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Rough "seas" boating/fishing


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So I watched the movie "The Perfect Storm" the other night, then had a tourny on Pepin on Saturday, with 25 mph winds the rollers were going pretty good.

So it's had me thinking about my times fishing in some serious weather, specifically wind and waves, and I'm wondering what's the worst you've stuck it out in.

Mine was definitely Mille Lacs a few years ago, night fishing with 30 mph winds that were blowing for over 6 hours. The waves were coming all the way over the boat, the two of us in the boat being completely drenched with each and every wave. It was impossible to trailer the boat in this weather, the landing at Isle that we used was somewhat protected, but not enough to protect it from these waves. Basically we ended up waiting it out, then when finally we could land the boat, immediately slept in the truck right there in the parking lot from sheer exhaustion.

That was the one and only time I eventually started to feel seasick.

I know a lot of you have been out in a lot worse than that, especially you Superior and Michigan fisherman, so let's hear the stories!

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Same type of conditions night fishing on Mille Lacs but it was cold enough that the spray from the waves would freeze to the sides of the boat, the carpet, the seats, and our outer layer of clothing. Came of the lake with a quarter inch thick layer of ice on myself; thicker on the gunwales of the boat.

All I can say about conditions like that is; you need to have top of the line rain gear. Thankfully, I do.

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I was out on Green Bay once and there was a 25 mph noreaster on a steady clip that built up over a few hours in the morning. We were of course about 100 miles downwind from Escanaba. I was out with my uncle Earl who had lived in the area for years and wanted to go revisit and fish. We were in a 14' Lund and when we'd hit the bottom of the trough hard we'd get a couple gallons over the bow. My uncle was over 80 and he insisted on staying out and continuing to troll. We hadn't caught a (Contact US Regarding This Word) thing in four hours and all the larger boats, I mean all of them had taken in two hours earlier. There were about 20 boats up to 20 feet at the start. I got so (Contact US Regarding This Word) tired of bailing I didn't even think of getting sea sick. My uncle kept saying this is nothing compared to other days he'd fished, but he was having trouble controlling his bladder from the rough water. He probably took about 6 pees during the worst last hour and about half of it hit the Lil Jon, the other half all over himself and down his pants. Another vessel about 45+' was making its heading into the wind towards Michigan and spotted us from about a mile off. They put up all engines and headed over to us likely split only to see we were trolling and I could see the guy at the helm shake his head and turn back into the wind. It was October and the temperature was about 55 degrees as well. Once it started raining, we finally gave up, thank God. We caught one freshwater clam the whole while, but I think we snagged it (haha). When we got in, we stopped at a gas station for coffee and donuts and there were a couple of guys who stayed out of the main bay and cast for bass and caught a limit of smallies all around 18". We were staying another day, so we went in to listen to the weather forecast and the lady meterologist said, if you thought today was bad, tomorrow will have winds about 5-10mph stronger from the same direction and rain all day as well. My uncle and I agreed to get up in the morning and head home.

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Great stories, guys, thank for sharing. I definitely have to try Green Bay one of these days, hopefully during better weather!

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About 15 years ago, we got caught in 70-80 MPH straight line winds on Lake Kabetogama near Int'l Falls. The forecast was for scattered thunderstorms so we were keeping an eye on the horizon. After dinner, we headed down the lake about 7 or 8 miles to a spot we had caught some fish that morning. We got there and got on a few fish when I noticed some nasty looking clouds on the horizon towards the west. I told everyone to reel up and we headed for home. We were in a 20' Signa Thunderbird trihull (a great boat in it's time) with a 235 hp OMC sterndrive. We were whipping down the lake at about 45 mph and we could see the lightning starting to drop. The clouds were just boiling up over the horizon. We looked across the lake and could see this wall of white coming at us but by this time we were in the open part of the lake and there was no where to hide. We didn't know it at the time but the wall of white wasn't just rain, it was rain, hail and the top of the waves being pushed by 70-80 mph winds. We were just throttling back to come into the harbor at the resort we were staying at when it caught us. Everything went gray and you could hardly tell the water from the sky. Baseball, yes I said baseball, sized hail started falling and the waves immediately went to 6-7'ers. The only thing that saved us from being flipped over was that that old white tub we were in weighed in at about 3000 lbs. Needless to say, the hail took a toll on us and the boat. All of us were cut and bleeding even though we were hiding under boat cushions and the canvas top. My dad got hit in the mouth and lost a tooth. The upholstery in the boat was shredded in spots and when we looked back there was a foot of hail stones in the back of the boat. Even though I'm sure it only lasted for a couple of minutes, it seemed a lot longer than that. When we got back to the resort, I took a look at my car. It looked like someone took a ballpeen hammer to it. I had $5,000 damage done to a $3,000 car. The next day after seeing all the damage done to resorts and all the trees down on the islands, we felt pretty lucky to come out of the experience with only a few cuts and bruises.

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To me.. lightning is scary stuff on the water. We were canoeing in Quetico (North of BWCA in Canada) and had a rather large lake to cross (Cache Bay near Sag) we were going to shoot from the ranger station to Silver falls if anyone is familiar with the area... and it was hot and humid and very windy.. the waves were the kind that are high enough you say "no way can we make it" with the front dipping down into the larger swells hard enough for water to pour in on the sides.. yet amazingly.. after a half hour you become amazed how stable canoes really are.. (always amazes me.. never swamped yet)

So.. half way across it rapidly darkens and becomes a bit more still.. then the lightning began. First.. distance rumbles.. we move along as fast as we can.. around 20 mins to the closest shore. BANG. Lightning strikes the shoreline.. Bang bang! It started pouring rain, but fortunately nothing in the way of win. But the lighting.. stabbing the shores and even the water.. closest maybe 500 feet from our aluminum canoe- fishing poles standing straight up like lightning rods.

I was saying my prayers!. I was just sure we were goners. I've heard that lightning is the number one killer in the BWCA/Quetico.

We managed to get to the shore without any hits.. I was SO sure we would be hit.. all wet and metal. Then the storm was gone and it was cooler and calmer.. and we moved on. Beautiful country up North if you haven’t been there!

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(Contact US Regarding This Word) is right about being in the Quetico/BWCA in the lightning. We were in the Quetico a few years ago when they got all of that rain. The second day in, we watched as a severe thunderstorm circled and hit us four times! The last time it hit us, it really had some force. It hit at about 2 am. We had 70 mile/hr straight line winds try to pick up the tent. With four guys in there, it was honestly almost able to pick us up. We had a guy in each corner trying to hold it down. Then, the tent lighted up light day and an amazingly loud bomb went off. We then heard a loud crash about 20 ft away. It was a branch. Turns out the lightening bolt struck a tree about right above us. The lightening, wind and hail continued for another hour. The strangest thing about it was maybe 10 feet from our tent, we heard something barking. We were all to afraid to look because whatever it was, probably wanted in to stay dry. To this day, we still do not know what was barking. The next morning, everyting was scattered around. The water rose so much, that rocks we were stepping on, were now 6-7 ft out from shore. Very scary.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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    • Rick G
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