When the waves are running 2 to 4 feet and we have to troll into them or worse, we have to head 16 miles back to the marina and can only manage 12 or 13 miles per hour without slamming the boat down into the wave troughs, I wish we were becalmed. It’s a nautical term invented by sailors on their tall ships. No wind meant no progress and apparently on the ocean, at times, they’d become becalmed and the condition would last for days.
|Expect to wear a jacket and experience|
some chop on summer morning trips.
In the summer on Lake Michigan, it happens to us almost every day. Or at least on many days.
Pick a day when the temperature starts out predawn in the low 70s but the afternoon highs are scheduled at 90 degrees or more. Common enough in June, July and August. Such conditions are usually accompanied by winds with a southerly component - winds that blow from the land out over the lake.
Such has been the case for the past week and I’ve been experiencing it each day with my busy fishing schedule. Each day we’ve been becalmed and it’s great.
In the morning the low temperatures on land pretty well match up with the temperatures on the lake and the lake’s surface water temperature. So when the wind blows, it just blows right out across the water. In fact, devoid of trees, hills, buildings and such, it blows very steady and in short order, and as one continues from the nearshore area to the offshore haunts of the salmon, the waves build from a few inches tall to crests measuring several feet.
Some mornings there’s a steady chop, others are quite rough. I deal with whatever comes, knowing the “lake effect” weather will soon ease the conditions.
|Cumulus clouds forming over the Gary, IN|
As the wind blows, the hot air rises and simply floats aloft over the cooler air on the lake. We notice the wind and waves subsiding and in a relatively short time, the conditions go from choppy to slick calm. If we were in a sailboat, we’d be becalmed.
|The last fish of many trips comes when we are|