Suggestions On Boating In Thunderstorms

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by H2O Mellon, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I have somewhat of a pobia about storms. I hate storms, for what reason.... I dont know.

    Anyways, what are some suggestions about fishing in light or scateered thunderstorms? While we're on thje topic, what about lighting, if a storm pops up w/ lightning, what's the best thing to do?.... get close to the bank, go up a creek, etc...... Just looking for some answeres.

  2. Bryan, Im right there with ya on this one. Best if you can find a bridge to get under and wait it out, next case would be to leave the boat and take shelter but if its in a tourney, like you will be in tomorrow, you cant leave the boat so worst case, get near the banks where the trees are taller then you and keep those rod tips down....;) once you get where you are going, shut down the engine and stay put ,perhaps a creek channel where you are not quite as big of target as in the big water.
    Good luck and stay safe!


  3. put aluminum foil on your rod tips
  4. corndawg

    corndawg Go Bulldogs!!!

    I got this info off a boating site. Hope it helps.

    Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from area where it is raining. That's about the distance you can hear thunder. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. Seek safe shelter immediately

    How Far Away Is It? - An easy way to estimate the distance between you and a lightning strike is to count the number of second that pass after seeing the lightning flash and hearing the resulting thunder. Dividing the number of second that have passed by 5 gives the distance in miles. For example:
    • 05 seconds - 1 mile away
    • 10 seconds - 2 miles away
    • 15 seconds - 3 miles away
    • 20 seconds - 4 miles away
    • 25 seconds - 5 miles away
    • 30 seconds - 6 miles away
    Boaters can use a hand bearing compass to determine if they are in a storm's path. If the bearings plotted for the average location of ground strikes to your boat remain unchanged, you are in the storm path and need to change course.
    At its Lightning Safety webpage, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends following the 30-30 rule. If the time after seeing a lightning flash is less than 30 seconds from hearing the thunder, you are in danger of being hit and need to seek shelter. After seeing the last flash of lightning, wait 30 minutes before leaving safe shelter. Half of all lightning related deaths occur after the storm has passed.
  5. might put up the spoons ;) oh, and head into the wind til you get to safe shore - the trees and land will help shelter you as the wind blows across the lake -- I actually saw a boat get pushed pretty far onto the bank after a storm because they beached with the wind at their back and the waves just walked the boat right up...took a few people to get it off and had a nice twisted prop as a result!
  6. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    While I would never advise fishing during a thunderstorm, I have stayed and fished ahead of them a few times. It may not be smart but it is unbelievably productive. When your graphite rods start to 'hummm' and your mono hangs in the air due to static electricity in the air take a look at your graph. The fish, espicially walleye, head straight to the top. I have been jigging in 20-25 feet of water and marking and picking fish just off the bottom and in 10 minutes time switched to unweighted crawler harnesses and pulled walleye in the top 2 feet of water just ahead of a storm. I've even seen them rolling on the surface in the same water under these conditions.
    Once again I'm not advising it just letting you know. ;)
  7. athensfishin'

    athensfishin' Fighting the Man

    Also along these lines, traditional baseball caps do not work in the rain. They get wet and start to get heavy. The best remedy is to cover it in a layer of tin foil as this makes it waterproof and prevents the government from reading your thoughts.

    *****Disclaimer: There is absolutely no evidence to back up this idea and is no way intended to be used, But if this does seem like a good idea to someone, getting struck by lightning is the least of your worries. Hopefully the lightning will render you sterile and unable to reproduce people as dumb as yourself.*****

    Figure I better be safe in this litigation heavy world
  8. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    Here's a fishing rod that got hit by lightning. There's a reel in there somewhere.

    Attached Files:

  9. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

    That if a thunderstorm is being down on you and you beach the boat to take cover to save your life, a T director is going to disqualify you? That's got to be the most assinine rule I've ever heard of. Is that truly a regulation in effect during most tournaments? Who pays the lawsuit when someone gets killed because they couldn't leave their boat?

    I've been caught offshore in a thunderstorm and it was truly a scary ordeal. I'm not the timid type either and have fished many times when I shouldn't have but I've never stayed on the water when lightning was on top of me. That's suicidal.

    The best course of action for boating in a thunderstorm? Don't.

  10. Orlando

    Orlando Set The Hook!

    The picture Hetfieldinn posted is one I took a few years ago at Lake Erie. We were fishing out at Ruggles Beach and saw a storm in the distance. Looked like it was way on the other side of Huron. I thought we had plenty of time to keep fishingbut my buddie talked me into comeing in until it passed, someone else didn't. Thats whats left of a guys fishing rod, you can see the spinning reel handle sticking out on the right side. By the grace of God both men had no seriuos injuries. I used to push it sometimes fishing in storms, NO MORE
  11. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    Since beginning to read this thread I've been thinking about that very picture!

    I'm glad you posted it Het.

    Orlando, which thread did you originally post that pic in? !%
  12. ParmaBass

    ParmaBass Kiss The Converse

    Right on! If you get DQ'd for potentially saving your life, that's a DQ you can at least live with!
  13. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    That photo is awesome Het. Thats exactly why I said I would never advise fishing ahead of a t-storm. I may do stupid crap every now and again but would not recommend others do so.
    Thats the first time I've seen an actual photo of a lightning struck pole but I was always sure it could happen. Did any of that mess transfer into the boat or was it restricted to only the stick? I bet it got the IMMEDIATE attention of the boaters.
  14. A charter boat skipper told me that he grabbed the rail around his center consul and fell to the deck and quit breathing---his client revived him---they didnt even get struck by lightning.

    Ive been out twice where your line wont fall on the water after you cast---time to get out of there!
  15. Specific to all dobass events, we indeed have a written rule about remaining on the water during event hours.

    During any event though, in which severe weather is a possiblity, it is always addressed clearly in morning announcements, where that particular rule stands given that particular day.

    You won't be DQ'd at a dobass event for making smart decisions about removing yourself from being struck by lightning.

    We also have a rule "It is each participant’s responsibility to make individual decisions about their own safety in the event of severe weather"

    If you make a smart decision and do something dumb very well will be DQ'd. :p

    I laid outside the woods with my dog at Ladue about 10 years ago with trees getting blasted all around me. Went on for about 40 minutes. I made a deal with God promptly, and have yet to find myself in the middle of something like that ever again. Youll find me in the truck!

  16. smallieguy

    smallieguy Smallmouth Please

    I have actually been hit by lightning once in a boat and dang near
    hit another time.
    The good Lord is the only reason I am hear and He is the most important
    reason you should realize its only fishing. Its only fishing.
    Its not worth your life.
    I bet I have spent as much time on the water as anyone here in the
    last 10 years and it always is just awesome. Fish or no fish its awesome.
    But its better waking up everyday.
    Just one rednecks opinion.
  17. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    No doubt I'm w/ you guys on the "Dont Do It" stuff, but lets face it, lots of times storms can pop up and you cna be miles away from the ramp. I was wanting to know some safety tips. You are fine to seek shelter and safety if severe weather pops up (at least in this particualr tourney), but again things can pop up pretty quickly.

    My 1st reaction would have prob been to run and gun to the ramp if something popped up, but now I see that it might be safer to get close to shore.

    Thanks to those who had good suggestions. :)
  18. Years ago there was an evinrude commercial that showed a boat shooting down a lake while a thunderstorm was going on. Sounds crazy but in all truth they were safe. Well that is what evinrude said. Seem that if yo are moving at enough speed lightning will not be attracted to your boat because you are not making enough static to draw it.

    But for the rest of us that are not going to try to test that theory. Simple rule do not be in, on or near the water when lighting is hitting. Find shelter on a bank with woods. And for heavens sake do not get under the biggest tree. You do not want to be the tallest thing or be next to the tallest thing around. If you are caught in an open area lay completely flat in a spot that is low. But do not lay in a ditch where water is running through it. If lighting strikes something next to that ditch it will travel through that water to you.