A Man Has Got to Know His Limits

Discussion in 'Kayak and Paddle Board Fishing' started by Direct C51, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Direct C51

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    Yesterday was the first day I had a chance to take the yak out since the rockfish season opened and it's going to be over a week until my next opportunity. I have been itching to go, and my freezer is down to the last 2 vacuum sealed fillets. I knew LJ was out days ago because of the swell but I figured I could make it out of the jetty. Magic Seaweed was showing something like 6' at 10 seconds so I stopped at the North Jetty to have a look. It looked rough but the swells seemed manageable. As I peddled out I knew it wasn't going to happen as I got to the cement building. I waited there for a bit observing and slowly making my way out but it was just too big. I turned around and tried to find some bait in the channel for hali fishing but there wasn't anything around. I decided to give it another shot and made it back past the cement building. I could see the swells white capping and crashing hard on the end of the South jetty but it looked like I could make it if I stayed on the North side. Right as I got about to the end of the channel a big, steep swell crashed over my bow and that was about as much fun as I wanted to have so I made a retreat trying not to tip as I surfed a few more big swells on the way in.

    At this point I decided to abandon that idea for awhile and fish around the lifeguard station with some frozen ghost shrimp I had. The bite wasn't great but I got 3 calicos, one being about legal size but skinny. The swell forecast was showing a decrease so I decided to check it out again. Same thing, whitecaps on both sides, steep swells, just not going to happen. I packed it up and decided I would go home and rest for a couple hours and try again for an afternoon session.

    I looked at the mission bay buoy data and saw that it had been reporting 9' at 10 seconds all morning. Yeah that's a little too big for me. By 1:30 it was down to 6.5' at 10 seconds so I went out to try again. The swells were a lot smaller in the channel this time so I thought everything was going to work out. Worst case is a total yardsale but I knew I could easily swim to the jetty. Usually once I get out of the channel and past the ends of the jetty, things get a lot smoother. Not today! It was not easy, but I made it out of the channel, and just when I thought things were going to be good, I got caught in the washing machine. The secondary and tertiary swells were nearly as big as the primary, but now they weren't being blocked by the jetty walls. I was getting thrown around and taking water over the bow with every swell. Turning around in that mess was not easy, and i thankfully caught little bit of a lull between sets. I made a quick escape, peddled right back to the truck and called it a day. I don't think I'll be trying anything that big again. I guess I found my limit. On the bright side, I got a lot of exercise, learned a lot with marginal real risk, and I didn't get skunked!
     
  2. biggbass

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    Great report - thanks for reminding us that we are just going sportfishing and its best to play it safe. Your family thanks you.
     
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  3. Werfless

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    Plenty of fish out there.. only one you, though..
     
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  4. fisheromen

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    Scary read! I was there with you! Good writing!
     
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  5. old_rookie

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    I tried the channel only twice. Once made it out and thought I probably won't do it again - just not an easy feeling. The 2nd time was the rock fish opener event a few years ago. Me and another yaker tried it but had to retreat for fear of our safety. That sealed the deal and I will never do the channel on a kayak again.

    Good you can tell your story.
     
  6. 5-20

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    Did you try to follow the tide out and come back with it again or were you going against the tide?
     
  7. Direct C51

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    You must have happened to go on 2 bad days. That is my go to spot for kayak fishing since it is so close to my house, and this was the first time I haven't been able to make it out. Usually it's a non-issue if swells are 4' or less. I've made it out with swells at 6' but the duration was a lot longer, like 15 sec, and there weren't those big secondary swells. Let me know if you ever want to try again.
     
  8. Direct C51

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    Perhaps I am just young, dumb, and still in decent shape, but I don't wait for the tide. It certainly slows me down, but the Outback with turbo fins does such a good job that I can still maintain a decent enough pace going against the current and wind if those are the conditions I am presented with. It's not that far of a peddle after all. I fish whenever I can for as long as I can, regardless of tide, current, solunar, etc.
     
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  9. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach
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    Fished the channel kelp beds, jetty ends, high spots, washing machine and rock ledges a LOT for a long time.. knowing what you and your kayak are capable of and how comfortable you are is absolutely key. A FnD is a whole different beast than any Hobie
     
  10. old_rookie

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    I wish I had the nerve to go again - but youth is starting to fade away. That 2nd time when we retreated to the end of the channel and fished there for the morning. The conditions must have changed. A few hours later a number of kayakers, some non fishing, said it was no issue. To put it in perspective, in the dark of morning that day, I heard on the radio some power boats were not able to make it out of the channel due to the conditions - I should have insisted with my partner to not go - but we continued to see for ourselves. Mistake.
     
  11. Direct C51

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    Just look at the mission beach buoy or even magic seaweed. Choose a day that is like 2' without a bunch of wind and it is a non-issue. Most of the time I am on my phone while peddling back in the channel, without even thinking about the swell. 90% of the time I find it a much easier launch and recovery than LJ. I'll take 5' swells if they are spaced out and not steep, over breakers any day.
     
  12. 5-20

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    The ocean dictates where you go.

    #PoseidonRules #Always
     
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