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Discussion Starter #1
Launched in the gulf for the first time last weekend with flat conditions, piece of cake. My question is what do you guys consider to rough? I understand this can vary from person to person. What conditions are you guys looking for as far as wind and swell? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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If you look at the surf before launching and it looks scary...it's probably a good idea to switch gears and go inshore fishing. Everybody has a different definition of "scary", so just be smart.

If it's a 10mph wind forecast or greater, I avoid the gulf.
 

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just remember the hardest part is getting past the waves on the shore!
 

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Try this site for a 'good read' on the swells/waves and wind. Note that with a North wind of 15mph it's FLAT on the beach but ass pain getting back in.

http://www.swellinfo.com/surf-forecast/destin-florida

Also watch for winds to pick up and remain high from the South with a flat launch at 0530 it can be 3' at 1400 that afternoon...

This is just about the limit of 'scary' for me launching -


Safety - and start little - build up to those 2-3' swells.

Enjoy,
Stressless
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don't seem like you get to much time on the water if yiu don't got if the wind is over 10. Last weekend was 10mph north wind and I covered about 6 miles all together with not much of a problem.
 

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Here is the near shore wave & wind forecast outside Pensacola pass for the week ahead.
 

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If it's big enough to surf I stay inshore or go surfing.
If it is forecasted for north winds of 25 knots or more I usually stay inshore. Winds 20 or under out of the north are still manageable but I make sure I stay within a half mile of shore and then tack back in.

When I first started mixing sailing and fishing on my Hobie I will limit that to 15 knot winds, anything more and the kayak gets a little squirrelly trying to tack back in since it is missing a centerboard.
 

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I thought about trying the Gulf tomorrow, but SwellInfo says anywhere from 17-22 out of the north.
For me its one of those things where I can drive all the way to the beach and call it off if it looks too rough. There's a good chance I'll have to do the same tomorrow but we'll just have to see.
 

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Those interested in the origin of the reefcast I posted above can go here: http://fish-here.com.
Sign in for free, select a reefcast or wave cast for the area of the GOM of interest and a one week chart will be generated. The chart will update daily as you move forward into the week. I have found them to be reasonably accurate. :thumbup::thumbup:
 

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I always look at the flags when driving out when there is a strong north wind, the ones at the Grand Marlin, the one by the police station and the ones at Peg Legs and Margaritaville. If they are straight out facing south, SE, or SW and not showing any signs of drooping I don't go out or stay within a half mile.

I also check the forecast at NOAA and swellinfo, if they say winds are only 10 but will be getting stronger during the day to 20 or more I stay within a a few thousand feet of shore. You are still going to catch the same fish between a half mile to one mile, the only fish you are going to miss out on are the ones on the reefs two miles out.
 

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Going into the surf can be difficult but keep the bow pointed into the waves and you'll be fine. It's coming back onto the beach that usually presents the most problem. My only advise is to not try to paddle your kayak once your actually surfing a wave, just dip your paddle on the appropriate side of the kayak and hold it on the water as you head toward shore then jump out when your shallow enough to have some level of control over your yak on the gulf side of the boat...never the beach side or the waves will mow your yak right over you and anyone unlucky enough to be close. Use your good common sense and you'll be fine. Good luck!
 

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I went out a bit far last weekend and paid the price when it took an hour and a half to get back in against that north wind. I was pretty close to flagging down one of the cobia boats and asking for a ride back to shore lol.
 

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Here's a portion of the info from the link I sent - no painful login like Reefcast (which I really like for offshore fishing) but for yak fishing and specific to the surf at the beach for launch and recovery - this is the bomb. You can click many icons from Gulf Shores < - > Pompano Beach. Note the Wind direction and Swell direction, height and period lower left middle.

Cheers - hope this helps some folks.
 
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