If fishing is one of your hobbies and you like to go on a fishing adventure often, you must have heard fishers getting injured by lightning strikes during a thunderstorm.
Do fishing rods attract lightning?
No. Fishing rods don’t attract lightning. Instead, lightning hit your fishing rod built of metals following the phenomena of electrical conduction. The free-roaming electrons in metals carry a charge which is responsible for the conduction of electricity.
Can lightning strike a fishing rod?
Yes. Lightning can strike a fishing rod. Your fishing rods made of fibreglass, graphite are electrical conductors caused by delocalized atoms; hence fishing rods get hit by lightning.
In graphite, each carbon atom forms a covalent bond with three other carbon atoms leaving one carbon atom with no bonds, which becomes delocalized and responsible for conducting electricity.
Metals have free-roaming electrons, which flow easily in atomic structure and contain electric charges. These non-bound single electrons are free to move, consequently can conduct electricity efficiently. Hence, lightning is supposed to strike your fishing rod made of metal.
Is it dangerous to fish during a thunderstorm?
Yes. It is of the utmost danger to fish during a thunderstorm. Your fishing rod made of graphite acts like antennae, and lightning will strike right on the rod because it is closest to the sky in your fishing area. Hence, you will be electrocuted pretty badly.
During a thunderstorm, lightning can strike around 10 miles from where it was sourced. Lightning containing 100 million volts can strike vigorously and cause immense physical damage or even life loss if you’re in the range since your body is an excellent conductor. Survivors of lightning face life-long severe physical injuries and disabilities.
Considering health risks, it is best if you don’t go fishing during a thunderstorm. You can go fishing anytime after the storm has ended or on a bright, sunny, clear day. So why put your life at risk?
But if you find yourself amidst a thunderstorm while fishing, then you must know some safety measures. Anglers often have to follow these tips to save themselves in adverse weather conditions. However, remember to always check the weather before going to fish.
Nine safety tips for fishers during a thunderstorm-
Place the rod horizontally:
Stop fishing immediately and lay the fishing rod on the ground in a horizontal position. This position will stop the rod from acting as antennae as a result; it won’t draw a lightning strike toward itself.
Avoid taking shelter under a tree:
Never take shelter under a tree while a thunderstorm is happening. On a deserted or plain land, the tree is the only object with the highest peak, and most likely, lightning tends to strike on it. But it will immediately hit you instead of the tree because your body is a better conductor.
Never stand near or under metallic structures:
Don’t take shelter or stand near any long poles or picnic table covers made of metal. Don’t open an umbrella if lightning is on strike to protect yourself from rain. Also, avoid taking shelter in isolated gazebos.
Take shelter in automobiles or cars:
Automobiles or cars without a roof made of fibreglass can protect you from lightning in such dreadful weather.
In open space, never lie down entirely. Rather lie low or bend down and keep your hands on your knees.
Never get in the water:
If you get stuck on a boat during a thunderstorm, never get in the water. Avoid swinging your hand or legs in water from the boat.
Disconnect radio and GPS:
There’s a slight chance of escaping lightning if you switch off the radio and GPS.
Avoid contacting any metal elements:
While on a boat, avoid touching any metal elements. Lower down your fishing roads or any tall pointy metal elements.
Is it good to fish during a storm?
Yes. It is somewhat reasonable to fish during a storm. Storm surge makes the fishes aggressive and ferocious, which tend them to look for bait. As a result, fishes seem to bite anything, whether it is food or bait, which increases your probability of catching fish.
Before a storm, the air pressure drops, and it causes the fish to maximize activity in water. You will be able to get hold of fishes of deep water and the rarest fishes during a storm. The barometric pressure indulges the fish in going for a food hunt.
Stormy weather is perfect for catching trout fish and baitfish. Baitfish attracts bass fish. Hence, you can even see a bass fish during a storm in a lake or river. You can get hold of fish like flounder, bluefish, redfish, Spanish mackerel and sharks if you go fishing in salty water.
It is best if you can take a digital barometric calculator with your while fishing during a storm. That way, you can track the weather and air pressure and the fish’s movements as well. It will immediately give you information on dropping air pressure and fish activity.
You don’t even have to try hard and follow the usual rules or food habits to catch fish during a storm. Since fishes are naturally run because of the weather, you can see even the rarest fish species.
However, it is better to not get wet in the storm to fish and catch a cold. You can always go fishing in clear weather.
Where do fish go during a storm?
The fish swimming near the water surface tends to go down to deeper and calmer water to save themselves from the storminess. Or they swim farther to steady water.
In 2003, researchers recorded the fish movement near south-western Australia. They saw the fish disappearing from the camera during a storm. They couldn’t precisely track their location. But they assumed they swam to safe, non-turbulent water.
However, all species of fish don’t act the same way. The robust and adamant fish like wimp stick to their ground until massive bolts of wave strike.
The light, temperature and air pressure during a storm affects fish movements. Hence, they seek shelter rather than hunt for food.
Is fishing better after a storm?
Fishing after a storm can go either way, depending on the barometric pressure. If the air pressure drops after a storm, it will bring the insects, baitfish and predator fish near the shore or water surface.
That is, you can catch different species of fish in such weather conditions.
If the barometric pressure rises, which means a more transparent blue sky, it will make the fish disappear from the water surface.
They will no longer look for food or shelter for the time being and swim to further and deeper water. It might be pretty tough for you to catch fish in such weather after a storm.
The fish movements depend on air pressure, temperature and weather conditions. So it would help if you tracked the fronts and barometric pressure to locate fish. Digital barometric pressure can be of great help to you in this sector.
A professional angler is aware that if a warm front sinks in, the fish will tend to move to a particular place for food or move to the water surface. This is undoubtedly an excellent time to fish. You can get hold of various species while fishing in such weather conditions.
But if a cold fronts blow after a storm, the fish seem to rush to deeper and cooler water to cover themselves. In that situation, it might be pretty hard for you to make fish bite your bait.
Why do fish stop biting after a storm?
There may be a lot of reasons which affect fish biting after a storm. Fish are cold-blooded animals. So the temperature and weather conditions highly affect them.
Two reasons why fish stop biting after a storm-
If the after storm weather brings massive cold fronts, then fish would stop biting. Cold fronts are an enormous air mass flow that rushes into warmer air and makes the temperature fall by 15 degrees.
Cold fronts make fish inactive, and they tend to cover themselves up in such weather. So it is implausible to take a bite on your bait for them.
Too stormy weather:
If there is a wild air breeze after the storm is over, then it will drive the fish away to farther water and make them scatter. Also, to avoid the water surface’s choppiness, fish tend to move to calm and deeper water, making the fish’s probability of biting your bait a lot less.
What weather do fish bite best in?
Fish tend to bite best in consistent weather. They won’t take a lot of bite in harsh weather conditions.
Mild rain, cloudy skies and low barometric pressure conditions make fish active, and they take a lot of bite in baits. These weather conditions are very effective for fishing as long as the rain is not heavy and stormy.
Your bait will get a lot of bites if you fish during a rising or falling tide. In such weather, fish get turned on and start seeking food. They will take a bite at almost anything that you put as bait.
Are graphite fishing rods conductive?
Yes. Graphite fishing rods are good conductors of electricity. The non-bonded free-electron carries a charge and is free to move; hence they can conduct electricity if a current passes.
Your graphite fishing rods will conduct electricity if it gets struck by a bolt of lightning, and you can get electrocuted. So watch out if you are fishing with a graphite rod during a thunderstorm.
However, fishers should avoid fishing during a thunderstorm as fishing rods and lightning can be dreadful. You can always come back when the weather is clear.