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The condition of the seas for new GRASSHOPERS

remel1993remel1993 Posts: 536 Officer
Hey guys,

Recently bought a 21ft boat. The first time I went off shore was when the seas were 1ft-1.5ft in height. I made sure online for sea conditions before we went out. It was like a lake out there and was a great night of fishing.
I want to go out again, preferably in the morning with some live bait.

What would you consider to be mild sea conditions? Wave hight, swells, knots? Is the wind a key factor? Tides?
Are the seas always calm in the morning?

Im planning on going out early morning around sunrise.

If I dont answer my phone call, either Im fishing or riding my motorcycle. -Salty Bike Life


  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,962 Captain
    Check noaa. Winds will play a factor. Anything over 3 ft i wouldn't go. I wouldn't imagine its all that calm right now but I'd check a forecast first
  • Net 30Net 30 Posts: 1,033 Officer
    Mornings are usually the calmest part of the day. Wind is everything when fishing outside. Always a good idea to check the forecast. Most afternoons a sea breeze kicks up resulting in on-shore winds and things can get a bit lumpy. Wind against tide in an inlet is usually not good especially an on-shore wind on an outgoing tide. Keep your eye on the horizon and look for approaching thunder storms.
  • captnnjcaptnnj Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    My two favorites to check with before I go out are noaa and fishweather.com.
    Good info on both.
    Be safe......
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    2' or less is good, 2'-3' is iffy, over 3' stay home.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    The hardest part is that sometimes the predictions are way off from reality.
  • Yeaaa_ChrisYeaaa_Chris Posts: 562 Officer
    2-3's max until you get comfortable. Also look at wave length which is described in seconds. 4 foot waves at 10+ seconds apart are very doable, but 4 footers at 3 or 4 seconds can make your teeth rattle. Take it slow, and have fun. Use your head and you will be fine.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,017 Moderator
    A lot depends on where you are. 3' in the Gulf is rough, 3' in the Atlantic is not so bad. Like Chris said, another thing to look at is the period between waves. 3' at 4 seconds is rough, 3' at 8 seconds is not so bad. Learn YOUR capabilities as well as the capabilities of your boat.
  • remel1993remel1993 Posts: 536 Officer
    I appreciate all the feedback, very helpful !!! Any other tips would be appreciated as well.
    If I dont answer my phone call, either Im fishing or riding my motorcycle. -Salty Bike Life
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,781 Captain
    remel1993 wrote: »
    I appreciate all the feedback, very helpful !!! Any other tips would be appreciated as well.

    OK, I will give you a very old tip that is as good today as it ever was. It even is mentioned in the Bible (Matthew 16:2-3).

    Even if it is calm where you are at and viewing from, a "Red sky at morning means sailor take warning". If the weather forecast is for things to get windy that day and as you are driving to the ramp the sunrise sky is very reddish, you can be sure that later that day it is going to get rough out there.

    Don't let the fact that it is calm right then lull you into a false security of going ahead and running way offshore. I'm not saying don't go ahead and enjoy the calm morning and venture out a little ways and fish for a while, sometimes the bite can be red hot right before a weather change. I'm saying use it as a gauge to verify a predicted oncoming change for that day.

    On the other hand "Red sky at night is a sailor's delight". A very red sunset usually is a precursor to fair weather the following day.

    Tight lines and always err on the side of caution until you get a couple of years of what they refer to as "local Knowledge" for your area.
  • blckshp55blckshp55 Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    I am a new boater also.......about a year and a half. So far I have learned that 1. the weather forecast is usually wrong, 2-3 is usually 3-5, etc etc. 2. There is a reason people get up early to go fishing, the later you go the worse conditions seem to get. 3. Watch your tides...especially for jupiter inlet...low tide and strong east winds are bad.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 8,019 Admiral
    I've been out in 30 footers in a 20 ft boat, But they were half a mile apart and it was way cool. Never in any danger and good fishing if you are trolling.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • weetzaweetza Posts: 156 Officer
    The reports on fishweather, NOAA ect. look at the fine print. Its the highest 3rd of the wave height and some other factor. So even if its 4-6, I would always expect some bigger waves than that. Just saying be prepared for worse than what the reports say. I have a 17 FT Action Craft and routinely go offshore. Biggest problem as noted above, the inlet and prevailing winds.
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    Don't overlook wind direction in relation to tidal movement.

    The wind direction will tell you where you can hide if you are inshore, as you can find places that are more protected.

    And when the tide is running against the wind, things can get really nasty if you find yourself navigating a choke point like an inlet, bridge pass, or etc.

    I like www.windfinder.com for checking wind conditions.
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,931 AG
    Wave period is more important than wave height while at sea....Long period swells are fine except when you get back to some of the narrow, shallow, well known "bad" inlets....then you will have to deal with them.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    Look to see what other boats are going out & watch how they are doing getting past the inlet. Especially look at boats the size & shape of yours.

    Get reports from all the usual sources & then a few more. I like to check the surf report websites. They seem to understand the waves pretty well. Then look to see what you actually see out there. Believe your eyes above the reports.

    Once you are out there, watch for changes in wind & wave height. Watch for darkness on the horizon. If things look worse than predicted, then head for shore. If the reports are for deteriorating conditions, stay close to shore, even if things look good.

    Err on the side of caution. Start small & work your way up as you gain experience & competence. Please notice that I said competence & not confidence. Confidence is not your friend. Competence is. It takes time to build competence. It also takes a little education.

    Below 10 knots & below 2 feet is what I call mild conditions. We haven't had much of that lately.

    A 21 foot boat should be able to handle a fair bit more than that if it is piloted by a competent operator.

    South winds are your friend if you are in the gulf stream. They lay it down. North winds churn it up.

    West winds make it easier going out of most inlets on the east coast, but harder to get back in. East winds, are just the opposite. There are local variations that are exceptions to this rule.

    If the winds aren't forecast to change, I often plan to start my day's boating going upwind, so that I will have an easy ride home.
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    I've been in 2 1/2 footers that I don't care to meet up again with.
  • theglide96theglide96 Posts: 767 Officer
    I have found that Surf Report sites are great for real time sea conditions! When I used to surf those things were the first thing I looked at everyday. The people running those reports are typically out at dawn for dawn patrol and have real eyes on reports. Most will also have buoy info giving height/direction/wave period/etc. All incredibly useful info for fisherman as well! Good Luck!
  • Fish HaidFish Haid Posts: 8,417 Admiral
    People tend to over-state the size of waves they see.
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