Learning Ocean Conditions.

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rb85
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Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by rb85 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:43 pm

Following on from a previous topic there may be a little more room for discussion on how to learn about what to look for with ocean forecasting for safer fishing on open ocean rock platforms or bar crossings. Will respect the site and members and put the previous topic to bed where my views were different to that of the majority.

When going to fish open ocean rock ledges there are a number of factors YOU need to look at before determining if a trip is going to be safe to move forward with these are the factors I will study carefully.
-Tide
-Swell both current predicted and previous.
-Wind

Tide is obvious as some rock fishing ledges such as one I enjoy fishing is only accessible on low tide others are all tide options. As we all should know some tides are lower than others so pay attention to your tide prediction charts but more importantly if possible study the rock ledge you plan to fish a few days prior to see whether the ledge will be accessible and if so for how long. My rock spot sometimes you can get an hour either side of low other times much longer. Try and focus on how long the tide will fill in also as this could make a ledge unaccessible rapidly.

Swell is crucial to a safe open water rock ledge trip. This should be broken down to a number of things Swell Size, Swell Period and Direction then we need to look at what the swell is forecast to do but also what the swell previously has been doing tide can also have an effect in some locations also.

Ideally a small swell is what most rock anglers are looking for but a 3ft groundswell is a lot more dangerous than a 3ft windswell. For your selected fishing rock you need to know what amount of swell is safe. Some rocks will handle more than others only constant observation will allow you to gauge.
Swell Period is important as with a longer period the amount of waves tend to be less frequent but more powerful and a higher likelihood of what people call rogue sets. A longer swell period will also allow a swell to wrap into more protected locations causing waves that wouldn't normally hit these locations, swell direction will also effect the likelihood of swell being able to wrap in.

Swell direction pretty much determines the angle a swell travels at. In Victoria most swells come from the SW the exact direction will determine how strong the swell will hit certain locations if the coastline your rock is on is open to direct swell it will obviously be more exposed to waves than a rock that is sheltered from the direct swell angle. Swell period will have an effect on this obviously as a greater period swell will wrap in more than a low period swell.A low period swell will be more choppy and have less power but the waves will hit more frequently.

Swell forecasting is important both the previous an incoming swell. A reducing groundswell will have a few waves come through less frequently that are much larger but only have a couple in each set reducing to an infrequent wave depending on the strength on the swell. A forecasted building swell could grow rapidly catching people unexpected. Always expect a few waves larger than forecast but better yet pay attention to the wave buoys as this is an indication of what is happening offshore keep an eye on maximum wave height as this will help you see what the largest waves but also the frequency of normal waves and larger waves it will help determine whether its safe to fish or not.

Finally wind this is kind of a no brainer but a nice offshore or light onshore creates smooth ocean surfaces to make fishing comfortable a strong onshore will create a lot of wind chop making waves harder to see but also more height in the wind swell.

Less swell size, lower period swells with offshore winds is what I look for in the areas I fish but everywhere is different and observation is the key. This info may help for those attempting a bar crossing.



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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by Lecterfan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:39 pm

I %100 agree with the intent of this post. Anyone engaging in saltwater fishing should take some time to learn some basics for their preferred spots. They apply especially to surf, rock, and boat-fishing, but can be important on piers/jetties in heavy weather also.

My time rock/cliff fishing in WA taught me many important things, and one of the most important of them is this (and this needs to take off in Victoria - it was mentioned by OP in the other thread):
There are no "freak" waves. Instead, there are "king" waves, and these CAN, WILL, and DO happen even in glassy, seemingly predictable conditions. Edited to add: the change in lingo is important on the way we think about them. "Freaks" and "rogues" gives the wrong impression altogether - the ocean is dynamic, no matter how static it looks to the horizon.

There are stats - as meaningless as they literally translate in real life - it is something like every 10 sets (being an average, it means that of course there might be nothing for 30 sets and then a couple of kings roll through).

Bear in mind, that in glassy conditions it might take several hours for a king to roll through (and it still might be relatively minor and not cause any bother at all).

I highly recommend this book:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/7382616?se ... BD13616962

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDe ... 1_16-_-bdp

...or talk to people who know...like, really know, coxswains/masters and other pros, the coast guard etc..

This knowledge doesn't necessarily eliminate risk, but forewarned is forearmed. If it doesn't help you, it might help some inexperienced xmas-present warriors that you encounter down the track!
Last edited by Lecterfan on Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by VooDoo » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:56 pm

Take my hats off to you rb85 !!! Will give credits where credits due - many wouldn't be bother after the misunderstanding but you have not only shown acknowledgement of others views but taken the time to educate us all with your knowledge and experience.

You have my total respect - both as a fisho and a person !!!

Good on ya!! :thumbsup:
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"VooDoo .... WhoDoo .... YouDoo .... VooDoo" The Bug (Bugatti) S.A. [2019]

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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by skronkman » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:56 pm

A brief read for anyone interested in this topic. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_wave

Excerpt

"Individual "rogue waves" (also called "freak waves", "monster waves", "killer waves", and "king waves") much higher than the other waves in the sea state can occur. In the case of the Draupner wave, its 25 m (82 ft) height was 2.2 times the significant wave height. Such waves are distinct from tides, caused by the Moon and Sun's gravitational pull, tsunamis that are caused by underwater earthquakes or landslides, and waves generated by underwater explosions or the fall of meteorites—all having far longer wavelengths than wind waves.

Yet, the largest ever recorded wind waves are common — not rogue — waves in extreme sea states. For example: 29.1 m (95 ft) high waves have been recorded on the RRS Discovery in a sea with 18.5 m (61 ft) significant wave height, so the highest wave is only 1.6 times the significant wave height.[12] The biggest recorded by a buoy (as of 2011) was 32.3 m (106 ft) high during the 2007 typhoon Krosa near Taiwan.[13]"

Please don't anyone say that "rogue" waves don't exist. They are called rogue for a reason; You can't predict them. Maybe you have been on the water a very long time and haven't seen one but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by Fish-cador » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:12 pm

I agree that learning/reading the condition is crucial but still, taking kids to punchbowl is still a bloody effing stupid idea. The cliff face is too steep and slippery going up and down - kids may never be able to reach the rocks. :down:

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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by rb85 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:22 am

Fish-cador wrote:I agree that learning/reading the condition is crucial but still, taking kids to punchbowl is still a bloody effing stupid idea. The cliff face is too steep and slippery going up and down - kids may never be able to reach the rocks. :down:
Didn't read the bit about putting the previous topic to bed.



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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by rb85 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:30 am

skronkman wrote:A brief read for anyone interested in this topic. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_wave

Excerpt

"Individual "rogue waves" (also called "freak waves", "monster waves", "killer waves", and "king waves") much higher than the other waves in the sea state can occur. In the case of the Draupner wave, its 25 m (82 ft) height was 2.2 times the significant wave height. Such waves are distinct from tides, caused by the Moon and Sun's gravitational pull, tsunamis that are caused by underwater earthquakes or landslides, and waves generated by underwater explosions or the fall of meteorites—all having far longer wavelengths than wind waves.

Yet, the largest ever recorded wind waves are common — not rogue — waves in extreme sea states. For example: 29.1 m (95 ft) high waves have been recorded on the RRS Discovery in a sea with 18.5 m (61 ft) significant wave height, so the highest wave is only 1.6 times the significant wave height.[12] The biggest recorded by a buoy (as of 2011) was 32.3 m (106 ft) high during the 2007 typhoon Krosa near Taiwan.[13]"

Please don't anyone say that "rogue" waves don't exist. They are called rogue for a reason; You can't predict them. Maybe you have been on the water a very long time and haven't seen one but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
Technology is changing so that these waves are now more predictable and there is earlier warning systems. The problem with what most fisherman on rocks describe as rogue waves is a normal part of a swell event and not a freak event offshore such as an earthquake.

Lecterfan mentions king waves there's a sign on the northwest coast "King waves kill" at an area with many great rock fishing platforms.

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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by Wolly Bugger » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:22 am

rb85 wrote:
Fish-cador wrote:I agree that learning/reading the condition is crucial but still, taking kids to punchbowl is still a bloody effing stupid idea. The cliff face is too steep and slippery going up and down - kids may never be able to reach the rocks. :down:
Didn't read the bit about putting the previous topic to bed.
There is a photo at the Punchbowl, where one minute it looks calm, a couple of metres above sea level, the next photo shows it covered with white water.

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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by rb85 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:57 am

Wolly Bugger wrote:
rb85 wrote:
Fish-cador wrote:I agree that learning/reading the condition is crucial but still, taking kids to punchbowl is still a bloody effing stupid idea. The cliff face is too steep and slippery going up and down - kids may never be able to reach the rocks. :down:
Didn't read the bit about putting the previous topic to bed.
There is a photo at the Punchbowl, where one minute it looks calm, a couple of metres above sea level, the next photo shows it covered with white water.
Without knowing what day that picture was taken its difficult to describe but it would either be from a new groundswell or a wave from a reducing swell. The wave buoy data would pick this up its not a rogue wave.

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Re: Learning Ocean Conditions.

Post by skronkman » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:17 am

Rb85/lecterfan, I have never seen punchbowl. Perhaps what some people call rogue waves are indeed just normal swell events, I don't know. Please read the article above I posted along with another Wikipedia article here specifically on the subject https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_wave.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you, just in the interest of safety for all who venture on or near the sea. A rogue wave doesn't have to be big, just much bigger than the significant wave height that can be predicted by any of the models used to forecast them. They also only exist briefly and are very localised, meaning they could easily not be recorded by buoy and then appear right in front of you, your boat or the rock wall you're fishing on. They are more common (although smaller in total height) around coast lines, inlets, etc than in the open ocean due to the confluence of wave, tide, reflected wave, swell, etc. creating what is called constructive interference. This is where many small and average waves from different sources and directions just happen to all meet in the same location while at their peak, effectively adding all their heights together.

You would have to be unlucky to come across this situation, I agree, talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time but having had first hand experience of it as I mentioned in the previous thread I know how possible it is to be there. Please feel free to ignore any and all of my opinions but take heed of the information contained in the linked articles. I am only trying to add information to aid in your intended purpose of creating this thread. All the best everyone, being informed is a prerequisite to being safe. This can be an interesting and informative thread if we all play nice.

Edited slightly because I addressed the wrong persons comment initially.



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