I've attached a recent study on lightening deaths: Lightening.pdf
Fishermen are, by far, the number one victim.
I cringe when anglers cite the deaths per person statistics and conclude that their chances of being struck by lightening are minimal. Most people take shelter during thunderstorms. They're not out on open water. The proper analysis is: what are your chances of being struck while fishing during a thunderstorm. I don't think there is such a study, but logic suggests that it is phenomenally higher than the national rate (when most people would be taking shelter). Few people fish during thunderstorms. No fish is worth the risk.
I'll admit, lightening while on the water scares me to death. I try to avoid it. (I used to fish during storms, but I was young and more foolish, then).
The older I get, the longer I want to stick around. I doubt there's musky fishing in heaven (or hell).
When you are out fishing with the possibility of T-storms you have to watch the weather carefully and have a plan in place to get to shelter quickly. You should not be in an area that is far from shelter. Having a cell phone app can be very helpful to know when storms are approaching and how fast they are moving. Move closer to shelter before they arrive. I will tie up to any available dock and get out of the boat. I did that once at Oneida lake. It was a beautiful day and a t-storm came in quickly. The accompanying wind and waves were crazy. There was a guy at the house next door that invited us into his porch to wait it out. 40 min later we were out catching Walleye under sunny skies.
Skinner and I used to fish until the very last possible seconds as an electrical storm blew in before we ran for home. The worse storm we ever "outran" had us flying through the SBH at about 35MPH as the lightning has hitting the masts on the sailboats and light poles around us. THIS WAS SO FRICKIN' STUPID! Young and dumb certainly applied to us years ago. After we tied the boat off hastily (we thought about beaching her), ran to the bathrooms, and stood under the shelter out of breath and scared out of our minds, we agreed not to do attempt this anymore. Thinking back, I don't think we ever caught anything during these Russian Roulette lightning games of ours. The thirty year old me thought this was pretty cool, and certainly "hard-core". The 45 year old me knows better. Get off the water and away from those graphite lightning rods BEFORE a storm is on top of you. Way before...
I have had VERY close encounters. Scary stuff. Remember lightning rods are made of graphite!
Josh, Tony, Larry, Scott, Steve G, the "Facilities", and oh, yeah, me, I just talked with Jessica McL (the meteorologist) this evening & she told me that she was going to site some lightening statistics in her presentation. This presentation might be a life-saver, even if you get only one valuable piece of info from it.
Hope to see you all Tuesday!!
I'd be willing to bet that every fisherman (and woman) out there can recall at least one scary, close-call story out there.
I was struck by lightening once. However not when I was fishing. It's an experience I'd rather not repeat