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I am a new fisherman and new kayaker.  I am only interested in inshore fishing.  My problem is trying to decide if its a safe day to go fishing & what to check.

 

So what do you look at the night before?  What do you check the morning of?

 

I know I should check the weather forcast to see if storms are pending?

What is the proposed wind speed and direction?

How much wind it too much for inshore fishing??

Is it one of the best fishing days?   Does it really matter?

check on the time of the High Tide.

 

Is there anything that I missed?

 

Or am I over analyzing this....

 

usscot555

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I check at least 3 and sometimes 5 things before going out and start looking at the specifics for the day I plan to fish as soon as I know I will be fishing a particular day. (as often as not I decide to fish today or tomorrow).

 

First I check the weather forecast. If there is a chance of rain - I usually try to get a look at the live radar shortly before I head out. (and continue to monitor with smartphone while on the water if there are storms anywhere nearby)

 

Next I check the winds. The general boating forecast will give you a range - 5-10, 15>20 etc. - but there are other sources that give more detailed and time specific wind info. I think that www.fishweather.com is among the best or at least my favorite. It shows up to the minute reporting of what current wind speeds are and have been over the last few hours - at a variety of reporting stations nearby where you will be fishing. It also has pretty accurate hourly forecasting (for general trends at least) for 6 days forward.

 

The other primary fishing info source I check is www.tides4fishing.com . This I look at for times of high and low tide, the strength of the tide, the projected times when feeding activity will supposedly be higher based on the solunar chart and I look to see what the barometer is doing before I head out as well.

 

The other big tool that every fisherman should utilize is Google earth. Learning where and when certain species of fish hang out most often is valuable knowledge. Once you have some of that knowledge and start to learn/know what to look for - Google earth will provide you with incredible birds eye views of every inch of water you intend to fish and you can zoom in surprisingly close. Its a great "searching" tool without even being on the water - and its a great "planning" tool as well so you can create a plan of where and approximately when you will be fishing on your next trip. In particular, I look at what the winds are expected to do and with that knowledge create a plan that corresponds and makes sense based on the expected conditions. If the weather is iffy and I go out anyway I will likely fish reasonably close to where I launched so I can get back pretty quickly if bad weather approaches. If the winds are expected to be higher than my liking then I will target "backwater" and/or "protected" areas. If I know from what direction the winds are likely to be coming, It's way easier to decide ahead of time which direction to approach a particular flat that I want to do a drift over... etc

 

Does the extra attention on analyzing multiple details like this help me catch more fish?

 

Yes - No - Maybe - Probably - Not really sure - LOL I like to think yes - but its hard to prove.

 

I don't like going out if sustained winds are projected to be 15 or more and I have a small boat with a pretty good sized engine. Kayaks are obviously more effected by winds than boats - especially if you are paddling. If winds are projected at 10-15 or lower, you will probably be fine - but I wouldn't go out if its any higher than that until you get a better feel of what's what and what you and your kayak are capable of withstanding.

 

Hope some of that info helps you. There is a TON of useful info on the site and in these forums. Use the "search" feature in the forums and on the front page to find info about specific things.

 

Good Luck.

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Pick grin gave some good advice. Since your request was focused on safety, and you are new to kayak fishing, I'll share my checklist.

1. Go with a buddy or let someone know where you are going and when you'll be back.

2. I use AccuWeather on my phone, and pay close attention to hourly. Precipitation over 45 pct, and/or wind speed over 14 exceed my safety threshhold.

3. On the gulf, a westerly component to the wind makes it easier to get back. Strong east winds make me use my "sea anchor".

4. Use an anchor so you don't drift into trouble. When winds get the better of you on a long paddle, the anchor allows you to rest. 20' of anchor rope and an anchor trolley.

5. Use a paddle tether. Just do it.

6. Bring along plenty of hydration.

7. Put you phone in a dry box or waterproof bag. I use two ziplok baggies and have my phone in a chest pocket.

8. Check your drain plug to make sure it is there and sealed snug.

9. When you are at anchor and tall clouds are present, position yourself so that you can see those tall clouds. Lightning can strike before rain falls and a pop up storm can catch you if you aren't paying attention.

 

Good luck and be safe!

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You've gotten some great advice especially about the wind and weather.  These are MUSTS to pay attention to, especially in a yak. 

 

As far as the other info is concerned, keep in mind that if you don't have a bait or lure in the water you won't be catching anything.  Fish can, and do, bite at the most unlikely times and places. 

 

Tight lines.  :)

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