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Most inlets will have a confused sea state, worse as you get closer to peak flood or peak ebb.

The sea state will be influenced by bottom condition, shore line or jetty condition, inlet drainage area and offshore conditions. None of these influences are static, so yes local knowledge is extremely important.

Safest time to enter inlets will be in full light at slack current, but even then local knowledge will help, best yet follow someone who knows the inlet, until you become that someone.
 
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