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Old 11-22-2005, 10:16 AM
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lconn4 lconn4 is offline
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I've seen a lot of newbies ask this question a lot and I have thought about how I determine when to stay off the water.

With the winds in the 15 to 20 range for almost a month here in Southern Florida, I've been venturing out in rougher and rougher seas to the point that all but the larger boats will be off the water on some days.

I now appoach things a lot differently than when I first began yakfishing.

Today before I launch in rough seas, I tell myself I'm probably going to take a dunking and that if it does happen, I will come up laughing and not panicked.

As I paddle offshore I try to take some of the bigger waves from different angles to see how the yak is going to react.

My main concern is can I do a 360 without the use of my paddle without exiting my yak?

If you can't answer that question honestly to yourself, and you fear the answer, the water is too rough for fishing.

It does'nt take a lot of fish to get you doing circles on the water.

Lately I've been getting rocked to the bottom by grouper and to be hung up to bottom fish or no fish is the worst.

If I can't one handed paddle my yak upwind or current of my stuck line, it's not going to be a fun day.

I've had occassions where I've had to use the side of my face or head to brace my paddle.

I've now decided to quit worrying about going in the water with the confidence that I can get back on my yak with all gear intact and continue to fish.

You can learn a lot of stuff from the old timers at KFS and until you experience what they've written, you may be skeptical...

What ever happened to my good buddy BILL W?
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:39 AM
stevel stevel is offline
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The time to start worrying is when you stop worrying. Always be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
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Old 11-22-2005, 12:12 PM
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Not necessarily "be afraid", but err to the side of caution. If it doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't right.
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Old 11-22-2005, 01:28 PM
rwolson rwolson is offline
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Old timers advice is always good, but some guidelines I follow:
- small craft warnings posted, stay off the water
- if weather's getting rough and no power boats are around stay off the water or hug the coast
- if you see the S.S. Minnow, stay off the water.
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Old 11-22-2005, 03:17 PM
LunaSea LunaSea is offline
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Just the other day when I was launching at Convoy Point in Biscayne Bay, a National Park ranger made it a point to come over and let me know that there was a small craft warning issued earlier in the day, so I said "Thank you sir, if I see any small craft I'll be sure to warn them!" And actually, the bay was rough but certainly nothing a good seaworthy yak couldn't handle...a canoe would've had some problems, no doubt...but not a yak.

Stay safe out there lconn!
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Old 11-23-2005, 07:39 AM
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Location/water temps has a lot to do with whether I decide to go out or not. If the water temps are chilly like now that would be a major concern to me. Add to that the wind and wave factor like white caps with winds over 15 MPH is a definite NO. If it's just windy like 10-13 MPH with small chop, maybe I would go but it ain't gonna be fun and it's probably gonna be a lot of work.

Generally, if I don't think it's a good idea to go, I won't. Also, don't let anyone brow beat you into going out into something you are not comfortable with, just because they called you a chicken. It's your life!
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:37 AM
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Take little steps not big ones.
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Old 11-25-2005, 06:48 PM
DenD76 DenD76 is offline
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The thing I worry about most is wind direction. If its really rough, you want to make sure that the wind is going to be at your back coming in. From experience, there is nothing worse than underestimating the weather conditions going out, only to have to fight extremely hard on your way back in.
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:31 AM
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the other day I was out and the wind picked up to 20 from the east and I ended up backing the yak for about a mile before the winds let up.

I could have made it in paddling forward, but I don't like looking at waves or hearing waves approaching from the rear.

It reminded me of flight school and practicing stalls. Airplanes can fly backwards if the wind is strong enough.

You don't see many planes landing with the wind, try stuff so you have some options.
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