Editor’s Log: Weather Awareness - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Weather Awareness

So I have to admit that I took a little break from surf fishing recently to focus on a few other projects — one of them being another boat project I picked up recently. I’ll elaborate on that in a future editorial. I did thankfully get some things squared away with that project which gave me some time to get back into the surf after dark to cast some plugs.

I guess my eagerness caused me to overlook the weather for the first couple of days I did get back into it because for two days in a row, I got caught up in (and narrowly avoided) some concerning conditions. In my defense, the weather has been tough and unpredictable recently and while I was never afraid to fish in some high wind or rain, a few things certainly get to me when out in the dark surfcasting. One of them being fog and the other being lightning.

Fog can certainly be a boater’s nightmare but if you surf fish in certain places, where you have to wade out or fish on a sandbar, it can be troublesome as well as eerie. One’s sense of direction can be lost rather quick. I’m talking about the type of fog that makes it hard to see the tip of your rod at night, and blocks out almost all other light sources. That’s the kind of fog I got caught up in the other night. I actually watched it roll in and it came in quick! One minute it was clear and I could see the sliver of the moon and the next I was struggling to see more than 10 feet in front of me. Luckily I had my phone on me in a watertight bag from Plano so I used the map along with the compass on the phone to make my way back to land. While usually frowned upon, I was thankful that one angler on the shore kept his headlight on all night, it was the only thing I was also able to make out and it really aided me on my way in since I knew exactly where that individual was standing the entire time.

The next night fog was not an issue but it was the incoming lighting storm. The way I calculated it with the radar and the tide, it would have left me about an hour before the storm made a direct hit where I was fishing. The fishing was good that night too. Nothing huge but a steady pick of stripers from about 28 to 38 inches with a few big bluefish. As the tide slowed, I could feel the wind changing and I knew it was time to make my way back. I hopped off my rocky perch and started to wade back in, I turned to see the first bolts of lightning flickering in the night sky, still miles away but quickly approaching my location. Again, it’s not the rain that bothers me but the thought of waving around an 11-foot graphite rod in the air during a lighting storm always left me uneasy. I did pick up the pace a bit on the way in and was in the truck and on the road before the storm hit. And thank goodness for that, because it was a blinding torrential downpour and frequent lightning lighting up the sky like the Fourth of July. The storm passed shortly but it certainly would have been a horrible experience to be caught out in something like that.

What I’m trying to get at is weather awareness is one of the most important things while out on the water — whether it be surf or boat. Never blindly jump into something because of eagerness or excitement but take the necessary steps and do the required research before planning a trip to make sure you stay safe.

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