View Full Version : Can  I fish in the ocean with my boat?

01-27-2007, 02:27 PM
I have a 15 ft trihull but have been scared to take it into the bay. Everyone says it's way to small but could I keep it close to shore and do some perch fishing? I've never been on the ocean but would really like to go. I've been out deep sea fishing but never piloting my own boat. Any answers?


01-27-2007, 03:29 PM
Your boat is bay safe, but not really for the ocean. For the bay just check for small craft advisories.

01-27-2007, 05:47 PM
Half Moon Bay appears to be calm to use small crafts. Like what P Town said, just check for small craft advisories. I have seen guys fish at Half Moon Bay with inflatable boats and managed to be safe. Some even use jet skis to go crabbing out of Princeton Harbor. Just remember, summertime is the best time to do it, especially when there are minimal differences in tides. Lastly, the winds pick up usually in the late afternoon, around 5pm. If you go, be sure to be back way before then.

01-27-2007, 08:44 PM
S H , Those tri hulls, Are not very good in choppy water. my buddy used to have a 17 ft. tri hull. Fished it once in berkley. It did ok until it got windy. If you do go pick your days carefully. and if you go on the big pond ,stay away from the shore.Sneeker waves come up out of no where. stick to 50ft or more of water.

01-27-2007, 09:40 PM
From what I hear you should be fine if you go in the morning on a calm day in the bay. I know people who take out 15' in the ocean but would have to pick your day carefully. I know of a guy and have seen others out on the bay in 12 aluminum boats. They said you just have to go in the morning because it is calmer and be off by 2pm when the wind picks up. I would try it on a 15' boat but would check it before i launched and if it started to get choppy I might head in.
good luck and be safe out there.

01-27-2007, 10:01 PM

You've seen my boat (green lund) as I camped next to you the Pyramd Fest, and I have taken it out of Berkley out the Gate to Duxbury. As the others have said, you just need to keep an eye the weather. And if it get rough, GO SLOW. HMB, near shore souldn't be a problem, with decent weather. Aren't tri-hulls more stable?

01-29-2007, 04:28 AM
Thanks for all of the information. I guess the best way to find out is to just go. The reason I really wondered was I saw a couple guys down in Monterey fishing the kelp beds in a smaller boat and wondered why aaI couldn't try it. I also know that they rent aluminum boats at lawsons landing to fish Tomales bay. I think I might give it a try later in the year. My boat has been gone through and has reenforced fiberglass hulls. It gets alittle unstable in 5-8' swells. Two years ago at pyramid we had huge wind and the swells were in the 4-6' range and I did fine. I took in a little water in the rear of the boat but it was nothing that the bildge pump couldn't handle.

Any other info would be great.
Thanks to every one.

01-29-2007, 08:20 AM
I have had my boat (16 foot Crestliner) in Tomales Bay, Suisun Bay, and all around the Rio Vista area. I am going to try the outer Bay - near Bodega - Saturday. My feeling is that it all depends on the weather (wind) If it is a flat/calm day - you should have no problems. The problem is the wind. The worst day I ever had on the water was on Folsom lake during a wind storm. It was blowing about 20-25 mph and I had 3 foot waves coming over the bow. Learn to read the weather reports - ie tides, wind speed, swell size and wavelengths between swells.

01-29-2007, 11:10 AM
I have a 14 foot Klamath. I have taken it on inner Bodega Bay, east of a line between Bodega Head and Tomales Point, during a small craft warning. It wasn't a great day on the water. Wind waves kept thumping the bow. However, I never felt that I was in any real danger because the boat never seemed to get tippy.

Last year my girlfriend and I took it out to the whistle buoy in a vain attempt to catch a salmon. It was very calm. She was very enthusiastic. In fact it was her idea.

The lesson is to pick your days carefully. Use the online data from the weather buoy. It gives wave reports that are an hour old. The fish don't seem to bite as well on rough days anyway.

01-29-2007, 01:26 PM
12 ft Porta-bote and I'm every where! Pick your days and monitor the weather! VHF radio and life vest at all times ;)

01-29-2007, 06:46 PM
are you kidding me, the 14ft skiffs they rent from the wharf
isn't even as good a boat as yours and I see those guys like
6mi out, no radios, GPS, etc...I'm not saying thats cool but your
boat this time of yr is great....in the winter on the coast sure we
get large swells, but lately its been a lake out there...the summer
is the worst with the fog bank out side and add the wind and chop
and that's the killer. right now is awesome... you can go out to the *
mile buoy and catch sand dabs. and if your in montery just like 2mi
out of the harbor is the giant squid....if you watch the swell forecast and *the winds and if its smaller than 4-6ft you'll be just fine...without wind there just lumps in the water....wind is the enemy...
as for catching perch, there in shore to close for even you to fish..
right now its sandabs, sharks, squid, and halibut.....and while fishing *
for sanddabs you are going to hook rock cod,,, you just have to throw them back.....you should go. this is the time of year to go out and see.
as for VHF, that is a good thing, but a cell phone with the # at the harbor would get you by too...you can't imagine the boats I see out there on the opener of salmon or rock cod...your boat would be heaven...lol
remember, coast guard does require you to have 3 flares up to date
and fire extinguisher, a whistle or horn, paddle, throw-able, life jackets for all on board, and a copy of your boat reg, and your lic....an anchor is a good thing and a tow rope 50-100ft is good too.... *
santa cruz, moss landing, monterey, half moon bay, are all good places
to go out of and find fish....under the gate is a whole other world...
you have huge currents and the potato patch to deal with and you *
have to motor a long ways to a launch site...
hope this helps you feel better, I fished for yrs in a 12ft alu out to 6mi
when I was younger and not once ever had a problem...
oh yeah there was that one time in fog...
motored to where I thought was the fishing hole and ended up at the *tip of the wharf....
my friend said,, I here a horn...
its just the mile buoy I told him, were almost there...
it was a car on wharf..... *

I almost forgot...if you have no GPS, then a compass is good..
in santa cruz the shore is always straight north...
you'll be fine, and have fun...smilin steve

if you choose santa cruz, PM me and I'll give you my cell
that way if you need help or such I may be able to help you
or I may be out fishing squid.....

01-30-2007, 01:43 PM
It can be done if you use common sence. You should have either a hand held or base marine radio and a cheap GPS. This way if you get into trouble you will know where you are at and be able to call for help. A kicker (back-up engine) is always advised. I have taken a 12 alum out about 1/4 mile out from the coast and did some great rock fishing however the cove where I put the boat in was only 1 mile north of my loaction. You need to pick your days and at the first sign of choppy water get back ASAP.

01-30-2007, 05:14 PM
you know it wasn't that long ago that we had no GPS....
I use to fish back around 92 and I had no GPS...
I would use a compass and map with sight markers to get close
and all the skiff out there have none....
you can fish within 3/4mi out with no fog and see the landmarks
just fine... the vhf is good, but know this. if there are no other
boats in your area and you are stranded...they will only call
vessel assist for you...they only respond to life in danger situations..
so you see, a cell phone will get you just as much on the water if
there are no boats around.. and by no means am I saying not to
invest in a VHF but, if you are only going to go out a short distance
like 3mi which is all you need this time of year, you will be fine...
here's a trick for you, check in at the launch ramp or local bait shop
that has a phone. get the ph# and let them know your going out...
you can call him if you need assistance and he may know someone
near you that can get to you for help.....
the vessel asst cost like 150.00hr from the time you call them till the
time you get back in...you can however sign up for 142.00yr and you
will get unlimited towing and that includes the delta region too.....
hope this help you see it a little better....
on the ocean you can never have enough safety gear....
I carry my wetsuit,mask and fins so if I have to go in and patch a
hole or get the prop free I can without freezing....also acts as a great
survival suit too...

01-30-2007, 06:26 PM
Good stuff, Blue - both posts. I like it. I'm ready load up and go.

Hear that Hillbilly [smiley=winkfs.gif] I'll be working that area (Monterey/Santa Cruz) March 1st thru Tuesday, the 13th. Give me a holler and maybe we can get together and meet up with Smilin Steve and get a start on the salt.... like on one of those weekends. 8-)

01-30-2007, 08:07 PM
HILLBILLY[smiley=cheers.gif] FRANK[smiley=cheers.gif] ANY OTHERS[smiley=cheers.gif]
sounds good boys.....
let the good times roll.....

01-30-2007, 08:52 PM
I dont know how much waight your boat can handle but if you bring this guys survival kit you should be fine. ;)


01-30-2007, 11:52 PM
none of that stuff will help you if your in the water
cause if the boat sinks it really won't do you any good...
carrying hand tools and things like duct tape, clamps,wire,etc
is the things you will use to fix a problem...
but if your taking on water and going down..thats a different story.

http://www.equipped.com/GRAPHICS/burningboat.jpg *

the look on his face says everything.......

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i204/blue_crush_2/funny%20pics/swampedboat.jpg?t=1170228021 *

3 things to save your life if you go down.....

give an sos if time, or push the DSC button.
waterproof VHF handheld...or a fixed on with DSC...
DSC. is a red button you need to push only once and
will transmit your signel till the battery goes dead...

life jackets 1st and a raft is nice, even a cooler will work...
http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/wmjmarine_1931_259678208 http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/wmjmarine_1931_257185950 *
EPIRBs.....an emergency positioning beacon
very pricey but will have the coast gaurd on you in 10/20mins
one bag of emergency stuff....
thats your handheld vhf, olin emergency kit,
Survival RapidDitch Bag

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/wmjmarine_1931_166299019 *http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/wmjmarine_1931_261037592 *

this is a fellow that is not looking very good either.....
far offshore with *nothing but this video camera...


01-31-2007, 12:35 AM
Sorry BC I was just kidding ;D

01-31-2007, 09:43 AM
Hey guys.... Scott Peterson was trolling for sturgeon in the bay in his 14' alum.boat with no problem. ::)

01-31-2007, 12:00 PM
BC great advice as always.



01-31-2007, 01:34 PM
Cell phone is a good idea in some areas , but north of the Gate service is iffy . Last year while fishing in Tamales Bay - NO SIGNAL ! While traveling the north coast I generally have the same " no signal " issues , think its time to switch from Verizon . Whats phone companies are you guys using that work off our north coast ?

Thanks , Dan

01-31-2007, 06:24 PM
When I was poke pole fishing down at Lawson's Landing last summer, the old local I fished with told me a story about a couple of guys he knows, guys who know the water, who headed out to the open ocean and got hit by a rogue wave that flipped their boat and left them floundering, with all their gear on the bottom... except for one thing.

A water tight bag floated to the surface with a dry cell phone (might have been a VHF, but I sure he told me a cell phone), and they managed to call Lawson's who came out and saved their bacon.

The point of the story he was telling me was: "... don't go to far out there if you can't holler back to shore."

02-02-2007, 03:40 AM
Hey I'm game for march. Give me the dates. I have a VHF radio. I'm also going to get a hand held GPS. I'll fire up the boat this week and get her running right and pick up a few things for the trip. Santa cruz here I come.

02-02-2007, 10:31 AM
again sea conditions, tri hulls are known as WATER SCOOPS, a little chop and look out, I know of two guys their boat fille half full of water in a heartbeat. go careful,

02-02-2007, 11:04 AM
I'm going to be very careful. I'm not stupid I'm not going to put my self in Danger if I don't have to. The only way I'm going to find out how is just go do it. I wouldn't go out to far on the first voyage. I want to find out how the boat reacts to the water before I get my self in an incident. I will keep in mind about the trihull though. It's the only boat I have for now so I'll have to find out if it works. If I feel uncomfortable I wont do it again. ;)

02-02-2007, 12:12 PM
Thanks for posting this, SH. I'm in the begining stages of getting aboat, just not sure when. I've been looking at 14' and 15' side console Klamaths and Gregors. I'm not much for offshore California( and at this point everyone knows why ::)), but I am into SF bay. This thread addresses my concerns about bay fishing in this size boat. Sounds like no problem, with the usual common sense approaches and being mindful of wind.
Need something light enough for the Jeep to pull (2k max).
Anyone have an idea how much a 15' Klamath weighs?

02-02-2007, 01:07 PM
I dont think you would have a problem pulling it. I have a 14' klamath and I pull it behind my little ford ranger no problem. In fact I use to pull it with my CJ-7 when I had it. I think you'll be fine. What kind of jeep?

02-02-2007, 01:31 PM
2003 wrangler 6 cyl.

02-02-2007, 01:36 PM
Kromebright do you have any friends that have a boat of the approximate size your looking for? If you do why dont you ask them if you could hook up the boat for a test

02-02-2007, 02:25 PM
Good idea. I'm still in the early idea stage. Still need to figure out $$ and storage.

02-02-2007, 03:29 PM
This was in an Oregon paper yesterday. Most people that own a boat would know not to take any boat yet alone a small boat into the surf zone but it points out there is no mercy in ocean or the bay for that matter ince you end up in the drink.

Big wave flips aluminum boat, injures men

Thursday, February 1, 2007 2:04 PM PST

A California man remains in critical condition this morning after he and another man were thrown from their small boat into the surf near Harbor on Wednesday afternoon.

Rescuers went to Sport Haven Beach at about 3:45 p.m. when a 911 caller reported a boat had capsized in the surf off the beach, a Curry County Sheriff's Office press release said. Two men were in the water, but two unidentified local residents at the beach had rescued them from the surf by the time rescuers arrived.

The boaters were identified as 70-year-old Brian Wilby, of Fort Jones, Calif., and Billy Guinnane, of Redding, Calif. Wilby, who was conscious, was suffering from saltwater inhalation and hypothermia. He was taken to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City, Calif. Guinnane was unresponsive with no vital signs. Harbor Fire Department and sheriff's personnel started CPR and eventually revived Guinnane, who also was taken to the Crescent City hospital, where he remained in critical condition this morning.

Wilby later told police the men were in a 15-foot aluminum boat, pulling up crab pots just south of the Chetco River south jetty. A 10- to 12-foot wave then broke, flipping the boat.

A U.S. Coast Guard crew removed the boat from the surf.

02-02-2007, 07:19 PM
again sea conditions, tri hulls are known as WATER SCOOPS, a little chop and look out, I know of two guys their boat fille half full of water in a heartbeat. go careful,

That may be true of some tri hulls but I've owned 4 Boston Whalers (3 13's and a 17') plus one 17' Thunderbird tri hull and none of them were "WATER SCOOPS". The Thunderbird was very rough riding (pounded your guts out) when heading into wind chop or short, sharp seas but it was very seaworthy otherwise. JMHO

02-02-2007, 08:43 PM
We fished in the bay in our 16ft tri and did pretty good. We were out catchin butts and stripers. When the wind kicked up we headed home. We did have some water come over the bow twice. Enough to make me put the bilge on. It was not to the point that I was worried but weather out there can change very quickly. I will definetly go out again but will watch the weather. I would not feel safe if it really kicked up.


02-02-2007, 09:36 PM
I take my 16' Willie drift boat into the bay and do just fine. Probably similar to the trihull though with the flat bottom on the drift boat. up over the swll and crash down on the bottom back up and crash down. On the windy days just quarter into them and slow down on the throttle at the top.

02-03-2007, 03:47 AM
Yep sounds familiar up the swell and then crash down. I found like you said if you just quarter the boat to the swells and ride them I had no problems up on pyramid lake in Nevada. If I go out on the ocean I will wear all of my protective gear just until I figure out how the boat is going to do in the bay. Mornings sound best due to wind. I will do further resaerch.

02-04-2007, 07:46 PM
[quote author=oregonhunter link=1169936871/30#30 date=1170458992]This was in an Oregon paper yesterday. *Most people that own a boat would know not to take any boat yet alone a small boat into the surf zone but it points out there is no mercy in ocean or the bay for that matter ince you end up in the drink.

Big wave flips aluminum boat, injures men

Don't believe everything you read. I was fishing with Brian and Billy the the two days before this terrible day. These guys are my dear friends. It was Brians boat and we have been fishing the ocean with it for 30 years from Canada to the tip of Baha and most points between. We have bigger boats but that weekend we just brought the Gregor for a little crabbing. We've been fishing Brookings now for 25 years.

We were NOT!!! boating/crabbing in the wave area. We were well beyond them. It turns out that the big winter storms have pushed up a sand bar/shoal next to the south jetty that was never there before and is causing these big waves to form in an unusual spot. An area that has always been a safe area for close crabbing. The ocean was like a pond that day with maybe 4 foot swells and the seas were at best one foot. Wind was less than 5. The same thing happened to two guys in a similar boat two days before we arrived but we weren't aware of it until after Billy died.

Brian has been posting signs at every fishing related spot in Brookings trying to make sure it doesn't happen again.

It's bad enough that this happened and worse when the story gets fowled up. Thanks for your time. Darol

02-18-2007, 12:46 PM
Took the boat out and ran it and did a tune up on the motor. It looks like I'm ready to go. I have two inflatable PFD's and two of the orange PFD's. I have extra stuff a VHF radio and a new hand held GPS. I'm all set for some bay fishing.