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Key Largo Inshore Conditions

How high do the waves get in 6-7 mph winds? My friend and I have been repairing a jon boat to do some saltwater fishing, and were wondering if it would be safe to use inshore launching out of key largo and fishing blackwater sound/ the surrounding areas. We would try to go when the wind is the lowest, but I wouldnt want to rule out days when the wind picks up a little in the afternoon.

Replies

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,843 Captain
    Two things determine wave condition... wind speed and direction (the third monkey is tide conditions..)

    Down here in south Florida (all the way down to Key West... ) the prevailing winds are usually from an easterly direction (southeast in summer, northeast in winter).  If the winds are out of the east that means that the bayside of all the upper Keys will be relatively sheltered... If the wind is out of the west the oceanside is sheltered...

    With a small jon boat you just have to be careful and keep in sheltered waters period... All of us had to learn the hard way about sea conditions (what's safe - what's not safe) and until you learn on the water be cautious or learn the hard way.... Make sure you have the correct safety gear on board as well... that includes not only life jackets, etc. but some kind of anchor and at least fifty feet of line with it in case that motor quits... Not a bad idea to also have a paddle or a pushpole if your motor isn't happening... as well....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • GotseaGotsea Posts: 690 Officer
    +1 to lemaymiami, beside that, I won't venture out without looking at the NOAA weather buoy on the area that I intent to fish regardless of what the weather forecast said,  the forecast if off very often, always make sure you are confident that your vessel is seaworthy for the condition once at the location, no shame on turning around  if you don't feel comfortable. best of lucks be safe  
  • Ryan91027Ryan91027 Posts: 89 Deckhand
    I do always try to look at the bouys, but local knowledge and tips always help. I am planning on running back into a couple of bays, so waves probably wont be an issue except for coming and going. Ill have to judge when I get there though if we will only stick to the backcountry.
    I always carry safety gear, and a couple of extra paddles. And if the weather tuns on us, unless we are out at an island, we can hug the land to get back to the ramp.
  • catchemupcatchemup Posts: 305 Deckhand
    Following up on impotent safety equipment....this may seem an unusual item to make sure you have...but if you plan to fish around the mangroves in particular make sure you have plenty of mosquito repellent . I had some friends who usually fished their bay boat ocean side but decided on some back country. They had motor problems before sundown and had to wait quite a while for assistance. They were snacks for a horde of mosquitos and had a terrible time.
  • Ilive2fishIlive2fish Posts: 297 Deckhand
    I don't think a john boat is the right craft to head out to the back country since it's quite a ride....staying in Black water sound and Buttonwood sound is doable while staying near the mangroves...conditions depend on the direction of the wind and you can find a sheltered area most of the time....remember if you cross the intracoastal waterway you are now inside Everglades Nat'l. Park and under their regulations....
  • Ryan91027Ryan91027 Posts: 89 Deckhand
    I don't think a john boat is the right craft to head out to the back country since it's quite a ride....staying in Black water sound and Buttonwood sound is doable while staying near the mangroves...conditions depend on the direction of the wind and you can find a sheltered area most of the time....remember if you cross the intracoastal waterway you are now inside Everglades Nat'l. Park and under their regulations....
    Are you saying its quite a ride because of distance or waves? If its distance, the area I had picked out to fish is only 5 miles away from blackwater sound; with no waves and no wind we could cross that in 15 minutes. We had planned to take it to the 10k islands as I have been there many times and feel confident in reading the conditions there, but I wated to try over here so we could fish some clear water.

    Also, Ive only glanced at the regs but I didnt see any differences for size? Are there any I should be aware of?
  • Ilive2fishIlive2fish Posts: 297 Deckhand
    most people who venture into the "backcountry" can travel more than 20 miles in a day's fishing....that's why I posted....the park requires a permit and an online class to boat in there but as of a couple months ago they were waiving the permit...don't know if it's back on...keep a close eye on the weather especially in the summer as storms pop up all the time and the sound can get a bit bumpy......and the water in Blackwater sound is not clear (look at the name), as far as fishing is concerned I imagine sticking to the mangroves in the northwestern part would be better as there is quite a bit of boat traffic especially on the weekends, but that would put you inside the park....I've heard of people fishing the boggies and it looks like you can make your way around to little Buttonwood sound which has always intrigued me but I can't access it with my 19 foot center console...all this is on the charts.....good luck and let us know how youdid...
  • Ryan91027Ryan91027 Posts: 89 Deckhand
    Ill keep yall updated, we are almost done fixing up the boat so hopefully well be on the water soon.
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