June 23, 2014 Share

Storm Stories

Originally Published on Sep 6, 2011 “From the Docks” NBC Sports

A good friend from Dallas called yesterday in a funk. He had just watch a show with Roland Martin fishing Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota and thought it looked like a fabulous way to escape the searing heat that has baked Texas and Oklahoma this summer. These are fishing storm stories every angler has experienced.

Another friend from Connecticut mentioned that the powers-to-be dropped his lake levels by several feet prior to Hurricane Irene plowing through his back yard. I haven’t been able to get a hold of him since the storm to find out how bad things were in his neck of the woods, but it doesn’t sound good from the news reports I’ve seen.

For anglers, weather is a critical factor not only in our ability to find and catch fish, but also because severe weather can threaten lives and our gear.

Years back, while fishing Michigan’s Isle Royale along the north shore of Lake Superior, an incredible storm rolled through one evening that turned this massive lake, famous for claiming ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald, into a scary monster unlike this boy from the north woods had ever before seen. I have no idea how high individual waves reached that evening as we hunkered down in a secluded cove to wait it out. I do know that when we left its protection late the next day to head back to the mainland the ride back was like a roller coaster. We’d chug up these massive swells and when we reached the top, would slide quickly down the back side until crashing into the next wave, sending 43-degree water swirling around the base of the upper deck.

Another time before cell phones, while sitting 10 miles from shore on another massive lake, we learned of a tornado bearing down on the lake…and our motor would not start. Fortunately, another boat towed us to shore before the storm hit.

I suspect a number of you have more harrowing storm stories to tell; especially after last week.