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JeffB

Lightning while fishing?

38 posts in this topic

Last year while fishing Sacajawea I was fishing in a friends boat along with another guy and a thunder storm was aproaching. I said it looks like its time to head in but the other two guys wanted to keep fishing for a while longer (we could out run it when it got closer). Well shortly later I began getting shocks from my fishing rod. You could hear a snap and a small arc would jump from the rod to my trigger finger on the cork rod. It felt like I was hanging on to a weak electric fence. Well I imediatly threw my rod on the bottom of the boat and sat down on the floor feeling like I had a target on me. At this time the other guys looked at me like I was crazy and called me a puzz as I stated it was time to go as there was to much lighning and I was getting shocks from my fishing rod. The other guys fished for 5 more minutes one of the other guys started getting jolted from his pole they finally agreed it was time to go. Needless to say we were unsuccessful in outrunning the storm as the wind hit as we were reeling up and lifting the trolling motor. We ran back to Dakota waters in rough water rain. By the time we were at the ramp it was 50+ mph winds, pouring rain and lightning everywhere. Needless to say next time I will be much more assertive in my wishes to leave the Lake. My question is anyone else ever get shocked from thier pole with a storm aproaching? And my comment is even if its not your boat don't take no for an answer if you see bad weather approaching especially on big water.

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Staying in a boat, especially holding a fishing rod, is foolish to say the least. Basic rule of thumb is, if you can see the flash or hear the thunder, you are a potential target.

Graphite is an excellent conductor and while fishing you're basically holding a lightning rod in your hands.

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I've been in that situation where you're catching fish and a storm is approaching. It happened to us on Rainy. We couldn't buy a walleye until a storm started approaching, then it was a free for all. It can be hard to leave the lake when the bite is on, but it's just not worth a trip to the ER or worse. As for getting shocked by a rod, that's never happened to me and I hope it never will.

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I think getting cought up in a storm has happened to lots of us. But never heard of the shocks through the rods. I guess I will think twice the next time a storm comes quicker than wanted.

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You could actually see a little blue arc jump from the rod from my finger to the rod, and it would happen about 3 times/second. When I picked the rod up to reel in so we could leave I stuck the end of the rod in the water to try to ground it.

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Wow.. I tend to be a big wimp when it comes to fishing in these conditions. When I see lighting, I am on my way in!

About 4 years ago, I was fishing a lake when a storm brewed up suddenly. Of course, everyone else on the lake headed in as well. That left a few of us out on the water waiting for others to load their boats. Sure enough, there was a guy that was clearly unable to back a trailer in. Finally another guy offered help. I was stuck out in the water feeling like I am a dead man! Must have been only 10 minutes, but it felt like an hour.

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A few years ago we were fishing out by chamberlain and a storm blew up mighty quick didnt really have a chance to do much about it. Anyway never got the shocks but my rod was vibrating and making a zinging sound i threw my rod down and we decided we would head to the nearsest shore and wait out the storm before we even got the trolling motor up lightning hit a tree that was about 200 yards away from us. I was done fishing for the day had to go back to the hotel and change my drawers.

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I have not gotten a shock from my rod, but have talked to guys that made a cast and the line and lure never touched the water! I did experience having electricity ark from the handle of my truck to my fingers thou! My arm was numb for about an hour afterwards! If i hear thunder! I'm off the water if i can.

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No one wants to leave when the fish are biting, but if there's lightning on the horizon it's time to head in. Be safe out there people!

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Never got a shock, but have had my rodtip buzz on a few seperate occasions, and twice had it where my line refused to fall to the water. You had to slap the rod into the water to get it to settle. Not a good feeling at all. One of those times was on Winnie two years ago, and shortly after the cloud passed over the boat a water-spout dropped down out of it down to the lake. Pretty impressive sight.

I try to get off the lake at the first sight of lightening or sound of thunder. Its not worth it. Convincing my dad to do the same is the real challenge....

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It's happened to me two different times .... arcs or shocks from my fishing pole shooting up my arm .... and the rod buzzing or crackling (sounds a lot like static on an AM radio).

The first time it happened it was just a gray, overcast day .... no thunder, no lightening, no storm clouds (it looked like a storm could roll in at any time but it didn't look like a storm was coming). The second time it happened we could see a storm approaching, and were getting ready to pack it in when the rods started picking up the static electricity in the air. To say the least, it's an attention-getter.

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for me had to be in 98 or 99 on sugar lake. Storm to the north of the lake, we were on the southwest end. Lightning overhead, my friend and I looked at each other and asked if the other felt that, both had the hair on the backs of our necks twinge, same on our arms. I don't think the anchor was in the boat by the time we reached 5K RPM LOL.

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I had the buzz from my rod once in LOTW in Whitefish Bay, I was also casting for skis. I casted once and my line stayed up in the air, my rod had a spark fly off the end.

I thought I was toast, the guide was totally not bothered by it.

scared the [PoorWordUsage] out of me.....we weathered a terriffic storm in a small bay kind of out of the wind, scary to say the least....

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Lightning can strike from a clear blue sky when the conditions are right. As a storm front moves in the surge of static electricity moves ahead of it and once there is enough of a buildup............boom. I have experienced this as a storm was approaching. Sunny skies overhead but the line hung in the air, the tip buzzed when it was raised up and there was a static like crackle that started to develope. It is nothing to mess with. If you are as close as the situations you all have described you were also very close to getting zapped. No fish is worth your life, no matter how good the bite is. If a stormfront is approaching or you hear thunder in the distance get off the water. An a.m. radio is a great lightning forcaster in the boat because you will here the static discharges long before you hear the thunder. Tightlines and be safe out there!

Tunrevir~

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out on forest one day me and a buddy both had about 5 to 6 foot arcs discharge off our rod tips pretty crazy. needless to say we were doing about 60mph back across the lake about 5 seconds afterwards.

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Never had it happen to me on the water. I'm too big a chicken. Distant thunder ends the aqua-show right now. But, I was in the cabin one time with a hand on the fridge door when I got shocked. I yelped just before the thunder clapped and everyone called me opposite-gender based epithets because they thought I yelped at the sound, not the voltage that ran through my friggin' arm.

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Had a similar situation happen last year. I was fishing with a buddy and our lines began to float up. The rod tips began to crackle. There was a storm in the distance however, directly above us was clear blue. We decided to head for shore and about 10 minutes later 30-40 mph winds, loads of rain, and insane lightning. Glad I tied the boat off closer in on the dock becuase after the rain let up it was sitting on the bottom.

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You, your rods, and your line were beginning to take on a static charge and that's why the line lifted off the water. Even though the storm was on the horizon, you were already in danger of a strike. You made the right choice.

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On Vermilion last year, I wasn't having any luck as usual. All of a sudden I landed two nice walleye in the 22-23" range. I caught a few more than moved to another spot. That's when I noticed the lightning to the west. My rods were buzzing so I packed up. I noticed a ski boat nearby with a family laying about. I motored over slowly and pointed out the lightning. The guy gave me a don't-tell-me-what-to-do response and I slowly motored away.

About five minutes later as I was on plane the skies opened up and it poured. As I got to the dock there was lightning everywhere. Hopefully that guy's wife gave him an earful later on. Pride and ignorance have no place on the water.

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While fishing a tourney, my co-angler and I started getting that buzzy feeling, from the static. After have a floating rap just tickling the water, and the line arched up into the air. We finally called it quits. We could back to the dock only 1/2 mile from where we had fished. A bolt of lighting cracked down the shoreline right where we had been not 3 minutes earlier. After that My rule has been: "If the skies rumbling, My boat don't float." how some may call this wimpy. "My family means more to me then a fish." "Is it really worth your life for a little fish?" Smart fisherman live to fish another day! We'll see our maker soon enough, Why rush it?

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Darn Tootin' Jigginjim,

T-Storm lasts 1-2 hrs. Boat season lasts 6-7 months in MN. Do the math.

Hit the dock, change your clothes if you're wet, grab some grub and the rain gear, then get back out after the lightning has passed. Don't screw up your family for a couple of fish that will still be in the lake, and alive, when the big nasties have passed.

I'm happy to see that everyone (except SkunkedAgain's skiing buddy) is on the same page on this.

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Depends on how far it is off. I usually call someone to check the radar and give us a time estimate. Once the thunder is first heard though any spots we fish will be a lot closer to the launch. Cut it a little close on a rowing only lake before, were too far from the landing before we even heard thunder. One strike hit only about 500 feet up the hill from the landing by the time we got back. When those storms are doing 60mph and you can only do about 4 mph, the storm has a huge advantage.

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I agree, it's a bad feeling. Happened 3 times to me on Superior last year. I tend to be very cautious with weather too. I worst happened and it was still sunny out and couldn't see any weather moving in yet. The rod started buzzing, then I started getting shocks. We had planner boards out and started reeling them in. I couldn't touch the one rod because it kept snappin so bad so I threw it on the floor of the boat. While getting the last line in my eye brows felt like they were crawling. It was about the worst feeling I've ever had on the water. We were fishing fairly close to the north shore by Duluth but those isolated storms come over the hill and are on you in minutes.

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A couple years ago we were out fishing...saw some clouds building up to the south. I was keeping a close eye on them, trying to judge when to leave for safety's sake. We weren't hammering them like you hear about sometimes,so you wonder WHY we push the limits. We were about deciding we should leave soon.....when I looked to the EAST, where the resort was, and it WAS BLACK, and CLOSER....That was it, threw the rods in, cranked it up, and wot in (20hp wasn't fast enough for us that day). We got in just as a few big drops started falling....just in time. As we "battened down the hatches", there were 2 or 3 groups RUSHING to get out there. YUP, they were going OUT when we were coming IN for safety.............they were NUTS in my opinion.

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