The extreme heat was the news maker Friday on the fishing scene. Dangerously high temperatures with heat indexes approaching 113 degrees took their toll on anglers and kept most from their planned fishing trips.
A moderate southwest wind gusting to around 20 mph was the nail in the coffin.
Prospects for a wind shift do not look good for several days. However, the forecasts are calling for a drop in velocities.
When speaking of velocities, it brings up Calvin Short’s notes asking about predicted wave heights offshore. Most of the offshore forecasts called for wave heights of 1 to 3 feet when the winds were gusting well over 15 knots. Short’s experience has shown velocities of that magnitude generate seas up to the 5- to 6-foot range.
He asked if I knew why the wave height estimates were so misleading.
I replied that his question is one that many offshore anglers using smaller boats have asked, including me.
For my offshore trips, I will postpone them if the wave heights are higher than the 2 to 3-foot range. Like Short, during my years of fishing offshore I have learned when to go and when to cancel based on wind velocities.
Winds up to 12 knots usually generate seas in the 1- to 3-foot range, which are tolerable for my trips. Sustained winds in the 12 to 20-knot range end up with seas usually running 3 to 5 feet.
While I do not know how the forecasts predict offshore wave heights, I do know when sustained winds are in the 10 to 20 knot range and higher, seas are usually too choppy for the smaller group of boats.
August is usually one of best months for light winds and seas. Hopefully, we will return to a typical August pattern soon.