When Lightning Strikes a Person!

You know to abandon a fishing trip when lightning starts flashing.  However, how do you prepare for lightning when there is only light rain?

In a word:  You don’t!

When Lightning Strikes

Thunderstorms Can Gather Quickly on Water!

Sometimes, there is no warning … no way to prepare … but a bolt from nowhere can take your life!

Scientists say that a single lightning bolt is between 100,000 and 1 billion volts of electricity!  Obviously, this can kill a man.

A Cautionary Tale

The following is an interesting story about a guy who did all the right things and still suffered a freak accident.

Dale Nash of Many, Louisiana, was competing in the McDonald’s Big Bass Splash at Sam Rayburn Reservoir with friends about 18 months ago.

Since rain and thunderstorms were forecast, he was ready to either don his rain suit or abandon fishing, depending on the weather.

About 11:30 am, a light rain started.   The anglers heard thunder rumbling miles away.   After checking the conditions, Mr. Nash put on his 100 mile/hour rated rain suit — and continued to fish in one of the 3 boats.

The last thing he remembers is casting his line.  When he awoke, he was lying in a different boat — almost nude — and aching all over!

What Happened

There was a deafening clap of thunder and the friends watched Nash fly out of his boat.  His clothing was flying like confetti.

By the time the closest angler got to him, Nash was lying in the water, about 10 feet from his boat.

Doctors state that Nash’s heart had probably stopped before he hit the water.  However, hitting the cool water shocked his heart into beating again!

While the friends were struggling to get Nash into a boat and race him to a hospital, other anglers called 911 to alert authorities.

The Damage

Dale Nash spent 4 and 1/2 days in a Burn Center with 1st and 2nd degree burns — to his arms, legs and back.

The impact of the bolt of lightning also knocked the fishing rod from another friend’s hands (in a nearby boat).

However, Nash’s boat and fishing equipment took a direct hit.  Lightning melted both of Nash’s fish-finders, fried the entire wiring system in the 1 year-old boat and seared holes through the fiberglass.

The lightning strike caused the trolling motor’s control unit to explode, ruined the 300 horsepower outboard motor, popped the glass facings off some of the gauges — and more.


Dale Nash counts himself one lucky man; he survived!


‘Lightning’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

How to Predict Rain While Fishing

OK, you are out fishing and it starts to rain. Could you have anticipated it?  Here are some tips to be more aware of conditions leading to a rain storm.

First Things to Notice



What Effect Will Rain & Lightning Have on Fishing?


Watch animals in your area.  Are sea birds moving to shore and staying put?  In our area, thousands of seagulls leave the coast and gather on an old (closed) Walmart  parking lot.

Marine biologists believe fish have evolved to the point where they sense rain — or  at least weather changes!

The Effect of Humidity on Weather

As humidity rises, the chance of rain increases.  Watch airplanes as they pass overhead. Those with a vapor trail indicate high levels of moisture in the air.

The longer the vapor lasts, the higher the humidity and the closer rain is. If there is no vapor cloud after a jet, or it disappears quickly, then the moisture/humidity level is low and the weather is stable.

Predicting Rain at Night

Use the stars to predict rain!  The more the stars seem to twinkle, the higher the moisture content in the air!

When Rain Turns to Lightning

Science Daily indicates that lightning requires ice!  It’s so hot where I live, how on earth can there be ice in the atmosphere?

The ice they are talking about is VERY high up in the atmosphere. These pieces of ice can be positively (+) or negatively (-) charged. When these -‘s and +’s collide, they build up a charge. Lightning is the release of the charge!

Since we cannot see how much ice is in the atmosphere when it is raining, it’s tough to be the angler-meteorologist  (weather person) to decide, “Will lightning start soon?  Should we go? or Can we stay?”

There are lots of factors in your decision.  Are you in a boat, far from shore?  Are you in a high, flat area, with no place to hide? Are you surrounded by trees?  All of these are good reasons to go home.

Unfortunately, a rod is an excellent conductor of electricity.You do not want to be holding it during a rain storm that turns to lightning!

Remember, smart anglers fish with one eye on their line and the other on the weather!


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 11:06 am  Comments Off on How to Predict Rain While Fishing  
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