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Heading Offshore.


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Hi Raiders.

Just after some info on weather conditions to lookout for when heading offshore (Sydney Heads, Barrenjoey) I run a 16ft Carribean that's geared up to head out, but i'm wondering what conditions such as wind direction, etc should you take notice of in the predicted forecast. Also what is the recommended radio frequency to use when checking in and out when heading offshore. I have been researching but me and computers :thumbdown:



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Guest Big-Banana

It depends really on whats been happening the few days prior. A good rules is the Southerly winds mean generally crappy seas with plenty of chop & slop. A NE can stir up so ugly seas but I find the further you head out the better it becomes. A NW is usually good. Easterly is usually ugly. It takes a bit of trial and error. Just remember to keep checking the weather predictions. A westerly, I find is good for fishing close but the further you head out the sloppier it gets. No two days on the water are the same, so be careful even when small seas are predicted.

88 would be the best bet to log in and out with coast guard or coastal patrol.

Another thing, if a southerly has been blowing all week and it comes to a day where its blowing 5 knots it would be likely that the sea is still rough. It can take a little while for seas to abate though. Once again checking wave heights is your best bet.

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Mate its not so much what seas and winds are crap but how you use them....

Eg: yesterday's forecast was early 10/15 knot NE winds then they would rise to 20/25knots...

So therefore we decided to head to the bait station which is NE of Sydney heads.....this made our trip there in 10/15 knots a little rough but we knew that when the Heavy winds came in that we would be riding the chop home ....so in 20 knots of wind we had a very smooth ride home.

We never concrete our destination untill the night before.

Another thing that makes a difference is the swell direction in comparison to the wind direction....

All winds can be ugly if the swell direction isnt matching....

If you are new to offshore fishing i suggest you only go out on calm days where the wind 10 knots or under and the swell is under a metre.

But always remember what is forecasted doesnt always happen so be prepared for BOM to be wrong quite often.

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Yeah, i trust a weather man about as much as i trust a car salesman. Thanks for the help guy's, it will go a long way.



Get to understand the synoptic chart. What is a ridge, what is a trough, and what you can expect etc. Any sailing book will give you a clear understanding of these things. The top of the page on the BOM marine section will have "WARNINGS".

Avoid going out when a strong wind warning is current. They usually don't get that wrong.

If you have a VHF stay on Ch 16 and updates will be broadcast regularly. Dont forget to log on and off with one of the volunteer organisations. even better, pay an anual subscription to one for about $30 and they will well and truly look after you.

good luck on the water.


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