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So thinking of taking the boat out for the first time of the season and am seeing winds of 16mph and gust of 32mph now 16 is common for me but with no ramps in it has me wondering if it's a good idea

another thing is how is driving a boat wide open when a gust of 32 comes in on a decent size lake nothing huge lets say 600 acres

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  • Super User

If your rain suit(you will get wet) and bilge pump are in good working order you'll be fine if you have enough TM. I take my 1448 flat bottom out during Small Craft Advisories and catch fish. I just ease around so I don't snap my Solix off. Nothing wrong with changing your mind at the ramp if you're not comfortable with the conditions. Be safe.

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  • Super User

Launch on the upwind side of the lake so the bigger waves are hitting the opposite side of the lake. This way you can recover your boat without surfing it back onto the trailer.

Tom

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  • BassResource.com Administrator

You didn't say what kind of boat you have.  But with a 600 acre lake, you won't get big rollers or major whitecaps.  You'll be fine in a fiberglass boat.  But if you're in a aluminum cartopper (or similar), boat control could become a problem.

 

That said, comfort is something to consider too. Fighting the wind with a trolling motor takes your focus off fishing.  And when the wind gets to a point where I have to cast upwind to compensate in order to get accurate casts, it's no longer fun for me.  It's work.  Unless the bite is on like Donkey Kong, I'm out.  I've done more than my fair share of fishing in strong winds to know there's plenty of better days ahead than to force it against Mother Nature.

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  • Super User

600 Acres with wind isn't too terrible. As Tom said, launch on the upwind side - or as close as possible. Even small boats can take waves if you're careful.

 

My old 14' Runabout with a 40hp took on some 3' waves getting back to the launch when the wind came up suddenly one time...handled it just fine and bilge pump kept up with the water occasionally washing over the gunwales.

(Not my old boat, but identical)

14Feet1968DuoOutboardRunabout.png.a56b8aa298e75f81c50d602f9b29db4c.png

 

BUT as Glenn said, if you're fighting the waves more than you're fishing....time to get off the water.

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I am a river rat 95% of the time. When it gets pretty windy I well tend to go to lakes where I can tuck away from the wind. Especially in colder weather.  I’m not sure what location you are at but, cold water makes everything more dangerous.
 

if you feel like it’s safe to do in your rig do it. If you have any doubts when you get there don’t hesitate to pack it up. The fish will be there tomorrow too.

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Ill add that boat problems are extra common on the first run of the year. If you break down in heavy wind you likely will end up on the rocks even if you throw an anchor. Other than that, it all depends on your boat's design and your experience. I, personally wouldn't be out in 30mph in any bassboat on any lake. Besides the obvious risks, launching and retrieving can be difficult in wind and waves.

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You can certainly do it, but it brings risks and is not fun and relaxing.   Launching and loading a boat in that kind of wind brings risks and headaches.  Many 600 acre lakes don’t have multiple accesses allowing you to get out of the wind.   Boat control, casting, feeling the bite are all harder on those days.  
if you fish tournaments, it is a good idea to practice in those conditions, but for fun fishing, I would avoid it.   Some people have only limited days to fish and have to fish in those conditions, in that case, you may have to get out when you can.  So long as you are capable of doing so safely.  
 

Good luck and hope you had a great day if you made it out there!!

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  • Super User

I've fished from my kayak in those conditions many times.  Though, I'll say, it's not usually much fun.  Boat control and casting become very hard.  But, if you're desperate for fishing, it can be done.  My absolute cutoff is 25mph winds with 40mph gusts.  Though usually I cut it off around 25mph gusts, because then it's just too much work, and I fish for fun.  

 

A lot will depend on the lake itself and the area around it.  If it's clear around the lake (no big trees or hills) and nothing to break the wind, and the lake runs lengthwise in the direction of the wind, then it'll probably get pretty gnarly.  If it's protected somewhat from the wind, it might not be so bad.  Either way, I'd try to use a ramp where you're not fighting the open wind, especially if it's a crosswind.  I've had to trailer boats in 40mph crosswinds before, and it's not fun.  

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Be prepared that if the wind shifts after you launch you could have a problem getting out. Yes, launch on the upwind side but watch for a change in direction and get out before you’re pulling out with waves at your back coming in. That’s the best recipe for a swamped boat if waves come up and over your transom. 

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  • Super User

Not sure what type of boat you own, but running wide open in heavy wind is rarely a good idea. The best advice is to take it easy and learn your hull and how it handles water. The only thing that can really teach you is seat time. I doubt you'll get too big of waves on a 600 acre lake, but it's always best to run into or with the wind. When you need to run cross wind, angle slightly down wind at an angle to keep your boat in-between the swells. This is what is commonly referred to as "running the trough". 

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Just stay home and try another day, just makes more sense!  

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