what is the hardest blowing wind you would feel comfortable fishing in a kayak?
Usually there are a lot of factors. Is it damp or crisp air? Is it cold or warm air? I’ll fish in a lot stronger wind in the summer when the air is dry with front approaching than I’ll fish in the late fall with damp air and crisp air coming. Which direction is the wind blowing, downriver or up? What’s the water conditions - easy water or technical whitewater?
I think the most challanging wind from which I have float fished was about 25 to 30mph gusting higher switching rapidly and ferociously between down and upriver. It was warm, dry air, just very confused air currents in the particular deep valley I was fishing. Water was non-technical class 2 that I was familiar with and the friend leading the trip was intimately familiar with.
- Big D
I have often fished in 15-20 knot winds.
But I fish calm tidal creeks and lakes…
The secret is to find sheltered areas to minimize the effect of the wind…
Me and a fishing buddy launched from a boat ramp at about 5:00 pm on Jordan Lake in NC. in August. A storm was brewing the water began to white cap the waves went over the bow and filled my cockpit. We were about 50 yards from the ramp it took us about 45 minutes to paddle back to the ramp. We went back out at 1:00 am. it was calm and quiet except for the crickets fishing was great. The wind was probably not gale force or nothing but it made me wonder.
Now surf fishing I’ve fished in some real blows. I can remember a nor’easter we fished at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We were down by the old Coast Guard station and the waves were wicked. We were casting 8oz weights with big chunks of bait to get it out there and give it a chance to hold bottom, which it did not do. That’s the third wettest I’ve ever been when fishing - and we were dressed for it. The wind just forced the rain through any little exposed area it could. Nobody caught anything, but we had some good stories to tell back at the cottage.
- Big D
not a kayak but tandem canoes …
...... can't do much fishing while fighting high wind force with high paddle force .
A down river fish/camp trip , wind came up late morning 2nd day , pushed us back up river even though we were digging in as hard as possible to keep going down river with the current .
3rd day on the Yough Res. the wind lit up , after 3 or 4 hrs. we'd had enough pushing into it . Did the 180 turn around of all time , a couple thousand foot skiding skew before turn completed ... we later learned more about trim and it's effects in high winds .
I can remember both times having this visual picture of what I imagined we might have looked like from anothers more distant perspective ... those mind pictures had me laughing so hard my guts were aching .
Have been on the bay too many times to count when the winds roared up (usually deep into the dark of night) , but that was in CC power boats (once it was 20' seas w/crest) ... motors and the Lord are good things !!
It can take the fun out of fishing
I have done a fair amount of river fishing in some 25+ knot winds and it gets to be more trouble that it is worth. Drift fishing is near impossible, have to park on a rock in an area where you can cast with the wind. I usually fish 4" lizards on a 1/8th to 1/4 ounce jig head so the high winds have a big impact on the fishing experience. The winds also increase the risk particularly in cold water and weather conditions. I haven’t fished much open water in my kayak but it seems to me high winds in big open water would be particularly painful when trying to fish. Not ot mention the added pleasure of paddling back to the ramp.
Not very hard if
it starts making it hard to cast a fly. I’m no big fan of having another pierced ear if its made by a barbed hook.
Whatever wind I am catching fish in. If crappie are biting, I’d go out in a hurricane. I fish in thunderstorms, high winds, snow,…whatever (except for hail, for obvious reasons), if the fish are biting. Niether my kayak, or my canoe will sink, so I am not worried. As far as lighting goes, I believe it seldom hits the water, prefering to hit trees and other tall objects. On the water, I know I am closer to sea-level than the surrounding terrain. And if I do get hit…oh well…just as long as I am catching fish…