Post By: LukeJ09 Posted: 5/10/2017 2:49:56 PMPoints: 77
I'm a little late posting this, but I was out fishing Sunday evening and had a wild experience. While I was fishing a storm started to roll up. I wasn't too worried because I was on shore and the lightning hadn't even made it to the opposite side of the lake yet, it was just windy and sprinkling where I was at. Then my pole started shocking me! The first few shocks were little, like a static shock from carpet. Then I got a pretty decent shock, similar to the prank sticks of gum or flashlights that shock you. I dropped the rod and booked it and got low, fully expecting to get blasted by lightning. Nothing happened for about 30 seconds so I ran and grabbed my stuff and got the heck out of there. Almost had to change my shorts when I got to my SUV. Apparently this is something that can happen with graphite rods, but it was a first for me and I thought for sure I was gonna get zapped.
Had this happen to me too! On shore and on the ice at GMR. On the ice was really odd but it was warm-ish and a storm was approaching. Those shocks actually hurt quite a bit. My line was staying in the air while casting during the shore episode. Nothing to mess with.
If you can hear thunder, your already in range of the lightning and the super charging of the air around/in the storm. A graphite rod is a great conductor and started picking up the static in the air. Many stories on the internet about this happening.
This article says drop the graphite rod if a storm comes in an run away.
Reply by: not too old to fish Posted: May. 10, 4:25:54 PM Points: 3646
A buddy of mine had his graphite rod zap him while we were trolling on Eleven mile but I was using an old fiberglass rod and never felt a thing. Needless to say we got to shore ASAP and found cover in a rock over hang and waited out the storm. Some times the oldies are the goodies.
I had a rod shock me at horse tooth last year... I have also seen posts where people with braided line will have their line float up due to static in the air... no fish is worth getting barbecued balls
Years ago I responded to a lightning strike on Hwy 67. A guy on a motorcycle stopped to take a leak when he got hit. The strike entered his jacket near his neck, and the leather acted like an insulator so you can guess where it exited. Not a pretty sight! My point is lightning is nothing to mess around with. Get to as safe a place as you can as quickly as you can. As previously mentioned, the air becomes electrically charged and a strike can occur miles from the storm.
I had the same thing happen without a single lightening strike at Spinney......mother nature at her fury...clouds were over head for sure, but could hear the clicks from my rod and feel the electricity in my hands from the rod....intense sensation.
Reply by: D-Zilla Posted: May. 11, 11:13:43 AM Points: 798
And you guys wonder why I buy cheap rods.......
Sorry, had to throw that out there. Lightning is no joke, I've been nearly struck several times while fishing, and it's NEVER fun. It will literally scare the life out of you. I can't imaging actually being hit, that would QUICKLY end a fishing season for sure, if not forever.
Never thought twice about it until a front blew onto the lake we were fishing in WI a few years ago. The wind kicked up and we were trying to secure the boat to the dock and I had jumped into the water to hold the bow while my brother secured the lines. Lightening hit a tree down the shore and it felt like I had been body-slammed. Scary stuff for sure.
The electricity is looking for the easiest way to get from the cloud to the ground. Anything that is more conductive than air is an easier path. A rod that is vertical gives about 6 to 9 feet of easy path. So that is going to draw attention. When you laid it down, it was no longer vertical. Carrying it horizontal would also reduce the chances, but not make them zero. Still, every little bit can help. If you were getting shocks, a potential was building in your area. You are lucky that is all that happened. There is always a first stroke and a building potential before that.
I was once on a sailboat when strange things started happening. Most of the boat was wood, but there was a metal sail track and a metal centerboard. We got as far away from the metal as we could. Luckily nothing happened.
Reply by: D-Zilla Posted: May. 12, 8:19:08 AM Points: 798
We were fishing Barbour Ponds (you know how far back THAT was) which is now St. Vrain. We were at one of the shelter areas when a storm blew in. We set all the rods down and got under the shelter, and not 30 seconds later lightning hit one of our rods and it literally exploded sending shards of fiberglass/graphite out like shrapnel. Luckily noone was hurt by it, but it was in our clothes/hair and all around us.
I was nearly struck again at Cherry Creek some years later, passing motorist said the bolt of lightning went over me by mere feet and hit a tree beside the road. My "lightning" reflexes saved my life that day. I felt my hair start to stand on end, and immediately went prone.
It is a scary situation any time lightning is involved and I tend to get off/away from the water as soon as the storm clouds start to roll in. If I hear thunder, I move faster.
Don't be a statistic, we've already had people struck and killed in Colorado this year.
Reply by: EasyWR450rider Posted: May. 12, 11:56:51 AM Points: 23
Since we're all outdoors often we're at an increased risk.
Couple years back I was on the soccer field at Ft. Logan and one of our girls hair was standing out like she had her hand on one of those science silver static balls. Ref saw it and immediately called the game. No lighting ever struck nearby as we sat and watched from the truck. But it was freaky to see her hair like that knowing what could happen at any moment!
Another time - My buddy and I literally ran the gauntlet of light one day leaving a hike in pond. We should've left much sooner when we saw the dark clouds coming. The hike was only .5 miles but felt like an eternity running, 5 poles held down hard at horizontal as we sprinted (with dog). Felt bad putting the dog through that. Not sure what made me think I needed 5 poles either. We took the high trail in but the gulch trail out due to the non-stop flash/boom situation. Scariest moment of both our lives! Got to the truck and saw lightning strike a nearby telephone pole.
I've learned my lessons the easy way. Feel like my luck has run out.
Sorry I'm so late getting back to this, I was out of town. But for those who asked, the fishing was pretty good. Mostly crappie in the 9"-10" range with a couple largemouth and two small saugeye. Definitely nothing worth getting struck by lightning over though. Lesson learned, and luckily I didn't end up like the guy in the picture who got hit or worse. If I see lightning or hear thunder, I'm gone. Stay safe out there people.
Fun experiment with graphite and electricity-Try this at home!
If you take a pencil and fill in a rectangle ( say 1/4" X 2" or 3" long) And then hook a 9V battery + terminal to a light, then attach a short wire to the light bulb with a bare end. Now attach another wire to the negative terminal of the battery.
Touch the leads to each end of the graphite rectangle. As you move them closer to each other, the light will get brighter.
This experiment proves that electricity can flow through graphite, even small voltages and small amounts of graphite.
Now take a look at the picture that Fishful Thinker posted...
Can you get any luckier if you were to get struck by lightning while fishing?
Thanks for sharing - good safety warning. I also didn't realize this how conductive graphite rods are. I have been fishing different times when thunderstorms have rolled in - I always pack it in and head for shelter.
About 12 years ago my son and I were fishing at 11 mile and as usual around 3 a clock a storm started rolling in we were getting ready to go out on the boat and my son threw his pole down on the ground and said that it bit him he was 9 or 10 at the time I said come on pick it up he did and about that fast he threw it down again and said no way so I walked over and picked it up and it shocked me and I threw it down. So we were looking at it trying to figure out what was going on, I was looking at the eyelets and noticed that they were steel and told my son that was what it was. You see there was a lot of electricity in the air and the pole was drawing it to the eye let's. Oh by the way it was a Berkley lighting rod.it was the last time we used them at 11 mile. We have seen a lot of strange weather up there. One time we were up there and got to see a water spout on the lake straight out from the marina. Just a fishing story.