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Been using tides4fishing pensacola for Wave height and wind/weather to plan trips.Yesterday (5/22 Friday) was supposed to be 1.5 ft to 2 ft all day in coastal waters .Was more like 3-4 ft all day 1/2 mile to 2 miles off Ft Pickens pass /pensacola pier with large roller 5-6 sec apart .Weather/gov says everyday is 1 ft or 2 ft with occasional 2-3 ft. What are the knowledgeable fishermen using?? Also what months are the Menhaden or spanish sardines in the Fort Pickens pass .Couple of months ago was packed with both.Yesterday saw none pass out to about 55ft Thanks for any input
 

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The last week has been noticeably worse than usu. I use reefcast and noaa and the past 2 trips 1.5 foot waves were actually 2.5+. Maybe the third time will be the charm but that’s forecasting for ya.
 

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Magicseaweed. There's folks that don't like it but seems they aren't looking at the heights of the primary + the secondary swells. Add in wind, swells get bigger and shorter intervals.

ETA Throw in a E or W wind, it gets sloppy regardless of swell height.
 

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I look at Windy.com and Windfinder and between the two I kinda blend it in my head, opt mainly for the worse of the two, and it's usually about right.
 

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Been using tides4fishing pensacola for Wave height and wind/weather to plan trips.Yesterday (5/22 Friday) was supposed to be 1.5 ft to 2 ft all day in coastal waters .Was more like 3-4 ft all day 1/2 mile to 2 miles off Ft Pickens pass /pensacola pier with large roller 5-6 sec apart .Weather/gov says everyday is 1 ft or 2 ft with occasional 2-3 ft. What are the knowledgeable fishermen using?? Also what months are the Menhaden or spanish sardines in the Fort Pickens pass .Couple of months ago was packed with both.Yesterday saw none pass out to about 55ft Thanks for any input
Even though I know this is there, I often see 1-2 and think that means 1-2. It doesn’t because,

“Seas are given as significant wave height...which is the average
height of the highest 1/3 of the waves. Individual waves may be more
than twice the significant wave height. Winds and seas will be
higher in and around thunderstorms.”

This is why, a couple of Friday’s ago, we went out, and it was 3-6 instead of the 1-2 called for. Before we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and turned around, my wife got sick and threw up and my granddaughter fell and busted her nose, and I wanted to punch the guy who put 1-2 on NOAA’s 420412 buoy forecast and myself for not being more diligent.

The problem is that sometimes, 1-2 is 1-2, and there’s really no way other than, as other’s have said, get all the input you can then make your best guess. The truth is, you just never know until you get out there. Even 420412, which is the closest buoy to Pcola, is 44 miles off Orange Beach. The misnamed “Pensacola Buoy“ is 115 miles SSE of Pcola. The further away they are, the less accurate. Normally, I look at 42012 which has two offshore forecasts, 42040 (63 miles south of Dauphin Island) and 42039 (the aforementioned “Pensacola Buoy”) to get a more accurate picture. One thing I’ve learned — unless there’s a strong north wind, you can’t trust the 012 buoy’s ”20 miles out” forecast if it’s showing significantly smaller wave heights than the other buoy’s. If 039 is showing 2-3 and 012 is showing 1-2, forget it unless there’s a north wind laying it down close in. Even then the north wind won‘t lay it down 20 miles out. My experience has been that you get about a mile out of a good north wind.

Now, that’s not even addressing NOAA’s math. If you’re measuring 1/3 of the wave, then waves can be three times bigger than the stated height — not twice — although NOAA does say “...may be MORE than twice the significant wave height...” It would seem to me that, in this day and and time, we could get a more precise measurement than “may be more than twice,” but I guess this problem is small potatoes compared with what this country faces. But look on the bright side — they can‘t predict what the waves will be tomorrow, but they know exactly how and when Climate Change will destroy the Earth o_O
 

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On the 22nd windy forecasted .8 to .9 meter wave heights 4 second period. I'd say it was pretty spot-on. 3ft seas and a 4 second period with a steady wind means a crappy day fishing. At least the seas were out of the south and not the east.
 

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Also weather Buoy 42012 is not 44 miles from Orange Beach, more like 15. It is 44 miles from Mobile.
 

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Many people don’t realize that 2.3’, which is lowest it’s been recorded at bout 42012 for the last few days (and was forested) is not comfortable in a boat under 25’.
 

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I always double whatever they say. If they say 1-2', then it's most likely going to be 2-4'.
And 1-3' will be 2-6' rolls. Flat can be anywhere from flat, smooth to 1' rolls. g/l
 
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