4-7 foot swell. Is that safe/ fishable?

PENN

kazba

Newbie
Sep 4, 2014
6
5
46
Name
Brian
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26 Grady White Cat
Got a question but I don't dare to post it in the fishing reports section. I have a 22 foot cuddy cabin walkaround and have fished socal for a couple years now (grew up fishing east coast). I am thinking of hitting the 9 tomorrow for a last shot at some yft. They are calling winds variable less than 10kts (which I know is great) but the swell is west 4-7 foot at 14 seconds. I just don't know if that swell is ok or not. Any advice on whether that is safe/ fishable would be greatly appreciated . thanks
 
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tuner

pysgotwyr
  • May 24, 2006
    1,433
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    Huntington Beach
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    Steve
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    260 Mackinaw
    4' @ 14s is doable. 7' @ 14s is close for a 22' boat and certainly any shorter period is a mess.
     
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    kazba

    Newbie
    Sep 4, 2014
    6
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    Brian
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    26 Grady White Cat
    Thanks tuner for the quick reply. You talked me into it, prob will slide right to fish Tues (16 sec intervals) or even Wednesday if I can make work happen.
     
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    Spoons

    USCG Master
    Oct 21, 2004
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    Very doable but prob not something you are familiar with.

    7-9' X 14sec is doable but like I said something SoCal guys aren't familiar to seeing.

    Also it's always a good idea to inquire about harbor entrances as depending on where they can break during big swell periods.
     
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    loreto1234

    LOBO
    May 8, 2007
    630
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    Lobo
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    None
    Swell+Intervals +Wind +Tide gives you a good idea of safer times to launch and come back or to just stay home during the days that just don't present a safe outing. Your passengers are expecting you to know these things as you are the Captain of a safe boat and secondly a fun hopefully great fishing day. Hope this helps.
     
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    jim isbell

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 25, 2015
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    Jim Isbell
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    I would not do it. I very much doubt it would be death defying, just that there are better days to pick for comfort. To boot, if that size is the base--where you are starting from, then it could very quickly get worse, in spite of any weather cast for the day. I realize a real pro would go in a minute--but I'm not a pro of any kind, and don't plan to be.
     
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    kazba

    Newbie
    Sep 4, 2014
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    Brian
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    26 Grady White Cat
    Thanks everyone for your replies. Badpetdave...yep I took it wrong. Asking the advice of others who have the knowledge is exactly what a blog is for. For example...if you wanted to know how to fish the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic or Puget Sound...I would have no problem giving you advice...especially safety advice. Thanks to everyone who actually understands the PURPOSE of this website. V/R-
     
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    badpetedave

    Active Member
    Aug 14, 2008
    458
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    socal
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    david
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    24 proline cc REEL DEAL
    Thanks everyone for your replies. Badpetdave...yep I took it wrong. Asking the advice of others who have the knowledge is exactly what a blog is for. For example...if you wanted to know how to fish the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic or Puget Sound...I would have no problem giving you advice...especially safety advice. Thanks to everyone who actually understands the PURPOSE of this website. V/R-
    Thanks everyone for your replies. Badpetdave...yep I took it wrong. Asking the advice of others who have the knowledge is exactly what a blog is for. For example...if you wanted to know how to fish the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic or Puget Sound...I would have no problem giving you advice...especially safety advice. Thanks to everyone who actually understands the PURPOSE of this website. V/R-
    I think asking if you could fish 4 -7 ft swells is a little different than asking how to fish a new area ! Good luck
     
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    Tip up

    Member
    Jun 10, 2012
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    Rob
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    Parker 2520 XL
    4' TO 7' Could turn out to be 3' to 4' or 5' to 9' either way you have to know your personal limits .The old saying holds true in your situation "better to be safe than sorry". I have three rules on my boat #1 safety # 2 keep the boat clean (blood is not dirty). #3 Catch fish . If you do the first two the third is always a no brainer for the guys that put the time in.
     
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    Arima-bob

    Ship faced aquaholic
    Mar 9, 2012
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    uh....
    I would go for it. I've gone out in worse in different boats. I'm sure your boat will handle the conditions just fine. It's more how comfortable YOU are with it. Make sure your safety mechanisms are in place and go have fun.
     
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    ?? fisherman

    super Captain
    Feb 27, 2003
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    I'll probably hear some flak for this, but I rarely let swell size hinder my decision when fishing offshore.

    For me, "Wind" is far more the enemy, and what can make things straight nasty, even on days when there isn't much swell. Once you get out in some deeper water, you often notice very little in the way of swell size, even on days when it's 7' plus. Wind is your enemy, and what can and will make things straight ugly when on the water.

    Stay alert, keep your eyes well open, watch conditions as they are changing while you are on the water, and always be ready to bail on in when you are not comfortable.

    The unknown fisherman:p:
     
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    tanner.s

    Fish Slaughterer
    Oct 18, 2012
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    If the wind stays down and you have a stout 22'er it should be just fine. I'd plan to ditch the water around 1pm, that is when the wind usually kicks up, compounds with the swell and tides, and can make for a really tough day.

    At 14sec, it's not a huge deal. I've done similar conditions in a 19 Cc bay boat. Rough and a little slow but felt safe the whole time.
     
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    Spoons

    USCG Master
    Oct 21, 2004
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    Capt. Erik
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    I'll probably hear some flak for this, but I rarely let swell size hinder my decision when fishing offshore.

    For me, "Wind" is far more the enemy, and what can make things straight nasty, even on days when there isn't much swell. Once you get out in some deeper water, you often notice very little in the way of swell size, even on days when it's 7' plus. Wind is your enemy, and what can and will make things straight ugly when on the water.

    Stay alert, keep your eyes well open, watch conditions as they are changing while you are on the water, and always be ready to bail on in when you are not comfortable.

    The unknown fisherman:p:

    Absolutely!

    With a swell, you're window from mildly uncomfortable to let's get the fuck outta here is a lot smaller when the wind turns on!

    If you're willing to experience it, give it a try. This will give you the opportunity to learn how to troll uphill, downhill, in the trough, or even just drifting if you think your stomach is capable. The more you learn the more experience you get and you will probably learn that your boat (depending on what you have) can handle more than you can.
     
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    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
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    The period is more important than the height of the swell. A long enough period and you don't really notice the swell almost regardless of the height. The wind can make a bigger difference than the swell and can change radically during the day. However, it all comes down to your experience and tolerance for conditions.
     
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    MYNomad

    Heading South
    Dec 12, 2007
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    Its all about period, and the ratio of height to period. If the period is shorter than the height, it will be uncomfortable, and the bigger the seas, the more uncomfortable -- and heading toward dangerous, largely a function of the boat and its design. One thing to note is that the effective period will become much shorter if you are heading into it -- take that into consideration when planning your trip.
     
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    Carl

    Bridesmaid,,,,,,,Again
  • Nov 29, 2004
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    The harbor mouths are where you're most likely to die in a big swell. Where are you going out of?

    Sd Bay no big deal usually. Mb, O'side and others I've been out of up north have more pucker factor.

    Wind on top of swell sucks.

    Also check the swell direction. I tried an offshore run on Fri. We left at 11 am and i wanted to get to a certain area quickly. The seas wouldn't allow us to do it, The forecasted 17 sec. interval was more like 8 sec.'s.....To make any headway we had to head on a more southerly course to quarter the swells and didn't make our destination in the time available.......Our planned line was straight into it......Nope, change of plans by Mother Nature. If you're on a trailer you may want to launch from a different harbor to get a more favorable angle to your zone.
     
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    loosendrag

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    Jul 13, 2006
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    The period is more important than the height of the swell. A long enough period and you don't really notice the swell almost regardless of the height. The wind can make a bigger difference than the swell and can change radically during the day. However, it all comes down to your experience and tolerance for conditions.
    Amen to that!
    Period is more important.
     
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    sickcat

    Silverback
    Aug 5, 2003
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    Thanks everyone for your replies. Badpetdave...yep I took it wrong. Asking the advice of others who have the knowledge is exactly what a blog is for. For example...if you wanted to know how to fish the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic or Puget Sound...I would have no problem giving you advice...especially safety advice. Thanks to everyone who actually understands the PURPOSE of this website. V/R-

    Don't be too hard on Dave. Given that "we" have little or no idea of your ability to run a boat his advice is pretty good - err on the safe side.

    That specific swell report on the face is very fishable offshore. As others have mentioned it may be an issue getting back into the harbor depending on swell direction, tide, wind and specific harbor. For instance I personally would not launch out of Oceanside. Do not cut your fuel supply so short that if you needed to divert to a different harbor fuel supply becomes a concern.
     
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    kazba

    Newbie
    Sep 4, 2014
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    Brian
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    26 Grady White Cat
    for a FOLUP, went out yesterday and the swell was pretty big in the morning, but very fishable. They were very far apart and I was able to do 18kts due west. The only real concern I had was if my engine died for some reason, so for the first couple patties we found...I fished them with the engine on. Unfortunately, the fishing was dead...I think that the swell churned the water too much and the fish headed south to find something warmer. I appreciate everyone's input and advice.
     
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