How much Wind is Bad Wind?

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Long time member here.........I just rarely post. Headed down Wednesday night to Bullfrog, and I see that the W on Thursday is predicted to be ~24mph out of SSW. I'm in a 21ft Tahoe open bow, and I'm trying to figure out how bad that really is on the lake........and how far out of Bullfrog I should go on Thursday. I'll have 4 adults and a lot of gear.

I've seen my fair share of bad storms at Powell, but I don't ever translate that into winds speeds. Any guidance is much appreciate.
I'd say do all of your long runs in the early morning if at all possible and just make sure you're buttoned up by the time the winds pick up in the afternoon. 24 isn't bad
I've found that on Powell anything over 15 makes fishing very difficult and the ride home pretty rough. You would thing with all the side canyons that one could find sheltered fishing on Powell, but the winds seem rip down those canyons so it's tough to find shelter even in the back ends. As for simply running the lake, I don't want to be out there when the wind speed hits 20 mph; however I'm fishing in a 17-foot bass boat. A bigger boat can take rougher water. o_O

Ed Gerdemann
I think gusts to 40 would get my attention.

Wind speed of 20 mph is probably manageable but the forecasted gusts of over 40 mph is where it could get dangerous. You clearly know what you are doing as you are researching this instead of just going for it. With your experience on the lake with past storms and keeping an ear to the ground for the latest weather updates (if possible) I am sure you will find a way to make this trip a success.
You have said a few concerning things. You are in a 21 foot boat, you have 4 adults and you have a lot of gear plus fuel. This combines for a pretty small and pretty heavy boat with displaced reduced topside. This means you need every safety variable on your side including light winds.

I would caution you to not make bad choices regarding your unknown wind limit with the confidence of what others have said here as you do not know their experience and equipment and gear. Dungee has a ton of experience, and he has determined that he is comfortable in the 40 or below range. Others, including me, have a safety wind limit far far below 40.

You will build a great respect for yourself, your gear and the wind at Powell. I would encourage you do this gently and start low, like 15 mph winds and go from there. A steady 15 will gust to 25, which is manageable in non big bay areas. A steady 25 will guest to 40. And I am telling you Powell and big bays with big water with 40 mph winds will not be a fun for you. A steady 40 will gust to 55, and that is only where ego and ignorance venture. I respect every one will have a comfort zone, for me my max solo wind is about 20, if I have my kids on board that drops.

Wear your life vest in windy conditions. The water temps for extended exposure in September are warm enough to wait for rescue, in February it is fatal. A heavy 21 foot boat in 24 mph winds in big bay waters would be a firm no go in my book.

Good luck.
40 is a no go for recreational boating on Powell in a 21 boat with 4 people and gear in my world unless you really don't like the people cause they definitely won't like you after that boat ride. One wave into the boat is all it takes to ruin your day and the wave patterns are not something you control. On certain parts of the lake 20 mph in the wrong direction can make for a very unpleasant experience. Be careful!!!! 15 is my limit for fun fishing.
Thanks all:

I'll be at Ticaboo tonight and get out first thing tomorrow morning - should have camp set up before afternoon winds get too crazy. I'm in a white/blue Tahoe 215 and headed north to Crystal area out of Bullfrog..........more spots to "tuck in" to the north.

I'll report back after. I'll try the down riggers as well. Last fall those where quite productive with a kastmaster @~40 ft when spooning didn't work.
I would also advise setting up camp somewhere that you are protected from the wind, coming from several directions. In my experience, the winds start off out of the south, switches to SSW, W, then NNW. I prefer spots that have protection from many sides....I really hate worrying about the boat when it gets bad!!! Looks like only one bad day (Thursday).....
I pulled out of Bullfrog Friday morning and had whitecaps coming over the front end of my boat at the ramp. 21 foot Sea Ray Sundeck. Was just me and equipment for 3. It was scary
Yeah, we go out Thursday morning. before the wind really hit later that day and Friday. So we were fine.......but it was pretty nasty for a good day and a half though. I am posting a report now.
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