For kayakers the weather is the most important factor to consider. You are entering the ocean on a kayak, considering the wind, water conditions and wave sizes is of utmost importance.
For a newby it’s important that you study your fishing grounds and pair that with the weather. To start off this guide is intended to guide you from a safety aspect. There is a whole different component to this as to how the wind affects water temperatures and fishing. That’s for another day.
The wind direction is an important component as a strong wind can quickly make a very nice day our an extremely difficult paddle. As a safe starting point and safe gamble would be any wind direction below 10km/h. We unfortunately live in Cape Town so a no wind day is very unlikely.
You do have some spots like Simons Town harbour that’s a bit more protected but if you’re going to start out look for that sub 10km/h day to be safe.
Wind direction: If you look at the image of Cape Point, in simple terms the wind is coming from bottom right to top left. Now if you had a closer look at google maps you and where you would launch at Buffels Bay you will notice this will be a head wind out and a wind on your back when you return. This is great! The big safety aspect of this would be not to be paddling into the wind on your way back. Especially not 20+ km/h winds as you will reach a spot where you travel at 0km/h.
Also remember stronger winds do turn water conditions upside down, things become choppy and really messy.
Swell size plays a role especially after stormy weather. Swell is the size of the waves. Big waves = rough waters and most of the times makes the launch quite hairy. Personally I almost always opt for swell below 3m.
You do get days where the swell timing is long and with a big swell, no wind and it’s doable. But if you are starting out, keep it simple and stay safe.
Swell below 2m is perfect days on the water. As per the image from Windfinder the swell prediction for Cape Point will be around 1,5m on Sat. Good day for fishing.
More a take note of the temperatures and dress accordingly. 15 degrees as per the picture isn’t going to be a hot day on your ski so get out that farmer john and take along your wind chiller just in case. Remember you’ll have water splashing on you occasionally.
Starting out you will see there’s plenty apps available to help you. They all have their advantages. Find one that works for you!
Look at Windfinder (my chosen app), Windy, Windguru etc.