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Hi Everyone, I'm new to fishing the puget sound and wanted to start doing so this summer but had a question on how to do it safely since I'm new to it. I'll be in a 18' nw style aluminum boat and wasn't sure how to determine when is a good day to go out and when is it best to stay home. I'll be fishing the narrows area and I've been over the narrows bridge before and seen white caps, and also been over it and seen it look like glass. My question is, what causes the change in the waves out there? Is it just wind? Is it tide change? Is it both? Is it something else completely? I have seen people say to check the forecast before going out but what should I be checking? For example, if I were to go out this Friday it looks like low wind conditions, does this guarantee that the waves won't be crazy or do I need to look at something other than the wind? Just trying to stay safe out there and try going out a few times before I take the kids out, thanks for the help!
 

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Wow, where to begin. Take the following with a little grain of salt, as this is just my opinion. In my years of fishing around the Narrows and Pt. Defiance most chop and white capping waves of significance are wind driven, and mostly from the South, Southwest, and if blowing at 10 or 15 and up will give a pretty bumpy ride. That said, the Narrows, Pt Defiance, and Pt. Evans also get bumpy with some pretty strong tidal currents. Big tides, and big tide changes from low to high add to the roughest rides. So, if it’s blowing 15 mph or more, and you have big tides like this weekend, stay close to your home boat ramps, fish on the “outta the wind “ on the wind protected side of points, or wait to milder winds like “Variable or light winds, 5 to 10 mph” . Look to some milder lessor tide changes, and you should have little problem. Also, when out fishing here, watch the wind, and the weather, cuz itcan and does change quickly and times.

Again, IMO
 

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Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. If you launch your boat at the infamous Redondo boat launch to head south to Defiance/Narrows etc, it sux because the south southwesterly wind chop almost always makes the launching quite the bumpy chore. And at low tides a zoo with two narrow launching /recovery lanes with floats.

Again, just IMO
Take Care
 
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