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#6034639 - 11/17/15 10:09 AM A Question for Boat Hunters
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/01/11
Posts: 380
Loc: McKinney, Tx
At what wind speed do y'all begin to question going out on the Metromess lakes?? While I'm definitely not new to boat hunting this will be my first year using a boat to hunt the metromess lakes. I realize there are various factors involved but if y'all would be willing to share a general rule of thumb on wind speeds I'd appreciate it. If it helps, I'll be using a 16/52 Lowes with a 40hp motor. Thanks!
Let em Work

#6034684 - 11/17/15 10:27 AM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
LarryCopper Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 11/16/07
Posts: 4382
Loc: The Great State
Anything 20+ can get scary. The real problem is the forecast. Sometimes you get a forecast for 25 and it only blows 10-15, on the flip side it can be forecasted for 10 and you get 25. Those are the days that suck as you sit there at the ramp trying to make the call.

If you are launching from a place protected from the wind that makes a big difference. Also if you can hug the shoreline where the wind is coming from to get to your spot.

But usually if it stays that windy it won't be worth the risk unless the wind eventually dies down. Howling like that usually just makes dux wanna hunker down anyway.

#6034725 - 11/17/15 10:48 AM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
mohunter Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 1532
Loc: Duck Hole, Tx
IF you load the boat down, especially a 16 footer, I would not chance it. With a loaded boat, 2 or more guys and gear you could be in a lot of trouble in open water in anything more than 15-18mph winds. A loaded boat and waves do not mix, most people overestimate the ability of their boats because of how they handle without a heavy load then get into a lot of trouble with a loaded boat.
I have pulled in people, gear, motors, and boats from people doing very stupid stuff and taking chances is sub freezing temps, it's not fun. Normally the wind will be greater when you leave later in the morning, people just do not get it.

The last group of three guys I rescued thought it was a good idea to go out in a 15 feet flatbottom pulling a kayak, three big guys, in a 20mph north wind. The boat sunk in 2-3 feet of water, lucky for them we were able to get all their stuff out and pulled the boats to the ramp.

Few years ago I pulled or actually drug two guys out of the lake that had been floating for over 30 minutes in freezing temps, they sunk their little boat also. Those guys could not even talk when we pulled them out.

Do not take chances, if you have to ask if it's safe you probably already know the answer.

#6035035 - 11/17/15 01:17 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
Guitars&Guns Offline

Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 102
Loc: N. Texas
Great advice here. I would echo the comments that if you can launch and stay in a protected area, that's your best bet. I was on a lake in North TX last year and the wind was forecasted that morning at 10 or less, but while we were out it moved up to 18 and by the time we left, it was a scary ride back to the ramp across the main lake. There was one other boat at the ramp when we got there and the man was hugging his kid almost crying because they thought they were going to capsize. They were in a little boat though. That said, we were in an 18' flat bottom with 18" sides. I swore I would never launch there again, and I didn't. I don't have the boat any longer, but my rule was 10-12mph wind or less for me. Otherwise we'd go with plan B.

#6035298 - 11/17/15 03:07 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/01/11
Posts: 380
Loc: McKinney, Tx
Thanks Guys, I appreciate the info. Better safe than sorry. Good Luck & Be Safe the rest of the year.
Let em Work

#6035353 - 11/17/15 03:30 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
Toledo Offline

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 1314
Loc: College Station
We used to cross the south end of Toledo Bend A LOT in 15-16ft john boats. 15 and under is no problem. 15-20 is a no go. Buddies sunk my 1648 on a 20 mph cold front day.

#6035720 - 11/17/15 06:31 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
Central texas Offline

Registered: 01/30/15
Posts: 131
Anything under 15 mph is my comfort zone on a boat that size

#6035829 - 11/17/15 07:08 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
FowlDreams Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 4928
Loc: where the birds are
Also depends on how high the sides are on your boat. My 17x56 had 24" sides so it could handle big water and wind pretty well. My brother has a 16x48 with 14" sides that thing is sketchy over 10 mph winds.

Silver Creek Guide Service 817-597-0781

Instagram: @fowldreams @silvercreekguideservice @fdwc_calls

#6035907 - 11/17/15 07:44 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
Windrider Online   content

Registered: 09/26/06
Posts: 632
Loc: McKinney, TX
A lot of it depends on your experience and the size of the lake and how much of your course is in the lee of the windward shore.

I've run a 14'x36" Jon with a long tail in winds gusting up to the low 30s, but it was a small lake and had a short run. Not to mention your bilge pump capacity, I could pump 1500gph out of the boat using two pumps.

Would I have done that on a lake as large as say...Benbrook... or even Lake Arlington... Not on your life.

It's important to not just have hunting spots, but spots that you can use on different lakes accessible by different ramps based on wind direction.

I've moved up to a 17'x54" self bailing mud boat with 20" sides. Lots more boat, but sticking to the same plan.

Edited by Windrider (11/17/15 07:45 PM)
Thought for the day: Ducks were almost hunted to extinction long before camo was invented.

#6036071 - 11/17/15 08:48 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
BDB Online   content

Registered: 01/30/14
Posts: 790
Loc: Mesquite
I made a camo tarp to cover my 21' bass boat for these circumstances. 225 yamaha (21Xpress) pushes it. My boat is for transport only though. Its nice to have a long boat with a horse to nose the front up when called upon!

#6039083 - 11/19/15 01:29 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
Mako1970 Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 94
I live on the coast and have used the boat to hunt with but have never hunted from the boat. My boat is a 20' Empire flatbottom with a 90 horse. It can carry a lot of decoys and a few hunters just fine and not many fronts would worry me much. But, that running in the dark and in the cold was what turned me off many years ago. That's why I switched to goose hunting!

#6039194 - 11/19/15 02:24 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
Tvilbig Offline

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 523
Loc: Dallas
20 was my go no go wind speed for getting out on the main lake with my 1860. Probably 15 for a boat your size.
Like others have said a 20 forecast could mean 30 gusts and some serious waves. You may be able to handle it fine but if the motors quits you run out of gas battery dies or any of the other 100 things that can go wrong on a boat your at the mercy of the wind.

Leaning over the back of a 25 horse by yourself in a 1542 trying to swap a broken shear pin in 2-3 foot rollers is not my idea of a fun December morning.

Most of the lakes around here get down into the 40s during the winter. If you fall in you're cramping in 15 minutes and probably dead in an hour. Military swimmers are trained to swim 1 mile per hour in perfect conditions. If you swamp it in the middle of most of our lakes you're probably not making it home.

#6039207 - 11/19/15 02:31 PM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
scalebuster Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 3128
Depends on who's driving.

#6040313 - 11/20/15 08:54 AM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: Tvilbig]
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 28050
Loc: Lake X
Originally Posted By: Tvilbig
You may be able to handle it fine but if the motors quits you run out of gas battery dies or any of the other 100 things that can go wrong on a boat your at the mercy of the wind.

That's the biggest thing right there if you are in a small boat, or even I big boat for that matter. When I have my momarsh out, I'm very aware if my motor dies, where will the wind take me. If you got a strong north wind, and your a running the north shore where it is protected, and your motor dies, the wind will take you to dangerous water. You could be 50 yards from shore, but if the wind is strong you will not be able to paddle into the wind to get to shore, and you are in big trouble. I love me some stumps, they break up the waves, and if your motor dies you can latch on to a stump and tie off.

#6040466 - 11/20/15 10:04 AM Re: A Question for Boat Hunters [Re: BULSPRG]
ndhunter Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/03/05
Posts: 4077
Loc: Dallas, TX
I wish I wouldn't have read this post...but good advice

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