Question: What kind of wave phenomenon is this?
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Thread: What kind of wave phenomenon is this?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Fulton MD
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    What kind of wave phenomenon is this?

    So I'm throwing for rockfish on the South River in the predawn calm of Saturday when, out of nowhere, a set of waves starts breaking on the shoreline. After a couple minutes they just stop, and it's back to peaceful waters. Is it some kind of tidal wave? It was a couple hours before low tide. Could the wake of a container ship travel 2 miles up the South River from the middle of the bay? Maybe a tsunami? Chinese Submarine? Gravitational wave experiment? What do you think? Should I line my hat with aluminum foil?

    Check it out, I got it on video.

    BTW I got a few decent perch on Bert's Pounder and a bunch of microstripers on a kastmaster.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Hampton va
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    Boat wake. A deadrise or any displacement hull will cause a wake like that, that will travel a good ways.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Harford County,MD
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    Had something similar in the Tred Avon this year while crabbing. Only difference is we witnessed it die down, pick back up and continue to the shoreline only to come back the opposite direction once it got close to shore. We initially thought maybe a pod of dolphins or something chasing fish and pushing water but never saw one truly break the surface

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    DE
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    ......Could the wake of a container ship travel 2 miles up the South River from the middle of the bay?....
    l
    Yes. Can’t speak for your location, but the wife and I personally witnessed huge rollers in the Delaware Bay while fishing from our boat about 3 miles from the shipping channel. We were amongst a fleet of boats, including head boats. Swells big enough that we couldn’t see a head boat on the other side of one while we were each at the bottom of a swell. The good mariners that we try to be, we notified the Coast Guard. They said it’s not uncommon for that to occur, and for those swells to travel all the way across the bay and reach shorelines. It depends on many factors coming together, like the size, speed and direction of the ship, tidal conditions, etc. Based on your video, I believe it could have been a ship out in the middle of the bay.

  7. #5
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    Thanks guys, I've enjoyed reading your responses. It's amazing that wakes can propagate so far.

  8. #6
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    Aug 2001
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    I have witnessed this quite at lot while fishing at SPSP. From my observation, this usually happens when the tide is getting ready to change. At first, the water is like glass. Then I see some ripple and then "rogue" waves, then it's like glass again and shortly after that the current start to move in a different direction. All of this when there were no large vessels cruising by.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Edgewood, Md
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    393
    I had something similar occur way back in the '70's at Turkey Point on Elk Neck. I was fishing for rockfish in the spring and had a surge come through that raised the water level at least two feet or more. Both before and after, the seas were calm and there were no ships in the shipping channel. I never could figure out what it was.

  10. #8
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    Jan 2004
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    Venice FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Norris View Post
    I had something similar occur way back in the '70's at Turkey Point on Elk Neck. I was fishing for rockfish in the spring and had a surge come through that raised the water level at least two feet or more. Both before and after, the seas were calm and there were no ships in the shipping channel. I never could figure out what it was.
    Jerry, you know I'm sure that if your on the water for many years, strange things will happen. Attachment 61113 LOL!

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    302
    Quote Originally Posted by TunaFish View Post
    I have witnessed this quite at lot while fishing at SPSP. From my observation, this usually happens when the tide is getting ready to change. At first, the water is like glass. Then I see some ripple and then "rogue" waves, then it's like glass again and shortly after that the current start to move in a different direction. All of this when there were no large vessels cruising by.
    I was kinda thinking this as well. Once the tide changes if it's abrupt enough you can get waves like this as water moving out collides with the incoming tide and causes waves. In certain parts of Alaska there are Tidal Bores and you can get waves up to 10 feet and huge surges of water. Tides there can vary by over 30 feet in the Turnagain and Knick arms near Anchorage. The only thing that makes me think this possibly might not be is the fact that the waves were so orderly and almost had a rhythmic period. Who knows it could have been boat or ship wake finding its way around the various islands and marshes to you. Thanks for the video.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Annapolis
    Posts
    5

    Same wave same time at bay bridge

    I was fishing the bay bridge pylons catching 16-18" rock when we were hit by 3 larger than normal 4 footers with no visible cause. Must have been huge boat way down the bay?

  13. #11
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    6,995
    Hey Capt Sam, nice to see you here again. Is your charter operating out of Annapolis now?

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