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Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

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Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby Ted in Tallahassee » July 8th, 2018, 7:49 am

I went out with two guys from my work in my 15" aluminum jonboat out of St. Marks. We'd planned to do some fishing in the morning, and then see if there were any scallops and do some snorkeling. The weather looked ominous from first light. Several large summer thunderstorm cells loomed offshore and to the east and west of us. Thunder, flashing lightning. But far enough away where we were pretty much nowhere near it. But these are the type of summer cells that form up & dissipate relatively quickly.

We fished a little in the mouth of the river to kind of watch the weather to see what it was going to do. When it looked like there was a gap in the bad weather opening up, we headed out into the open bay and stopped again to fish and eye the weather. One guy, never fished with him before and he'd never fished in the gulf before, immediately starts complaining he was getting a series of electric shocks every time he cast his jig out. Over and over. He was using my rod. Me and the other guy are fishing the same rigs, doing everything the same, and we're not experiencing this. We thought he was just bugged out by the storms around and maybe when he cast the line made a seeming snapping noise as the line flew of the spool and he was just jumpy. He keeps going "ow!" Me and the other guy started to wonder about the new guy. It gets to the point where he drops the rod onto the deck, he says because of the pain of the shock. Now we're REALLY starting to wonder. I had noticed there was high cloud that had formed up over us. Nothing ominous looking, but I was watching it to see if it was looking like a cell was going to develop right over us.

He keeps complaining. So I move over right next to him and say, "OK, let's see this, go ahead and cast." He casts. Holy crap! "SNAP-P-P-P-P-P-P!" Clear electrical snapping, like when you touch something on a dry winter day and get a big static electricity snap, except a series of those. He wasn't making it up! So I'm thinking, "ah, OK, this is ungood," and we unassed the area with the quickness.

After I got home, I thought "hey let me Google fishing rods & electric shock." HO-LEE CRAP. Graphite rods ... ions ... highly charged atmosphere ... aluminum hull ....

I am counting myself lucky today. And this old dog has learned a new lesson.
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby eightwt » July 8th, 2018, 8:38 am

Wow, I'm sure you vamoosed quickly. Once saw a pic of a graphite rod hit by lightning, was a big ball of fiber, kinda like a birds nest. Once got caught in a bad storm while wading a river that was in gorge, one of those that you can only see the sun at noon laying on your back. Didn't see it brewing till too late. When it hit, the flashes and the claps were almost simultaneous. Took off at a run to be sure. Scared the hell out of me. No fish is worth getting killed. A young man was killed and his buddy injured while playing frisbee golf in Spearfish, SD, the Black Hills. Lightning struck one of the metal meshed catchers they use for "holes". They were standing by it.
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby Rangerpat » July 8th, 2018, 1:42 pm

Was fishing right before a thunderstorm developed nearby, casted out my wet monofilament fishing line, using a graphite fishing pole, the bait went under water but the mono line hovered about three feet above the saltwater; a lot of static electricity in the air.
God's way of telling me to stop fishing!
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby GaryDroze » July 8th, 2018, 3:51 pm

I still remember cowering under my overturned canoe on the banks of Big Cove (just east of St Marks Refuge Lighthouse) last year as dozens of monster lightning strikes crashed all around to within 100 yards, close enough that I could smell the burning. Was pinned down and unable to move for 45 minutes, feeling like a grunt in a foxhole under artillery barrage. When it finally subsided, I decided that this lame sentiment is bogus...

"At least he died doing something he loved."

Screw that BS. At the time, I'd have been happy staying alive doing something I hated.
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby Redbelly » July 8th, 2018, 6:06 pm

So Gary do you now carry TP with you
in the summer? LOL
Work 2 fish 4 days

1988 vintage 1436 Fisher Jon
1992 vintage 15 hp Merc
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby rockyg » July 9th, 2018, 9:25 am

Rangerpat wrote:Was fishing right before a thunderstorm developed nearby, casted out my wet monofilament fishing line, using a graphite fishing pole, the bait went under water but the mono line hovered about three feet above the saltwater; a lot of static electricity in the air.
God's way of telling me to stop fishing!


I had that happen to me years ago at St. Marks. The reel was shocking my fingers, the graphite rod buzzed if you if you lifted the tip, and then the final straw was the mono floating in the air.

I had a 60mph flats boat back then......we ran 65 plus to get the heck out of there. lol
Old and cold.
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby DixieReb » July 9th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Wow! :o It's never happened to me, but my Dad used to tell stories about his line floating in the air and the hair standing up on the back of his head. Said it was time to go then! :wink:
Yours in the South
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby DixieReb » July 9th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Wow! :o It's never happened to me, but my Dad used to tell stories about his line floating in the air and the hair standing up on the back of his head. Said it was time to go then! :wink:
Yours in the South
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby RedHillsTurkeyCalls » July 10th, 2018, 10:50 am

Had a small fiberglass skiff a long time ago that would sound like bacon frying under the right atmospheric conditions...freaky!
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby onefishtwofish » July 10th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Back in the day when I played golf, I was having a really good day. The storm was fast approaching, but I was 2 over at the turn (which was crazy good for me) and wanted to keep playing. My playing partner picked up her ball so I could play faster (my SIL at the time). We were standing on the green and I was lining up a putt and felt something on my arm and looked down and the hair was all standing up - SIL's hair was floating in the air! We hightailed it out of there.
Ducks, turkeys, flats fishing. Who has time for golf?
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Re: Yesterday's shocking St. Marks trip

Postby BloodyChamp » July 16th, 2018, 11:22 pm

So did you catch any fish lol
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