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Of course I try to avoid fishing during thunderstorms but sometimes you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. What is the safest thing to do? I've often thought about what I'd do if I was too far from the ramp and a storm popped up. My strategy would be to tie up to the shore and ride it out in the trees. Is this the safest bet?
 

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Regardless of going in the trees or wherever, getting low is a must. I have found bridges and empty docks to be helpful, but still getting low in the boat even under those. I'd prefer the bridges and docks to trees but in a pinch, Id take the trees...the down side to that is that lightning will travel down the tree and into the ground. If you are unfortunate enough to be next to the tree that gets struck, it can be pretty bad.
 
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You don't even have to be next to it. When lightning goes to ground it radiates outward much like throwing a rock in a pond.
The wave gets weaker as the ring expands from where the rock impacted. Lightning does the exact same thing.

Lightening entry into your home's electrical system can be from the ground up through your ground rod and into the system. Seen this several times. Saw a tree hit in a subdivision in a front yard. The house across the street had the back blown out of about every receptacle. It came in through the ground.
 

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Technically, it starts with an ionization trail from the ground up that the electrons then follow down into the ground, so ye, from the ground up. That's why those that have been hit, or close to being hit, say they felt the hairs stand up right before the strike.

Anyway, the best answer is to get out of the storm. Lightning can strike many miles from the storm, too, so the counting rule isn't always accurate.

Get a good weather tracking app on your phone and watch it. If something gets close, find safe shelter.
 

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I was at a lake in CO one time when lightening struck near me. I was hustling back to the parking lot and I had a plastic shopping bag in my hand that had a few metal items in it. Sparks shot between my knuckles and the stuff in the bag right before it struck and I was probably 75 yards from the strike.
 

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I usually ride them out under a bridge. Other times I have ducked into empty boat houses or just sit low in the boat in a cove until it passes.

I was once on Gaston around the train trestle and a bad one came up. I hauled butt to Americamps, pulled in an empty slip and rode it out in the porta john next to the swimming pool. Probably not the safest place but it shielded from lightning and torrential down pour.
 

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Those thunderstorms roll right down the middle of Gaston.
I holed up under the Eaton Ferry bridge one night during a bad one with high winds. Crawled all the way up under the bridge.
Lightning hit the bridge steel and the big phone cable strapped to the side of the bridge. Sparks rained down all over the boat.
 

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One snuck up on me in the Pamlico, near Blounts creek, I hauled butt to a private dock and tied up as it started to pour and hail , and ran to the house knocked and asked it I could ride it out on their back porch. They insisted I come in and dry off. Nice folks, even made coffee. I figure most folks will at least let you sit on their back porch in such a matter..
 

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I usually ride them out under a bridge. Other times I have ducked into empty boat houses or just sit low in the boat in a cove until it passes.

this is me. i've been in a few nasties, including whiteouts and tornadoes. i will never go to a tree though. bridges ftw. empty boat houses are very nice if available and the waves don't get too bad. if you choose a bridge, make an attempt to avoid the downspouts if you have time or arrive before the rain lol. if it is bad lightning you won't catch me with a pole in my hand either. i did that one time at pasquotank in a tourney and it was just plain stupid. no shelter sought out, no stop in fishing, lightning like ell...torrential rain. felt the thumps of every strike.

had a branch knocked out of a tree into the boat heading back to the ramp at havelock one day in a storm. felt like someone punched me square in the chest and knocked me to the floor instinctively, sounded like a shotgun at pbr. felt really bad for the guy in the 14' jon beside me lol.
 

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I usually ride them out under a bridge. Other times I have ducked into empty boat houses or just sit low in the boat in a cove until it passes.

...pulled in an empty slip and rode it out in the porta john...

That's what I love about you BigCountry....always multitasking!!! :)
 

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My worst scare was on the Sportsmans pier at Atlantic Beach. Got caught out on the end under the pier shelter. There were several other people there also. We all thought we would be crispy critters. It was amazing at how fast that storm made up. Must have done it close to us. I had a couple of other scares out on the water also.
 

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That's what I love about you BigCountry....always multitasking!!! :)
******* engineering Joey, it was there and was able to be used to solve a problem. I used it solely for the shelter it provided and not for its intended use.
 
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