Speaking of WIND and waves, got a question!

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Eric B

Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2001
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I was born on the East Coast, fished deep sea almost every weekend with my
dad, on big partty fishing boats. We have seen LARGE waves/swells, some times
5 to 8 feet, some larger.

With my old alum boat, 14', row, ive gone into 3 footers. My question is this.
What are the biggest swells/waves you have been in with your current

Im not reckless, just feel at home on water so it dont bother me too much I guess,
Ive learned to respect water.

I've been in 5-6footers on St.Clair and Saginaw Bay,....but what makes it dangerous is the fact that those bodies of water are relatively shallow,...so you can go down in a swell and feel your skeg hit the bottom!! And then you've got another 6 foot wave coming over the bow!! Not a lot of fun!! They're sometimes very close together too,...not at all like a swell.....they'll be 5 feet tall and 20 feet apart!!! That's how we end up spearing waves and getting swamped if you're not experienced in that stuff,....even the Pro's in the Top 150's and the FLW leave here with a whole new respect for "rough water"....guys down south who think a 2-3ft wave is BIG,....we often fish in that and it's not even considered nasty!! LOL...
Here's to white knuckles and bilgepumps!!
Remeber about a year ago when there was a tournament out of Memphis on the Mississippi and many of the boats came back damaged from the rough water conditions........

I was out on the Mississippi about 50 miles north of St. Louis that day in my Nitro 180. I had gone out early in the morning. The wind was fair at the time from the south comming right up the channel forming a steady chop of 1-footers. I went about 15 miles upstream and found a quiet slough that was shelterd from the wind to fish.......

Mid-afternoon, I decided to head back...... Got out to the main channel and S***! The swells were a consistant 4'! With whitecaps! There was a stiff wind of 30 to 40 mph coming right up the channel and I had a 15 mile trip back right into it! I found that at about 32 mph the boat pretty well rode the tops of the swells - with a Thump, Thump, Thump...... Needed a boxing-style mouth piece! I had a bit of concern about the prop coming out of the water and over-revving - but found that I wasn't giving it enough gas for that to be a real problem. Got back to the ramp safely - but I think all my innards were in my butt! Laoding was ************. Period. The ramp was right on the main channel with the wind and waves at a right angle to it. I could only cock the trailer at a slight angle into the waves because the ramp was too narrow. Don't know how in the world I ever managed to get the boat centered on the trailer. By Myself!

You won't find me venturing out in those conditions again with a 17 1/2-foot boat!

I just got my current boat, but I just sold a Tracker Super-Guide that had seen 7 footers. NOT on purpose. I'm on Lake Champlain, which is 112 miles long, North to South, and with a south wind it looks like Erie. Like Mac said, when the pros came here it gave them cause to respect mother nature. I was out watching those guys when the aftermath of hurricane Floyd came inland. That's how got caught in 7 foot waves. I am regularly out in 4 ft drifting, but honestly, that day, I called my wife on the cell and told her I loved her. She knew that I wasn't sure if I could make it back. Never lose respect for what water can do to yur boat and your body. I see a lot of guys out in bad water in a small 12 - 14 ft boat loaded. That's asking for trouble. Just when you think you've got mother nature figured out, she'll throw you and curve ball with a fast pitch mixed in. Just be careful man. Be careful, that's my advice. The fish aren't going anywhere.
In my current 911 (only for a few more days!!!!) I would say the worst were 8-9 footers on Erie. The wind shifted and we were 20 miles from land. The water was pretty easy to work with as they werent too close together, like they get on St. Clair. I could run the valleys and make some good headway to calmer waters.

The worst part about it was all the TOAD smallies we lost "doing the dance" on the deck to try and stay on the boat. The fish were in 30 feet of water and they would surface as soon as they were hooked. It was wild to see them jump 3 foot off of one of those waves and fall 12 feet to in the valley. But IF we could have landed 5 of those we would have had at least 25 lbs....and a signed customized print from Mr. Mac.....

My personal best was on Sam Rayburn a couple of years ago. Ran about 6 or 7 miles directly into about 4 or 5 footers in my Ol spinecrusher 896.