La Jolla Conditions

For a fun, productive day of offshore kayak fishing, the waves/swell and winds should be carefully considered before launching. While it is possible to fish in bumpy, windy, stormy conditions, it can get dangerous and is not much fun anyway after getting soaked at the launch. Don’t get on the news. Be sure to check the conditions at the links below to help ensure it’s “launchable” before even heading to the beach. There are plenty of flat days to launch and go fish. ~~ Larry

This page relates to launching at The Beach and Tennis Club area of La Jolla Shores, California. (Google Map)

La Jolla Shores Waves


La Jolla Buoy Report and Forecast LinkThis buoy reading is the best “generalized” gauge of expected surf height at the La Jolla Shores launch.  For ideal launching and kayak fishing conditions, the blue line on the top chart should be reading at or below 3 feet.  The red dotted line is the forecast swell height at the buoy. The second chart is the swell period chart. Swells with long period (>12 seconds) intervals don’t really affect the La Jolla Shores launch much at all as the canyon walls will refract the energy north to Blacks, and south to the Point. Short period waves, for example 4 feet at 6 second periods, can make the La Jolla Shores launch very dicey and you will get very wet at least! This is known to watermen as a “windswell”.  

  • 2 feet at 14 seconds is Lake Pacific. Dry launch. 
  • 3 feet at 12 seconds might have an occasional small whitewater. Easy launch. 
  • 4 feet at 10 seconds is an intermediate launch, only dry if you “time it right”. 
  • 4 feet at 17 seconds should be an easy launch. 
  • 6 feet at 6 seconds will flip most kayaks attempting to launch or land. 
  • 6 feet at 17 seconds may result in a routine launch as the long-period swell energy is directed elsewhere down the beach. The waves may be up to 10 feet at Scripps Pier or Blacks and small at the launch area.

La Jolla Launch CameraIf it’s light outside, this camera will give you a feel for the surf conditions at the La Jolla shores launch area.
Tide GraphSuper low tides tend to cause small surf to be diminished, and very high tides can add size to the normally subdued surf height right at the launch  

La Jolla Shores Wind

Current Wind - current wind conditions at Torrey Pines Glider Port/Blacks Beach. Ideal conditions are when the wind is less than 10 knots, preferably 0 knots!

Scripps Pier Wind Forecast - forecasts can change, but this is fairly reliable and can be used as a guide for what tomorrow may bring.

NWS La Jolla Forecast - forecast wind conditions from government sources. Be very wary of winds above 15 knots in the forecast. I really like to see the phrase “wind variable less than 10 knots” for optimal fish catching.

Kayak Fishing Report Links Messages - Timely La Jolla reports when the fish are biting. Messages - Often contains great info in the messages area, click the “Forums” link. Beware, ANYTHING goes on this forum and contains plenty of “adultish” material. Fishing Messages - All species, fresh and saltwater reports for San Diego. The freshwater bass has a big following here. You can learn plenty of fishing secrets lurking on these boards. Can be up to the minute information.