Video: Stupid Fisherman in a Lightning Storm

“Stupid is as stupid does.” — Forrest Gump

Video: Stupid Fisherman in a Lightning Storm

The video below was posted to YouTube by Andrew Buss, a competitive bass angler.

The title above, “Stupid Fisherman in a Lightning Storm,” is the same one Buss used when he uploaded his video to his channel. I didn’t change it for this article because I think it sums up the content pretty well.

In the description for his video, Buss wrote:

“This lightning and thunderstorm video was recorded July 23, 2022, on Klinger Lake, Michigan. A bass tournament had just begun when a thunderstorm rolled in. Enjoy watching the lightning in slow motion. This footage was recorded over 3 hours, so while it seems excessive, the lightning was sporadic. About the time it seemed time to seek shelter, the lightning dissipated. I kept the boat close to shore to keep myself low in comparison to the trees, flag poles, and homes and less likely to be a victim of a lightning strike. Regardless, I encourage everyone to seek shelter whenever in the presence of lightning.”

A few comments: His statement, “I kept the boat close to shore,” doesn’t appear correct. I would say “close” means within 30 feet of shore, not 330 feet as shown in his video.

I also find it interesting — but sadly, not surprising — Buss isn’t the only angler on Klinger Lake that late afternoon who believes it’s worth putting your life in extreme danger to catch a fish. I count at least five other boats in the background of his 3-minute video. “Insane” is the only word that comes to mind. 

I have no doubt Buss is a very talented bass fisherman. In the text below his YouTube video, he includes promo codes where fellow anglers can enter discount codes for products he uses. He also lists 10 sponsors. In my humble opinion (and this is based on my 50-plus years of fishing from Florida to Alaska), he might want to add a funeral home to his sponsor list.

Note: Sometimes conditions for lightning are prime before you see lightning or hear thunder. I remember one summer weekday afternoon about 30 years ago (prior to smartphones and weather apps) in central Minnesota when a buddy and I were taking part in a local bass derby. It was 3 hours before sunset, heavy overcast, 5-mph winds. Perfect! We were fishing a drop-off for largemouth with jigworms (the term Ned rig hadn’t been popularized yet) when suddenly we heard a buzzing sound; it was coming from my buddy’s graphite rod. I had just made a long cast with my spinning rod, and my monofilament line literally hovered 6 to 8 feet above the water, all the way from my rod tip to the point where the line entered the water to my falling jig. We immediately raced for shore, beached the boat and jumped in his pickup. A violent storm rolled in a few minutes later. Better safe than sorry.

FYI: Statistics on deaths due to lightning show that these recreational activities are the most dangerous (top five, in order from most to least): fishing, camping, boating, soccer and golf.

With highly accurate weather apps for smartphones, there’s no reason to be caught off-guard on a lake in lightning or other dangerous weather. Be smart, get off the lake.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.