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airborne_angler

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What can a person do if they are fishing a lake(from the bank) and a Thunderstorm hits. What are the appropriate measures to take to stay safe from lightning.

For example, If I was fishing and noticed the skies turning dark and decided to pack it in and head home and then the skies open up and lightning starts to strike. Do I stay put, seek low ground,or keep walking with my rods acting lightning rod? Any suggestions of what to do when caught in the wilderness and a storm hits?

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The best advice I can give is first of all, head for cover before the storm starts. If you see one forming and it looks like things could get ugly, leave immediately. But if one comes up suddenly and you don't notice until it's there, I would take cover in a ditch or other low-lying area when a lot of lightning is present. If you can find one away from trees, all the better. I live in Florida, so thunderstorms are a constant reality, especially during these summer months. I have never actually been in a situation where there was a bunch of lightning around, so normally I just walk home, or run if it's raining, until I'm safely indoors. Basically, just use common sense. Obviusly you don't want to be under a tree, and if you are walking home, just make sure your fishing rods are at your side, not sticking up in the air. Also, if you are walking and spot someone's house, you can take cover there. Hope this helps.

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Just to let you know in advance I am currently a Meteorology student and storm chaser at Oklahoma University.

Lightning is very dangerous, and even moreso on a lake as you are obviously the tallest structure around and water tends to conduct electricity very very well. It is very important to look up the expected weather for the day you are going fishing on that day, as it will give you an indication of whether or not storms may be present (it will also help you figure out patterns to fish behavior in different weather conditions). But as you said, you are on the bank.

If you notice the skies getting dark and something beginning to roll in, get away from the water IMMEDIATELY, not a lot of people realize lightning can hit in advance of a storm, some people say up to around 3 miles ahead in fact. Thunder is a pretty good indication of lightning, so keep an ear out.

The goal in a lightning storm is to NEVER be the tallest object in the area, as lightning looks for the fastest way into the ground, the tallest object is it. You need to find cover in a low lying area or safe house (vehicles work as you would not get zapped by the lightning inside of it), or ANYTHING as soon as possible.

One last thing of note, people that have been hit by lightning say your body can 'feel' the charges in the area before they build enough to strike... People note having their hair stand on end (body and otherwise), and a 'tingly' sensation. If you feel that it is already too late, drop to the ground asap and stick your rear in the air (no lie).

Be safe.

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You have had some excellent advice.

If you wait until the storm is near you, you may not get to use that advice. Based on studies done down here in the lightening capitol of the world, you can be hit by lightening 20 miles away from the storm, before the storm or after the storm.

It's easier to leave and come back than it is to study the root structure of this earth while laying on your back.

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Listen to my fellow sooner fan.  Meteorologist+Oklahoma= Listen to the man when he speaks!!  I've actually had a close call myself.  Lightining struck  about 20 yards away from me( hit a tree and I measured the distance the next day)  I'm very lucky, because lightning could have easily jumped from that tree to me.  Now I just carry a simple garbage bag with me.  Put your gear and rods in the bag(reel first) and run to your truck, cabin whatever if it's in running distance.  Otherwise lay low.  There's now way i'm running with a lightining rod in my hands in a TS, even if it's a lond distance away,  If i hear thunder I get outa there.

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What can a person do if they are fishing a lake(from the bank) and a Thunderstorm hits. What are the appropriate measures to take to stay safe from lightning.

For example, If I was fishing and noticed the skies turning dark and decided to pack it in and head home and then the skies open up and lightning starts to strike. Do I stay put, seek low ground,or keep walking with my rods acting lightning rod? Any suggestions of what to do when caught in the wilderness and a storm hits?

When I shore fish, if the storm is moving in and I really want to fish, I just head for the car, an wait out the storm.

Then after I rig up 1 pole  with a jig and the other with a buzz bait or a spook and head back out..

I love fishing after a rain.

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Since you are on the water you usually have the luxury of being able to hear the thunder and see the clouds earlier than if you were sorrounded by trees so you should leave before the storm is on top of you. Also you should just wait the storm out in a safe place then go out afterwards. In SC where we just get pop up 30 min showers I like going out after them because there is no boat traffic to disturb the fish and make them skittish.

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Fishinaz,

Be careful which low ground you pick out west. You don't want to hole up in an arroyo and become a casualty of a flash flood.

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Several years back some hikers were near the top of a mountain in the Adirondacks when a storm blew in.  They were heading back down when lightning struck the mountain.  It did not hit any of them directly but the electricity passed through the water on the ground from the rains.  A lot of hiking trails will act as a small river when it rains hard and there is a slope in the trail.  They were all walking through this river on the trail when the lightning struck.  The electric current passed through the small river in the trail and got them all.  I think all survived but one person but the survivors all ended up in the hospital for a while.

Be carefull when lightning is around and I know people say find the low ground...but don't go lying in a pool of water or anything.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

I've been caught in open water by sudden lightning with no chance to make shore. The best advice I know of is to lay face down as low in the boat as possible. If there's no room to lay flat crouch with head covered, supported on your heels.  If you can risk it quickly enough, raise the lower unit out of the water, keeping the trolling motor up too. A glass boat without metal in the water won't attract lightning as easily.

Jim

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i have been caught many times in thunder storms in my boat and let me tell u its quite scariery

i have a 18 foot flat bottom boat and we used sheet metal for the floor

so when its starts raining or it gets ugly were heading for the shore

first thing is to get out of the boat and hide bye some trees

i know every1 says this is a big no no but my river is lined with trees on both sides

we dont seek out the tallest tree just a group of smaller trees away from bigger trees

ps. we have had some real good stroms the last 4 days

come tomorrow i plan on fishing all day

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lol i know this but when its rainin cats and dogs

i seek shelter it isnt a small group of trees

i mean many trees that block nearly all the rain like a big canopy

i dont stand right under a tree and surely try to stay clear of the tallest 1s

i feel my boat is more of a risk then the trees of course if im close i make a beeline for the truck

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Just to let you know in advance I am currently a Meteorology student and storm chaser at Oklahoma University.

Lightning is very dangerous, and even moreso on a lake as you are obviously the tallest structure around and water tends to conduct electricity very very well. It is very important to look up the expected weather for the day you are going fishing on that day, as it will give you an indication of whether or not storms may be present (it will also help you figure out patterns to fish behavior in different weather conditions). But as you said, you are on the bank.

If you notice the skies getting dark and something beginning to roll in, get away from the water IMMEDIATELY, not a lot of people realize lightning can hit in advance of a storm, some people say up to around 3 miles ahead in fact. Thunder is a pretty good indication of lightning, so keep an ear out.

The goal in a lightning storm is to NEVER be the tallest object in the area, as lightning looks for the fastest way into the ground, the tallest object is it. You need to find cover in a low lying area or safe house (vehicles work as you would not get zapped by the lightning inside of it), or ANYTHING as soon as possible.

One last thing of note, people that have been hit by lightning say your body can 'feel' the charges in the area before they build enough to strike... People note having their hair stand on end (body and otherwise), and a 'tingly' sensation. If you feel that it is already too late, drop to the ground asap and stick your rear in the air (no lie).

Be safe.

Well scince your a meteroligist i find that i should ask you this. I have been told to stay away from windows during a T-storm. Can lighting strike through the window to you???

Also i would like to add that before lighting hits metal objects will start to viberate. If you hear metal viberating get down.

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