NorEast Fishing Forum banner

"Average" sea conditions in Western Sound

1054 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  DoctorFish
Can one say on "average" the western sound on the CT side, maybe Port Chester to Norwalk, is no greater than 1-2 foot seas? I am trying to get a realistic expectation of the conditions, hence the necessary boat. (I am aware the bigger the better, but the budget doesn't provide for a ship just now.)
1 - 2 of 7 Posts
2 foot average... maybe.

1 foot... no way.

Also, it depends on which side you are fishing and what season. In the warmer months, South winds are common. They make for calm seas on the LI side and a very rough ride on the CT side. When a High pushes in from the North, the winds kick around for a day or two and the opposite holds true.

From late August through the fall, the EAST winds and North East winds begin to be more common. When they blow, the entire Sound from Orient Point/New London to the bridges can see high seas.

The Winter sees mostly North winds. Calm in Ct, rough on LI.

The Spring is the most variable season. In any given week, you can see winds out of any given direction. The variable wind can make for variable seas. Without a constant wind pattern, you can sometimes have chop, other times you can have nothing more than ripples. It is very unpredictable.

No conversation about wave height in the LI Sound can be complete without a mention of BOAT TRAFFIC. The Western Sound is plagued with boat traffic on the weekends. In addition to the countless recreational boats, there are always tugs pulling huge barges at incredible speeds for their size.

I hope you realize that I'm not trying to scare you. I'm just trying to paint a realistic picture of what you can expect. It all comes down to the fact that you have to know your vessel and what she can handle. Then you can pick and choose your days with the weather.

Fishing the open waters of the Sound from the CT, you must compare notes with other boat owners who also fish from the CT side. If you took a look at the summer boats in CT and compared them to the summer boats on the LI side of the Sound you'll always notice that the CT boats tend to be much larger. That's because of the South winds of summer.

Ask anyone who fishes a small boat in the Sound from LI and they'll tell you that it's often a sheet of glass close to the beach here on the LI side when the South winds blow. But if they venture more than a mile or two from the beach, the seas already are large enough to make many boats turn back towards shore. By the time those waves reach CT, they could easily be three to four footers from nothing more than constant 15mph South winds. Add a little SouthEast into the equation and the waves will be even larger.

To answer your question, 1-2 footers are very common but so are 3 footers and larger.
See less See more
Tom B. brings up a very big point.

Due to the fact that it's a Sound and not an ocean, all of our waves are "new waves" which are steeper and much closer together. Also, we are subject to the "fish bowl" effect caused by waves bouncing off one shore and then reversing direction and heading back out across the Sound. As the hours in the day progress, the chop can turn into a big mess.

On the flip side, early in the morning and in the middle of the night it can be a true lake out there with not a ripple for miles other than your own boat wake.
1 - 2 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.