That will create some big swells down wind out in the wide open areas of the lake. Use caution.

angermgmt

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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 07:16:36 AM »
With those kind of winds you're better off launching out of Katherines and staying towards the dam if you launch on the lake at all. You'd be in trouble heading north in that size boat. I have a similar size boat and trust me I have been caught before. We're fortunate we live local so we can pick and choose our launch days.


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mash on it

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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2016, 08:16:02 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions & info!!!


 That's one of my concerns going out onto Mohave. We have a 19' Rogers & I've been on a bit of rough water at Lake Silverwood but probably nothing like what a lake like Mohave can dish out.
 Is it pretty busy at the launch at Katherine's this time of year on a Saturday?


G

Katherines has an 8 lane boat launch, and a mile and a half hike to the water. The no wake zone is foreeeeeever. usually busy, probably tapering down about now.

Princess cove is a 10 minute drive. 4 lane launch. a hike uphill back to the truck/trailer, but worth it.



The forecast calls for winds at for winds up to 18-23 mph on the lake.  Does that sound like it would be sketchy at all out there with that kind of wind?
 
G


You have a 50-50 chance its right. I've seen it calm when the weather said 15-25. I've been in 4' swells/white caps in a bubble deck. Not fun.
Remember this is "MoChoppy".

Dan'l

River boats belong on the river. FYI

Good Luck  :thumbup:
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Undersoul02

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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2016, 09:04:50 AM »
To go along with what mash on it said. I have been on the lake when it's supposed to be windy and it wasn't and I've been on the lake when I couldn't see over the swell in front of me. You don't want to be out there when it's like that. I've never been up to Cottonwood so I can't comment on that. I grew up going to Laughlin and and Mohave with my parents. We did that for years until we started going to the AVI and using the river. We never went back to the lake after that! But, Last summer I got hooked into a trip to Laughlin and the lake with some people I work with. We hit the lake with the group for the day and had a good time, but at the end of the day my wife told me she wouldn't want to go back to the lake. She'd rather be on the river. I agree with her!!!

It's up to you what you want to do, but my wife told me to tell you to head down to the river on the first day. Hit Topock Gorge, Pirates and Topock 66 on the first day and you'll probably want to go back the next. I agree with that.

Like mash on it said, river boats are for the river.

Whatever you do! Have fun and be safe!

-Ryan



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garytcosta

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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2016, 12:02:08 PM »
O.K.
Good info all!!
I've got a better picture of what I'm in for now.
Since the lake is 'hit and miss' in terms of weather factors, & based on what everyone has said so far, the river sounds like the better option overall.  So that'll be our Saturday run for sure.
Ryan, hopefully my wife agrees with yours & we'll end up on the river all weekend.  Gonna show her your post, hopefully that will get her on board with the idea......


Is there a way to know ahead of time what the river water level will be? I am guessing like a discharge schedule from Davis dam or something to that affect??


Everyone's input has been super helpful & really appreciated!!!!!


Gary












mash on it

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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2016, 12:55:57 PM »
yep-

this one for flow (units):

http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/DavisParkerSchedules.pdf


and this one for 'timing?'- look at Davis Dam Release cfs compared to Needles bridge cfs- (10am vs 10am, etc):

http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/yester.html

Dan'l
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garytcosta

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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2016, 04:57:44 PM »
yep-

this one for flow (units):

http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/DavisParkerSchedules.pdf


and this one for 'timing?'- look at Davis Dam Release cfs compared to Needles bridge cfs- (10am vs 10am, etc):

http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/yester.html




Dan'l


Thanks Dan'l :thumbup:

garytcosta

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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2016, 12:35:01 PM »
Hey all,
Made it out to Laughlin.
Was hoping to get the boat wet today, launching out of Jack Smith.  The winds are pretty heavy, 20-26 mph.
Is that considered a blow-out on the river?
Winds are suppose to be in the single digits tomorrow
Would it be worth giving it a try today, or chill & wait till Monday?
Thanks,
Gary

78Southwind

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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 06:47:32 PM »
Hey Gary

Here is some of the info that you wanted. This is from Davis Dam heading south to Lake Havasu.

These are the areas that you need to pay attention to going down river. The wash just after community park, with the floods that Bullhead had several years ago this wash area is filled with rocks and comes out about forty feet now (you want to stay right).



Big Bend (you want to start in the middle and then stay to the left),



just before the Arizona Veterans Memorial / Lazy Harry's (you want to stay to the middle and to the right),



Palo Verde Meadows (you want to stay to the left),



just past the AVI Bridge (you want to stay in the middle),



just past Willow Valley, Kingsley Street (you want to stay to the left and gradually cross over to the right before the rock bar)



and just before the Needles Bridge (you want to stay in the middle.



That pretty much sums up the areas to avoid heading down to Havasu. When the water is high you won't have to worry too much about these areas. In my opinion that zig sag that you have to make just after Willow Valley is the worst of it when making the trip from Laughlin to Havasu. There are a couple that are more obvious just before the Lake that I will see if I can find.


garytcosta

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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2017, 06:57:54 PM »
78,


Thanks for that. Got out there last year but it was pretty blown out so only got on the water one day out of three.  Went from Pirate Cove down just past the gorge which was awesome.  Planning on another trip there later in the summer & want to explore more of the river so your info is really helpful!!

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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2017, 07:24:16 PM »
78,


Thanks for that. Got out there last year but it was pretty blown out so only got on the water one day out of three.  Went from Pirate Cove down just past the gorge which was awesome.  Planning on another trip there later in the summer & want to explore more of the river so your info is really helpful!!

Pretty much from Needles past the Sand Bar there are no areas that I can think of that are not obvious. These are more obvious just passed the sand bar the river will split. Take the right side this is the main channel.



Once you are about to enter into Lake Havasu it can get tricky if you don't take the buoyed channel. To the right is the buoyed channel (wakeless). I have only taken the channel once and if the water is high it's a waste of time with a jet boat. If you don't want to take the channel then you need to do a bit of a zig left zag right through the other side of the Island.


 


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